For the entire 13 years of its administration Labour was governed by the illusion that, by legislation, it could so limit CO2 emissions as to confine a predicted rise in global temperature to 2° – the target set by the EU at its Council Meeting in June 1996 – and again at the EU Council Meeting of March 2007 heralding its 20:20:20 policy. This policy requires that 20% of energy in the EU is obtained from ‘renewable’ sources and CO2 emissions cut by 20%, all by 2020. The Coalition have now set out upon the same vain pursuit.
This obsession with CO2 emissions has resulted in:-
- a complete and futile submission to the delusion that wind power is energy which is ‘clean’, which is ‘cheap’ and which is ‘renewable’
- a scandalous failure to assure for our country adequate, secure, stable and affordable energy – free from dependence on diminishing fossil fuels – that only Nuclear power provides.
The consequences of this colossal ineptitude are:-
- That we face a 40% shortfall of generating capacity within 5 years. 8 of 9 of nuclear plants built 30/40 years ago are now being phased out and most large coal and oil fired stations are in line for closure by 2015 under the EU 2001 Large Combustion Plants Directive – a cumulative loss of 19GW out of a national requirement of 45GW. This shortfall cannot be met in time except by immediate construction of gas fired power stations – so increasing dependence on vulnerable foreign imports and on fossil fuels
- That UK Climate Change policies have forced acute rises in the cost of electricity. For industrial users it will have increased from 2008 by at least 70% by 2020 – as acknowledged by BERR (Dept for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) and DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) in 2 published reports.
Given this impeding crisis surely there must be overwhelming justification for policies that put our prosperity at such risk? But 3 basic questions show the case for damaging man-made global warming to be riven with doubt.
- Question 1 If we accept that man-made CO2 emissions do indeed cause damaging global warming, can these Climate Change policies have any effect in preventing it?
- Answer No – We emit less than 2% of CO2. So such policies are futile unless applied by China, India and Russia – but by mid-2007 China, alone, was building one coal fired power station every 4 days. Copenhagen ended hopes of worldwide action on CO2 emissions leaving the EU absurdly isolated.
- Question 2 Does man-made CO2 actually cause damaging increases in global temperature?
- Answer There is no cogent evidence of this. To understand the significance of atmospheric CO2 we need to put the essentials of the evidence in their proper context:
- 90% of the ‘greenhouse’ effect is caused by water vapour – clouds. CO2 makes up just 0.0385% of atmospheric gas – and of this small percentage only 3.3% is man-made.
- Atmospheric carbon is also recycled every 4/5 years by “sinks”- the oceans (90bn tonnes p/a) and vegetation (110bn tonnes p/a).
- Importantly there is no correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels. The period 1850 – 2010 saw a steady and consistent increase in atmospheric CO2 – by as much as 35% – indeed levels have risen by no less than 3% p/a for the last 10 years. But this gradual year on year rise is not matched by global temperature record which has a chaotic pattern. From 1910 to 1940 it rose 4° – it fell 2° from 1940 to 1976, only to rise again by 5° until 1998. Since then it has shown a slight fall. Global temperature is now up to 3° below what is was in the Roman and Medieval Warmings when there was no man-made CO2.
- There is no ‘Tipping Point’ beyond which temperature rises inexorably out of ‘control’. At 400 ppm(parts per million) more CO2 does not increase its ‘trapping’ effect – the process resembles putting up curtains to keep out light – putting up more than 3 or 4 adds nothing. (See Professor Hoyle Ice 1981 at p.123 and Professor Ian Plimer Heaven and Earth 2009 at pp.374/5 for explanations of this phenomenon).
- The evidence provided by Antarctic ice cores suggests that over the ages temperature rises are likely to precede CO2 rises by 500/1000 years – nor is this surprising given that the oceans contain nearly 40,000 bn tonnes of carbon – 50x that of atmospheric content – and that heat causes release from the oceans of carbon in the form of CO2.
- Finally, even the IPCC 2007 Report admits than an increase of 3° will be beneficial to food production – itself ‘predicting’ an average global temperature increase to 2100 of 2.9°.
- Question 3 Is the planet actually heating up as so alarmingly predicted by some? [See e.g. the Stern Report]. That is to say, beyond normal parameters looked at over adequate time scales?
- Answer No it is not. The rise of 0.7 degrees in the period from 1850 – 1998 is normal with the planet moving out of the Maunder Minimum or ‘Little Ice Age’. Indeed global temperature has fallen since 1998 with the fall in the year to January 2008 the steepest since 1880.
None of these facts are in serious dispute. Yet the government is still tilting at the spectre of CO2.
2008 was the ‘Year of Fantasy in a Decade of Delusion’ with 2 astounding enactments being imposed.
- 2008 Climate Change Act – requiring UK greenhouse gas emissions to be cut to 20% of the 1990 levels by 2050. Given the rise in CO2 levels since 1990 these cuts are far greater in reality and would, if implemented, fatally maim our entire economy.
- 2008 EU Renewables Directive –requiring the UK to obtain at least 15% of all its energy from ‘renewable’ sources by 2020. So wind power must increase over 10 years by over 11 times from the existing level of 1.3%.
‘Renewable’ energy effectively means wind power since both Nuclear and Hydro Electric are excluded from definitions adopted by EU and UK legislation. But the notion that wind power is capable of meeting anything more than a trivial percentage of required electricity generation is simply fantasy. It is an illusion to deal with a delusion.
Wind power suffers from 3 grave flaws:-
|Onshore Wind||5.4p per kw/hour||over 2x Gas/Coal/Nuclear|
|Offshore Wind||7.2p per kw/hour||around 3x Gas/Coal/Nuclear|
|Gas/Coal/Nuclear||2.2p/2.5p per kw/hour|
- It is grotesquely inadequate since it suffers from wind intermittency – turbines are ineffective at 12mph and cut out at 56 mph. Onshore turbines operate at only 25% of capacity with offshore at 30%. On cold high pressure days when power demand is high there is no wind. So wind turbines require continuous back up from conventional power stations since production cannot be stored. As Christopher Booker points out the 18,000 turbines in Germany – 31% of world total – produced only 3.48 GW in 2006 – less than the UK’s Drax coal power station coal at 3.9GW.
- It is nearly 3 times as costly as conventionally generated power. A Royal Academy of Engineering report analyses the cost of producing a Kw. hour of electricity using Gas, Coal, Nuclear and Wind power (see Figure 1)
- Its adoption involves severe environmental damage. The latest turbines are nearly 1½ x the height of Salisbury Cathedral (approx 600 foot). Our countryside renowned for its small scale beauty – an irreplaceable national asset is now being wantonly destroyed. It actually encourages the use of conventional coal fired stations to provide the 75% back up of power generation that is needed – more Wind = more Emissions. And the demand on resources for turbine construction is vast. For every 1million
tons of concrete/steel used in nuclear construction 7.5million are needed for offshore turbines (Prof MacKay – Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air 2009 p.62).
UK Independence Party – A call for sanity
How are we in the UK Independence Party to regard all this? It is with despair that one looks on BERR and DECC continuing to ape Don Quixote and Sancho Panza with their unhinged obsessions with windmills. Alone of all political parties UKIP calls for an immediate suspension of these heavy and unwarrantable burdens. It rejects the wishful thinking and suspension of rational analysis that has spawned these policies and which are leading us to disaster.
UKIP demands the immediate restoration to this country of adequate, secure, stable and affordable energy – to lead us out of the era of fossil fuels – which nuclear power alone can provide. Above all, it believes in telling the truth to the British people about the imminent and colossal crisis that will overwhelm us if we do not bring an end to this decade of delusion – and bring it to an end now – and bring it to an end for good.