Lower carbon economy – exit stage left…

This article just about sums up the state of play for the lower-carbon economy.

Guardian article: Green issues



2 thoughts on “Lower carbon economy – exit stage left…

  1. Matt, the only silver lining is that the nuclear incident in Japan seems to be growing in severity, conveniently dropped by the world’s mainstream media but not being overlooked by indymedia and the wider blogosphere. There are reports of a potential ‘China Syndrome’ scenario emerging, which may help to account for decisions being made in Berlin, Tokyo and elsewhere. The only ‘dash for gas’ I would like to see is through AD.

    These amazing photos showing glacial retreat in the Himalayas should serve as a powerful reminder to all governments about the perils of being suckered by the so-called unaffordability of the low-carbon economy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15216875

    Britain was the cradle of the industrial revolution; why should it not be the cradle of the green revolution? It has the natural resources and the engineering prowess to re-calibrate the economy, create new job opportunities, lower fuel costs and increase air quality and hence quality of life. Lets hope DECC gets its act together and can strong-arm the Treasury into affirmative action. The ‘Stern Report’ told us that Business as usual is not an option and our children/grandchildren will not forgive us for being so short sighted and selfish.

    • Thanks for the comment…
      I would see the threats to nuclear power stations in the UK as being very different to Japan. Japan is in a highly active seismic and geologically unstable location around the Pacific Rim, prone to regular tsunamis and earthquakes of significant magnitudes. The UK isn’t.

      The two major arguments against nuclear power stations in Japan just don’t apply to the UK. Our main issue is terrorism, given the main reasons for a major nuclear accident occurring are virtually not applicable. What is applicable is the issue of poor management.

      My outstanding issues are safety – regulator and functional, including considering what the impact would be of a serious nuclear accident, and costs. Germany is the best example of what the consequences are of removing nuclear as a power source. This is huge (!!) extra CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. There are many articles on this subject.

      I completely support renewables, but there has to be a bridge to them, otherwise everyone will do exactly what Germany is in the process of doing. If you look at the bigger picture, the goal has to be keeping the world climate within the 2 degrees range put forward in the last IPCC report, otherwise a whole range of very bad consequences will occur etc etc. Pumping out huge quantities of extra CO2 is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.

      For the Government to be basing major decisions on future energy production and climate change on nuclear technology from the 1970’s is not appropriate or professional. This is the basis for the disaster in Japan + the natural disasters which triggered it all off. Right now, all of the big energy companies are involved in nuclear in some way, be it in terms of land aquisitions, production, manufacturing. The one factor keeping them all back is cost. The up front capital costs for nuclear are huge. The end of lifetime costs are also significant. The bit in the middle is what everyone wants – clean, cheap and reliable energy, which operates all day, every day, with no limiting factors such as a lack of wind or sunshine.

      The alternatives are not realistic if the goal is to reduce overall CO2 output and therefore climate change. Renewables yes, but the whole industry has to be built up first. Britain could easily be the cradle of the new renewable revolution, but the Government has to get behind it. This just isn’t happening, so the inevitable German and Chinese dominance will come about again, this time in one of the most important emerging industries for the planet. A real shame but so predictable. : )

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