2025?

One of the demands from Extinction rebellion is that the [g]overnment must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. This has been criticised as being so unrealistic as to potentially damage their basic message. Although I think achieving this would be extremely challenging, and may well be virtually impossible, there are a few things to bear in mind. Firstly, these are demands of the UK government, not demands of the entire global community.

Also, if you recall the Paris agreement, it had a central aim to

strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

If you then read the recent IPCC SR15 report it says

[i]n model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range). For limiting global warming to below 2°C CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range).

In other words, pursuing the aspiration of the Paris agreement would require aiming to cut global emissions in half by about 2030.

If you also think that those countries that are richer, and have contributed more to the problem, should do more, then that might suggest that the UK should aim to do more than halve its emissions by 2030. Alternatively, it should aim to cut its emissions in half before 2030. Maybe not quite net-zero by 2025, but still a substantial reduction in emissions on a very short timescale.

So, you might think the demands of extinction rebellion are ridiculous, but then we did agree to aim for something that would probably require doing something that’s not entirely inconsistent with their demands (very large emission reductions by about 2025). Maybe we shouldn’t have agreed to something that is now regarded as virtually impossible, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable that some are demanding that we at least try.

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48 Responses to 2025?

  1. A basic rule of negotiation: aim high and be prepared to settle for less.

  2. wmconnolley says:

    > we did agree

    Did you? I didn’t. I don’t feel enough “buy in” with this govt that I”d consider myself bound by what they put their names to.

  3. WMC,
    Fair enough. Maybe I should have said something more like “a majority of the world’s nations have agreed to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5oC”. My point was more that it’s not only extinction rebellion who have aspirations that appear unrealistic.

  4. verytallguy says:

    The target is plainly unachievable.

    But it might work.

    £350 million on a bus did.

  5. vtg,
    Indeed. It’s not so much that “facts aren’t enough”, it’s more like “facts aren’t all that important” (unfortunately).

  6. ecoquant says:

    From various people here and there, once the reality of climate disruption is explained, I’ve been beginning to get the “Why didn’t anyone tell us this before?” question which Prof Shuckburgh cited back in 2013. What I mean by the “reality of climate disruption” is that when we do zero GHGs, it won’t get better. In fact it’ll get worse for a while, and then it will remain the same for a long time.

    Apparently, many people who are aware of climate disruption think that it’ll begin to get better when we reduce or zero emissions, possibly because that’s been their understanding and experience with other pollutants.

    I’m pretty much fed up with public responses — especially the practice in self-congratulating Massachusetts of wanting solar and wind energy, just nowhere near where they live, even if this is in rural areas.

    I’m beginning to think that the only approach is really top down, beginning not with dissuadable governments, but with big finance.

    I applaud XR, but I don’t know how you convert that into policy. And I do note that some of the opponents of rural solar farms include environmental organizations, sometimes local chapters of Audubon and the like.

  7. Joshua says:

    > Although I think achieving this would be extremely challenging, and may well be virtually impossible,..Maybe we shouldn’t have agreed to something that is now regarded as virtually impossible,

    Virtually impossible, why?

    Because of physical limitations (e.g., warming in the pipeline) or because of political limitations?

  8. Joshua,
    Well, socio-political (there is essentially no warming in the pipeline). I just mean that the impact of trying to get to net-zero by 2025 (even for the UK) would be pretty extreme if you’re including everything (electricity, home heating, transport, etc).

  9. Humankind has dodged a bullet due to finite resources, especially of oil. We could have easily burned twice as much FF based on the trend in the 1960’s, but then the realization came that it was not a cornucopia of supply

    And the following from 1965 (https://www.osti.gov/biblio/6949356), anticipating the rise of shale oil, and the difficulty of oil shale, should we figure out how to combust it, would finish us off.

    “A discussion of the future of oil shale may be divided into 2 parts–(1) the unsolved academic problems of the nature of oil shale and of the mechanism of its decomposition and (2) the likelihood of U.S. production of commercial shale oil. Several facts stand out regarding the future role of oil shale and shale oil. Oil shale is the largest global potential source of energy in the form of carbon-containing matter. However, the oil will not flow, but rather the shale must be mined and heated to a relatively high temperature to recover the oil. It is intimately associated with considerable quantities of mineral matter which not only absorbs a large amount of sensible heat, but also presents a real disposal problem. As with any national asset, the effect of government policy could decide one way or the other. In Spain, in Estonia, and in Australia, limitation of imports have subsidized the industry in the past. Tax concessions, depletion rate, excise remissions, and a host of paper charges probably will, in the long run, decide whether American shale oil will flow in the near future. The answer will be provided by those who make economic policy and not be technical men.

  10. @ecoquant: From various people here and there, once the reality of climate disruption is explained, I’ve been beginning to get the “Why didn’t anyone tell us this before?”

    I think the answer to this response is that if we’d mentioned it before David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion raised the climate change profile, you’d have thought we were crazy. I sensed my family members were humouring me, until the last year or two when climate change became suddenly all over the news and is now a ‘legitimate’ topic of discussion. At last they realise, when I shouted at some politicians or other ‘upstanding members of society’ on TV or on the computer, that it’s true they were actually the ones who were crazy, not me.

  11. Willard says:

    Discussion is all well and good, but what about discobedience:

  12. Dan Pangburn says:

    Water vapor is a ghg and WV has been increasing about 1.7 times as fast as assumed by alarmists. Fully understood, this proves that the theory that burning fossil fuels has caused climate change is wrong.

  13. @…and Then There’s Physics What do you mean by “there is essentially no warming in the pipeline”&”pretty extreme” ?

    Surely there is plenty of warming to come and various extreme measures are going to happen/are happening anyway.

    @ecoquant Despite the fact that I don’t generally agree with the opposition to renewable energy projects over generally spurious reasons I also don’t agree with any projects being approved without taken into strong consideration their effects on biodiversity (which is also in a major crisis).
    There is no reason for it to be an either/or question and it is really not that difficult, in wealthy countries, to give more priority to ecological values over development (of any kind). It is just that we continually choose not to.
    Where I am the NIMBYs who run the councils have been trying to get ‘the whole landscape’ UNESCO heritage listed as an artifact of some ideal of white colonialism and some sort of monument to western agriculture. Yes it seems like some kind of bad boomer joke considering the indigenous population were slaughtered and displaced….but the main objective was to prevent renewable energy projects (as well as housing development to a lesser degree). If and when I can work out who to write to in the UN I will be opposing any such suggestion.
    Currently the only windfarm project in the council area is probably going ahead on the site of an endangered and recently believed to be extinct lizard, the pygmy blue tongue. There is really little chance that this development can not harm their chances of survival. Why was this spot chosen for the first windfarm in the council region ? Vindictive bloody mindedness.
    There are some places that windfarms should not be the project of choice due to bird populations or migration routes.
    ….and this guy (who I am not always most fond of but he is not the worst either…)
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/15/bob-brown-rebukes-tasmanian-windfarm-project-as-the-new-franklin-dam
    Renewable energy projects should not be used as a way to trash the only areas on….generally farms….that previous generations up til now have left alone because there was no way to make money from them. There are always plenty of other options.
    As the only Extinction Rebel in the village I am going to take my fat chalk up the street to the footpath outside my local mps office…..

  14. izen says:

    @-WHUT
    “Humankind has dodged a bullet due to finite resources, especially of oil.”

    It is not just oil that has shown a recent peak and decline.
    In both the US and UK the total amount of all materials, metals, wood, and minerals have shown a decline the individual footprint. Advanced nations now extract less stuff from their own resources, and while imports have replaced some of that reduction there has been a fall in the amount of metals and minerals per capita including imports.

    GDP growth has become decoupled from the growth in resource extraction and use. This may not be entirely due to the neoliberal austerity economic progroms imposed before and after the 2007 recession.

    https://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2018/09/are-we-approaching-peak-stuff/

  15. Dan,

    Water vapor is a ghg and WV has been increasing about 1.7 times as fast as assumed by alarmists. Fully understood, this proves that the theory that burning fossil fuels has caused climate change is wrong.

    No, it doesn’t.

  16. Chris,

    Surely there is plenty of warming to come and various extreme measures are going to happen/are happening anyway.

    What I mean is that if we were able to halt all emissions, then the oceans would actually take up some of our emissions so that global warming would roughly stabilise. There will be some re-balancing between the land and the ocean which mean sea level will continue to rise. Also, if you consider aerosols and short-lived GHGs, then there could be a short period of warming (as the aerosols precipiate) followed by some cooling that roughly cancels this (as the short-lived GHGs decay). However, essentially, there is no warming committment and our future warming depends mostly on how much we emit in the future, not on how much we’ve emitted in the past. This figure from the IPCC SR15 report illustrates this.

  17. Chris,
    As for extreme, I was simply referring to how difficult it would be to electrify transport, home heating, and then move all electricity onto alternatives within a period of only 7 years. Happy to be convinced that I’m wrong 🙂

  18. Dave_Geologist says:

    Dan, to fully understand water vapour, you’ll first need to fully understand Clausius–Clapeyron. You’ll also need to fully understand that 2/3 of the Earth’s surface is water. Once you fully understand those things, you’ll fully understand why you’re wrong.

  19. Steven Mosher says:

    Yes ATTP

    95% of UK homes have central heating and 86 % of those use gas and 4% use oil.

    figure 27 Million, households– roughly 24 Million that would need to be converted

    thats 8 million a year for the next 6 years

    thats 22000 a day.

    there are 38 Million cars, gotta make them all electric.

    The Uk should do a deal with Tesla. Everyone who turns in their gas car gets a free Tesla from the government.!!! woohoo! and send your old junkers to cuba on an electric boat

  20. Dave_Geologist says:

    ATTP, I agree that models show that if we stop dead, then by coincidence CO2 absorption by natural systems more-or-less cancels out in-the-pipeline warming, so temperature would more-or-less flatline. But of course we can’t go to net zero tomorrow. I do think that that analysis is a useful counter to the “I give up” argument that we’re already committed to decades of warming whatever we do. If we could go to net zero tomorrow, we could hold warming more-or-less at today’s value (of course sea level would continue to rise and the oceans would continue to acidify). So the limitations which prevent us holding warming at its current level are social, political and economic, not physical.

    However routine models do not include Earth System feedbacks which will feed in extra warming on a centennial timescale. When snow or ice goes from thinning to shrinking areally, albedo changes. When forests that are now in a savanna climate (like a third of the Klamath) but are being kept as forests because they create their own microclimate are cleared or burned, they won’t grow back naturally. Although at least in that case we can intervene to plant and nurture trees.

  21. izen says:

    @-SM
    “95% of UK homes have central heating and 86 % of those use gas and 4% use oil.
    figure 27 Million, households– roughly 24 Million that would need to be converted
    thats 8 million a year for the next 6 years”

    That is about the same time-frame as the UK gas industry managed the last big switch from ‘town gas’ – a mixture of Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide – to ‘natural gas’ – methane from the North Sea.

    There are already plans to switch from natural gas back to a hydrogen mix, if and when it is available.
    A pilot scheme was tried in Leeds, a (cold) northern UK city.

    https://www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/H21-Roadmap-2.pdf

  22. Steven Mosher says:

    ya izen, folks can just buy space heaters. problem solved!

    In REALITY the switch took 10 years and it was a simple change installing different sized burner jets to manage the different air/gas mixture. relatively cheap.

  23. Steven Mosher says:

    izen it is actually a cool problem and something I am working on.. more later.
    Its a huge market to electrify residential throughout europe.

  24. Dave said:

    “Dan, to fully understand water vapour, you’ll first need to fully understand Clausius–Clapeyron.”

    Yes, Dan does fully understand C-C as he is an engineer. I’ve done battle with him elsewhere and he is firm in his resolve that there is a causality switch in place. So he believes that H2O is a GHG and somehow increased amounts of that in the atmosphere is driving the temperature higher, but without CO2 playing a role as a catalyst. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Unfortunately, without controlled experiments available, it’s difficult to totally convince some of these people (if they are not just contrarians). In this case, the CO2 causation is easy to establish as there is no other obvious catalyst to start the C-C feedback process.

    A fine example of switched causality that is under debate is the role of prevailing equatorial winds in driving El Nino. After an El Nino forms, a gigantic longitudinal pressure dipole is established — this pressure difference obviously will drive the wind in the same direction, so unless the causality is pinned down precisely in terms of timing this also becomes a case of the chicken or the egg. Like the process with H20/CO2 GHG, there is likely a separate catalyst other than the wind to start the El Nino process, which is the basis of this recent paper :

    Lin, J. & Qian, T. Switch Between El Nino and La Nina is Caused by Subsurface Ocean Waves Likely Driven by Lunar Tidal Forcing. Sci Rep 9, 1–10 (2019).

    Oh no, this paper is published in Nature’s Scientific Reports ! Isn’t this fun?

  25. Dave,

    However routine models do not include Earth System feedbacks which will feed in extra warming on a centennial timescale. When snow or ice goes from thinning to shrinking areally, albedo changes. When forests that are now in a savanna climate (like a third of the Klamath) but are being kept as forests because they create their own microclimate are cleared or burned, they won’t grow back naturally. Although at least in that case we can intervene to plant and nurture trees.

    Yes, I agree that these slower feedbacks are not incuded in the committed warming (or lack thereof) calculation. My understanding, though, is that these are likely to be not all that important if we manage to get to ~zero quite soon. However, if we continue increasing emissions and only get to zero after emitting a lot more than we have already, then these could be an important additional amplification factor.

  26. The XR folks are being extremists to demand net zero by 2025. Tamino says correctly that it’s virtually impossible to do that. Maybe we need to study the issue more and then set reasonable time frames to achieve net zero? In that study, we need to estimate the number of people who will die from climate change and map the mortality by region of the world so that we can get a clear picture about where the climate change deaths are likely to occur, then we should be able to figure out how to proceed. There is no reason to rush in to anything that could wreck the world economy.

    Cheers

    Mike

  27. Dave_Geologist says:

    Yes ATTP. Reasons for not worrying too much about them are (a) we don’t care so much after our great-grandchildren, (b) we can perhaps envisage clear-air capture etc. being viable in centuries’ time, (c) who knows what will have happened by then – global warming may be the least of our worries. However the conclusions I would draw from the PAGES2K study that reconciled ECS with palaeo data by excluding the palaeo ones with large ESS components is that long-term, ESS does kick in faster than CO2 is drawn down so whenever we stop, there will be a slow drift upwards. There was a paper a while ago that said we haven’t definitively cancelled the next Ice Age. We can set it back on track if we use CO2 drawdown techniques to get back to pre-industrial within the next 1000 years. Although arguably stopping where we are now and not having an Ice Age is actually the Goldilocks zone.

    Obviously the sooner the better, but even I would worry about tipping points happening before ESS kicks in.

  28. Dave_Geologist says:

    The Ice Age wasn’t due in 1000 years. But IIRC, 1000 years to save the Ice Caps is the long-term 12 years to save the planet. Without clear air capture, we’ll lose so much ice cover that there won’t be enough left to seed albedo increase when we get to the right part of the Milankovitch Cycles; or the ice will grow, but it will miss the boat and not grow enough before the cycle starts to wane. I forget which. I think we still get a later one. One of their findings was that depending on which cooling cycle it is, because of the asymmetric distribution of continents, forcing efficacy is different for CO2 forcing than for albedo forcing.

  29. Willard says:

    Oh, but temps were 10-20C higher at some places in the mid Pleiocene:

    Everything is fine.

    NB. The thread shows that the ClimateBall Bingo is holding up.

  30. izen says:

    @-SM
    “ya izen, folks can just buy space heaters. problem solved!”

    Don’t you think heat pumps and improved insulation might be a better option ?

  31. Joshua says:

    izen –

    Off topic, but I thought you might like this:

    http://freakonomics.com/podcast/farms-race/

    Nothing profound, but it touches on some topics you write about.

  32. izen says:

    @-Joshua

    Thanks for the link.
    And it is not entierly off topic.

    The industrialisation of farming into agri-business is in part justified in avoiding the Malthusian crisis some predicted would result from the rising population facing starvation under current farming systems.
    But the agri-business to supermarket model as a Cold War propaganda program to show how much better capitalism is… even though it was driven by essentially socialist government research, price controls, and subsidies… is another factor.

    The link with current concerns over reducing CO2 emissions is of course that this pattern of agri-business has a very high carbon footprint. It has encouraged a level of meat consumption and refined sugar consumption that are measurably injurious to individual health as well as generating far more CO2 emissions than would be produced by a healthier diet.

    And then there is the colonial co-option of hotter lands to abandon their local farming systems that provided indigenous food, for the far more profitable large scale production of out-of-season fruits and flowers exported to the richer nations by air-freight.

    All elements that will need revolutionary alteration if XR goals are to be met.

    I have made the comparison between our societal consumption of hydrocarbons damaging the health of our global biosphere, and our personal consumption of carbohydrates damaging our individual health before. Agriculture is where the two elements meat(!) and provides a good example of why the underlying system of consumption need radical change, not mere regulatory tinkering or sugar/carbon taxes.

  33. David B. Benson says:

    Here are links to some articles suggesting why not by 2025 or even anytime soon:
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/697/power-world?page=3

  34. Steven Mosher says:

    “Don’t you think heat pumps and improved insulation might be a better option ?”

    you want it done in 6 years.

    Look it took 10 years to change BURNER JETS.

    you gotta decide which way you want to go: you have good, fast, and cheap.

    You get to pick TWO. you already selected fast. now what wil it be? good or cheap?

  35. izen says:

    @-SM
    “Look it took 10 years to change BURNER JETS.”

    The actual program for change over was from 1968 – 1976, which is 8 years.
    There was a lot more to the change than just burner jets. The whole pipeline network had to be built from independent local distribution to a higher pressure national interconnected grid. Many boilers and furnaces had to be replaced or significantly rebuilt because just changing the BURNER JETS was not possible or sufficient.
    Most (60%+) of the change at the user end, the change of burner jets was done over less than 6 years, the initial couple of years involved building the pilot schemes and pipeline grid, the final few years incorporating remote regional areas into the new system.

    As for fast, good, cheap; you should always build new infrastructure fast and good.
    cheap infrastructure is a false economy, later upgrades are then required which always results in a worse and less efficient outcome, and slow replacement just delays the benefits.
    Take the Victorian sewer system in London, much of it is still in use because it was originally built to a very high standard with a 100% over-capacity for the time.
    The fact that makes it expensive is a benefit not a flaw, spending money on good infrastructure has at least a Keynesian boost to the economy as well as the un-priced value it adds to the society.

  36. Greg Robie says:

    A possible oversight in both the assertion and explanation regarding “essentially no warming in the pipeline” is the ‘inconvenient’ truth of the latent heat of ice. For Arctic sea ice such is an annual 5 sextillion joules. This heat, about 1.4% of the annual heat uptake of the planet’s oceans, will function as a seasonal accelerant once the ice is gone (& isn’t its going in the pipeline?). As that IPCC graph demonstrates, instant anthropogenic secession of all carbon emissions yields a plausible fairytale, but the phase ing in loss of the Arctic sea ice’s latent heat is moving toward being a 1.4% annual kick of the climate merry-go-round. This forcing is, by itself, a doubling every 50 years of the ocean heat uptake.

    Maybe the anthropogenic pipeline metaphor is a motivated reasoning-centric problem concerning the IPCC “thought exercise”. Perhaps a better tube metaphor and analogy is an esophogus that pushes content along, or, even better, the whole digestive system of Gaia.

    I feel the assertion is based on a simplification that is so profound that it is meaningless – outside any value it might have to simply check modeling code work; outside of how it seems to be used to protect trusted motivated reasoning.

    So, Chris, I concur; Dave_G, they are physical as well; Steve, fast has not been chosen … or academic institutions would be implementing there business plans to be at net zero carbon emissions by ‘2025’.

    sNAILmALEnotHAIL …but pace’n myself

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCeDkezgoyyZAlN7nW1tlfeA

    life is for learning so all my failures must mean that I’m wicked smart

    >

  37. izen says:

    @-David B. Benson
    From your link on local power to avoid disasters from grid blackouts –
    “The drawback of microgrids is that they can take years to build and they tend to be more expensive than the traditional grid.”

    The main cause of inertia is actually that they undercut the prevailing economics of a big generating and distribution business from having a monopoly position on the profit to made from providing power to the consumer.
    It is the reason why there has been so much resistance to home solar power buy-back by the big electricity providers and the imposition of charges on those that try to generate some of their power on site even if they don’t try to sell some back to the grid owners.
    Home PV and microgrids are a threat to the business model and profitability of the existing BIG provider status quo

  38. Greg Robie says:

    …& that should have been a unfolding 1.6% kick coming from the reassigned latent heat of ice, and a 43 3/4 year doubling. My brain conflated the increase – based on PIOMAS data and John Cook’s 2013 post at SkepticalScience (https://skepticalscience.com/4-Hiroshima-bombs-worth-of-heat-per-second.html) – with what I’ve estimated to be the upper limits of the missed heat that the Inuit hunter observation point to: 1.4%.

    The increasing lift in the seasonal rise of the Arctic tropopause, and the yet-to-be-considered additional forcing of fossil carbon soot catching rays in the top of the troposphere in the Arctic’s significantly different twilight, are also pipeline issues that also won’t pause … in that IPCC hypothetical.

    >

  39. Greg Robie says:

    Having an abundance of things that I want to procrastinate on today, AND HYPOTHETICALLY, if these two means of Gaia ‘swallowing’ heat are combined, such is both 3% more heat entering the climate system on an annual basis, and a 23 1/3 year doubling period. Given known unknowns that is short enough time frame for that amount of heat to be lost in the noise (gurgles and belchings) of the climate system. This impreciseness of the models suggests that what might be used to calculate intentional geoengineering perturbations of the system (when such becomes politically possible — my guesstimate: about a decade … if CapitalismFail collapse continues to be successfully maintained in its flash frozen state) . The geo-engineering will be significantly wrong well before the passage of the thirty year threshold for being observationally sure the geo-engineering was based on trusted miscalculations and assumptions.

    Or, if the 1934 “The Drunkard”/”There is a Tavern in the Town” song was passed down to you by your parents, here is my cover that captures what haunts my psyche; motivates my motivated reasoning concerning honor as a social motivator; non-violent extinction as both a goal AND demand … &, plausibly, socially isolates [within privileged society – including Extinction Rebellion?]!

    >

  40. BBD says:

    Maybe I’m just reading XR wrong, but I parse the zero carbon timescale message a bit differently. Something like: ‘in order to keep within the Paris Accord’s aspiration of 1.5C, based on current emissions, that carbon budget will be exhausted in 8 years or thereabouts. This is what government inaction has brought us to. It’s going to be well-nigh impossible to avoid >1.5C so it is imperative that serious policy starts today‘.

  41. mrkenfabian says:

    Are people really arguing over the details of XR demands, like a reasoned response to the climate emergency is going to be up to XR or about appeasing them by giving them what they say they want? Framing of this as about extremist demands and how unreasonable those are seems diversionary. Anything but about the responsibilities of those holding the relevant Offices to have a firm commitment, reflected in actual policy, to a fast paced, forced transition to low emissions?

    By 2025 it would be a major step forward to have the clear policy for a ramping transition to low emissions – but unreasonable to expect it to have achieved it by then. This is not and never has been about appeasing activists and protesters but about policy consistent with the (deeply alarming) expert advice about a very serious, clear threat to enduring prosperity and security.

    Activism is about those without power or direct say (or expertise for that matter) prompting politicians and governments to draw on the abundance of relevant expertise and act. Disruptive protest is the least part of climate activism act for all it attracts media attention, too much of it in order to reinforce the “issue driven by extremists” narrative and further polarise the climate issue; I hope to be wrong and that even negative publicity turns out to be good publicity.

    I’m not convinced XR style activism is what we most need now; putting the most respectable and mainstream face on our activism to draw on and in the widespread, mainstream concern about this issue seems more to the point. That governments (notably in Australia) have been extraordinarily prompt to react to suppress disruptive protesters may work to highlight the extraordinary foot dragging reluctance of the same people to do anything about emissions, but I do suspect the support XR gets is more about the frustration and anger those of us already convinced, who are deeply concerned about climate FEEL (yay, stick it to em) and not so much about how it makes those we most need to reach and convince feel and will respond.

  42. izen says:

    @-mrkenfabian
    “… putting the most respectable and mainstream face on our activism to draw on and in the widespread, mainstream concern about this issue seems more to the point.”

    I would like to share your belief there is widespread, mainstream concern about this issue, but see little evidence that it is given anything but token green-wash reporting by the mainstream media. While the vast majority of the mainstream population will give the socially acceptable answer to surveys and polls, the actual amount of time, attention and money the widespread, mainstream general population pay towards the issue is dwarfed by the amount given to, say, the most recent Marvel universe blockbuster.

    @-“That governments (notably in Australia) have been extraordinarily prompt to react to suppress disruptive protesters may work to highlight the extraordinary foot dragging reluctance of the same people to do anything about emissions”

    The whole strategy of non-violent disruptive protest, whether it was Votes for women, Civil Rights or now XR is to cause an extreme response from those in authority. If it fails to elicit an extreme response from those in power, get smeared, accused of ‘terrorism’, and be subject to violent crackdowns, it has failed.

    The whole point is to have people who are prepared to cause widespread disruption, destroy property and get imprisoned and mistreated by the State. Reports of the government force-feeding the Pankhursts, or Lynchings of black activists were effective in getting the issue addressed. However much the widespread, mainstream concern and doubt about that non-violent, civil disobedient extremism.

    Historically it has been very effective in creating the cognitive dissonance which eventually forces those with the power to change things and make policy, to very grudgingly negotiate with those that ARE more respectable. The only alternative for any government faced with such a tactic is calling out the army and running death-squads.
    But that response can have its own set of problems in economic collapse and eventual widespread, mainstream rebellion.

  43. Steven Mosher says:

    “The actual program for change over was from 1968 – 1976, which is 8 years.”
    you missed a finger count again.
    Plus the conversion started in 1967 and ended in 1977. (1)

    Lets say you want to switch to low carbon heat sources in houses. In a new build
    in the UK it will cost you about 6K. to retrofit an old house around 33000 dollars.
    so thats fast and good.

    price tag? 800 billion.

    probably better to start with insulation order of magnitude less cost.

    1
    “The decision about the conversion process was made in 1966. The single operation and
    the complete conversion was prioritized as more advantageous and cost effective than
    the two stage option that existed and was considered by engineers and managers. The
    initial decision taken was for conversion to more forward, in case the reserves could
    provide natural gas in such quantities that the flow would be 1,000 m cu ft/d. The
    reserves proved to be adequate for the appropriate and necessary flow, so this was the
    plan that was followed. (Tiratsoo, 1972:212) (Walters, 1968:109) The initial cost of the
    conversion was estimated to be in the area of £400 to £500 million. Those who
    supported it argued that the benefits and the savings from the conversion were far
    greater than the initial cost. The efficiency of natural gas was 100% compared to 90% for
    reformer (substitute natural gas) 90%. The difference in the percentage would result in
    savings for the expanding industry in the area of £1,000 million. The project was unique
    in its character and it lasted ten years as 40 million appliances from 14 million users
    had to be converted and modified or even changed so as to be compatible with the new
    fuel. Despite the existing alternatives the Gas Council showed determination to make
    the full scale conversion (Elliott, 1980:6-7).”….
    Due to the complexity of the project the Gas Council decided that pilot schemes were
    necessary for testing procedures and acquiring practical experience. Canvey Island was
    chosen to be the first pilot conversion scheme in Britain both because it had already
    associated with the supply of natural gas in its liquefied form and for demographic
    reasons (there were mostly domestic and no industrial users). Also it could be isolated
    from the existing network of the North Thames Gas Board (Tiratsoo, 1972:212, Rhodes,
    1967). The conversion was conducted during the summer months of 1967 (June to
    August) and it was a „crash programme‟ that functioned both for the accumulation of
    practical experience of the engineering technicalities the project involved, and the
    promotion of the conversion in the local community (Elliott, 1980:27-29). By April 1971
    27% of the total estimated number of appliances had already converted while by 1972
    15
    the appliances of 6 million consumers had been converted and the whole programme
    was ended in 1977 (Tiratsoo, 1972:212).

  44. David B. Benson says:

    But if you look down at the sand at the beach:
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/673/plastic-pollution?page=3#post-5996
    it is clear that considerable crude oil becomes plastic waste.

  45. izen says:

    @-SM
    “you missed a finger count again.
    Plus the conversion started in 1967 and ended in 1977. (1)”

    Okay, I concede, your report looks more authoritative than those I skimmed and a hazy memory of the event.

    @-“In a new build in the UK it will cost you about 6K. to retrofit an old house around 33000 dollars.
    so thats fast and good. price tag? 800 billion.”

    It may be optimistic to expect a cost improvement from a large-scale deployment of such systems, but not entirely unrealistic.
    800 billion, $ or £ are probably the same after Brexit.
    The cost of a no deal brexit is estimated to be around 140 billion/year. YMMV (best estimate I can find including gov figures put the cost so far at 20-30 billion)
    So less than 6 years of lost GDP, reduced exports/imports, lost manufacturing and financial services from Brexit.

    The frequent claim is that heat pump systems have a ~5 year payback time in reduced fuel cost because of greater efficiency. Is that factored into your estimate ?

  46. Ben McMillan says:

    UK built 300,000 houses a year in the 60s. So insulating 3,000,000 a year, and installing heat pumps, is probably about the same amount of money. That wasn’t even a ‘war footing’ style mobilisation. Insulation/windows up to better-than-building regs and an air-source heat pump on a typical UK property would probably set you back £25,000 (the heat pump is a small fraction of that). Payback time given current cheap gas is ~40 years hence it isn’t popular.

    Building the factories and training the workers to do this in 8 years would be expensive: after these 8 years your investment is skills and equipment is largely worthless.

    If you really thought it was an emergency you’d just abandon the 20% worst properties and encourage the residents to take up unused bedrooms somewhere else. There’s a real WWII style solution for you. That would cut heating demand by 40% at a stroke.

    There is obviously a big difference between what would be possible if you really treated this as a crisis, and what is likely to happen though. Or what would be sensible/tolerable.

  47. Ben McMillan says:

    The other reason you definitely need to insulate first, and not just install heat pumps: otherwise the electricity grid collapses. You still have an ‘issue’ in terms of electricity supply, but it is only a huge issue, rather than a monumental issue.

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