1,435 thoughts on “General Discussion – 2

  1. Yes Fred. That’s what it looks like to someone who has replaced their ability to think with just blurting out whatever comes into their heads.

    In actual fact vaccines have saved many tens of thousands of lives (mainly elderly) in the UK. Vaccines will only be given to over 12 year old children against the will of their parents if the child doesn’t suffer from the same inability to reason that their parents do and is deemed competent to decide for themselves.

    Delta changed the game – in the UK there have only been 28 detections by sequencing of the Kent strain (Alpha) in the last month compared to over 100 thousand Delta. If we don’t stop the virus from replicating on a massive scale worldwide there are plenty of mutational paths left to generate even more horrors – some already known.

    This is not just a respiratory virus as it has the ability to enter cells all over the body – it is found in the neural tissue, testicles, heart, the gut, in fact all over. In many people the virus can still be detected in parts of the body many months after testing negative on standard PCR. There is a belief of some immunologists that the damage done to the immune system by even one infection in some (many?) is possibly permanent due to the super antigen site in SARS-Cov-2 and/or residual virus presence. I hope that’s not the case but why do so many worry about long term vaccine effects when they don’t seem to ask about long term covid effects that might not show up for years.

  2. Children less than 16 years of age

    Following infection, almost all children will have asymptomatic infection or mild disease. There is very limited data on vaccination in adolescents, with no data on vaccination in younger children, at this time. The committee advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the AstraZeneca vaccine. Clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with a person with parental responsibility, who should be told about the paucity of safety data for the vaccine in children aged under 16 years. More detail on vaccination in children is set out in the Green Book – Immunisation Against Infectious Disease.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-30-december-2020/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination-30-december-2020

    The government is acting against medical advice.

  3. No they are not Fred. One particular committee came up with a view which the majority of experts (often better qualified and/or seeing a bigger picture) not on that committee said the JCVI had got wrong on balance. The Chief Medical Officers of the UK all agreed that the totality of evidence and expert opinion was in favour of vaccinating over 12s. A similar conclusion being reached in many other countries.

    And last time I checked Professor Christopher John MacRae Whitty CB FRCP FFPH FMedSci was a doctor not a politician.

    Anyway enough of this on my blog Fred.

  4. Ben, I was up all night 🙂

    Not really – the blog sends an email summary whenever a new comment is made (standard wordpress feature you can turn on – nothing fancy). I can but usually don’t have these set to beep my phone but the archive is always there to check.

  5. Don’t know what’s going on in Russia but they’ve been reporting about 800 deaths per day due to covid every day for the last two months. That would be equivalent to 375 deaths per day in the UK. Or 1,800 per day in the USA. And that’s been steady in Russia for two months now – I’ll bet excess deaths are even higher.

  6. Rapid and parallel adaptive mutations in spike S1 drive clade success in SARS-CoV-2

    We find that spike S1 is a focal point of adaptive evolution, but also identify positively-selected mutations in other genes that are sculpting the evolutionary trajectory of SARS-CoV-2. Protein-coding mutations in S1 are temporally-clustered and, in 2021, the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous divergence in S1 is more than 4 times greater than in the equivalent influenza HA1 subunit.

  7. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-9994891/Energy-bills-soar-fire-shuts-France-UK-power-cable.html

    Energy bills set to soar as cost of natural gas hits a record high after fire shuts down crucial France-UK power cable

    Households and businesses face a tough autumn and winter after a fire at a power facility in Kent sent gas prices soaring to record highs.

    Natural gas rose by as much as 18 per cent to 189p per therm after the blaze at the interconnector, which links the British and French power grids.

    Last night National Grid warned that the disruption is expected to last until March, raising fears over tight supplies in the coming months.

    One expert warned that the country could face blackouts if alternative sources of energy such as coal could not cover the shortfall. However, others said this was unlikely.

  8. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/sep/15/fire-shuts-one-of-uk-most-important-power-cables-in-midst-of-supply-crunch

    Fire shuts one of UK’s most important power cables in midst of supply crunch

    A major fire has forced the shutdown of one of Britain’s most important power cables importing electricity from France as the UK faces a supply crunch and record high market prices.

    National Grid was forced to evacuate staff from the site of the IFA high-voltage power cable, which brings electricity from France to a converter station in Kent, where 12 fire engines attended the blaze in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

    The fire has halted electricity imports via the 2,000 megawatt power cable until March next year and could not have come at a worse time for the UK’s squeezed markets, according to experts. The UK faces record energy prices after a global gas market surge raised the cost of running gas power plants, which has been compounded by a string of power plant outages and low wind speeds.

    The all-time energy price highs are expected to send bills soaring for the next year and cause a string of small energy companies to go bust. It has already forced some steelmakers to shut their factories during hours of peak electricity demand.

    …National Grid confirmed that the West Burton coal plant in Nottinghamshire and a coal unit at the Drax site in North Yorkshire were warming up in anticipation of generating electricity on Wednesday evening in exchange for eye-wateringly high payments.

  9. If only Alvin Weinberg had been listened to instead of sacked.

    People are afraid of nuclear power. It’s popular to blame environmentalists for that, but very lazy; it wasn’t vegetarian tree huggers that convinced the insurance companies to refuse to insure nuclear power stations.

    Still, it’s too late now. We’ll just have to economise until technology can catch up. There’s plenty of scope for that.

  10. Thinking about it, if we’d been increasing wind generation and continent-scale grid for as long as we’ve been building nuclear power stations, we’d be in much less of a mess now. And it’d have cost a fraction of nuclear if you include decommissioning, waste management and disaster mitigation costs. The French government is reducing its nuclear generation capacity because it’s too expensive. Inland reactors had to be shut down when the recent heatwave dried up the rivers required for cooling.

    Nuclear power was deployed before it was sufficiently mature, for political reasons.

  11. The very first nuclear reactor was started up at the end of 1942. The first nuclear power station went online in mid 1954, under twelve years later – it takes ten years just to build a nuclear power station these days. Nearly eighty years on, the vast majority of reactors, in use or under construction, are still essentially the same as the very first designs.

    As a consequence of the rush to deploy nuclear power, centuries old technologies were cobbled onto this brand new purpose. The energy density of fission is millions of times higher than that of chemical combustion, so higher temperatures are needed to transport the energy. Water is an inappropriate working fluid because it boils at far too low a temperature, leading to highly pressurised systems which are complex, finicky and extremely expensive. Craig was right as he so often is; nuclear power is a silly way to boil water. Molten salts, molten metals and Brayton cycle gas turbines are far more suitable and efficient, but there was minimal experience with these.

    Nuclear power was deployed before it was ready, and then industrial inertia, vested interests and politics stifled further development.

  12. Fred,

    Nuclear power stations Fred? Don’t be silly – we are having difficulty keeping the ones we’ve got going as it is.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58605735

    Gas price rises prompt urgent government talks

    Meat processors are also in talks with the government over shortages of carbon dioxide because of its use in meat production. The government source said CO2 supplies for nuclear power and hospitals would be prioritised.

    The real question is who decided that the UK doesn’t need to have enough generation capacity to keep the lights on and instead will import up to half of our base load supply (that’s planned capacity) via magic cables to Europe which will always be able to flow at full capacity no matter how much we fuck off the countries at the other end of the line and we also assume they will freeze their own citizens first because WE ARE BRITISH and everybody else better do as they are fucking told even if our import stations are on fire.

    Then there’s the fuckwits that decided we don’t need major gas storage to cover winter demand in the UK any longer because of magical pipelines from Europe which again will always flow even if that means Europeans go dark.

    Now I actually want to see a worldwide electric super-grid but I don’t believe in fantasizing that such a thing exists already and basing our energy security on nothing but hope and praying for wind while begging Europe to send us energy as we piss on them behind their backs – that’s when we aren’t actually shitting on their heads.

  13. Tesla had a wireless delivery system, AA

    I remember when the superior BETA lost out to VHS because of marketing and it’s influence over the public.

    Fuck you T.A Edison

  14. “Tesla had a wireless delivery system”

    Urban myth, unfortunately. Electromagnetism is well understood.

    If you can beam gigawatts of energy through the air, what you’ve really got is a very powerful death ray. It’s called a maser; like ‘laser’ but with an M for microwaves.

  15. “ Tesla’s ambitions for a wireless global electricity supply were never realised. But the theory itself wasn’t disproved: it would have simply required an extraordinary amount of power, much of which would have been wasted.

    Now, a research paper has suggested that the architects of the 5G network may have unwittingly built what Tesla failed to construct at the turn of the twentieth century: a “wireless power grid” that could be adapted to charge or power small devices embedded in cars, homes, workplaces and factories.”

  16. Edison’s big marketing swindle was pushing DC against Tesla’s AC, for transmission down cables. That may be because Edison was backed by a copper company, and you can use much less copper with AC, which is why power grids are all AC. So Tesla’s idea won in the end.

    To push his fiction, Edison electrocuted animals live on stage with AC, without telling his audience that his DC would do exactly the same.

    So yeah, fuck you, Edison.

  17. Yep, that article pretty much confirms what I said (though it also includes a lot of misstatements). Compare:

    …they expect that a future version of their device will be able to transmit 6μW (6 millionths of a watt) at a distance of 180 metres.

    (The author means ‘receive’ rather than ‘transmit’.)

    But there will be challenges to overcome before then. To provide wireless power, 5G masts will consume around 31kW of energy – equivalent to 10 kettles constantly boiling water.

    Now there are all sorts of imprecision and ambiguity in the article, but let’s just take these two statements at face value. 31,000 watts transmitted ends up in 0.000,006 watts being received. Yeah, it can be done, but this is can’t be what Tesla had in mind. There was absolutely nothing in Tesla’s time that would run on 0.000,006 watts. A lamp you can just about read by if it’s six inches away needs around a million times more power.

    And OK it’s not quite a death ray, but it’s not safe:

    A rough calculation suggests that users will need to be kept at least 16 metres away from masts to comply with safety regulations set by the US Federal Communications Commission.

    And that’s just “ten kettles” – less than one fifty-thousandth of the output of a typical power station.

  18. What the experiment really shows is that there’s a grain of truth in the 5G conspiracy theory. These masts are going to saturate us all in quite powerful high frequency electromagnetic waves, at least in urban areas, and the amount absorbed by a human body will be enough to run small devices. If it can do that, it could affect biological systems as well.

    I’m not entirely happy about this myself. The safety tests are being done mostly by the industry behind closed doors; the same arrangement in pharmaceuticals has resulted in side effects including death being covered up, sometimes for decades.

  19. LF: “If only we had built nuclear power stations not wind mills.”

    There isn't a problem complex and large enough out there, that Lyin' Fred can't just dismissively wave away with a simplistic solution.

    Just "make it so", right Fred? Build tens of thousands of nuclear stations worldwide, tout de suite. What could possibly go wrong?

  20. “What could possibly go wrong?”

    For a start, I think we’d exhaust accessible uranium in a couple of decades if we tried to make nearly all our energy with non-breeder reactors. But the wind would still be blowing.

  21. As I have long suspected, covid trivialisation has been promoted by PR companies. Sunetra Gupta’s “there will be no second wave” nonsense was promoted as the “Oxford Model” in the Financial Times, despite it being her own opinion, not peer reviewed and not endorsed by Oxford University. Instead it was posted to Dropbox and seeded to the Financial Times by a PR company:

    https://bylinetimes.com/2020/03/26/the-coronavirus-crisis-oxford-model-touting-herd-immunity-was-promoted-by-pr-agency-tied-to-ministry-of-defence-and-nudge-unit/

    Just like global heating denial, this bilge is bought and paid for by companies that don’t care if it kills people.

  22. UK Nuclear power generation currently off line unplanned https://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-station/daily-statuses

    Hinkley Point B Reactor 3
    Shutdown category Non planned – graphite inspections and a transformer repair

    Heysham 1 Reactor 1
    Shutdown category Non planned – Automatically tripped following a loss of grid connection

    Hartlepool Reactor 1
    Shutdown category Non planned – Shut down to address issues with gas turbines

    Hartlepool Reactor 2
    Shutdown category Non planned – Manually tripped following a steam leak

    Additionally Heysham 2 Reactor 7 is on planned outage.

  23. Gridwatch is currently showing 4.82GW from nuclear, of around 6.5GW max. That seems quite high considering all the outages listed. None of the interconnectors are showing zero; the E-W ICT is lowest at -0.02GW.

    Squonk, any ideas? Was the fire in the E-W ICT terminal? If so, what on earth are they up to there that draws 20MW?

  24. No the E-W cable is to Ireland and is exporting about 110MW but the other cable to Northern Ireland is importing 70MW so net export to Ireland (North and South) 40MW at the time I checked just now.

    Of the 3GW total links to France only 1GW is currently operational although another 1GW capcity is hoped to be restored soon with the remaining GW not expected back until Spring next year.

    Heysham 2 reactor 7 has probably restarted so 4 units offline would be about right for what is showing now.

  25. Wow, it must be a big terminal. With twelve fire engines to fight the blaze I assumed the whole facility had gone up in flames, but it’s just a third of it that’s out of action until next year.

  26. https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/mounting-fears-1970s-style-three-092842868.html

    Mounting fears of a 1970s-style three-day week as Britain’s energy crunch deepens

    British manufacturing leaders fear an industrial collapse over the winter as spiralling gas and electricity prices overwhelm the country’s energy defences.

    Wafer-thin gas reserves have left the British economy almost uniquely vulnerable to an extreme global supply squeeze, and dangerously reliant on cross-Channel interconnectors that may be curtailed if Europe itself faces power blackouts and serious industrial stoppages.

    Andrew Large, the outgoing chairman of the Energy Intensive Users Group, said: “It is potentially catastrophic. We’re already seeing plant closures at a time of year when the weather is still warm and domestic heating is low. Fast forward two months and this could be an acute crisis.

    …“There is a wider gas supply crunch across Europe and the question of storage retention is becoming geostrategic,” Mr Large said. “In an extreme situation countries are going to be looking at the letter of the law to see if they can take unilateral action. The UK may have to take what comes.”

    The UK has slashed its strategic gas storage to barely 1.7pc of annual demand by closing the Rough facility off the Yorkshire coast, subcontracting the costly task of storage to Germany and the Netherlands. Clive Moffatt, a gas consultant and former adviser to the Government on energy security, said: “It should be nearer 25pc.”

    …Mr Moffatt said he warned that closing Rough was a dangerous decision in key meetings with British officials but the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy dug in its heels. “They refused to listen and kept saying that we had diversity of supply: they misunderstood the responsiveness of liquefied natural gas to short-term shocks,” he said.

    “We are now extremely vulnerable and I’m afraid the situation is going to get worse. Prices could go through the roof. You can’t rely on the interconnectors. Contracts can be rescinded and suppliers can declare force majeure: end of story. The EU made this very clear during the negotiations over Brexit,” Mr Moffatt added.

    “We could easily see a three-day working week. The Government has been playing dangerous games with the grid and has allowed a situation to develop that is outside their control. It’s terribly depressing.”

    Originally from (paywalled) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/09/19/mounting-fears-1970s-style-three-day-week-britains-energy-crunch/

  27. A curious thing is that every AGR in the UK is different – it seemed that they were all somewhat experimental. The configuration of the reactors are different – some had 324 rods, others 338 or 296 – or in the case of Dungeoness, 408 (if memory serves). Some fuel rods had seven stringers, most of them eight. The number of elements per stringer also varied, along with the number of pellets per element.

    The AGR seems to have been the type of reactor least likely to cause a disaster, but we seem to have gone along with US type models in the years after the last generation of AGRs were commissioned.

  28. Glenn, yes, AGR underwent incremental improvement with each successive power station built, culminating in Torness, the most powerful, with the best safety and reliability record of the lot if I remember rightly.

    “The AGR seems to have been the type of reactor least likely to cause a disaster…”

    The UK had its first disaster early; the Windscale fire. For a long time it was thought to be the first nuclear disaster in the world, but after the dissolution of the USSR it emerged that the Kyshtym disaster had pipped us to the post.

    AGR was based on Magnox which was based on the two Windscale Piles. I think it was the early Windscale disaster that prompted a focus on safety of design. Development throughout was controlled by the public sector, protecting the UK nuclear sector from the sort of commercial pressures which led to the USA developing PWRs.

    “…but we seem to have gone along with US type models in the years after the last generation of AGRs were commissioned.”

    This was a massive political debate I remember from my childhood. It went on into my teens, when Margaret Thatcher put a stop to it by mandating the US PWR design. I always favoured AGR over PWR; “you shouldn’t build those things, if they get too hot they’ll blow up”. Decades later I discovered that that was their own inventor’s opinion too; “not safe enough for civilian use”.

  29. Glenn, at long last I’ve seen the light, I finally know where I was going wrong. My problem was that I didn’t know The Truth:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:The_Truth&oldid=1035563040

    Opposers of The Truth

    However, not everyone is willing to understand The Truth. There are some who will oppose The Truth eternally, and you must be aware of certain things about them.

    1) They will probably try to have a reasoned argument with you. However, the first characteristic of The Truth dictates that this is logically impossible. Therefore, they must be irrational people, and no purpose is served in interacting with them in any way (although a light scoff may make you feel better). You can safely ignore the people who do this, and continue with your method of repeating the same argument in the face of irrational opposition. The Truth only needs one argument!

    2) They may demonstrate that everyone disagrees with you. This is likely to be true, but make sure to maintain indifference! If you’re trying to bring The Truth somewhere, then clearly it doesn’t already exist there. And if it doesn’t exist, then there must logically be a cabal obstructing it. Most cabals are so sneaky that no possible investigation will prove their existence! So, just remember, anyone who opposes The Truth is unreasonable or part of a cabal, and both groups of people can safely be dismissed. Try that light scoff again.

    3) If they caballed their way through RFA, they may use their rollback tool to revert you faster, and they may even block you! If you are blocked while contributing The Truth, you should make a couple hundred sockpuppets, preferably with names like WikipediaIsCensorship, ImRightAndYoureWrong, or EndTheEvilAdminCabal. Now, use most of these accounts making complaints to WP:ANI or various admins’ talk pages about your block. After that, file an Arbcom case against the admin who blocked you, all editors who disagreed with you, and anyone who reverted your ANI postings. Make sure to involve all your sockpuppets in the arbitration proceedings, either to provide support for your side or to make the other side look stupid. Also remember to reserve a few; that way, in case YOU end up banned instead, a mysterious and unbiased editor can show up a week later and note what a huge injustice it was.

  30. La Palma. This is one of volcanoes that could cause a mega-tsunami:

    https://twitter.com/Voicesfromthec1/status/1439646582303985664

    Somewhat reassuringly, most experts believe this to be unlikely, but the possibilities are alarming:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cumbre_Vieja_tsunami_hazard&oldid=1045373236

    …estimated that such a collapse could cause tsunamis across the entire North Atlantic and severely impact countries as far away as North America.
    …waves hit South America and Newfoundland, reaching heights of 15–20 metres and 10 metres respectively. Spain and England are partially protected by La Palma, thus tsunami waves there only reach 5–7 metres … Waves 20–25 metres approach Florida; … The initial height of the wave depends strongly on the viscosity of the landslide and can exceed 1.3 kilometres.

  31. Another record closing price. Equivalent 6.47p per kWh

  32. Seeing Craigs son looking bewildered makes me think of all the children yet born and the World they face unawares

  33. “Seeing Craigs son looking bewildered makes me think of all the children yet born and the World they face unawares”

    Extinction Rebellion Principle 1:

    – We have a shared vision of change.
    – To make a world fit for generations to come.

    And from Principle 10:

    – Any person or group can organise autonomously around the issues that feel most pressing for them, and take action in the name and spirit of Extinction Rebellion – so long as the action fits within Extinction Rebellion’s principles and values.

  34. Some things that have been on my mind.

    In an individual, group or organisation, does [power / domination / manipulativeness] evoke [secrecy / concealment / deception], or does the latter lead to the former, or are they symbiotic?

    In general, due to the near ubiquity of the id-ego system, is being politically to the right more honest than being to the left?

  35. In general, due to the near ubiquity of the id-ego system, is being politically to the right more honest than being to the left?

    If you are young and not left wing you don’t have a heart.

    If you are old and not right wing you don’t have a brain.

    Someone once said words to that effect.

  36. Hmm, I’ve encountered that quote too. I assume it’s from an old right-winger. I suspect it’s also from a good few decades back during the Post-War Consensus, when the right wing was roughly where the so-called left wing is now.

  37. But that wasn’t what I was getting at. The left consciously promotes values of equality, but the id-ego system operates semi-subconsciously, pursuing self interest. Failure to recognise this can lead to incongruity in lefties. No such conflict arises for those of the right.

  38. eg. Blair presumably thought he was a leftie. But he was a New Age hippy, the ideology that encourages you to believe seven contradictory things by lunchtime.

  39. “Someone once said words to that effect.”

    Yeah, I’m sure they did. Obviously some turncoat right-winger, who lost all his principles but decided to flatter himself instead of apologising.

  40. It’s a fairly common phenomena – well, judging by the corporate media, especially – people who proclaim values of the left when young but become more right wing with age. My reflexive thought is that cynicism increases with age too.

    If young people “live the change they want to see”, maybe they start out being generous, altruistic and trusting only for it to be abused, and react by moving to the right. Or maybe it’s the relentless corporate media propaganda.

    So, positive feedback. It’s hard to maintain values of the left in a right-wing environment.

  41. ” Blair presumably thought he was a leftie. ”

    Strange how the left denies it’s past. “Stalin he wasn’t a true Communist, true Communism has never been tried”. Mao, Castro, seems they weren’t actually left at all, National Socialists weren’t actually Socialist you know.

    You never hear anyone saying “Thatcher? But she wasn’t a true Consevative, true Capitalism has never been tried”.

  42. Fred, that could be illustrative of the point I’m raising. Maybe it is inherently more difficult psychologically to remain true to the principles of the left.

    “You never hear anyone saying “Thatcher? But she wasn’t a true Consevative, true Capitalism has never been tried”.”

    Actually I have read that sort of accusation quite frequently, from the economically right-wing libertarians. It’s the sort of thing that Assange or Eric S Raymond might say – “the market isn’t free; there has never been a truly free market. What we have is socialism for the largest corporations”.

  43. Crony Capitalism – which is exactly what Thatcher, Reagan, Blair and Johnson represent – has been tried very well for 40 years. It has proved enormously successful. We now have the widest inequality in society since civilisation began, massively increased poverty, prisons full, public services at their lowest point, and desperate environmental degredation. But we do have a bunch of billionaires who are very are happy, and that makes it all completely worthwhile.

    So what is Lyin’ Fred actually complaining about?

  44. Glenn, I agree with all that apart from one point. Do we actually know that the billionaires are happy? Some may spend every waking moment expecting a stab in the back so someone can take their stuff.

    Also, obsessive pursuit of wealth may be like other addictions; intense pleasure and thrill at first, but then you need more and more though it satisfies the craving less and less and eventually not at all. That could explain why some carry on several orders of magnitude beyond the point where they can buy any experience available.

  45. Clark – I was being a bit flippant about billionaires being happy, sure. Satisfied with their income, perhaps, as much as state policy will allow.

    I don’t know one myself, but do know someone who does. He says they’re usually quite unhappy, they don’t believe that anyone wants to know them for their own sake – the suspicion is that everyone who wants to know them is after their money (and they’re probably right). They also suffer from the curious affliction of seeing all outgoings (tax, wages, costs generally) in absolute terms, but see their wealth increase as being relative.

    So if they pay more in tax than 100 ordinary people, they think that’s absolutely outrageous. But earning more than 10,000 ordinary people is just fine – after all, they work so hard!

    It’s even more strange that some incredibly rich people feel they should be paying more tax, but politicians are more inclined to work according to the perceived wishes of the majority of them. This is largely because the wealth consultants they employ lobby on behalf of favourable policies, and the wealthy don’t really keep close tabs on it, or object to such lobbying that much – after all, these consultants boost their wealth.

    It’s certainly true that collecting money is some sort of addiction. If I had enough to live modestly but happily without working for the rest of my life, that’s good enough for me. What is the point of dying with money in the bank? Of course, vast amounts of money allows these people to dabble in politics, public policy and the provision of health, education etc. – their poisonous effect is not just limited to draining resources from the rest of us.

    Remember Cameron crowing “We’ve got 100 billionaires in Britain now!” ?

    Sure we do. We’ve also got food banks.

  46. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Wonderful turn of phrase.

  47. Lyin’ Fred back to trolling. What’s the matter – you couldn’t dismiss the evils of Capitalism with your usual simplistic tosh?

  48. Fred,

    Terrorists blow things up, crash planes into buildings, machine gun people etc. If anyone claiming to be green did any of these things then terrorist would be an an appropriate label and I’m sure the police would have no problem using the appropriate legislation.

    Anyway good chance we will be de-carbonising the UK later this winter when the gas runs out. Worldwide there’s a scramble to book every available immediate delivery spot cargo of LNG prior to the winter. The UK isn’t doing that because we have no place left to store it.

  49. That’s because Churchill took decisive action in an emergency, whereas Atlee rebuilt after the emergency, so Churchill is the more appropriate analogy for our current predicament.

  50. Are some of the latest XR protestors mates of yours, Clark? Or are the ‘Insulate’ campaigners an off-shoot from the main movement?

  51. I know someone taking action with Insulate Britain, who has also acted with XR. Insulate Britain is not part of XR, but I expect most of the activists have also been with XR; many of the most committed ones, notably Roger Hallam.

    I made myself available to do arrestee support for Insulate Britain at Chelmsford police station a few nights ago, but the arrestees were all released an hour and a half before my shift at 02:00.

  52. First the gas started running out, and now the petrol and diesel is running out. There are lots of empty shelves in my nearest Co-op. I have been told that a shortage of HGV drivers is the cause.

  53. Fred, please stop trying to make me angry; things are bad enough for me as it is. And you could put your head above the parapet occasionally, try venturing some opinions of your own rather than just criticising others, or endorsing other’s unfair criticism, like your link above. Please, I’m asking this for me.

  54. Fred, I know from the time I spent with you that you are generous, compassionate and helpful, but your online persona comes across as the opposite of that. I expect you think that you’re being helpful, “toughening him up” or something, but you’ve seriously been making things worse for me. I’m actually quite a vulnerable person for a number of reasons; the man of the couple up the hill was sensitive enough to realise that. I’ve just got off the ‘phone from an hour and a half mental health crisis assessment; I wrote my comments above while my answers were being keyed in. You’re degrading my emotional state and thereby contributing to using up public resources by the seeming aggression and dishonesty you direct at me, so I’m asking you please, for everyone’s sakes, please reconsider your behaviour.

  55. From observing his online behaviour over the years, I’d say your completely wrong, Clark. Fred is obviously a bit of a cnut.

  56. No really Glenn, I’ve seen him help wildlife, his neighbours and local community extensively. But stick him in front of a screen with a keyboard and it’s a different story, it seems.

  57. Liam, the “eco-terrorist knuckle dragger” on Good Morning Britain. I’ve just found out that he’s the son of the person I know whom I mentioned in my Sept 23, 7:37 pm comment above.

  58. Terrorists blow things up, crash planes into buildings, machine gun people etc.

    “Terrorism is the use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation or to intimidate the public. It must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.”

    https://www.cps.gov.uk/crime-info/terrorism

    They are effectively saying “either the government does as we say or we stop members of the public getting to work, to hospital, to their important job interviews.

    How would you describe what they are doing? Peacefull protest? What they are doing goes way beyond peaceful protest and into intimidation to try and force a political outcome territory.

    What would happen if the government announced they were going to meet their demands? Every motorway in Brittain would have people trying to force their political ideologies onto the masses superglued to them.

  59. …which means I could personally invite him to this discussion thread. But would I be likely to do that if I thought he’d get psychologically beaten up here, when I know from experience how much it hurts me?

    Free speech anyone? True freedom of speech necessitates respect.

  60. “What would happen if the government announced they were going to meet their demands? Every motorway in Brittain would have people trying to force their political ideologies onto the masses superglued to them.”

    Yes, this is the genuine problem; investing in insulation is a no-brainer. It’s a shame democracy has been dysfunctional for so long; we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  61. Context should be considered. It is not the least bit unusual for the M25 to be at a standstill; I myself have spent uncounted hours on the damn thing. Too many unnecessary journeys, lack of government foresight etc. etc. etc. These all kill far more people than Liam has, and the answer can’t be to tarmac the entire country.

  62. “Terrorism […] must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.”

    Insulating shouldn’t be any of those. If it’s political, there must be something wrong with politics.

  63. “How would you describe what they are doing? Peacefull protest?”

    It’s called direct action. It’s what becomes necessary when first democracy and then peaceful protest fail.

  64. Fred,

    You really believe that “Terrorism is the use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation”. Fuck me Fred – you’ve just made me realise that every time I vote, I am actually being a terrorist by that definition.

    You can call direct action stupid, you can call it annoying or you could call it brave and a wake up call. Maybe it is all of these but it isn’t terrorism.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10023181/Drivers-warned-not-let-fuel-tanks-quarter-ahead-winter-discontent-fuel-crisis.html

    Petrol panic-buying begins as UK plunges towards Winter of Discontent 2.0: Food, gas, fuel and labour shortages see desperate bosses offering HGV drivers £78,000 salaries and fruit-pickers on £30-a-hour

    Panic buying at the pumps has already begun today amid fears fuel rationing is on the way due to the UK’s crippling HGV driver shortage – as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tried to calm nerves by urging Britons ‘carry on as normal’.

    Queues of cars were seen spilling out on to the road from forecourts in Tonbridge, Kent, in Ely, Cambridgeshire, Bright and Leeds this morning – just a day after fuel bosses warned of petrol and diesel rationing and petrol station closures.

    Nobody mentions the real bogey man though – Peak Oil and Peak Gas. Welcome to the end of the world. Any “green” organization that doesn’t understand this is a part of the problem in my book. So that’s all of them then. Yes that’s my opinion and maybe I’m insane but that’s how I see things right now.

    EDIT: For clarity I’m not saying the petrol shortages in the UK are due to Peak Oil (yet). The natural gas price probably is due to Peak Gas though. I don’t think the Russians are playing games. They are just re-filling their storage first. Of course we can still boost production of both in theory but what about EROI, let alone climate issues?

  65. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneca_effect

    The Seneca effect, or Seneca cliff or Seneca collapse, is a mathematical model proposed by Ugo Bardi that addresses a class of problems in nature in which decline is fast.

    This model is closely related to the work The Limits to Growth issued by the Club of Rome in the Seventies and its main application is to describe various kind of economics given the condition of a shortage of fossil fuels, e.g. in relation to the Hubbert curve. However, unlike the Hubbert curve, the Seneca cliff shows asymmetry

    Edit:

    I should probably add yes I’m finding a lot of things to depress me right now. Do I think it possible to transition to a green low CO2 emission economy? Yes. Do I think it easy? No. And I don’t think a lot of people have grasped just how hard. And that’s what is starting to screw us.

  66. Another natural gas price record

  67. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-30/china-orders-top-energy-firms-to-secure-supplies-at-all-costs

    China Orders Top Energy Firms to Secure Supplies at All Cost

    China’s central government officials ordered the country’s top state-owned energy companies — from coal to electricity and oil — to secure supplies for this winter at all costs, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The order came directly from Vice Premier Han Zheng, who supervises the nation’s energy sector and industrial production, and was delivered during an emergency meeting earlier this week with officials from Beijing’s state-owned assets regulator and economic planning agency, the people said, asking not to be named discussing a private matter. Blackouts won’t be tolerated, the people said.

    …The emergency meeting underscores the critical situation in China. A severe energy crisis has gripped the country, and several regions have had to curtail power to the industrial sector, while some residential areas have even faced sudden blackouts. China’s power crunch is unleashing turmoil in the global commodities markets, fueling rallies in everything from fertilizer to silicon.

  68. https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-coal-crisis-brews-power-demand-surges-record-global-prices-bite-2021-10-01/

    India coal crisis brews as power demand surges, record global prices bite

    CHENNAI, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Indian utilities are scrambling to secure coal supplies as inventories hit critical lows after a surge in power demand from industries and sluggish imports due to record global prices push power plants to the brink.

    Over half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days, government data shows, far short of federal guidelines recommending supplies of at least two weeks.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-01/energy-crisis-forces-german-power-plant-to-halt-on-lack-of-coal

    A German Power Plant Just Ran Out of Coal in Latest Energy Shock

    The global energy crunch forced a German electricity producer to halt a power plant after it ran out of coal.

    Steag GmbH closed its Bergkamen-A plant in the western part of the country this week due to shortages of hard coal, it said by email. The closure is the first sign that Europe may need to count on mild and windy weather to keep the lights on as the continent faces shortages of natural gas and coal is unlikely to come to rescue.

    Energy prices are soaring from the U.S. to Europe and Asia as economies rebound from a pandemic-induced lull and people return to the office. The shortage is so acute that China ordered its state-owned companies to secure supplies at all costs and Europe is burning more of its already depleted stocks of the dirtiest of fossil fuel, a move that may complicate climate talks next month.

  69. https://www.ft.com/content/760324ba-f9f3-4d3c-9f44-c49c731f2f33

    A natgas Cassandra speaks out
    Continued commitment to a net zero carbon policy will drive energy poverty and a potential humanitarian crisis, industry insider warns.

    As the prospect of a fuel-starved winter becomes ever realer for the United Kingdom, enquiring minds have begun to wonder, how did such a precarious state come to pass? And how did those in government charged with managing UK energy security get it so wrong?

    One man with greater insight than most is Philip Lambert, the head of Lambert Energy, a discreet but highly influential energy advisory firm that has consulted to governments and the major energy corporations on some of the biggest energy market deals in history.

    “I have no pleasure at all to be a Cassandra for the same perpetual warnings,” says Lambert as he ponders the fate beholding the UK and the rest of the northern hemisphere this winter. He believes the crisis, which is only likely to get worse, is the product of a “monumental misallocation of capital” and many years worth of underinvestment in natural gas capacity.

    Until this week, Lambert has been wary of speaking publicly about the matter, noting that anyone daring to go against the religious-like sentiment of the net-zero carbon lobby risks vilification and intimidation.

    But behind closed doors, Lambert — a staunch believer in the need to decarbonise the planet as quickly as possible and about as far from a climate change denier as you could find — has been quietly warning that net-zero policies will trigger an energy poverty crisis so great that it could derail climate action progress by inducing greater dependency on dirtier fuels like coal and wood.

    …It could all have been so different too. Until 2016, the UK’s decarbonisation policy was producing enviable results, having accepted the importance of retaining natural gas as essential transition fuel in the journey towards a decarbonised energy system.

    The dependability of natural gas was seen as an essential offset to the intermittent and unpredictable nature of renewables, which — bar a major technological leap in electricity storage — continue to put stress on any system that does not have a reliable buffer fuel as a failsafe.

    All that, however, changed when ideological compulsions centred around net-zero carbon policy began to override practical considerations, says Lambert. As a result, natural gas infrastructure was starved of essential investment, generating the conditions that now place Britain in its most precarious energy state since the 1970s. The decision to centre UK energy policy around a net-zero carbon target, meanwhile, warranted very little debate in the House of Commons. Nor did it merit any public consultation.

  70. One bit of good news

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-58772572

    UK to Norway sub-sea green power cable operational

    The world’s longest under-sea electricity cable, transferring green power between Norway and the UK, has begun operation.

    The 450-mile (725km) cable connects Blyth in Northumberland with the Norwegian village of Kvilldal.

    At full 1,400 megawatt capacity it will import enough hydro-power to supply 1.4 million homes, National Grid said.

    National Grid Ventures president Cordi O’Hara said it was a “remarkable feat of engineering”.

    Although I note that even with quite a bit of wind right now we are still importing electricity.

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