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Have you read the Climate Change Minister’s blog?

Do you know who our Minister for Climate Change is?  He is Phil imageWoolas. Phil who, you might be asking? This is a man with one of the hottest jobs in government right now. His responsibilities also include flooding, as well as GMOs, chemicals, pesticides and radioactive waste.

He wrote a Bali diary from the recent climate change talks and  plans to continue writing his blog through to 2009, but does not appear to be inviting comments. Unless you read the Defra website, you would not know it existed. Because it has exactly the same format as the Defra website, it does not look like a blog. And yet this is such an important topic to be talking about, to encourage and stimulate a global conversation. It already has a high profile following, if you believe this statement on his site:

It seems as though quite a lot of people have been reading it, not least a number of the foreign dignitaries and other notables our Ministers met in Bali.

It tells us little we haven’t already read in the press. I would liked to have known something of what he talked about with Sir Nicholas Stern on their flight over the South China Seas. And what actually happened in the meeting he hosted with China about "where we go from here?"

Don’t keep us in suspense please Phil, we all want to know the answer to that question….

*While we are on this subject, I would like us to have a dedicated Minister for Climate Change which excludes the other responsibilities included with this post. Surely this is more than a full time post on its own merit. 

Phil W certainly has a lot of questions to answer on his present record. For example, why, after our catastrophic floods earlier this year, are ministers proposing that we build new homes on flood plains? Is he is agreement with such a loony idea? This is a government criticised for its tackling of water problems and for its appalling handling of the summer floods.

On top of this, researchers have just reported that the world’s sea levels could rise twice as high this century as UN climate scientists have previously predicted, according to the journal Nature Geoscience, which reports that the maximum rise could be about  163cm (64in). That is a terrifying thought.

And I hope Phil W has read the serious concerns raised by a group of top UK engineers in The Times today urging the government to implement new technologies, otherwise the aspirational targets of the UK Climate Change Bill — and the Bali conference — will fail. Their warning letter states:

While it is technically possible to meet agreed targets, bringing the necessary engineering solutions to market in the quantities required is a Herculean task. Sir Nicholas Stern showed that doing nothing will be a lot more expensive than taking action now — but it will still require massive investment in development and commercialisation.

However, the proliferation of schemes, targets and laws around the world creates a confused landscape that only climate change specialists can navigate. The tools to reduce emissions in the necessary timescale come mainly through engineering. But there are no easy answers: renewable energy sources such as wind, wave and solar could all provide low-carbon electricity but are at varying stages of development; biofuels and hydrogen could reduce transport emissions but there are inherent risks; carbon capture and storage could significantly reduce emissions from fossil fuel power plants but there is yet to be a full-scale, commercially viable demonstration.

Throughout history engineers have shown their ability to provide innovative solutions to many of mankind’s problems. We can do so again but we cannot achieve the impossible. If the practicalities and realities of successfully implementing new technologies are not adequately considered then the aspirational targets of the UK Climate Change Bill — and the Bali conference — will fail.

Climate change is new territory for us, but we must be brave and decisive and place our confidence and trust in wide ranging experts to act decisively on these issues.

*Phil W would like your feedback about his Defra blog, btw, so do check it out here, and this is the address to forward your comments: ps.phil.woolas@defra.gsi.gov.uk


16 Comments

  1. Everyone is taking about global warming and its effects but no one is seriously (apart from the green movement) doing anything to stop it. People are more interested in their comforts that contribute towards global warming.

  2. Hee hee, I thought you might enjoy being punished, I’ll leave it to Ellee to enlighten you, or not…

  3. Oooh, punish me slowly, Philipa.

    How does one close the italics tag ?

    I could have fun with this:-)

  4. Not mine Electro-Kevin. Alan Caruba’s comment

  5. Ellee – I’m guessing someone hasn’t closed an italics tag and I’m guessing it’s Kev; I think you should punish him very slowly and carefully Ellee 😉

  6. Hmn, they could give china and india technologies for cleaner energy production and foster business partnerships to build cleaner power plants from the word go.

    They could introduce cooking back into schools so that people cook again and stop flying so much food around the world (which would mean controlling the supermarket stranglehold) and have seasonal local produce that didn’t cost a fortune (£2 for four organic medium spuds from a farmers market is just ridiculous)

    But more important than all this is all countries getting together and stopping the felling of the rainforest.

  7. Don’t keep us in suspenders.

  8. Why is everything the IPCC proposes lead to “cap and trade? laws that would impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions, something that reflects human activity, from exhaling to the making of steel, the harvesting of crops, the heating of one’s home, and virtually all forms transportation except bicycles.

    The above is from Jeremy Jacobs’ comment (5)

    Bicycles ? These are not – contrary to popular belief – carbon neutral. They require power in order to propell them too, you know. I once saw a report in Motorcycle News which made a mile-for-mile comparison between the carbon emissions of a motorcycle and those of a lentil-eating hippy on a bicycle. The lentil-eating hippy travelled the mile much slower than the motorcyclist and was, therefore, burning up energy for longer. Had the lentil-eating hippy had Guiness the night before the methane emissions were horrendous, not to say unpleasant for pedestrians, as hippies aren’t yet fitted with catalytic converters. The study showed that the motorcyle had a smaller carbon footprint than the lentil-eating hippy on his bicycle.

  9. I notice Bali didn’t really produce anything much but ‘hot air’ and a lot of airmiles.

    Maybe the next Climate change conference should be held via VIDEO CONFERENCING without all the ‘ministers’ and entourage travelling on business class International flights to exotic resorts. “Do as we do, not as we preach”

    But at the end of the day, whether there is man made climate change, whether there is global warming or global cooling, there is no changing politicians short termism (5-15 years) and many people have blind faith that technologial developments will still save the day – though I’ve yet to hear of One technological development or ‘theory’ that would significantly reduce our ‘energy’ needs.

    Population growth, and industrialisation of China & India, means the global energy demands will double in the next 20-30 years.

  10. Ellee: We face the same morons here in the US. Example: After Katrina, Kenyon International (founded in the UK in 1929) responded with all the resources to save lives, repatriate personal property to owners, offer psychological counseling, warm housing,meals, handle the deceased and rebuild the levy. Instead, our Administration tells them their help is unneeded. They replied “Go pack sand”, and left. Today, New Orleans–two years later–looks as if the fury visited the city yesterday. “A Herculean task”? I think not. We sent two representatives to the Netherlands to study their excellent levy.But we suffer from flat-learning in the US, anyway. We rebuilt the levy to the old standards. We have idiots here with no leadership for “getting the job done”. And, our friends in the Netherlands have informed us their 1980 masterpiece of a levy will, itself have to be rebuilt. It seems we both have some people to fire for incompetency!

  11. BTW, There’s a report somewhere saying that 58000 sq. miles of polar ice-cap has “re-freezed”.

  12. Here’s my repost (courtesy Alan Caruba’s Site – Anxiety Center)

    December 18, 2007, Volume 9, No. 51

    Send This Article to Others

    Saying No When Everyone Else Is Saying Yes

    I have been witness to the complete subversion of science in the service of an utterly corrupt new religion called environmentalism.

    In the Middle Ages the Church determined what “truth” was. Today the Green Church seeks the same power. From the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century to the beginning of the Renaissance in the 15th century, civilization experienced a period of ignorance and superstition. Globally, via the media and the classroom, a distorted and debased science is being used to advance the fraud of global warming.

    The challenge is to say “no” when everyone else is saying “yes” to global warming.

    There is no dramatic warming of the earth. There is no indication of a near-future warming. Carbon dioxide (CO2) plays such a minimal role in the atmosphere that an increase would have no effect beyond the very beneficial boost in the growth of forests, crops and everything else that is truly green. Indeed, climatologists will tell you that CO2 increases follow, not precede, warming cycles. They are not a trigger. They are a response.

    During the United Nations’ Bali climate conference, a hundred prominent international scientists released an open letter warning that any attempt to control the Earth’s climate is “ultimately futile” and would constitute “a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems.”

    “It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages.” The notion that mankind has any impact on climate or weather is absurd.

    In November, in Valencia, Spain, delegates from more than 140 nations agreed to what they and the media echo chamber that disseminates the global warming lie, called “an ‘instant guide’ for policy makers stating more forcefully than ever that climate change has begun and threatens to irreversibly alter the planet.”

    A science that can barely predict the weather next week is being perverted for purely political purposes.

    Having followed the IPCC since its inception and the environmental movement in general for decades, I can tell you that what we are hearing is a shrill message of desperation coming from those who fear that people around the world may yet reject the global warming lie. An Associated Press report said that the draft and coming IPCC report “is intended to launch a political process on international cooperation to control global warming.”

    How do you control something that is not happening?

    Why is everything the IPCC proposes lead to “cap and trade” laws that would impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions, something that reflects human activity, from exhaling to the making of steel, the harvesting of crops, the heating of one’s home, and virtually all forms transportation except bicycles.

    Why do all of the proposed controls aim at crippling the industrial advances that underwrite the success of Western nations in particular and improvement of human civilization everywhere?

    In Bali, there are voices calling for a global “carbon tax.” It would be collected by the United Nations and we know how well they handle such funding. The Oil-for-Food fiasco is but one example. The funding of the Bali conference is another.

    Wouldn’t limits put on the United States and European nations be instantly cancelled by emissions from nations such as China and India that are exempt from the Kyoto agreement? The answer, of course, is yes. Doesn’t the failure of the current agreement and the billions in fines it portends for signature nations suggest still more failure?

    Despite this, there is legislation making its way through the U.S. Congress that would impose cap-and-trade limits on every industry and business in America. At a time when the U.S. dollar is falling in value and our national deficit has skyrocketed, why would Congress even consider anything that would harm the economic engine of the nation?

    This is, however, the same U.S. Congress that refuses to permit exploration and access to our national energy reserves, leaving us dependent on imported oil and natural gas while at the same time calling for “energy independence.”

    If I were to devise a plan to destroy the greatest economy, creator of wealth, center of innovation, and exemplar of individual liberty that has ever existed in human history, I would patiently create fear of a global disaster involving the one thing over which humans never had and never will have control, the earth’s climate. I would then propose a “solution” that would cost that economy billions in “carbon credits” to keep it from occurring.

    What the former Soviet Union and its failed Communist system could not achieve in some 45 years of the Cold War, the environmental movement is seeking to achieve in its place. By undermining the economy of the United States and Western nations with draconian limits on CO2 emissions, those behind this effort will create a world ripe for a single ruling government composed of unelected bureaucrats whose only purpose will be to feed at its trough.

    The single greatest determinant of the Earth’s climate, the Sun, will continue to shine, but the world will be plunged yet again into the darkness of ignorance and submission to the false religion of environmentalism if the global warming lie succeeds.

  13. I haven’t flown for 7 years. I drive a 900 cc car, I recycle because I hate waste, I repair items umpteen times before ditching them … my socks and underpants last me decades ! I walk the walk.

    Now for the jet-setting politicians:

    Build more runways, build more houses.

    Lower interest rates because people aren’t spending enough on the high street – mainly on goods produced with Chinese coal.

    Manufacture millions of plastic wheelie bins (mine needs changing after 2 years). Build wind turbines and don’t mention the fact that they will need repairs and maintenance.

    We’ve forgotten that the world has always been a dangerous and changeable place with a habit of wiping out species in mass extinctions.

    How many times do I have to say that the politicians and popstars don’t believe any of this guff ? It’s in their behaviour and not their words. I find it galling that they think they can lecture me.

    They just lurrv bossing us around. The Great Global Warming Cause enables them to posture as our saviours on performance which is untestable – this glosses over the fact that they are bloody useless at running our country.

  14. Everyone talks about ‘new’, hardly anyone talks about ‘saving’. There in is the fundamental problem

  15. Phil regards Bali as ‘a success’.
    That tells us enough – he’s not up to the job.
    If we’re going to have any chance of dealing with global warming we’re going to need people with higher visions and greater honesty.

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