It won't be pretty
I attended a webinar today with Lord Deben (John Gummer as was) organised by the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG). Deben is chair of the UK Climate Change Committee (UKCCC), which recently published its sixth carbon budget for the UK. This is a document that goes into quite a bit of detail about the various proposals it considers necessary to get carbon emissions under control. It also uses diplomatic language to fret over the fact that we’re not doing enough. Indeed, we’re still in awe about how much will be achieved in the future with technologies like carbon capture and storage, which if one believed the hype 15 years ago would now be up and running on a commercial scale. We’re still waiting. And the numbers on biofuels, like the wood pellets shipped from the USA to replace coal fired power stations here appear to be falling apart, so no magic bullet there. Clearly just waiting for governments to do what is necessary and sufficient to tackle climate change is naïve. At the present rate of progress we’re screwed, and its time people like Deben stopped mincing their words. There’s been too much equivocation. When asked if he supported the idea of carbon rationing Deben said he opposed it. It’s time to recognise that rationing will come sooner rather than later. The people of California are now being asked to limit their use of electricity. That will be hard, given the heat they are experiencing. Without behavioural change we can manage, we’re going to get behavioural change we can’t manage and it won’t be pretty.
Leave a Reply.