epsilonGreedy

Save the world, install an LPG tank.

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23 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

We are going around in philosophical circles.

 

They have an axe to grind, it is called banking the next pay cheque and striving for the next promotion. It is impossible today for any climate change doubting scientist to hold down a job that is funded by the tax payer. You should be thankful there are a handful of counter thinkers maintaining a debate in the mainstream scientific mono culture.

 

I'm not sure that the evidence supports such a conclusion. 

 

How many ordinary people feel beholden to their employer, to the extent that they would discard their own personal views, in order to kow tow to their employers demands for obedience?  I can say with certainty that it never happened in the Scientific Civil Service, for the simple reason that we were beholden to the Crown, not any particular political party (in fact we were all prohibited from having any political affiliations).

 

When research tasks are handed out (and as I was the person programme managing the UK Defence Research Programme for several years I'm familiar with the process) they are in the form of questions that have been raised, almost always as a result of a process of seeking answers to future policy decisions.  In the case of climate research, the questions aasked were pretty non-specific, and centred on seeking to determine what the government needed to do in the next few decades in order to ensure that certain defence capabilities could be maintained.

 

The impact of climate change on defence is significant, as apart from the obvious changes to defence equipment and tactics (for example, if sea levels rise what impact would that have on amphibious warfare?) there are much more significant defence-related peacetime challenges that might arise (like civil unrest, famine and flood driven military aid requirements, etc).

 

Why would the state try to force a research outcome that might waste many billions of taxpayers money if it turns out to be wrong?  Surely the logical position for a state to take would be to deny that AGW is happening, suppress any research into it and so, in the short term, save a great deal of taxpayers money.

 

Quite apart from anything else, the UK is far from being alone in reaching very similar conclusions to every other major climate research programme around the globe.  Having sat on international working groups (not related to climate research) I can say that it's hard enough getting supposed allies to cooperate.  The idea that many states could all be cooperating to create a false narrative, for some unknown objective, is frankly ludicrous.  There's a very common saying in government, which reflects the general incompetence of politicians in general, "cock up is much more probable than conspiracy".  This has been proven time and time again over the years to stand up to scrutiny as far as the UK government is concerned.  The inability to organise a serious drinking session in a brewery is often muttered in the "corridors of power".  Or, as my old boss said (in his previous job) "We're all f*cked. I'm f*cked. You're f*cked. The whole department is f*cked. It's the biggest cock-up ever. We're all completely f*cked." .

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21 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

[...]

It is impossible today for any climate change doubting scientist to hold down a job that is funded by the tax payer.

[...]

 

I doubt that anyone, with both a  substantial publishing record in well-respected, refereed journals and the ability to attract research funding would be denied a job in the public sector.

 

Are there any such scientists ? 

 

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30 minutes ago, gravelld said:

 

In the late 1930s, the Government did not say "Ok everyone, Germany are getting a bit fighty so we're going to need everyone to buy some guns, tanks and planes". The effort was centrally managed. If this is to be fixed, individuals will not have to face personal financial investment decisions.

 

(One of) the key differences  to 1939 is that the threat of invasion is far more apparent, immediate and obviously existential. Climate change is none of these things. It will be a slow decline, those with more power will be less affected and we may find ways to balance the effects which become ingrained into our daily lives so we don't even notice them. They cause economic loss because they are non-constructive, but we don't notice them. There will always be people rich enough to insulate themselves (literally) from the effects.

 

Somehow we're going to have to shift our mindset to the long term, something the Anglo-West is particularly poor at. We're going to have to tackle this in a more centralised route, through taxation, through regulation, through incentives and more.

 

What's curious is the way the media select the mouthpieces for either side of the debate. They seem to select the craziest voices from both sides; the fingers-in-your-ears types like Nigel Lawson (who was last correct about something sometime in the mid 70s) and the de-growthers who provide such an easy target for the sceptics to point at and say "look, he's trying to stop you eating steak!". Oh, for the days of late 90's centralism.

 

I can't disagree with your logic but I don't believe the approach you suggest is right - or will ever work.

 

Of course we could leave it to politicians to try sort this out - swayed as they are by polls, lobbying, ideologies -  combination of which is good for pretty much nothing (hence why you'll see Nicola Sturgeon announce none of the above, and instead wishy washy, meaningless policies like increasing plastic bags charges (albeit that's not going to affect climate but you get the idea). Increase taxation on fossil fuels - sure - just like Macron proposed and look where that got him.  Other solutions are ultimately either to the benefit of global corporations than anyone or anything else. 'Buy more efficient cars' 'Install double glazing' 'Install insulation' - which is great in some ways and of course simply perpetuates the 'growth is good' and 'buying better is better than not buying anything' mentality to saving the planet. Or we literallydo the opposite and stop the sheer greed that most of us have for 'things' - phones, TVs, clothes, cars, exotic holidays - and watch economies shrink as our demand for everything reduces.

 

My point is more around - we hear hysteria of 'climate emergency' Firstly - how really believes that as it is presented? Secondly, who believes it enough to change their habits? Because I believe - if this is a problem people think should be taken seriously - that the answer lies with the individual,  not, as you propose, the state. It will require people to make fudnamental changes to their lifestyles to tackle - switching off heating and wearing an extra jumper during the day in winter for example - Multiplied over millions of households - it's seriously significant. The state can support, absolutely, encourage, absolutely, but really genuinely drive changes in behaviour? I think not. that's got to come from within. And ultimately, I don't think people do care enough. I don't think they believe there is an emergency. And I believe people are far far too selfish to make changes or sacrifices.

 

Maybe I'm too cynical but I've met far too many people who claim to care about the environment but have done nothing in my humble opinion that remotely inconveniences them about it.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, AnonymousBosch said:

 

I doubt that anyone, with both a  substantial publishing record in well-respected, refereed journals and the ability to attract research funding would be denied a job in the public sector.

 

Are there any such scientists ? 

 

Not a scientist but look what happened to Roger Scruton - sacked for - what Twitter thought was - his opinion. Quite literally sacked because someone took a conflation of statements he made, distorted them and created a Twitter storm. Now - even aside of that part, even IF his opinions were as stated (they weren't), would that be a sackable offence? well - to answer your question @AnonymousBosch - yes, I think scientists with the 'wrong' view or research may well be either denied from a job or sacked once they provide a controversial paper that is contrary to current 'enlightened' thinking. I don't doubt this pattern is being repeated more out of the public eye. I'm waiting on my contract to be terminated because I've resisted doing 'Diversity and Inclusion' training.  

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1 minute ago, jamiehamy said:

Not a scientist but look what happened to Roger Scruton - sacked for - what Twitter thought was - his opinion. Quite literally sacked because someone took a conflation of statements he made, distorted them and created a Twitter storm. Now - even aside of that part, even IF his opinions were as stated (they weren't), would that be a sackable offence? well - to answer your question @AnonymousBosch - yes, I think scientists with the 'wrong' view or research may well be either denied from a job or sacked once they provide a controversial paper that is contrary to current 'enlightened' thinking. I don't doubt this pattern is being repeated more out of the public eye. I'm waiting on my contract to be terminated because I've resisted doing 'Diversity and Inclusion' training.  

 

I've seen dozens, maybe hundreds, of controversial research outcomes over the years.  I've never heard of anyone being sacked for anything other than gross misconduct (which has never related to their work).

 

I've seen explosions of rage from senior military officers when they've been told that research doesn't fit their preconceptions; for some reason this sort of reaction seems far more prominent in officers of 1* or above.  I've also been told to wind my neck in by at least one minister, and on one occasion told my minister that he may not like what I'd said, but that he could, with respect, f*ck himself for all I cared, as I knew that what I'd said was correct.  Not only was I not sacked, but the ministers PPS grinned at me and subsequently bought me a drink in the bar.

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6 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

 

I've seen dozens, maybe hundreds, of controversial research outcomes over the years.  I've never heard of anyone being sacked for anything other than gross misconduct (which has never related to their work).



 

I've seen explosions of rage from senior military officers when they've been told that research doesn't fit their preconceptions; for some reason this sort of reaction seems far more prominent in officers of 1* or above.  I've also been told to wind my neck in by at least one minister, and on one occasion told my minister that he may not like what I'd said, but that he could, with respect, f*ck himself for all I cared, as I knew that what I'd said was correct.  Not only was I not sacked, but the ministers PPS grinned at me and subsequently bought me a drink in the bar.

But you're not denying a Senior Government Minister sacked someone for...allegedly having an opinion that didn't fit the narrative that minister wanted? That's my point - a question was asked and it so happens such a scenario sounds like it's not beyond anyone's stretch of imagination for it to be happening today based on events of the last two weeks? How many other people have been hounded out of positions for having opinions that are not those of the mainstream? (lots)

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4 minutes ago, jamiehamy said:

But you're not denying a Senior Government Minister sacked someone for...allegedly having an opinion that didn't fit the narrative that minister wanted? That's my point - a question was asked and it so happens such a scenario sounds like it's not beyond anyone's stretch of imagination for it to be happening today based on events of the last two weeks? How many other people have been hounded out of positions for having opinions that are not those of the mainstream? (lots)

 

Government ministers can only sack those that they've employed directly, most commonly as  advisors.  They cannot sack Civil Servants, such as scientists working on climate research.

 

 

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i have read and agreed with a lot of this 

to me the bottom line is people will only change their ways if it is in their  OWN financial interest to do so ,what ever they may say or pontificate about.

diesel is the perfect example --people changed because it was cheaper not because governments wanted them to go that way.

the same will happen when electric cars for the masses are cheap enough  

until then there will be no big change --so its simple

raising taxes on fuel is the only way to make it happen ,same as making mains electric more expensive so they will use less of it and think about micro generation seriously

how you use the extra taxation is another thing!!

--just like "road  tax" was never used just for improving roads --its goes in the treasury pot and ministers decide where to spend it.

tree huggers somehow think that perfect public transport should happen now --well it has to be paid for 

So where is the money coming from ?

and it would never work in the countryside 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

This is what the ideological confrontation distills down to at the end of the day once the science and data is striped away.

 

As Andrew Marr opens a TV episode in The History of Modern Britain he is standing outside the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He states that 4000 civil servants in that building once ran the British Empire covering 1/4 of the world, yet today a minor government agency would employ as many. He goes on to explain that the WWII experience of a collective centralize managed economy gave a generation of ideologues a taste for fixing problems though a highly centralized state apparatus.

 

The desire lives on today 75 years later in a much larger public sector and climate change is an excuse to expand the State and its power.

 

This is my fault - I used the C word (centralisation) but I didn't necessarily mean bureaucracy. I meant that Government use its levers to enact change, rather than expecting "nudges" to individual behaviour or some other silver bullet (go technology!) to come along out of nowhere.

 

If you take the example of house building - we will go on building crap houses while there's no incentive to not do so; volume builders are run by their quarterly report. One fix is to mandate higher standards, for example a sensible air permeability target. But regulation is one example of a lever Government could pull.

 

The biggest lever of all is a carbon tax. A carbon tax would probably solve the problem without the need for any downstream bureaucracy, but it would probably need to be internationally agreed... so good luck on that.

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1 hour ago, jamiehamy said:

Increase taxation on fossil fuels - sure - just like Macron proposed and look where that got him.  

 

Maybe he just did it wrong. Sometimes a fix is the right one but it has to be backed up with other policy. The JJ appear to be generally upset at life chances and the past thirty years of those they regard as "elites" getting it all their own way. I think their rhetoric is a bit extreme but it holds a grain of truth. It might be time for the upper and upper middle classes to begin paying up.

 

1 hour ago, jamiehamy said:

Other solutions are ultimately either to the benefit of global corporations than anyone or anything else. 'Buy more efficient cars' 'Install double glazing' 'Install insulation' - which is great in some ways and of course simply perpetuates the 'growth is good' and 'buying better is better than not buying anything' mentality to saving the planet. Or we literallydo the opposite and stop the sheer greed that most of us have for 'things' - phones, TVs, clothes, cars, exotic holidays - and watch economies shrink as our demand for everything reduces.

 

I think this is a false dichotomy. The entire history of human development suggests we can find a way, and all through history there have been people saying "it's the end" - Malthus etc. They were wrong then and they are wrong now, because a fixed pie mindset exists when economic value is considered.

 

TBH installing insulation is probably not to the benefit of global corporations. It reduces wasteage and is purchased once. It's an example of building wealth rather than perpetuating wasteful rentier expenditure.

 

1 hour ago, jamiehamy said:

My point is more around - we hear hysteria of 'climate emergency' Firstly - how really believes that as it is presented? Secondly, who believes it enough to change their habits? Because I believe - if this is a problem people think should be taken seriously - that the answer lies with the individual,  not, as you propose, the state. It will require people to make fudnamental changes to their lifestyles to tackle - switching off heating and wearing an extra jumper during the day in winter for example - Multiplied over millions of households - it's seriously significant. The state can support, absolutely, encourage, absolutely, but really genuinely drive changes in behaviour? I think not. that's got to come from within. And ultimately, I don't think people do care enough. I don't think they believe there is an emergency. And I believe people are far far too selfish to make changes or sacrifices.

 

The "they're telling you to turn your thermostat down" is exactly the kind of finger pointing the deniers continually get away with. But it's very limited; it plays on our inability to think outside of our context.

 

I think we should think bigger. We should think about how to engineer our way out of this. Fix the problems, so we don't even have to put up with switching off the heating. Put in place long term solutions. Build wealth such as a high performance building stock.

 

We've put a man on the moon before, I think we can insulate houses. Last time I looked, retrofitting the entire housing stock to a high level is very expensive, but probably not a lot more than HS2. I know what I would prefer, and which would drive better economic outcomes.

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I used 5 kWh of energy yesterday to run my house, anyone lower? (not counting over self generation)

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11 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

I used 5 kWh of energy yesterday to run my house, anyone lower? (not counting over self generation)

 

I'll check tomorrow when I pull the stats out of the house monitor for April, but based on the fact that we were energy neutral by about 08:00, all our hot water came from solar and the heating hasn't been on at all for the past couple of months, I'd guess that we probably used around 3 to 4 kWh.  Most of the saving has come from PV generation for most of the day, though, and the ability to store energy for hot water in the Sunamp.  When I install the battery system in the next few weeks, I reckon we will be able to run off-grid, in effect, for the next few months.  My car has been running entirely on charge from excess PV generation for most of April, and will probably be running mainly on self-generated energy for most of the summer.

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7 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

As Andrew Marr opens a TV episode in The History of Modern Britain he is standing outside the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He states that 4000 civil servants in that building once ran the British Empire covering 1/4 of the world, yet today a minor government agency would employ as many. He goes on to explain that the WWII experience of a collective centralize managed economy gave a generation of ideologues a taste for fixing problems though a highly centralized state apparatus.

 

The desire lives on today 75 years later in a much larger public sector and climate change is an excuse to expand the State and its power.

 

 

I thought I'd check the veracity of this, as it didn't seem to tally with the near-constant cuts that seemed to be taking place throughout most of my 35 year career.  This graph shows how Civil Service numbers have changed over the last century or so:

 

image.thumb.png.19c417c6e0d8d5d9343a5dd350aa544e.png

 

It seems clear that the Home Civil Service expanded massively during WWII, which coincides with the formation of the Scientific Civil Service, not that it was ever a significant part of the whole Civil Service.  There seems to have been a steady decline in the size of the Civil Service since WWII, and it is now smaller than it has been at any time in the past 75 years.

 

The plot above is for the Home Civil Service, and does not include the Colonial Civil Service, which was a separate entity (IIRC called the Colonial Service) during the time of the British Empire, nor does it include the Indian Civil Service.  I can't find a complete set of data for the Colonial Service, or the other separate Colonial Civil Service bodies, like the Indian Civil Service, but it seems they may not have been that large.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, JSHarris said:

I thought I'd check the veracity of this, as it didn't seem to tally with the near-constant cuts that seemed to be taking place throughout most of my 35 year career.  This graph shows how Civil Service numbers have changed over the last century or so:

 

 

Your different experience can be attributed the Government implementing policy through contracted out spending. The MOD once provided civilian maritime search and rescue but today it is a commercial service. I knew someone operating a private business providing Ofsted inspections for the department of education.

 

This chart of public spending demonstrates how world wars lead to a bigger state.

 

ukgs_chart2p21.png 

 

Andrew Marr is correct in saying WWII gave progressive liberals a taste for exercising more authority via the State on the basis they did so well in the war. The creation of Fighter Command at short notice was a spectacular example of technology, process and management being thrown together in a rush with high competence. Compare that to the disaster of the HMS Astute submarine development. Today's industrial military complex in the UK cannot design and fit a marine toilet in a submarine given a £ 1 billion budget and the luxury of a 10 year procurement programme. 

Edited by epsilonGreedy

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My point was that this statement doesn't seem to be correct:

 

21 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

The desire lives on today 75 years later in a much larger public sector and climate change is an excuse to expand the State and its power.

 

 

Not only has the public sector been in a fairly steady contraction for a bit over 75 years, but it's still contracting now, and shows no sign of expanding that I can find.

 

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Posted (edited)

How does it compare to population, or GDP?  That would make the government burden even smaller.

Edited by SteamyTea

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