Spin: UK footprint

Spin: UK footprint

Last week, The Telegraph reported Britain shows that world can cut carbon emissions and still get richer. They could not have expected the extra bonus of the cut back on jobs in steel production.  Today, The Guardian comments As British steel industry goes into meltdown, government faces some burning questions.

As M Thatcher, who did care about the climate, once said “Rejoice, Rejoice!”. This will help us meet our climate committments and blame the Chinese. They will be making the steel to build our nice tall buildings in London to house the bankers.

For the boring technical stuff on carbon footprints see UK’s rising carbon footprint in “Greenwash from Stern?”

For the boring technical stuff on jobs and climate change see The job apocalypse and climate change.

One answer if anyone cares – Stop growth, redistribute wealth and try to save the planet.

Postscript 12 November 2015

Lord Deben gave inspiring talk

I attended a joint presentation of the Committee on Climate Change and the Met Office this week. Lord Deben gave an inspiring talk but still maintained the myth about the UK’s carbon footprint falling.

I wan’t chosen to ask a question. Was that because the CEO of the CCC, Matthew Bell, was chairing the meeting? I had asked him a relevant question a few weeks before.at another meeting. It was “Is the CCC pleased because UK steelworks have closed down? The steel production is now not counted in the UK’s “official” carbon budget but on China’s because we don’t count the emissions from producing our imports.”

To give him credit, the waffle that was the answer was good natured.

Met Office doubts the IPCC

Before Lord Deben’s presentation, Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre, gave an illuminating presentation. If I remember correctly, she mentioned the wildfires in Indonesia as additional feedback cutting the IPCC’s remaining climate budget of worldwide emissions to avoid dangerous cimate change.

I also picked up a Met Office handout which says “There is also a number of additional Earth system feedbacks that could affect the future budget, including the nitrogen cycle contraints on the carbon cycle, and emissions of greenhouse gasses from permafrost and methane hydrates. These are expected to place further limitations on the total global carbon budget.” (These feedbacks are  also mentioned in Parliamentary POSTnote 454,“Risks from Climate Feedbacks”, January 2014),

I have always believed Myles Allen’s Trillion Tonne Hypothesis was too optimistic. This postulates that the amount of carbon emissions that would raise world temperatures to 2˚C above preindustrial to be 1 trillions tonnes of carbon (i.e. 3670 tonnes of CO2).  The problem is that the computer models of climate, when the calculations were made, had missing feedbacks. (See “Myles Allen and the Trillion Tonne hypothesis” in The Committee on Climate Change: Letters and response.)

“These are expected to place further limitations on the total global carbon budget.” Is that a polite way of saying Myles Allen and the IPCC have been too optimistic and overestimated the remaining carbon budget?

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