The Cost of Climate Change Protest

Last year the Metropolitan Police in London had to spend £27 million in policing protests by the extinction rebellion supporters. It is significantly more, it seems, than the police spend in London on its violent crime task force. The policing of extinction rebellion is not at all effective. Protesters are allowed to block major intersections and bridges. Recently they have dig up lawns in London and Cambridge causing criminal damage and dumped the soil elsewhere which is illegal fly tipping. These criminal activities are carried out under the watchful eye of the police who do not restrain these crimes committed by perpetrators that the police observe and could stop, if they were minded to carry out their duties.

But the £27 million was not the only cost. Tens of thousands of Londoners lost wages and leisure time due to the disruption caused. Many tens of thousands of carbon dioxide emissions and particulates were pumped into the atmosphere by cars blocked in traffic brought to a halt by extinction rebellion protests. The atmospheric pollution caused by the protesters and the environmental damage is substantial. It cannot be justified by their actions because their demands are nonsensical as we shall see.

Extinction Rebellion have three demands:

  1. Tell the Truth: truth in matters of such scientific complexity as climate change is not straightforward. Who is to “tell the truth” and who is telling the truth? Governments, scientists or the extinction protesters?
  2. Act now reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 is the demand but there is no solution offered as to how this can be achieved.
  3. Beyond Politics: government to be led by citizens’ assemblies. This is the most chilling demand of all as it seeks to subvert the democratic will of the people.

Now, the right to peaceful protest is an important right. In major cities there are laws about such protests which enable them to take place with the minimum of disruption. It is the job of the police to enforce these laws, made by democratically elected politicians; the police must not stand by while they observe serious crimes being committed. It brings to doubt the competence of the Commissioner, Cressida Dick and her judgment as well as the sincerity and true motivation of the leaders of extinction rebellion protesters.

Silence – the electric car is coming

 

I am not a great fan of electric vehicles. They are still in the development stage, mostly requiring frequent re-charges of electricity in order to be useful over long distances unless you can afford to buy a super expensive model. In cities electric cars simply move the pollution to the power stations, although they do improve city air quality because their use is emission free, although their recharging is very emission intensive.  Continue reading

Good News that Ferrybridge will close

There was some very good news announced by SEE, the energy provider, today. It will close Ferrybridge, which is a coal burning power station in West Yorkshire, and re-open a  gas burning power station some 50 miles away. Continue reading

Dirty Old City

London is a very dirty city. The quality of the air that Londoners breathe is just as dirty as it was when the great smogs on the 1950s killed so many people, but the London air does not now reveal itself in visible smogs. Instead the nitrous oxides and particulates that fill the air are relatively invisible.  Continue reading

For our next trick – anthropogenic weather change

We know that the climate is changing – the evidence that it is warming is overwhelming – and there is now evidence that the weather is changing. A PNAS published study has shown there is a link between the increased emission of sulphides and other particulates from coal fired power stations in China and stronger cyclones and more precipitation in the mid-latitudes of this planet. Continue reading

Energy Companies Campaign for Lower Bills!

The energy companies have started to campaign for lower energy bills. Of course, they have not started a campaign to make themselves charge consumers less for energy. They have started a campaign for the levies for renewable energy and for insulation which are at present added as extras to the energy bills of households to be deleted from energy bills and charged and paid for out of general taxation. This means that although an individual household’s energy bill may be lower after deducting these additional subsidy costs, an individual household’s tax will be higher so there will be no practical purpose or change. The household will end up paying exactly the same amount. Continue reading

One Last Binge

According to the European Union’s statistical agency, Eurostat, the carbon dioxide emissions of the United Kingdom have increased from 2011 to 2012 by 3.9%. This increase has occurred despite all the wind turbines that have been installed, despite all the new cars that burn petrol and diesel more efficiently, despite all the PV panels installed and all the other froth and bubble that the UK government uses to try and stem the tide of greenhouse gases that its nation produces. Continue reading

The Effect on Climate of coal, diesel and wood burning

I have written a great deal about my views that particulates are a significant contribution to the changes that our climate are experiencing than we understand, and my instincts seem to be borne out by research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.  If the research has drawn the correct conclusions, then particulates from wood burning, diesel engines and coal burning (which create pure carbon in the form of soot) have twice more impact on our climate than previously estimated. Continue reading

Running on a cold and frosty morning

It was a cold and frosty morning, so I went running, not for long, but just to get some exercise. I could see the signs of modern heating with flumes from gas condensing boilers, this early morning. Many years ago I would have seen chimneys smoking but I did not see any at all. The air was very still and the only smoke I saw came from car exhausts as I breathed in harder to get my breath as I ran. There were some other runners on the pavement. They nodded in acknowledgement, which is a rare gesture in a London where folk keep themselves to themselves. Well wrapped folk walked slowly to their cars and started scraping the ice from windshields. I breathed harder.

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London’s air quality a “fine” problem

These are times of great financial difficulty. Most nations have spent more than was prudent and in this field the United Kingdom has been one of the leaders. It will face a few years of severe cutbacks, many of which will be deserved and necessary because they related to matters which have drained the public purse and wasted money. Some of the expenditure has only been incurred in order to please or reward some of the supporters of the Labour Party; that will have to end. Continue reading