Sunday, December 04, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 4.12.16

SPANISH CULTURE: Prospering in Spain: I've drafted a guide on enjoying - well, at least happily surviving - life in Spain. One day, I'll post it here - when my Spanish and expat friends have mauled it - but anyone who wants to see (and comment on) a copy of the latest draft can contact me here. Yes, one of the world's shortest email addresses.

THE EU: Referendums: President Wancker says these are a very bad thing. Well, in the immortal words of, Mandy Rice-Davies (sadly, no relation): He would, wouldn't he? The Times todays says that Brussels is fiddling while Rome burns. Which has the ring of truth about it. In all senses of the word 'fiddles'.

THE UK 1: If you live there, you might want to read the article at the end of this post. It's by that old cynic Christopher Booker and it's about UK energy policy and its implications for your life and your bank account.

THE UK 2: Exactly 65 years ago - and 3 years before it happened in the USA - a British company - Lyons - began operating a computer in its business, using a machine called the Lyons Electronic Office. Or LEO. A global first, of course.

ITALY: Those Banks Again: Agent provocateur, Don Quijones, avers sarcastically that: Banks cannot be allowed, at any cost, to suffer the consequences of their own mismanagement, or worse. The EU fix for the dreadful situation in Italy is already in place, he says. See here for details of how taxpayers and small-time investors will be fleeced. Again. In contravention of EU laws. Again. And the Brussels technocrats wonder why respect is in freefall. Or perhaps they don't.

CUBA: Post Mortem: According to the latest dictator there, Fidel Castro's dying wish was that there be no personality cult after his death. Bit late for that, mate. Your entire life was dedicated to yours. I doubt it'll make any difference there won't be a statue of you in Havana. Allegedly.

GALICIA: Wasps: You think you have a problem with a nest in your house or shed? Not really. This is what a real problem looks like.

FINALLY: The Staff of Life: I had a large curry lunch yesterday for friends from Galicia, Australia and Poland. Knowing how important it is for Spaniards to have their comfort blanket of bread, I asked my Galician friends to bring some. They arrived with 3 of these lovely large baguettes:-

As ever, little of the stuff was actually eaten and so, having thrown out all the bits left on the table, I still have one and a half barras in my kitchen. For the birds, I guess.



On energy policy, our politicians are leading us into darkness: Christopher Booker

As the costliest project any British government has ever proposed, the HS2 rail scheme has rightly drawn heavy criticism from those asking why we are to spend £56 billion on a venture which promises such puny benefits. But most people remain strangely oblivious to a far greater cost to which the Government has committed us, for a purpose even more demonstrably futile.

What should be making front page news is the story revealed by the latest figures from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR), predicting the soaring cost over the next six years of all the “environmental levies” imposed on us under the Climate Change Act. Between now and 2022, according to the OBR, these will amount to £65 billion, of which £36 billion will be subsidies we shall all be paying through the “renewables obligation”, mainly to the owners of our ever-growing number of windfarms.

These subsidies alone will represent a near-trebling of what we are already paying through our electricity bills, which by 2022 the OBR predicts will have risen to nearly £7 billion a year.

But on top of this, under yet another “green levy”, many of us will also be contributing over the same period a further £21 billion in Air Passenger Duty, which already adds up to £150 to the cost of any airline ticket bought in the UK.  Still further, we are all to be made, at an estimated cost of £15 billion, to install “smart meters”, which experts claim are so badly designed that they will give us no benefit whatever.

So all this will fleece us of around £100 billion, nearly twice the cost of HS2. But the other, even more terrifying part of the story is what we are to get for all this mind-boggling expenditure, as the only country in the world committed by law to cut 80 percent of our CO2 emissions by 2050. 

Even today, few have yet grasped the Government’s intention that, within 12 years, we shall be taking a further giant step towards eliminating much of our use of fossil fuels. We shall be forced to replace almost all our use of gas for cooking and heating with electricity, and most of our cars and other transport will also have to be powered by electricity too.

So where is all this power to come from, if not from the fossil fuels, coal, gas and oil, which still currently supply more than half our electricity and more than 80 percent of all our energy?  The Government’s answer is that most of it will be provided either by “renewables”, such as the wind and the sun, so intermittent that they can on occasion supply barely one percent of the electricity we need, or by new nuclear power stations, such as that proposed at Hinkley Point, which on current showing may never even be built.

Even during our recent freeze, with electricity demand rising to peak levels and half the power we can import from France disabled by storm damage, we were only keeping our lights on and our computer-dependent economy running with the aid of the few coal-fired power stations we still have left. We were told we were already in the “danger zone” of running out of power.  How timely that I was last week sent a leaflet from my own power distribution company asking: “Are you prepared for power cuts?” 

We are sleep-walking towards what threatens to be the greatest self-inflicted disaster this country has ever faced. And the astonishing thing is that the last people to be aware of what is going on are those politicians who have brought this about. Their brains are so addled by groupthink about climate change that, even when the lights do go out, they will still have no idea that it was entirely their own blind stupidity, which made such a catastrophe inevitable. 

1 comment:

Perry said...

Brillo on fiddler Castro.

WUWT on CO2 enriched Hansen.