May 16 2011

The End Of Britannia

Published by at 7:59 am under All General Discussions,Global Warming

The United Kingdom has a special place in world history. Among its most durable historic characteristics is its innovation, fighting spirit, indomitable will and drive for individual freedom. This small island nation explored the world and left its mark on many nations (UK, Canada, USA and Australia to name a few), many areas of science (e.g., Darwin and Evolution), modern music (the Beatles and Genesis come to my mind) and warfare (Harrier jets, the pneumatic launcher on aircraft carriers, etc).

But all good runs must come to an end, and apparently this run is going to end in bankruptcy and economic sclerosis. All this will be brought on because a bunch of lemmings have decided to follow the AGW pied-pipers over the cliff and into the abyss:

The new budget puts the government on target to meet a reduction by 2050 of 80% of carbon emissions compared with 1990 levels. The committee has said that to reach this carbon emissions should be cut by 60% by 2030.

…It is also hoped that the commitment to renewable energy – the committee says 40% of the UK’s power should come from wind, wave and tide sources by 2030 – will stimulate new industries.

The committee’s report says the new carbon deal will require that heat pumps will have had to be installed in 2.6m homes by 2025. It also says that by the same date 31% of new cars, and 14% of those on the road overall, will be electric. Experts say a total of £16bn of investment will be needed every year to meet the commitment. Some of this money will be raised through increases in electricity prices.

H/T WUWT. There are two fatal flaws to this death spiral. First off, renewable energy sources cannot provide constant, low cost power at a national level. It can’t now, and it won’t by 2030. As WUWT notes, wind power in the UK has turned into an expensive failure. The result of all this will be upheaval, followed by failure to retain the standard of living now enjoyed in the UK. Even the original article notes this:

The package will require sweeping changes to domestic life, transport and business and will place Britain at the forefront of the global battle against climate change.

The second flaw is, after all this economic damage and wasted spending, nothing will change climate-wise. Apparently UK’s leaders have failed to notice that the recent ‘science’ of climate has been destroying the theory of CO2 driven global warming. After a decade of flat or cooling global temperatures – all the while CO2 levels have kept rising – one would think even a tiny light bulb might spark.

But there are new scientific results out which prove the warming and cooling we have seen in the last 500 years (a span that includes the Little Ice Age) is not due to CO2:

We present a reconstruction of the total and spectral solar irradiance covering 130 nm–10 ?m from 1610 to the present with an annual resolution and for the Holocene with a 22-year resolution.

Translation: the scientists reversed engineered the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) by looking at one area of the energy spectrum that can be reconstructed from 1610 to present day. From that one area of the spectrum, you can create the total energy curve since the Sun produces a very well known signature across all energy bands.

Then we use available long-term proxies of the solar activity, which are 10Be isotope concentrations in ice cores and 22-year smoothed neutron monitor data, to interpolate between the present quiet Sun and the minimum state of the quiet Sun.

Translation: The reconstruction is based on an isotope of Beryllium found in ice cores. This is a direct measurement of Solar Activity:

The production of 10Be is inversely proportional to the solar activity, because the increased solar wind during periods of high solar magnetic activity in turn decreases the flux of galactic cosmic rays that reach the Earth.

The less 10Be in the ice, the stronger the output of the Sun. From this very clear proxy (unlike tree rings which have been proven to completely diverge from the global temperature record many times in recent history) indicates why we had a Little Ice Age 400 years ago and why we are experiencing warming since then:

We derive a total and spectral solar irradiance that was substantially lower during the Maunder minimum than the one observed today. The difference is remarkably larger than other estimations published in the recent literature. The magnitude of the solar UV variability, which indirectly affects the climate, is also found to exceed previous estimates.

Translation: It is ALL about solar output, and probably marginally (if at all) about atmospheric CO2. This paper is stunning in how it completely destroys the theory of AGW. But it is not alone. I could go on and on since the mounting of conflicting scientific studies now easily matches the crappy studies done in support of AGW.

So Britannia is going to throw away billions of dollars, knock their economy into the Dark Ages and have unreliable and expensive power eroding their standard of living. All for nothing.

I guess that is one way to exit the world stage.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “The End Of Britannia”

  1. WWS says:

    Good observations, all true. It’s common among the investor class to say that companies can go bankrupt and out of business, but that countries can’t.

    Nonsense – nations go out of business all the time; anyone heard of the Austro-Hungarian Empire lately? (once the greatest financial power in Europe) Nations die for the same reason as companies do; their own long term mismanagement.

    The saddest part is that civil society almost always survives the death of a few companies; it seldom survives the death of a nation. This process has happened before, even in England; I was recently reading again how the religious dispute between Catholics and Protestants in the 16th century grew until it infected every area of daily life and caused almost constant conflict. Some monarchs, notably Elizabeth 1, managed to carve out a middle line and calm the throws of conflict during their reigns. But others fueled the flames of social conflict for their own advantage, and finally Charles 1 mismanaged the countries financial affairs so badly that he felt he had to whip up a religious war to survive. (vs. the Scottish Presbyterians) Not only did that turn into 20 years of absolute mayhem and bloodshed across the whole of England, but he lost his own head as a result and England jumped out of the frying pan of a bad king into the fire of an absolute military dictatorship for the first time in several hundred years. The death toll in a vastly smaller population was still in the hundreds of thousands.

    All because of bad ideology and bad leaders.

    What’s most worrisome is that, from the point of view of the common man, England plunged from what looked like a purely ideological dispute into financial and then societal collapse almost overnight, and 20 years of near constant murder and pillage was the result.

    I can’t escape the conclusion that almost all of western society is approaching that point right now. We seem to have the 50/50 divide in place, and while we fight about ideology, the lifeblood of nations, their ability to provide food and energy for their people, their ability to protect the people against enemies, is slipping away.

    The buildup is always gradual. But the final collapse, when it comes, always looks to the common man as if it has happened overnight.

  2. WWS says:

    fin de siecle’:

    speaking of exiting the world stage; wonderful and yet very sad to watch NASA’s swan song today. I have loved watching the NASA launches my entire life, and some of my earliest memories are of watching the Mercury and Gemini launches on a static filled black and white screen. I wept when Grissom, White, and Chaffee died, and my heart soared when Armstrong made his famous “small step”. I rejoiced as the crew of Apollo 13 made it back home. I still remember how I felt the instant Challenger exploded – I was in my car, listening on the radio, and I had to pull over – and the explosion of Columbia literally shook me out of my bed that clear February morning. (it came apart over my head) These launches have always been a part of my life, and of those around me.

    While watching Endeavour slip the bonds of Earth today I cannot escape the feeling that I will not see another manned US launch again in my lifetime, and I can hardly express the sadness that thought brings.


  3. luc says:

    Don’t be sad WWS, NASA is now performing more important and uplifting duties like improving relations with the religion of peace ?!? Aren’t we lucky?
    You must feel better now! Sorry I cannot say I am…

  4. lurker9876 says:

    wws, remember the rise and fall of Rome and the Weimar Republic.

    I can’t help but think of Israel’s future as Obama is allowing for and “encouraging” the so-called “Arab Spring”.

    As for NASA, yeah, same here. I don’t see a good future with the commercial space development either.

  5. lurker9876 says: – from what I’ve read at Wayne Hale’s blog, commercial space development will have more serious problems, not yet that evident but collaborative government may be the only solution for NASA.

  6. dbostan says:

    Great Britain was finished for a long time.
    Sometime between the first and the second world war.
    Churchill was their last great leader, and last chance to remain relevant.
    But they chose socialism, and NSH…

    Now having said that, we must look at the increasing chances our country is making exactly the same choices/mistakes as the GB after WWII….

  7. Mike M. says:

    Actually, there is one more mission planned.

    I’m bullish on commercial space development, but Obama bungled the transition badly. And will pay dearly for it come Election Day…the economic disaster he afflicted Florida with may well put that state completely out of reach for him.

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fellow.

  8. MerlinOS2 says:

    I would have to search back for the link but it is also projected that the entire crop farmland of the UK will have to be 100% dedicated to growth of biofuels in a few years.

    Thus they will have to import all their food and that doesn’t even address there will likely be nothing to feed animals with for beef,pork and poultry production unless that is imported also.

  9. MerlinOS2 says:


    I an unrelated note I sat out on my back deck this morning drinking coffee and watching the shuttle lift off as soon as she cleared the tree lines here. (about T+8).

    Impressive as always.

  10. Frogg1 says:

    Climate models go cold —
    Carbon warming too minor to be worth worrying about


    I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic. Watching this issue unfold has been amusing but, lately, worrying. This issue is tearing society apart, making fools out of our politicians.

    Let’s set a few things straight.

    The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s. But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant.

  11. WWS says:

    speaking of crop shortages – a whole lot of good farmland up and down the Mississippi is being flooded, and miles and miles of fields already planted are being wiped out for the season. Meanwhile, the high plains of Texas (wheat producing area) are locked into a miserable drought.

    Looks like crop failure hitting the markets by the end of summer.

    (btw, the floods are happening because of the much greater than average snowpack this winter, in other words because this last winter was so COLD, not so hot!)