What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Posted: March 6, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, humour
Tags: ,

Website Climate Scepticism reports this exchange on BBC radio between self-styled environmentalist Roger Harrabin and (possibly sceptical) BBC interviewer Justin Webb. Marvel at the airy-fairy concepts being promoted. Webb’s closing comment causes hilarity in the studio.

On Friday last week, the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 featured some items about a report just released from the National Infrastructure Commission, which describes how Britain (lucky thing!) is perfectly placed to kick off a “smart power revolution” and become a world leader in all things low-carbon.

Here’s a transcript of one segment: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? | Climate Scepticism

  1. Curious George says:

    Murphy’s First Law: Everything that can possibly go wrong will do so.
    First commentary to Murphy’s First Law: Murphy was an optimist.

  2. oldbrew says:

    If people like Harrabin thought it through, they would find the idea of powering millions of vehicles by electricity only demands a large number of new power stations, whether nuclear or whatever.

    As there’s no sign of that happening, the plan is already doomed.

    What wasn’t mentioned was electricity rationing 😐

  3. oldbrew says:

    Harrabin: ‘when power is scarce, the internet will ask your freezer “Justin’s freezer, do you mind if we turn you off for half an hour so Mrs Bloggs next door can put on the supper?” and your freezer will say “Yes”. And this is – this is the future they envisage.’

    Dream on.

  4. oldbrew says:

    A more realistic view: ‘Why we will still need oil and gas in the future’

    ‘Whether we like it or not, every year the human race is likely to burn a bit more oil and gas than it did the year before. In absolute numbers, our demand for energy is growing. However, the proportion of oil and gas in the total amount of energy consumed could decline.’

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    I posted this at the linked article, but it fits here too.

    THE big loads in a home are heating, A/C in places like California, cooking, and clothes washer /driers. Everything else is irrelevant. When you are cold, you NEED heat and being off for a few hours will not work. , Ditto AC on hot summer days. Cooking can’t be put off to midnight without dire consequences, and letting the fridge warm up a couple of hours means food spoilage and health risks increase. That leaves the wash. We do that on Saturday when we have time to fold and put away. Having wet clothes ferment until Sunday 2 AM is not going to happen. (At least on the east coast USA, wet clothes start to mildew in a few hours, so rapid assured drying is essential.)

    Yes, one might also have electric water heating. That is already tied to the wash… But the dishes feeding roaches all night is not an option either… Nor is taking your “get ready for work” morning shower going to move to noon either.

    In short, time of demand is fixed by life needs and not flexible.

    My credentials for this oppinion are several years living with rolling blackouts under the Democrats in California. We dumped Gov. Grey “out” Davis, put in a Republican (of sorts) and got reliable power back. Oh, and I sold my second generator… I’d bought two during The Grey Years… One thing I learned was that the small 1 kW job ran all the lights, entertainment, and fridge and everything else small. ONLY if using the wash, electric kitchen, or heater A/C did I need the 5 kW one. That is a direct existance proof that only those things are the big load where shifting can have an effect.

    So what can you live without? Food? Clothes? Heat A/C?

    I found the generator a workable solution…

  6. oldbrew says:

    ‘Converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into batteries’

    ‘The recipe for converting carbon dioxide gas into batteries is described in the paper titled “Carbon Nanotubes Produced from Ambient Carbon Dioxide for Environmentally Sustainable Lithium-Ion and Sodium-Ion Battery Anodes” published in the Mar. 2 issue of the journal ACS Central Science.’


    The researchers say: ‘the oxygen released in the process could be piped back to the generator where it would boost the generator’s combustion efficiency to compensate for the amount of electricity that the STEP process consumes. The end result could be a fossil fuel electrical power plant with zero net CO2 emissions.’

    ACS article: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acscentsci.5b00400

  7. oldmanK says:

    From oldbrew’s quote above “— ‘when power is scarce, the internet will ask your freezer “Justin’s freezer,——-“.

    White-goods left on standby consume energy, and per household it can amount to a nice figure in wattage. Only the one who pays the bill would consider total switch-off. Add another power station for that alone.

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    We have a similar group of over educated idiots here in California. Somehow they believe they can reduce their CO2 foot print by importing the needed electrical energy from outside the state. Maintain their standard of living by reducing our access to energy. California can function as a service and commercial provider and do away with industry, farming and energy creation.

    Electrical energy that is plentiful, dependable and inexpensive is the foundation of modern industry and society. So called Renewables of wind and solar are NONE of the above. Hydro, geothermal and nuclear are low carbon power generators that are capable of servicing modern energy needs are hated by Ecoloons because these things can solve humanities long term energy needs.

    Ecoloons have been educated, way beyond their intellectual ability to carry out a logical thought process. They can only spout their memorized dogma that humans are a blight upon the Earth and must be greatly reduced or eliminated.

    Ecoloons are the blight and should be considered accessories to crimes against humanity…pg

  9. Graeme No.3 says:

    “The end result could be a fossil fuel electrical power plant with zero net CO2 emissions.”

    I am coming to the conclusion that all Arts courses should include a some mention of thermodynamic principles, immediately after the remedial arithmetic course.

  10. p.g.sharrow says:

    Graeme No.3 says:
    March 6, 2016 at 10:23 pm “I am coming to the conclusion that all Arts courses should include a some mention of thermodynamic principles, immediately after the remedial arithmetic course.”

    I agree, BUT, While a real scientist is also an artist. An artist does not need to understand science to function.

    Modern Liberalism seems to preclude the ability for independent thought or even the tolerance of independent thought…pg

  11. Graeme No.3 says:

    p.g.sharrow says:
    “An artist does not need to understand science to function” is that function or fiction?

  12. RoswellJohn says:

    Brian Cake’s Corrolary to Murphy’s Law: If nothing can go wrong it will anyway! Brian was the Chief Engineer at LeCroy Corp. in New York in the late 80s and early 90s. Went back to the UK eventually.

  13. markstoval says:

    “We have a similar group of over educated idiots here in California.”

    I would like to point out that going to school is not necessarily the same thing as being educated. Consider the enormous amount of high school graduates who are illiterate.

    Consider a very young me who asked an engineer why we could not have an electric car and run it by using a larger alternator than normal to charge the battery. I got a long talk about perpetual motion and schemes that try to bypass that law. The electrician educated me far more than any of my teachers up till that point. (high school age)

    In my experience, most PhDs, in the USA at least, are not educated at all. Victims of group-think for the most part.

  14. ivan says:

    The ‘smart’ revolution, where the not so smart try to convince us that they are. Take a look at http://www.fosterandpartners.com/news/archive/2016/03/nissan-and-foster-plus-partners-reveal-fuel-station-of-the-future-concept-at-geneva-motor-show/
    You will most probably have to scroll the pictures to see their house idea.