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Fighting Climate Change Really Does Mean We’ve All Got To Shiver In The Dark

Carbon emissions

Here we have it, straight from the horse’s mouth:

Radiators would have to run 10 degrees cooler under changes to homes needed for Britain to hit net zero, the public has been warned.

The Government has said it wants 600,000 heat pumps replacing gas boilers every year by 2028 to help decarbonise the country’s home heating, which accounts for 10 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

We all know, from the imposition first of CFLs and then of LEDs that fighting climate change does mean dark. Now the other shoe is dropping and we’ve got to shiver as well.

To keep homes warm, that may require bigger radiators, underfloor heating and improved insulation, with full modifications estimated to cost on average £18,000.

And here we’ve got the perfect example of the stupidity with which people are approaching the problem. We are trying to maximise, optimise, the lifestyles of humans over time. So, there are costs to emissions, OK, but there are also costs to non-emissions. That utility is maximised where we do away with the emissions that bring less gain than their costs while still making the emissions that produce benefits greater than the costs.

British emissions are around the half billion tonnes a year mark. 10% of that is 50 million tonnes. The social cost of carbon is $80 per tonne CO2-3 (from Stern). So, household emissions from heating have a cost of $4 billion a year – call that £3 billion among friends.

There are 25 million households in the UK, £18,000 per household is £450 billion. There might be a universe in which spending £450 billion once (let’s assume once, to make it look good, not worry about replacement costs etc) to save £3 billion a year is a sensible idea but it’s not this one.

So, we shouldn’t be doing this, should we?

Darren Jones MP, the chair of the Commons business and energy committee, said: “It’s not the same as gas. You can’t just knock up the dial on your wall a little bit and suddenly it gets a bit warmer”.

It’s more expensive to be worse. Nope, shouldn’t be doing it.

The mistake here is that everyone’s listened to the economists saying that some action to deter, limit, reduce, climate change is economically justified. But what they’ve heard is that any action is so. The second being the thing that ain’t true.

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Spike
Spike
14 days ago

No, “we” are not trying to maximize human utility or convenience over time. “We” who are imposing these rules are simply trying to boss other people around, as always. There is still no science on man-caused* runaway* climate change, as there is still no human-free Earth for comparison. And no way to gauge the effect of all that spending. It will be a receding target, just like “making the rich* pay their fair* share.”

jgh
jgh
14 days ago

Ten degrees lower would put my radiators below ambient temperature!

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
14 days ago

Fighting climate change is of course tilting at windmills. From the late 1970s, when we were being warned of a coming ice age, it warmed a little until 2000, after which it stopped warming and the phrase “global warming” was dropped to be replace by, eventually, the “climate emergency”. Except that there is no emergency, the climate continues to be non static and life goes on. Certainly there are some very foolish people who think that carbon dioxide is something to be feared or that it is a pollutant, sadly a few of these deluded simpletons are in government. The… Read more »

Addolff
Addolff
14 days ago

“And here we’ve got the perfect example of the stupidity with which people are approaching the problem”.
Hey Tim, they are promoting the problem exactly the same as you when you say: “lets, just for the sake of argument”.
Once you enter their world of insanity and start to argue with it, you are as they are.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
14 days ago
Reply to  Addolff

“Let’s just for the sake of argument” is a True Colours revelation,.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
14 days ago

According to Stern, CO2 externalities are presently nett positive and not expected to switch for another fifty years. So there is no social cost of carbon. But I’m wasting my breath am I not because that’s a cornerstone of the Worstall religion. (I notice that Tim has recently gone very quiet on China being our friend but don’t expect a retraction any time soon.)

Diogenes
Diogenes
13 days ago

Interesting…are China just trolling the EU? Why doesn’t Britain chip in to build a steel mill? That would add to the EU’s annoyance

Boganboy
Boganboy
13 days ago
Reply to  Diogenes

Perhaps the Serbs have a bit of fellow feeling with the Chinese. The Serbs were bullied over the Bosnians, the Chinese over the Uighurs.

john77
john77
12 days ago

Ten degrees cooler … My thermostat is set at 17C, so does he want it reset to 7C? Or is he saying that warming a giant radiator to 18C (or, perhaps, 20C) will warm the room to 17C? If the latter it will take hours and when the sun shines through the window the room will get *hotter* than I want it as stopping adding more heat to the radiators will take a long time to have any effect and they will continue to heat the room in the meantime. Underfloor heating? For the first and second floors that’s over-ceiling… Read more »

Paul Woods
Paul Woods
6 days ago

And you know those ‘smart’ meters? Supposedly designed to make the climate better? Well, one ‘feature’ they provide to energy suppliers is the ability to switch off your power when they feel like it using a remote station. No more needing to send a man to the area to cut you off. That simply means that once the Chinese social credit system is in place and you haven’t done exactly as the state has decreed, you won’t be permitted any electricity.

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