Over the weekend I have been doing a bit of research into the government’s plans, schemes, roadmaps, incentives and aspirations for transition to a greener, cleaner, energy efficient, energy abundant future. The sheer amount of material written about it is staggering and I have come up with one firm conclusion which will come as no surprise to any regular readers of this blog; it’s a heap of crap. And a big one, at that. And that particular dung heap is growing by the hour.
Because Britain no longer does anything, at all. Nothing. Oh we can talk a good net-zero game, as we can talk about all sorts of things we are incapable of doing, but we can’t actually do it. We haven’t enough existing skilled tradesmen to do any of the clever installations of preferred technologies, but we have acres of print in terms of standards, proposals, regulations and the like. And those tradesmen are a dying breed, not even being replaced at the natural rate of attrition.
I read about the intention to install 600,000 heat pumps a year. Yeah, right. There aren’t enough trainees in the country to even get close to the manpower we’d need for that. And when they are installed, who will maintain them? Who will engage with the freezing pensioners robbed of their life savings to replace their reliable gas boilers when they fail to perform effectively in cold weather? (Because, of course, they will; their coefficient of performance is nowhere near that claimed in the literature.)
What is far more likely to happen is that once the existing unrealistic targets are missed, a small army of bureaucrats and meddlers, ‘advisors’ and newly qualified but untested ‘experts’ will be drafted in to write yet more proposals, set yet more even more unattainable goals and generate productivity less than the square root of fuck-all. In fact, their hot air will merely add to the problem we are supposedly trying to solve.
Some will argue ‘twas ever thus, but at least back in the days of Sir Humphrey, access to the levers of meddling was strictly controlled, whereas today anybody can become an instant part of the problem without ever getting anywhere near the Civil Service entrance exam. In other words, there are no checks and balances on those who would enter the burgeoning market for ever more pointless papers which just push yet more burden on those expected to actually solve the problems.
If there actually even is a real and pressing problem. If these intellectual remote island dwellers only had a means of communication and the intellect with which to understand it, they would surely conclude that their very existence was the real issue here. If every target was abandoned and every green ideal simply ignored, the progress towards ‘not-zero’ would not be impeded in any significant way. Let’s try it. Let us simply ignore the wailing and existential teeth-gnashing of the acolytes of Saint Greta and see what really happens.
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