If you're keeping up with this blog you will know that we have written to the Climate Secretary, Ed Davey, to ask him to consider whether or not his ill-considered energy "strategy" may leave him open to a charge of murder in Scotland. The last post on this topic detailed a reminder letter that we had sent because no reply had been received from the original one.
Well, either that reminder started to ring alarm bells in DECC or, more likely, our letters crossed in the post, because a reply has now been received. It is dated the 12th December although it only arrived here on the 21st. You can read it below.
DECC reply 2013.12.12 by dak
It's not really disappointing because not a great deal was expected from a first exchange, but it is a bit sad that they expect this kind of waffle to satisfy anyone. However, there were a few surprises.
Firstly, they state that low carbon technologies require subsidies because of "market failures". I will asking for a clarification of this. They also state that the cheapest on-shore wind costs about the same as nuclear, which may well be true for some special cases of wind installations but is entirely irrelevant as it does not compare like for like.
They state that they wil not be changing investment incentives for renewables, which appears to be a change in government policy, as we had understood from the Conservatives that on-shore wind was to have further FIT cuts. They mention the proportion of household bills and try ine of their usual obfuscations by them going on about on-shore wind specifically.
Apparently the science is settled regarding the cause of the temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution [my capitals] and it is mainly down to CO2. However, the failure of the temperature to continue increasing for the last decade [sic] is because of natural variability. Arctic ice is disappearing, glaciers are shrinking, sea level is rising, blah, blah, blah: you know the script by now.
One very interesting point of interest is that the 2012 paper by Shakun et al is used as the definitive reference for CO2 rise preceding temperature rise. Since this paper in particular is known to haev serious issues with cherry-picking of data this will of course be mentioned in my next letter.
Anything else you think I should bring to their attention, please leave me a comment.
Until then, I hope you have a safe and happy Christmas.