Monday 1 November 2021

Good COP, bad COP ... and other awful jokes

I feel the obvious need to pen something about COP but really, there's little point to attempting anything analytic.  The outright contradictions are so many and so stark, it's just rats in a barrel.  If, that is, the rats can actually get to Glasgow with all the transport problems, lack of accommodation, Covid rules, etc etc etc.  As Lil said BTL a few days ago, what can go wrong?

It's all a curious mash-up between virtue-signalling and outright desperation.  The Chinese and Russian no-show (OK, their sherpas will be there but we all get the Big Message) means it'll be null anyhow.  And with the 'leaders' departing after Tuesday of this week, the format is clear: Big Empty Statements up front, followed by days of detailed and ultimately fruitless wrangling.  At least in Paris '15 (COP21) it was the other way around so that (in theory) the 'leaders' could knock heads together at the end and contrive a 'breakthrough' (on paper).

Transitioning, therefore, to a vaguely pertinent business story on the matter of 'leaders' doing 'deals' that must then be transacted by their hapless underlings.  We were a big player in the North Sea (oil & gas) and one day Pete the commercial director convened a small team: an excellent lawyer, a licensing specialist, an analyst and myself (negotiator).  Joe, our fairly dynamic Chairman (American, relatively new in the job, not strong on details) had lunched with his opposite number in another North Sea player (not at all new in the job, ought to have known better) and on their napkins they'd agreed a massive asset swap.  "All we had to do" was draw up the contracts.  So, Pete, what is the deal?  He suppressed all hint of sarcasm and faithfully recounted what had been agreed:  a mishmash of part-shares of producing assets, undeveloped discoveries, exploration acreage both prospective and fallow.

Stunned silence.  It was obvious to everyone in the room that the 'deal' couldn't be done: for one thing, it would breach our licence terms (itself an absolute killer) and for another, we'd need the approval of various joint venture partners, some of whom had pre-emption rights ...   Ladies and gents, we just have to get on with it.

Mercifully, we knew our working-level opposite numbers well, and of course they were in exactly the same bind.  With near 100% good will & cooperation, about two months later we came up with something that satisfied honour: the nearest approximation to the napkin-deal we could jointly muster.  In the meantime, I'd even taken up smoking again.  (To be fair, Joe - there you go, I knew it could be done! - and Pete were deeply appreciative of our efforts.)  

The differences between that set-up and COP are pretty clear.  Yup, a total lack of good will and cooperation!   Not much COP, then (sorry!).  Good luck to those sherpas ...

Your related business stories BTL, if you fancy.



Elby the Beserk said...

Larf? I nearly bust a gut...

£70k grant. WTFF?

"We claimed £70,000 in grants for a heat pump – but it still saved us NOTHING… and it’s so chilly our daughter keeps her coat on indoors"

NetZero is going to be one long disaster after another. Think NHS IT repeating itself endlessly. Think HS2 doing the same. Think Track & Trace doing the same.

They haven't got a bloody clue. God help us.

jim said...

Lord make me virtuous, but not yet.

If I were a politician I would mouth the words and do nothing much, climate is a PRQ for all but Greta et al. Too much aggravation and cost and largely a self solving problem. Talking heat pumps is just fine - but useless, just wind up the gas price and see what happens. For some the answer is more technology, for others thermal underwear and a frost scraper.

Just suppose the sea level does rise by say one metre by 2100 and continue rising. Surely the kindest thing to do is let population reduce and adjust. This is not all upside for the rich nations, things could get a bit fraught. But politicians will probably continue to do nothing much. By which time Greta and friends will probably hold more political power - but what to do will be just as difficult and expensive.

I am sure we will run out of affordable energy, materials extraction will become much more difficult, food production much more difficult. The problem will become self solving and COP jollies will go out of fashion.

Sobers said...

A friend of mine has a house heated by a ground source heat pump, it does work pretty well to be fair, the house is nice and warm and there's loads of hot water. But the house was a new build so contained all the current specified insulation, and the system was fully integrated into the build process, with underfloor heating throughout. And she has a massive garden where the huge coils of pipe could be buried. Even so she still has a wood burner and uses that regularly, and its not a big house, 2 bedrooms. And the tanks and pipework takes up a fair bit of space, about 5-6 cubic metres. And its about 10 years old now and is beginning to have problems. I'm not sure I'd want to have one fitted, even if I was building a house from scratch. Seems a complicated system that could well be prone to expensive problems if it goes wrong.

Matt said...

If a PPE graduate thinks it's a good idea - it won't be.

See all Green Initiatives the government (of any colour) comes up with.

dearieme said...

Heat pump house requires wood-burner? Brilliant - wood-burners emit actual, genuine pollution.

DJK said...

Plenty to mock and criticize at COP26. And yet, what else is the world to do?

Jim says "the kindest thing to do is let population reduce and adjust", by which I think he means that the coming mass starvation will even things out. Not my idea of kind.

Will COP26 achieve what the UN says is needed? Almost certainly not. Is it better to have COPs 1 to 26 than nothing at all? Probably, which is not to say I'm looking forward to all the coming expense and inconvenience.

Anonymous said...

"And its about 10 years old now and is beginning to have problems."

Worth noting that.

ALL these "solutions" are relentlessly hi-tech. They're all made in China (I guess), all contain electronics which will go wrong sooner rather than later, all will require software updates, all will have built-in obsolescence, and all, absolutely all, will be un-fixable by you or anyone else.

Personally I deplore this trend.

Elby the Beserk said...

My link above - they have a wood burner to keep warm.

We do too. Not worried about pollution as we are in the countryside, and we get cheap wood locally...

Two reports we have from friends of friends who have them is that they are not happy with them. Also seems if you have modern microbore copper pipes, those will have to be replaced, and you need a water heater as the max 50 degrees C of heat pumps allows legionella to thrive.

Somebody will make fortunes out of this.

Anonymous said...

Heat pumps are great if you have a big pond in your garden, fed by a moorland stream that never runs dry and is a torrent in winter, or if you have 300 yards of waterlogged ditch to put the pipes under. But that's not the average new build garden, which is about 20ft x 20ft.

I've said before, the Future Homes Standard has all the makings of a disaster.

Anonymous said...

(and alas the sort of house with big pond/moorland stream or 300 yard garden tend to be old, poorly insulated places which will have to be expensively ripped apart to retrofit underfloor heating)

Anonymous said...

China burns 54% of the world's coal. US burns 6.1%, Germany 1.8%, UK not in the top 10. And as we know, China is expanding coal power, not reducing it, as for example the US is (by 19% in a year).

So because China is burning all that coal, to make solar panels and steel wind turbine bases which they will sell to the West, we must eat bugs and live in pods, while the billionaire class have their own jets, a huge mansion in each of the several countries where they have passports, and scoff Chateaubriand washed down with champers.

Don Cox said...

To be fair to the Chinese, they are building nuclear power stations. But these require money and skills which are no more common in China than anywhere else.

Don Cox

dearieme said...

"And yet, what else is the world to do?" It need do next-to-nothing. Global Warming is a scam based on fiddled data and hopeless models.

Wait and see whether the fact that the weather now is (probably) a little milder than it was in 1880 is going to lead to a further mildening or is just going slowly to turn down again.

In the present interglacial, temperatures have been slowly falling since the Climate Optimum about 8,000 years ago, but with small ups and downs around the trend line. At some point the trend will end with the ice surging back. There's no reason yet to suppose it's imminent, but another "Little Ice Age" like the one that followed the Viking jaunts to Greenland might occur sooner. Nobody knows.

Rich Americans still spend lots of money on houses at the beach so you can be confident that they aren't really worried about rising sea levels. A tsunami from the Canary Islands, now: that might be a more real worry. Let's hope it reaches us at a neap low tide, eh?

E-K said...

I think old Charlie boy has delivered the Royals' Louis the XVI moment... at least it will be ... when the hair shirts for proles come out soon.

"Let them eat bugs."

Look. The Bible days are over - when oiks were encouraged to pay taxes and feel sorry for rich people in sermons.

Matt said...

As dearieme mentions, the rich are laughing at us.

The Obama's spent $12m on a waterside property in Martha's Vineyard. Clearly they are not worried about rising sea levels!

dearieme said...

Last month was unusually mild in England. Indeed it was the 16th warmest in the Central England Temperature Series, dating back to 1659.

Curiously though it was not even as warm as October 1921, a hundred years ago ...

In fact, as the YTD [year to date] temperatures stand at the moment, temperatures for January to October were a full half a degree higher in 1921 than this year

DJK said...

dearieme said: "Global Warming is a scam based on fiddled data and hopeless models."

Well it's not hard to find shouty people on the internet saying it's all a scam, and there are obvious problems in using models to predict into the future. And yet, nearly all of the serious, climate scientists in the world say that global warming is a real thing and we urgently need to do something now.

So I repeat, what are all the Ivy-Leaguers, Enarques, Oxford-PPEs etc. supposed to do when almost all recognized world experts are telling them to act now to avert catastrophe? They could put their fingers in their ears and shout "La, la, la, la..". And it may be that this strategy will work and the conspiracy theorists will be vindicated. But it would be a brave politician with a classics degree who dismissed all of the scientists. (Greta we can ignore.) Just maybe, the experts are right this once.

BlokeInBrum said...

Yes - but the biggest issue - that of a massive overpopulation was already in the process of being solved.

Reduce poverty.

All the nations that are first world wealthy have declining populations.

Bring those countries, China, Africa etc out of third world poverty through trade and technology so they no longer feel the need to bang out 10 kids each.

We were well on the road to doing that until the Global elite felt the need to `enrich` us.

Don Cox said...

"temperatures stand at the moment, temperatures for January to October were a full half a degree higher in 1921 than this year"

You can always find exceptional years. That's why you have to take the average over a period of ten, or preferably fifteen, years to detect climate changes.

Don Cox

BlokeInBrum said...

What if we take the average over a couple hundred years only to find out that we impoverished half the world for nothing? (other than virtue signalling)

Don Cox said...

As we are concerned about the change over the past couple of hundred years, the main use for an average over that period is to provide a baseline for graphs.

I don't see any sign that "we" are impoverishing half the world. Anyway, which half ? Most poverty in Africa and other areas is caused by incompetent and corrupt local governments, similar to those that we had in Britain during the middle ages.

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

What if the climate didn't change? Since it has been in flux for 4 and a half billion years - that would surely be a matter of concern.

Bill Quango MP said...

In the spirit of Cop 26, I pledge to completely insulate my home. Buy an electric car.. a heat pump. Solar panels and have my very own windmill to power the hydrogen maker, all by 2070.

(*note. Pledges made may not be binding. Refer to the Cops and Outs of the detailed 26 documentation. Published separately. In a few years time.)

Scrobs. said...

What so many of these air-heads don't understand, is that they'll be bearing the costs of all these ridiculous regulations in a few years time, not me (and - ahem - I might wager that several others here are of a similar youngness)!

My former generation, i.e. Mum and Dad, were coping with winning a war against another REAL tyranny, and didn't care to p**s about with rules for spurious things which were made up at the whim of an autistic kid from some unknown Swedish hick town; they had to work hard and fight to live!

The whole shebang is an awful waste of resources, time and energy, and only nutters at the BBC etc will make anything of it! I certainly don't give a t**s!

dearieme said...

"nearly all of the serious, climate scientists in the world say that global warming is a real thing and we urgently need to do something now."

Of course they bloody do; they all want to keep their jobs and advance their careers.

In the early days of the propaganda I read some of the papers - the authors were obviously rather dim by the standards of physical scientists but not obviously crooked. Once their claims got publicity the field filled up with crooks in no time.

Elby the Beserk said...

DJK said...
dearieme said: "Global Warming is a scam based on fiddled data and hopeless models."

Well it's not hard to find shouty people on the internet saying it's all a scam, and there are obvious problems in using models to predict into the future. And yet, nearly all of the serious, climate scientists in the world say that global warming is a real thing and we urgently need to do something now.

"Nearly all". You do realise that dissenters have NO media purchase? There are thousands of "It's not CO2" scientists out here, utterly ignored; this site has link after link(see right hand column) -

And here's the results of a search for "solar activity"

And here's one of many who says we are now cooling as a result of the deepest GSM since the LIA.

As with the three previous Interstadials, the planet has been cooling for some 7k or so years. During that time we have had warm periods, each one cooler than the preceding one. Oddly, rather than being a disaster, human civilisation has progress during the warm periods.

I recommend this article as an overview of climate change during the Holocene. And raised beached such as seen on some Hebridean islands show clearly we've had higher sea levels DURING the Holocene.

We've been suckered. It's the sun, stoopid, and we are now in a real world, unmodeled test of CO2 as a temperature dial.

"World's top climate scientists told to 'cover up' the fact that the Earth's temperature hasn't risen for the last 15 years Leaked United Nations report reveals the world's temperature hasn't risen for the last 15 years" (whilst CO2ppm has risen by c8%).

Need more links? Just let me know, I've been collecting them from some 15 year, when I became a sceptic? And what started that? Monbiot likening sceptics to Holocaust deniers, at which point I realised that this was not about science, rather an ideology.

Ike warned us about this, and lo, it came to pass.

"He also expressed his concomitant concern for corruption of the scientific process as part of this centralization of funding in the Federal government, and vice versa:

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.


The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.[1]"

Elby the Beserk said...

I should add that the venerable Mr. Steve McIntyre, who crocked Mann's Hockey Stick showing it to be bollocks (scientific term) and such bollocks that whatever you put into it, you got hockey sticks, was recently totally misrepresented in the BBC's recent Climategate reconstruction docodrama, "The Trick", is revisiting Climate gate at his website

This is one smart feller - one of the few Twitter feeds I follow

and here's the article I noted

Elby the Beserk said...

Oh and another thing, which is never mentioned by the climate cult.


"The Sun is more active now than over the last 8000 years
An international team of scientists has reconstructed the Sun's activity over the last 11 millennia and forecasts decreased activity within a few decades

OCTOBER 28, 2004
The activity of the Sun over the last 11,400 years, i.e., back to the end of the last ice age on Earth, has now for the first time been reconstructed quantitatively by an international group of researchers led by Sami K. Solanki from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany). The scientists have analyzed the radioactive isotopes in trees that lived thousands of years ago. As the scientists from Germany, Finland, and Switzerland report in the current issue of the science journal "Nature" from October 28, one needs to go back over 8,000 years in order to find a time when the Sun was, on average, as active as in the last 60 years. Based on a statistical study of earlier periods of increased solar activity, the researchers predict that the current level of high solar activity will probably continue only for a few more decades."

Solar activity in fact the lowest in 400 years...

Anonymous said...

Rishi offering to "rewire" the financial system.....

Does it need rewired for COP26?

Or are we about to see a new set of taxes to keep Rishi and friends spending OPM.