If you’re going to talk shit, talk impressive shit

J.D: You, my friend, have just been story-topped!

If you’re trying to impress people in a new job, and at a time when it’s difficult for people in horse-shit to get press time when the grown-ups are busy with real things, there are a couple of options.

One, you could be sensible, realistic and get grounded in said new job. Then, once you know what you’re talking about, you could come out with a comprehensive and realistic strategy and/or target.

Or, two, you could do what Ed Milliband has done: the exact opposite.

The government has committed the UK to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the middle of this century.

Climate Change and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said the current 60% target would be replaced by a higher goal.

An 80% drop in carbon emissions? Perhaps by closing all power stations, stopping all personal transportation and outlawing electricity you’d have a hope of getting there. But, in this here real world, that isn’t going to happen. And Milliband the younger must know that. Of course, the 60% target was also horseshit, and he’d have known that. So he’s obviously just story-topping to get his gob in the papers, knowing that he’ll be long gone by the time anyone comes to judge. He’ll be able to point to his leadership early on, and then say that it’s not his fault that people couldn’t match up to his lofty targets.

But hey, maybe if everyone started using wind – like in the fabulous planned London Array, then those targets could be met.

The Array is expected to begin coming on line from 2012, and will provide as much as one thousandth of the UK’s present energy needs when it reaches full capacity. The government and the project’s backers prefer to say that it will generate “enough power for three-quarters of a million homes”.

They’d need to be very dark, cold homes full of smelly people wearing dirty clothes and eating their food raw. An average UK household uses 22,795 kilowatt hours a year as of 2001: thus 750,000 such homes would require more than 17,000 gigawatt-hours annually. But the Array will produce only 3,100 gigawatt-hours. (PDF, page 3. The old renewables fudge of only considering electricity consumption – and forgetting about the more significant gas or heating oil – has been used.)

So perhaps Mr Milliband has done his sums, and thinks that the target is obtainable. And, if that’s the case, he’s more than happy to send us all back into the dark ages to do it.


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