Four hundred year-old “Table Talk”.

8th Oct 2018


Government advisors do just that, give advice. They don’t make the law; they aren’t always right (however well-meaning they are) and they aren’t accountable to the public. They sometimes need reminding of these facts.

So turning to the Committee on Climate Change, I’m told they are about to publish their views on hydrogen as a future fuel allowing us to decarbonise difficult areas like heat and transport. I fear they will be lukewarm at best (bit like a heat pump really) and start to sow doubts about any alternative to their fixed view of all-electric solutions.

Now I’m firmly in the camp that subscribes to the Keynesian view, “When the facts change, so do my opinions. What do you do?” And the facts have changed around the capacity of electricity to decarbonise heat and transport affordably guaranteeing security of supply. The all-electric scenario is seen by most pragmatists as failing to tackle the energy trilemma. But I fear the CCC will stick to their outdated advice.

So back to the ‘Table Talk’. In 1694, John Seldon wrote scathingly of “preachers who say, do as I say not as I do’. So are the CCC the modern-day equivalents? Do the senior figures actually have EVs? Do they only use electricity for heat? We know the answer to be no.

So, can I respectfully suggest, that when they replace gas or oil central heating for electric, paid for out of their own pockets of course. When they can show the costs of doing so, for transparency of course. When after a couple of years, they can honestly say their quality of life has not been harmed; that they have all the heat and hot water they need. Then and only then, are they in a position of telling us mortals what is good for us.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CE