I watched a BBC4 programme, ‘The Secret Life of Chaos’ on Monday 22nd August, and two messages came out of that programme, firstly that chaotic systems have one thing in common, they all have positive feedback, secondly the statement that ‘with total scientific certainty it can be stated that the one thing we cannot do is predict the future’.
The carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere does not account for the measured rise in temperature without very high feedback attributed to the increase in water vapour. This would suggest that global climate is very probably chaotic and hence cannot be predicted, an observation which is confirmed by the fact that historically the Earths temperature has never been constant and no mathematical model has accounted for its variations.
This means that we cannot predict the future of the Earth’s climate no matter how good our mathematical model and we can discard the IPCC’s climate predictions.
This does not mean that we should not work towards sustainable energy systems, but we are being rushed into adopting immature methods of power generation. In particular we are building large numbers of wind turbines because, with the exception of hydro power, they are the only mature method of generation to generate competitively priced power. Like most other renewable energy sources they suffer from two major drawbacks, firstly they are mainly remotely sited well away from grid connections and secondly they do not generate on demand. The difficulty of remoteness leads to miles of transmission systems over some of our most beautiful areas and the unpredictability of generation means that if more than about 30% of our electricity were generated in this way the grid would no longer be able to cope with the generation variability.
If no means of storing electricity is found, I believe that we will be forced into the hydrogen economy, which solves both these problems and it is towards such long term goals that we should be focussing our attention, rather than squandering our resources in carbon credits and other expensive short term measures which load our industry with unnecessary expense.