I know a number of engineers and scientists who are dismayed at our energy policy, which seems to be more focused on carbon dioxide reduction than in supplying the energy we need.
In the light of this, these graphs make interesting viewing.
SHALE GAS AND 'FRACKING'
The importance of shale gas and 'fracking' in the US is enormous. A large fraction of American gas is now made from shale, as shown in the graph.
President Obama has praised the industry in creating real (as opposed to subsidised) jobs.
It will not be long before gas is extracted from shale in the UK. There are large reserves in Lancashire, Sussex and elsewhere.
Think of the implications for the UK in the next few years, when one compares the price of electricity from shale gas with that from wind.
The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates the current cost of energy production (pence per Kilowatt hour) as
Gas Fired 2.2
On-shore Wind 5 to 7
Off-shore wind 15 to 21
The future for wind power does not look good; in fact without subsidies, it would not have a future.
In the last fifteen years, carbon dioxide has continued to rise, yet there has been no increase in mean global temperature, as shown by the graph above.
Increasing numbers of scientists are now saying publicly that carbon dioxide is not a driver of climate. There is no evidence for it. None.
Nevertheless government has not kept up with (or is not interested in) the science, and 'carbon mitigation' plans continue. Even my local church has to have an 'energy audit' in the name of climate change. The church committee regards this as something of a joke.
They wouldn't be joking if they knew what it cost.
Policy is that thousands more turbines are going to be built, most of them offshore. Planning applications are being submitted, all over the country, for more wind farms, and about 70% of them get passed.
So to summarise: in order to 'limit global warming' we are attempting to limit carbon dioxide (which has no effect on climate anyway) by paying 15-21p a unit for offshore wind power when gas can supply it more reliably at 2.2p.