HS2

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IvanV
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Re: HS2

Post by IvanV » Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:00 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:59 pm
I can't, off the top of my head, think of many case studies where things that contribute to climate change have been outright banned (because of their carbon contributions).

If anyone would like to suggest an example, I'll happily look into the likely carbon consequences.
Incandescent light bulbs. Fluorescents to follow. In the EU, this is, not globally. As is well known, coal is banned for power generation in Brtain from 2025, and this has resulted in a rapid exit of coal generators from the system, as they close rather than do major maintenance.

In many cases it is hard to just ban things. The main technique has been to require improvements in energy efficiency. This can be done at the individual equipment level, like white goods. Or industry level, like cars. The proposed regulations to force people to make efficiency improvements to their houses are rather controversial. Similarly proposals to ban the sale of domestic gas boilers in the near future.

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Re: HS2

Post by Grumble » Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:57 pm

IvanV wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:00 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:59 pm
I can't, off the top of my head, think of many case studies where things that contribute to climate change have been outright banned (because of their carbon contributions).

If anyone would like to suggest an example, I'll happily look into the likely carbon consequences.
Incandescent light bulbs. Fluorescents to follow. In the EU, this is, not globally. As is well known, coal is banned for power generation in Brtain from 2025, and this has resulted in a rapid exit of coal generators from the system, as they close rather than do major maintenance.

In many cases it is hard to just ban things. The main technique has been to require improvements in energy efficiency. This can be done at the individual equipment level, like white goods. Or industry level, like cars. The proposed regulations to force people to make efficiency improvements to their houses are rather controversial. Similarly proposals to ban the sale of domestic gas boilers in the near future.
Ban coming for petrol and diesel engined cars.
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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:16 am

In both those examples there are excellent alternatives. Worth remembering Boaf was suggesting banning domestic flights without investing in high speed rail.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: HS2

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:14 am

Well, "at the same time as investing in high-speed rail, but before it's operational" is more accurate.

Short-haul internal flights within a smallish island should be about the easiest flights to sacrifice by 2030, especially now that surface transport to the continent has additional delays.

All I'm really saying is that HS2 doesn't count as a "green" project without additional bits of legislation which currently don't exist, and - as you suggest - are unlikely to in the future.
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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:19 am

no projects do. however the uk’s transport carbon wedge definitely won’t be addressed unless there’s a significant increase in rail use. chicken & egg, or perfect being the enemy of good? you decide.

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Re: HS2

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:32 am

I suppose the environmental arguments around HS2 boil down to this.

Biodiversity wise, it's just bad, due to the direct net loss of both habitat area and, more importantly, connectivity. Not the worst thing happening in the UK or the world by any means, but opportunities to offset the damage or create something that's genuinely a net positive have been deliberately avoided.

Carbon wise, it definitely undermines the 2030 target - as well as the habitat loss (including the use of grasslands to plant forestry plantations, which won't replace the carbon stocks of grassland for decades if ever), there's the huge amount of concrete used in construction and it won't be operational by then anyway. It almost certainly won't have mopped those emissions up by the 2050 target either - it needs a lot of people to move from flights and fossil-powered cars, so carbon neutrality depends on grid decarbonisation (which is happening, but slowly) and continued growth in commuting (which may not happen), alongside a slow uptake of electric cars and buses (and at least on this front government inaction seems to be in HS2's favour). So overall HS2 may never become carbon neutral over it's 120 year life.

The range of scenarios under which it might contribute to the UK's Paris commitments seems very narrow indeed, but while there are legitimate criticisms of the carbon modelling used by HS2 Ltd. themselves I've not been able to find any other studies using a more plausible, nor "best-case-scenario", set of assumptions.
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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:18 am


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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:09 am

Yeah, the DfT is f.cking woeful on this. TBH I thought it'd been news for some time. After everything that's happened, a serious cash injection into infrastructure projects would be the obvious thing to do, but the government is economically illiterate.
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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:45 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:09 am
Yeah, the DfT is f.cking woeful on this. TBH I thought it'd been news for some time. After everything that's happened, a serious cash injection into infrastructure projects would be the obvious thing to do, but the government is economically illiterate.
The benefits of HS2 are rapidly being reduced to "20 mins quicker to get to London" as well. No network-wide capacity increase, no point in doing it.

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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:22 pm

A thread, from some environmentalists: https://twitter.com/Greens4HS2/status/1 ... 0910453761

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Re: HS2

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:29 pm

Hopefully the delay will give them time to sort out decent habitat minimisation, mitigation and compensation properly. NGOs are quite happy to get back round the table for the next phases if HS2 Ltd. start taking things seriously.
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Re: HS2

Post by Trinucleus » Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:29 pm

Ah, part of the levelling up agenda, denying the north any benefits of the scheme. Every election, they promise to electrify the existing routes, then renege on it a couple of years later

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Re: HS2

Post by plodder » Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:31 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:29 pm
Hopefully the delay will give them time to sort out decent habitat minimisation, mitigation and compensation properly. NGOs are quite happy to get back round the table for the next phases if HS2 Ltd. start taking things seriously.
They are hamstrung by the DfT who hold the purse strings. All sorts of lovely things, like dedicated cycle routes etc, were descoped. Natural England have signed off on it, so they're not breaking the law. It is what it is, which is still sh.t loads better than the alternatives going on at Highways England. Focus your attention on those causing the most harm, not the least.

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Re: HS2

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:36 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:31 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:29 pm
Hopefully the delay will give them time to sort out decent habitat minimisation, mitigation and compensation properly. NGOs are quite happy to get back round the table for the next phases if HS2 Ltd. start taking things seriously.
They are hamstrung by the DfT who hold the purse strings. All sorts of lovely things, like dedicated cycle routes etc, were descoped. Natural England have signed off on it, so they're not breaking the law. It is what it is, which is still sh.t loads better than the alternatives going on at Highways England. Focus your attention on those causing the most harm, not the least.
That's the real problem here. Green infrastructure should be doing more than meeting the bare minimum required by an underfunded, politically interfered-with regulator.

On paper, Highways England national-level commitments look more ambitious than those of HS2, for instance delivering net gain for biodiversity rather than HS2's net loss. The devil will be in the details of individual local schemes, overseen by county ecologists (with even less budget and even more interference), which makes it much harder to target a national campaign against. Is there any national-level assessment of impacts from HE schemes?

But I don't think it's unfair to expect HS2 to at least pretend to try to have as little impact on habitats as road-building. Which means NE f.cked up or were overruled.


As for me personally, I'm fairly happy to trust that the entire conservation sector of the UK knows more about conservation than either of us, and they (one Twitter account notwithstanding) are unanimous in opposing the details of the current scheme. I'm focusing my own energy on a project worse than both (an airport in an SPA wetland), and leaving the UK to sort its own sh.t out (or not as the case will probably be).
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Re: HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Jul 26, 2021 10:14 am

I think both of you should probably just have some cut & paste responses you post at regular intervals tbh
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Re: HS2

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Jul 26, 2021 8:45 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 10:14 am
I think both of you should probably just have some cut & paste responses you post at regular intervals tbh
Yes, I got a sense of déjà vu writing that.
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Re: HS2

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:11 pm

I read Simon Jenkins' latest turd on a keyboard so you don't have to. Nothing new.
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Re: HS2

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:13 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:11 pm
I read Simon Jenkins' latest turd on a keyboard so you don't have to. Nothing new.
Your comment intrigued me, so I googled it and read it. Thanks.

The apparent cancellation of the northern section is new, though - or do you reckon it'll be back on the cards at some point? The case does seem a bit weaker if it stops at Birmingham.
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Re: HS2

Post by basementer » Sat Jul 31, 2021 6:11 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:13 pm
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:11 pm
I read Simon Jenkins' latest turd on a keyboard so you don't have to. Nothing new.
The apparent cancellation of the northern section is new, though - or do you reckon it'll be back on the cards at some point?
plodder and EPD have already mentioned that upthread.
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