Officials in the Treasury and the business department are looking for a way to abandon the national goal of getting 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, which is almost double the current level, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
Erasing the target would allow Britain to skirt fines that could reach tens of millions of pounds since it’s on track to narrowly miss the 2020 goal. It would also move the U.K. out of step with other European Union nations that maintain targets as part of their membership in the region’s energy market. The U.K. wishes to preserve its link to the market and smooth cross-border trading of electricity, which has helped lower power prices, the person said.
Let’s translate that into English, shall we?
Under its current status as an EU vassal state, Britain is committed to suicidal, unaffordable “clean” energy targets based on the green religious prejudices and junk-science-driven scaremongering of unelected, unaccountable, borderline-Commie technocrats in Brussels.
These targets were made law by the 2008 Climate Change Act, drafted with the help of a left-wing activist from Friends of the Earth Bryony – now Baroness (!) – Worthington, supervised by the dim eco-zealot and unpopular Labour leader Ed Miliband during his stint as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. This will cost the UK taxpayer, by 2030, around £300 billion – while making no measurable difference to the planet’s climate.
I just watched Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, get eaten alive by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.
Not only was it an ugly and painful sight but it was also a very dispiriting one.
Here is the guy who was carefully selected to be in the vanguard of President Trump’s war on the Green Blob which, for decades, has been doing untold damage to liberty, the scientific method, and the economy.
And he can’t even answer a few basic and obvious questions about why the job he is doing is necessary, important, and right.
Wallace asked him about the UN’s view that it was 95 percent likely that more than half the temperature increase since the mid-20th century is due to human activity.
Pruitt sweated, stuttered, and floundered.
Wallace asked him about NOAA’s claim that 2015 and 2016 are the hottest years on record.
Pruitt had no convincing comeback.
Wallace asked him the age-old question beloved by climate alarmists: “What if you’re wrong? What if CO2 is causing dramatic climate change and we as humans are responsible?”
Pruitt just didn’t know how to respond.
There should have been nothing complicated or unexpected about these questions. They are the kind of thing any half-way decent interviewer might have asked, be he a hostile one or a semi-friendly Fox News one playing devil’s advocate.
And if Scott Pruitt had had even the most cursory briefing and media training in his new role, he should have been prepared for them.
Not only should he have known the most effective answers to give; but he should have been so confident in the rightness and truth of his cause that he should have been able to seize the moment and make the points that really need to be made about President Trump’s environmental policy: that it is being enacted for the good of science, for the good of the economy and the core mission of Making America Great Again.
How could Scott Pruitt not do this?
Any one of us on the skeptical side of the argument could have pointed him to dozens of leading scientists — and hundreds if not thousands of papers and articles — that could easily have enabled Pruitt to say what needed to be said.
He could have noted the incompetence, corruption, and mendacity of the heavily politicized IPCC; the dishonest manipulation by organizations like NOAA — indeed especially NOAA — of the raw temperature data; the utter meaninglessness of the “hottest year evah” claims so often made in the liberal media.
And he could easily have batted off the “What if you’re wrong?” question by making perhaps the most important point of all that needs to be made about the “war” on “carbon”: that what it all comes down to is cost benefit analysis. To whit: the trillions of dollars being spent every year on the possibility that there might be a problem, a) could be spent much more usefully elsewhere and b) are doing more harm than good.
Pruitt was incapable of doing this though because, trained lawyer though he is, he is simply not on top of his brief.
Yesterday I asked of lying liar climate ‘scientist’ Michael Mann: “Does anyone take this guy seriously any more?”
But the question was a purely rhetorical one. I already knew the depressing true answer having just sat, fuming, in my car listening to Mann being given the red carpet treatment on a BBC Radio 4 science programme.
“Oh Professor Doctor Mann, Sir, may it please your eminence to descend from your radiant cloud for a few precious moments and explain to us mere mortals why your amazing and unquestionably brilliant new paper on global warming demonstrates you to be even more right about climate change than you were even in the days when you won your Nobel prize?” fawned and grovelled the BBC’s interviewer from his prostrate position on the studio floor.
Perhaps I exaggerate slightly.
But it would be fair to say that the BBC’s interviewer, Adam Rutherford, sought to leave the listener in no doubt that when it came to climate science the “Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science” Michael Mann was a respected expert of great insight whose opinions one could totally trust.
Apart from being a tetchy, hotheaded, rude, bullying, cackhanded, ignorant, malevolent and embarrassingly useless excuse for a scientist, Professor Michael Mann – the guy behind the serially-discredited Hockey Stick – is also the most outrageous liar.
Mann used often to claim that he was a Nobel Prizewinner – till someone unhelpfully pointed out that he was but one of hundreds of scientists who contributed to Assessment Reports by the IPCC (which did win the Nobel Prize in 2007)
Given how litigious the mendacious, bloviating poltroon can be – he’s currently engaged in at least two defamation suits: one against Tim Ball, the other against Mark Steyn – I obviously have to tread very carefully here.
So I’d just like to say, as delicately and politely as I can to the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University:
President Trump’s attempts to drain the swamp are being undermined by one of his key administrators.
Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is more interested in building his political career than he is taking on the Green Blob, insiders report.
Pruitt is also said to be behind attempts to remove at least one of the key phrases from the president’s long-awaited Executive Order on the environment.
It concerns a proposal to repeal the EPA’s Endangerment Finding on CO2 (the disastrous, unscientific, job-killing ruling introduced during the Obama Administration, which rebranded the harmless trace gas Carbon Dioxide as a dangerous substance).
If Pruitt is successful and this clause is removed from the Executive Order it will represent a major setback for President Trump’s war with the Climate Industrial Complex. It may also put into jeopardy the promises Trump made on the campaign trail to scrap “any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest.”
“This is the president’s one shot at winning this battle,” an ally in the EPA camp warns. “It’s like the French heavy cavalry at Agincourt: lose momentum and he’s going to get stuck in the mud being shot to pieces by the English longbows.”
To understand the background to this story, you need to know who Scott Pruitt is and how he landed such a key job. The dismantling of the EPA, after all, is a core part of Trump’s swamp-draining program — so clearly it mattered greatly that the Administrator’s position should go to a capable, determined figure.
Today is Earth Hour and as usual I shall be lighting a candle – several, actually; plus turning my Rayburn up to eleven; plus turning on all the house lights; plus lighting the patio heaters; plus starting my Landrover and leaving its diesel engine to idle outside in the drive; plus switching on the immersion heater; plus running several hot baths – in tribute to the world’s climate heroes.
I refer, of course, to the tiny, elite fellowship of scientists, economists, politicians, journalists and bloggers who have bravely taken the right side of the climate argument and spoken up for truth, integrity and the scientific method in defiance of the vast and terrifying propaganda behemoth they call the Green Blob.
Many of them were present at the annual Heartland Institute Climate Conference in Washington DC this week. I was sorry not to have been able to make it there myself this year because these people have become my friends. Shared adversity does that for you: everyone from our elder statesman Fred Singer downwards has been brutally vilified, traduced, mocked and monstered by the Servants of the Green Blob over the years – because when the evidence isn’t on your side (as it hasn’t been for a long time where the alarmist cause is concerned), blustering appeals to authority, affectedly high-minded ridicule and below-the-belt cheap shots are pretty much the only weapons left to you.
My sceptical filmmaking friends Phelim McAleer and Anne McElhinney once made a movie exposing the nonsense of the greenies. It was called Not Evil Just Wrong. In my view this was a misnomer. It should have been called: Wrong – And Totally Bloody Evil Too.
There many reasons why the alarmist establishment – the Climate Industrial Complex as Myron Ebell calls it – is so totally loathsomely evil. If I had to list them all this would be longer than War & Peace.
One is that they’re such hypocrites: if you really cared about the environment in the way these fascistic loons claim they do, then you’d be vigorously opposing renewable energy (such as the bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes defacing our landscape and slicing and dicing our avian fauna) and instead going all out for fossil fuels.
This was a point often made in the Heartland panel discussions – which you can catch up with here .
In the one on Sustainability – Panel 5A – independent scientist Indur Goklany pointed out that without fossil fuels we wouldn’t have the fertilizer we need to make our agricultural land so productive. This in turn would mean we wouldn’t be able to leave nearly so much space free as fallow land, as nature reserves or as wilderness.
You’d think the Greenies would get this fairly basic scientific point – given how much they’re always banging on about “the science” – but they never do because, as I argued in my book Watermelons, their commitment to environmentalism owes much more to quasi-religious ideology, to straightforward greed and to anti-free-market control-freakery than it does to a genuine love of nature.
Then there’s the hatred. Pretty much everyone speaking at the Heartland Institute will have suffered personally for speaking out against the Great Global Warming Scare. Willie Soon‘s travails are typical. It’s why only the brave – or the elderly, who have nothing to lose – who speak out.
The same applies, of course, to all the other professions which dare to confront the climate “consensus”. I wrote in my book, for example, about how popular British TV presenters David Bellamy and Johnny Ball both effectively had their careers destroyed when they took the “wrong side” on global warming.
Journalists get it in the neck too, of course.
Let me close by treating you to some examples of the kind of hate I got recently simply for pointing out that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef isn’t actually being wiped out by man-made global warming. Sure, it has experienced some serious bleaching in some parts – probably the result of the recent El Nino – but not nearly on the scale that has been claimed by politically- and financially-motivated climate alarmists. And it will recover, just like reefs always do and have done for millennia, sometimes in warming far more extreme than anything we have experienced today.
Climate change caused Brexit, Al Gore has claimed.
Gore, who was speaking at an event to promote his latest global warming propaganda documentary – An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power – said the Brexit vote in Britain last summer was the result of “political instability” created by the “stress” caused by climate-change induced chaos in the Middle East.
It all began in Syria, Gore explained, unchallenged by a fawning interviewer from the film magazine Empire.
“One of the lines of investigation [scientists] have been pursuing has led them to the conclusion that significant areas of the Middle East and North Africa are in danger of becoming uninhabitable
“And, just a taste of this, to link it to some of the events that the UK and European Union are going through – think for a moment about what happened in Syria.
“Before the gates of hell opened in Syria, what happened was a climate-related extreme drought.
“From 2006 to 2010, 60 per cent of the farms in Syria were destroyed… and 80 per cent of the livestock were killed. The drought in the eastern Mediterranean is the worst ever on record – the records only go back 900 years, but it’s historic.
“And 1.5 million climate refugees were driven into the cities in Syria, where they collided with refugees from the Iraq War.
“Wikileaks revealed the internal conversations in the Syrian government where they were saying to one another ‘we can’t handle this, there’s going to be a social explosion’. There are other causes of the Syrian civil war, but this was the principal one.”
This, Gore went on to explain, led to an “incredible flow of refugees into Europe, which is creating political instability and which contributed in some ways to the desire of some in the UK to say ‘whoa, we’re not sure we want to be part of that anymore’”.
Whenever I’m trying to work out what I really think about another terrorist incident involving the Religion of Peace, the first place I always turn to is the BBC.
Whatever the BBC says I know for certain that the right view to take is the exact opposite.
And so it was last night on BBC News. A policeman had been stabbed to death; three passers-by had been deliberately mown down by a car on London’s Westminster Bridge, and another 29 injured, some very seriously. Clearly, this was yet another Islamic-State-inspired terrorist attack whose main aim was to inflict as much carnage as possible to as many innocent victims as possible until the perpetrator got shot.
Or so you might have thought, till you watched the BBC, which knew exactly what the real story was. Apparently, the tragedy of those dead and injured people, including at least one mother and several schoolchildren, was a relatively minor detail…
No, what the story was really about was that it was an assault on the heart of parliamentary democracy, a narrowly averted disaster which could have seen an actual MP get hurt and which, almost worst of all, meant that MPs and parliamentary staff and reporters and other inhabitants of the Westminster Bubble including the BBC’s own Laura Kuenssberg were forcibly cooped up inside the Parliament buildings for a few hours.
We knew this because one of the lead sections of the BBC’s coverage comprised amateurish footage that had been shot of Kuenssberg looking confused and trapped, wondering what was going outside. She was shown asking some other people trapped with her what was going on. They didn’t know, either.
But we did. That’s because by the time the news bulletin was broadcast at 10pm – seven hours after the incident – the story had moved on. We knew about the dead policeman. About the woman who’d jumped off the bridge into the river. About the poor chap who’d jumped over the parapet and fell 18 feet onto concrete. About the bearded assailant who’d died of his injuries not long after being shot by plain clothes police.
All of this was far more compelling and important and dramatic than anything Laura Kuenssberg might have experienced, hours earlier, during her unfortunate moment of temporary inconvenience under lockdown.
You could argue that this was simply a case of poor editorial judgement. Kuenssberg is, for better or worse, one of the BBC’s star reporters. Perhaps some cowed editor felt that her geographical proximity to the story – even though she hadn’t witnessed it or been able to do any useful reporting on it – justified giving her such prominence.
A policeman is stabbed to death right outside the Houses of Parliament: one of the most secure, heavily guarded areas, with more armed police on stand-by than anywhere in London.
Whoever the terrorist turns out to be he knew exactly what he was doing. The signal he sent out to the British people (and all the tourists who have ever visited Britain or are planning to visit Britain) was a very clear one: if we can get you here we can get you anywhere.
The killings happened beneath one of the world’s most famous landmarks: the tower of Big Ben overlooking Westminster Bridge and Parliament Square.
How many of us have not walked beneath it and mused nervously what a prime terrorist target it would be?
Then, probably, we will have corrected ourselves: “No, they’d never try it here. Too many police. Too obvious.”
Well, sorry. But they just did.
And now, as per usual on these occasions, the bien-pensant twonks on Twitter are seizing the opportunity to virtue-signal and dodge the issue by pretending it’s all about something else and nothing to do with the Religion of Peace (TM).