Why a Big Oil Row Tells Us It’s Time to Stop Fetishising Experts

Something extraordinary and largely unreported has just happened in a court in San Francisco. A federal judge has said that there is no Big Oil conspiracy to conceal the truth about climate change. In fact, Judge William Alsup — a Clinton appointment, so he can hardly be accused of right-wing bias — was really quite snarky with the plaintiffs who claimed there was such a conspiracy.

The case was brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, which have taken it upon themselves to sue the five big western oil majors — Chevron, ExxonMobil, Conoco-Phillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell — for allegedly engaging in a Big Tobacco-style cover-up to conceal the harm of their products. Apparently Big Oil knew about the dangers of man-made global warming but went on drilling anyway. So now the two Californian cities are trying to claim billions of dollars in damages to compensate them for all the walls and dykes and so on they’ll have to build to cope with rising sea levels.

Nice try. But so far Judge Alsup hasn’t been impressed. He said he had been expecting the plaintiffs to reveal ‘a conspiratorial document’ which proved that the defendants ‘knew good and well that global warming was right around the corner.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

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James Lovelock on Voting Brexit, ‘Wicked’ Renewables and Why He Changed His Mind on Climate Change

LovelockThe cures being advanced on green zealots are often worse than the disease itself, warns the pioneering environmentalist.

Environmentalism has gone too far; renewable energy is a disaster; scares about pesticides and chemicals are horribly overdone; no, the planet is not going to end any time soon; and, by the way, the answer is nuclear…

This isn’t me speaking, but the views of an environmentalist so learned, distinguished and influential you could call him the Godfather of Green. His name is James Lovelock, the maverick independent scientist perhaps best known for positing the theory that our planet is an interconnected, self-regulating organism called Gaia.

Not ‘Sir’ James Lovelock, I was mildly surprised to discover when I met him at his Dorset home, perched idyllically just behind Chesil Beach. ‘But I am a CH,’ he says, meaning Companion of Honour. ‘There are only 65 of them,’ chips in Lovelock’s American wife Sandy. ‘Yes, but I have to share the honour with Shirley Williams, which dilutes it somewhat — you know, comprehensive education,’ says Lovelock. ‘You’re not supposed to say that!’chides Sandy, clearly amused.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

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The Great Diesel Disaster Shows How Badly Wrong-Headed Environmentalism Can Harm the Planet

No one has claimed responsibility for the Great Diesel Car Scandal and almost certainly no heads will roll

Who do you think was responsible for Europe’s biggest environmental disaster of the past three decades; one that caused more widespread damage and killed more people than even the nuclear accident at Chernobyl?

Was it a) greedy and selfish capitalists, probably linked to Big Oil, riding roughshod over the stringent health and safety regulations our wise, caring politicians have designed to protect us and our natural environment?

Or b) an alliance of fluffy green activists, campaigning journalists and virtue-signalling politicians, united on a noble mission to save the planet from the greatest environmental threat it has ever known?

If you guessed b) then you may appreciate why we climate sceptics are experiencing such schadenfreude right now. For years we’ve been vilified by the powerful green lobby as nature–loathing, anti-science ‘deniers’ in the pay of sinister interests. Now it turns out that the real bad guys (as some of us have been saying all along) are those worthy greenies.

I’m talking about the Great Diesel Car Scandal, which has exacerbated all manner of illnesses from asthma, autism and dementia to respiratory problems, heart disease and cancer, driven city air pollution to levels sometimes higher than Beijing’s, and caused tens of thousands of premature deaths across the EU.

No one has claimed responsibility for it and almost certainly no heads will roll. But this was an avoidable, completely man-made disaster: the consequence of a state-orchestrated, tax-incentivised, EU-wide drive from the early 1990s onwards to replace petrol car engines with diesel ones, organised in the belief that it would reduce CO2 levels and thus help spare the planet from the horrors of man-made global warming.

And so it has. One expert calculation says Europe’s mass switch to diesel means that in the next half century, global warming may be as much as four thousandths of a degree Celsius less.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

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NASA to Stop Shilling for Big Green, Restart Exploring Space…

NASA said its International Space Station partners, which include Canada, Japan, and the European Space Agency, are aware of a Moscow proposal to cut the number of Russian cosmonauts at the ISS from three to two
AFP

“And would sir like a regular or large fries, with that? And how about a McFlurry?”

I do hope that Gavin “Toast” Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), followed the advice I gave him a few months back. Because it now looks very much as if he and many of his colleagues are about to face exciting new job opportunities, hopefully in areas best suited to their talents, such as the challenging world of fast-food retail.

Yes, as we predicted, NASA is going to be stripped of the two main roles it enjoyed under the Obama administration – Muslim outreach and green propaganda – and return to its original day (and night) job as an agency dedicated to space exploration.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation recently cutting funding for NASA’s global warming research.

The House is expected to pass the bill, and President Trump will likely sign it. Supporters say it “re-balances” NASA’s budget back toward space exploration and away from global warming and earth science research. Republicans plan to end the more than $2 billion NASA spends on its Earth Science Mission Directorate.

“By rebalancing, I’d like for more funds to go into space exploration; we’re not going to zero out earth sciences,” Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, told E&E News. “I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that.”

Before we shed too many tears for the plight of Gavin Schmidt and the rest of his global warming research team, though, let’s just pause to reflect on how much damage they have done to the cause of honest science over the years and what eye-wateringly vast quantities of our money they have wasted.

A good place to start is this excellent piece by Steve Goddard, entitled The Pause Is Real: NASA Temperatures Aren’t.

Here is the damning chart that says it all:

Screen-Shot-2017-02-18-at-6.34.24-AM

How did a supposedly respectable government agency get away with such blatant fraud?

Well, one answer is that it was encouraged to do so by the US government which paid its Earth Science research division $2 billion a year, while giving only $781.5 million and $826.7 million to its astrophysics and space technology divisions. Obama wanted “global warming” to be real and dangerous: and – lo! – thanks to the magic of his crack prestidigitators at NASA, NOAA and the rest, it was.

But the longer answer is that this is what happens when green ideologues are allowed to infiltrate and hijack government institutions. As we’ve reported before, NASA has been caught out fiddling temperature data on “an unbelievable scale”. So too has NOAA. That’s because their global warming departments are mostly run by true believers – scientists who want to show the world that global warming is a major threat in urgent need of more grant funding, regardless of what the actual temperature data shows. Hence the many, many adjustments.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Wind Industry Big Lies no. 1: Fossil Fuels Are More ‘Subsidised’ Than Renewables

Barry “Dork Brain” Gardiner

Is Labour MP Barry Gardiner vilely dishonest or just incredibly stupid? Personally since he appears to be a litigious sort of fellow I’m plumping for the latter. That’s why, I think it’s quite possible that when he was at his public school Haileybury his nickname was “Dork Brain.” (Though I have no more evidence for this than Gardiner does for most of his hysterical views on climate change)

But I leave you to draw your own conclusions after his recent claim, in an interview with Energy Live news, that the Coalition is favouring fossil fuel energy over wind energy through generous subsidies. (H/T Bishop Hill)

Here’s what Gardiner said:

He claimed the third [lie behind government energy policy] is that Government is “neutral” and doesn’t pick favourites in energy: “Last year the OECD announced that in 2010 the UK subsidised fossil fuels by £3.6 billion. In last year’s budget, the Chancellor announced a further £65million to oil and gas in 2011… In contrast the total subsidy paid to onshore wind in 2010 was just £400million.”

As Bishop Hill notes, he made the same claim in August in the New Statesman:

Last year, the OECD estimated that in 2010 the subsidies for coal, gas and petrol in the UK amounted to £3.6bn on top of which the Chancellor, in the 2012 budget, has announced further exploration and production subsidies of £65m to develop the West of Shetland fields.

So it must be true, right? Not only is Gardiner an elected member of parliament but he’s Ed Miliband’s Special Envoy For Climate Change and the Environment, and also Vice President of (the environmental movement’s sinister taxpayer-funded answer to SPECTRE) Globe International. A man with such important and influential public positions wouldn’t be in the business of telling whopping great porkies, now, would he?

Well, whether Gardiner is lying or thick as pig poo he is most certainly mistaken. Let’s examine his claim more closely in order to spare him and those like him the embarrassment of disseminating false information again.

The claim seems to have begun life in this OECD report, characteristically misrepresented by the Guardian’s Ubergruppenklimatischewahnsinnigefuhrer Damian Carrington in a piece titled Wind power still gets lower public subsidies than fossil fuel tax breaks. It claimed:

Gas, oil and coal prices were subsidised by £3.63bn in 2010, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development , whereas offshore and onshore wind received £0.7bn in the year from April 2010.

This was at best a tendentious stretching of the truth unworthy of a serious newspaper. (If you believe the Guardian deserves such a title). At worst, it’s pure political activism. In fact, as Bishop Hill notes, the “subsidies” claimed by Carrington and Gardiner weren’t subsidies at all.

The OECD paper does not mention subsidies of £3.6bn. That figure refers to the value of the reduced rate of VAT on energy. This does not meet the definition of a subsidy, which involves a cash payment. And since it applies to all kinds of energy it cannot be a “fossil fuel” subsidy either, so Gardiner’s claim about picking favourites is patently false.

His claim about the further £65m for oil and gas is not a subsidy either, being a reduction in a supertax (the Supplementary Charge) which is paid by oil companies but not by renewables firms. This therefore is not a subsidy and demonstrates that government policy favours renewables over fossil fuels the opposite of what Gardiner has said.

This was also pointed out in June by Telegraph blogs’ own Tim Worstall. In reality, he noted, if you go by Carrington’s definition of a subsidy, it’s the wind industry which is subsidised, not the fossil fuel industry, to the tune of £41 billion.

And, if you want chapter and verse on this issue, go to the excellent Communities Against Turbines Scotland site (where the Resistance is articulate and strong) and look up Stuart Young’s report. Government subsidy for Renewables in 2012, it notes, is £1,780 million pounds. Subsidies paid to the gas, oil and coal industry in the same period: 0 pounds.

To recap then: the UK fossil fuel industry is not “subsidised” in any meaningful sense of the word “subsidy.” Charging less tax on something is not “subsidising” something.

The government does not give fossil fuel companies sweeteners to encourage them to produce more fossil fuel power. That’s because they don’t need any incentives: the fossil fuel power industry is perfectly viable without subsidy.

The government does, however, give massive sweeteners to the renewable industry wind especially. Onshore turbines are given a 100 per cent subsidy from the government (aka the taxpayer). Offshore turbines are given a 200 per cent subsidy. Without these sweeteners not a single wind turbine would be built because the power they produce being intermittent and unreliable is to all intents and purposes worthless in a free market.

Therefore what Carrington claims in that Guardian article is untrue. What Gardiner told Energy Live and the New Statesman is untrue. They really ought to know better and now they do. So if they repeat these claims again it won’t merely be down to an error of extreme stupidity, will it? It will be an abject and cynical lie.

Now we’ve settled that one I wish Gardiner the best of luck in his threatened libel action with the daily-more-magnificent-and-admirable Ben Pile (of Climate Resistance) over some Tweets summarised here by the Bishop:

@BarryGardiner is a liar about the OECD analysis, even if he is right about energy proces rising. […] Shame on you, Barry.

A tweet that ended up with quite an interesting exchange of views:

GARDINER: Your tweet is actionable. Please withdraw it. I correctly state OECD figures for Fossil Fuel Subsidies were £3.6bn in 2010

PILE: you can’t call people liars and complain about being called a liar. Oecd figures are for reduced rate of vat, not subsidiesand you know that oecd figures are reduced rate, not subsidies, hence you are dishonest.

GARDINER: Also I said gov policy was based on a lie. No named person = not actionable You named me = actionable Please retract

PILE: it’s true. You knew that what you said wasn’t true. So you lied. I said so. That ain’t ‘actionable’. If you think it isi’ll withdraw my tweet if you explain that you were wrong about subsidies to energy live newsWhen did it become ‘actionable’ to call an MP a liar, anyway?

GARDINER: So reducing tax to favour the consumption of a particular product does not count as a subsidy in your book? Really?

PILE: no, reducing tax is taking less money, subsidy is giving money. I’m surprised an MP can’t tell the difference. Hmm.and reduced rate doesn’t favour any particular form of energy. Applies to renewables too. Surprised you don’t know this.

Send me your email address, and i’ll give you my postal address so you can get your lawyer to proceed

GARDINER: Gardinerb@parliament.uk

PILE: let me up the stakes by adding ‘coward’ to liar.

PILE: thanks. I’ve got no money or property, I hope you realise. Could cost you.

Yep. Popcorn time.

Related posts:

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  3. We need to talk about wind farms…
  4. The best article on wind farms you will ever read

One thought on “Wind Industry Big Lies no 1: fossil fuels are more ‘subsidised’ than renewables”

  1. Tallbloke says:20th December 2012 at 10:27 pmIs Delingpole vilely dishonest or just incredibly stupid? In actual fact the the subsidies for fossil fuels dwarf those for renewables.http://www.nrdc.org/energy/files/fossilfuel4.pdf

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