Thirty Years On — How Dirty Tricks in Congress Launched the Great Global Warming Scare

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

June 23 is the 30th anniversary of the great global warming scare.

The scare began in Washington, DC, on this day in 1988 when testimony by a then little-known scientist called James Hansen before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources caught headlines across the world.

Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, declared that the four hottest years ever recorded had all been in the 1980s, rising to a peak in 1987, and that 1988 would be hotter still – “the warmest year on record.”

This triggered the first of many thousands of headlines over three decades warning that “man-made global warming” – “climate change” as it later became known – was the most urgent crisis of the age.

But – like the scare itself – the claims were dishonest, hysterical, misleading, unscientific, needlessly alarmist, and cynically stage-managed.

As Christopher Booker describes in his The Real Global Warming Disaster, Hansen’s dramatic testimony delighted the two US Senators most involved in promoting the global warming scare – Al Gore and the Senate Committee’s chairman Tim Wirth.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

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Global Warming Has Rotted the Brains of the Political Class

climate change
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty

“Is the political class’s obsession with global warming rotting their brains?” asks Christopher Booker in a must-read piece for the Daily Mail.

To which the answer, obviously, is “Duh.”

Booker focuses on the disastrous policies, introduced by successive UK governments, encouraging people to burn more wood.

Apparently – or so the fashionable theory briefly ran – this pre-industrial technology was much more eco-friendly than coal- or gas-fired power and would thus help save the planet from the global warming.

Except of course, it hasn’t:

Wood is ‘sustainable’, we were told. It gives off less CO2 than any other heating. It will help us save the planet and meet CO2 reduction targets under the Climate Change Act.

 As a result of these persuasive arguments, about 1.5 million British homes have wood-burning stoves and 200,000 more are sold every year.
Now we learn that wood-burning is the single biggest source of tiny soot particles called PM2.5s — they are also emitted by burning coal and diesel — which go into our lungs and are said to be responsible for an estimated 37,800 premature deaths a year.

Given these horrific facts, why have governments in recent years made wood-burning such a core part of energy policy? For there is no doubt ministers have been desperate to encourage it.

Actually, those pollution death estimates should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. The far bigger problem, as Booker goes on to note, is just how outrageously uneconomical it all is.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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The Shocking True Story of How Global Warming Became the Biggest #FakeNews Scare of All Time (Pt 1)

ManBearPig
South Park Studios/Comedy Central

Why do so many apparently informed, intelligent, educated people still believe in ManBearPig?

For the same reason that the U.S. underestimated the Japanese threat before Pearl Harbor; that General MacArthur stupidly advanced north of the 38th parallel in Korea; that JFK got embroiled in the Bay of Pigs disaster; that LBJ dragged the U.S. deeper and deeper into the Vietnam War.

A phenomenon known as ‘groupthink’.

Though the name dates back to a 1952 article in Fortune magazine by William H Whyte, it wasn’t popularized for another twenty years when a Yale research psychologist called Irving Janis used it in the title of his influential 1972 Victims of Groupthink.

Little did he know it – Janis was looking to past events like the ones mentioned above, not the future – but his book would anatomize with unerring accuracy the perverse mindset which would lead to the creation of the biggest, most expensive junk science scam the world has ever witnessed: the great global warming scare.

This is the subject of a must-read paper for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by Christopher Booker: Global Warming – A Case Study in Groupthink.

Though it’s quite a long read, I do recommend you have at least a dip because it contains so many pertinent answers to that question you so often hear from global warming true believers: “What kind of crazy conspiracy theorist would you have to be to think that so many experts from science, politics, business, the
media, even the oil industry would lie to us about the scale of the problem?”

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Why Renewables Are Doomed and Fossil Fuels Are the Future

We’re on the verge of a new energy revolution. Except it’s the exact opposite of the one the “experts” at places like BP,  the International Energy Agency and – ahem – the Guardian are predicting.

For years we’ve been assured by politicians, energy industry specialists and green advocates that renewables such as wind and solar are getting more and more cost-competitive while dirty fossil fuels are so discredited and wrong and evil we’ll soon have to leave them in the ground.

But to believe this you’d have to believe in a world where Donald Trump and Brexit hadn’t happened; where taxpayers were still prepared to bankroll, ad infinitum, the expensive, inefficient, environmentally-damaging produce of favoured crony-capitalists; where no one had access on the internet to articles showing how the whole climate change industry is such a scam.

That world doesn’t exist.

This is why we need to take with a massive pinch of salt, for example, the latest BP Energy Outlook 2017 which claims that renewables are set to grow and grow over the next two decades:

Renewables in power are set to be the fastest growing source of energy – at 7.6% per year to 2035, more than quadrupling over the Outlook period. Renewables account for 40% of the growth in power generation, causing their share of global power to increase from 7% in 2015 to nearly 20% by 2035.

It’s why we should laugh to scorn articles like this one in Vox boasting about how the US solar industry employs more people than the US coal industry.

And why economics writers like the normally sensible Jeremy Warner do themselves no favours when they produce tosh like this in the op-ed columns of that once respectable newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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IPSO: A Great New Way for Bullies to Muzzle the Press

Censored concept

One of the fundamental principles of English common law is that you are innocent until proven guilty. And rightly so, for imagine how unfair it would be if any old loon with an axe to grind had only to lodge a trumped-up complaint with the relevant authorities in order to have you punished for no reason whatsoever.

Actually, though, this cruel and capricious system exists in Britain. It’s called the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) and, as might be expected of the bastard offspring of the Leveson inquiry, it’s doing an absolutely first-rate job of empowering bullies and curbing freedom of speech in order to assuage the spite of that small but vocal lobby of caught-red-handed luvvies, lefty agitators and failed hacks which thinks our press has got too big for its boots.

Not that you would necessarily guess this if you went to Ipso’s website. Its Editors’ Code of Practice seems reasonable enough (‘The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information…’) and, scrolling down its list of rulings, what you find in the vast majority of cases is the phrase: ‘The complaint was not upheld.’ This would suggest that Ipso is both judicious and restrained.

Or so you’d think till you become the subject of one of its investigations. This happened to me recently. I can’t give you the exact details but suffice to say that I’d written something so uncontentious and easily verifiable that I might have written, ‘The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.’ Yet still, a political activist decided he had sufficient grounds to complain about this. And rather than tell him where to go — as five seconds on Google would have enabled their salaried and presumably time-rich staff to do — Ipso decided it was meet and right to make this imaginary problem my problem.

When I replied to their query with a link to a scientific website clearly showing that the sun does rise in the east and does set in the west, I thought that would be an end to it. But no. Mr Activist hit back with an even longer screed, vigorously disputing that the evidence I had provided said what I claimed it did, and demanding recourse.

‘Could we perhaps offer to remove these parts in the online version?’ suggested the newspaper’s readers’ editor diplomatically. ‘No!’ I said. ‘He’s trying it on and there’s a point of principle here. Correcting mistakes is one thing. But censoring stuff for the crime of being true? No way.’

Now, of course, I have every confidence that, when this issue is eventually resolved, Ipso will come to the only sensible conclusion. But by then it will be too late — for I will already have been forced to waste hours dealing with the kind of red-crayon complaint which, in more sensible times, would have been dealt with simply by allowing the ‘reader’ to present his case in the ‘letters to the editor’ section.

This is what Mark Steyn means when he says: ‘The process is the punishment.’ He’s referring to the far more onerous, costly and time-consuming legal case in the US that he is fighting with climate scientist Michael Mann, but when it comes to the way Ipso is being used the principle is much the same.

These activists needn’t care what Ipso’s eventual ruling is: by that stage they’ll have won regardless. Unlike in the law courts, they will have successfully intimidated and inconvenienced their enemies while incurring no financial risk. Not that money is a problem for them anyway because, quite often, making these complaints is what they are paid to do. Bob Ward, for example, a serial complainant who most recently brought an Ipso case against the Mail on Sunday for saying something he didn’t like about Arctic sea ice, has a lucrative job at the Grantham Institute, among whose raisons d’être is to make life impossible for climate sceptics.

For the journalists on the receiving end of this punishment by process, though, it’s a different story. Christopher Booker, for example, now sometimes finds himself wasting days on end fending off complaints brought by activists passing themselves off as concerned readers. One case cost him 12 solid days in lost work. He has the facts on his side and is confident of eventual victory. But even when Ipso finds in his favour, the hassle of making his defence (unpaid) will amount to the equivalent of a fine worth many hundreds of pounds.

Now, we all have our problems in this increasingly overregulated world, so I don’t expect you to shed too many tears for the plight of the freelance journalist. But what should definitely worry you about this use of Ipso is its effects on freedom of speech.

Consider Andrew Gilligan, the brave and brilliant scourge of Islamist skulduggery (from the Trojan Horse affair to Lutfur Rahman), who now has to set aside ‘a day or two’ each month just to deal with Ipso complaints. His newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph, is happy to build these costs into its reporting budget. But for some publications, the inconvenience and expense is so off-putting that they simply give up and pursue less obstreperous targets. These complaints wear people down and stop them reporting.

This is just the sort of thing that wiser heads warned would happen at the height of the Hacked Off hysteria. Weren’t Leveson’s recommendations supposed to protect us from bullies, rather than enable them?

From The Spectator

Related posts:

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  2. Press regulation only helps the bad guys
  3. UEA: the sweet smell of napalm in the morning…
  4. How many died in the great Blackpool earthquake of ’11?

 

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Wales Is in Danger: Why Isn’t the Prince of Wales Saving It?

Bird-crunching, bat-chomping menaces

Anyone think this would be improved by 600ft wind turbines?

Anyone think this would be improved by 600ft wind turbines?

I hope this photograph give you a good idea of why every summer for the last 12 years I have taken my family on holiday to mid-Wales, for me one of the most beautiful and special places on the planet. Its all the better for being so little known. You can go for a walk on those magnificent uplands at the peak of the tourist season and glimpse barely another soul. Note too, how completely unspoilt it is. But for how much longer?

This is why I have just signed the petition No To The Industrialisation of Mid-Wales and why Im wishing the very best to the protestors wholl be gathering at a rally outside the Welsh assembly this Tuesday to voice their outrage at the destruction of their countryside in which their elected representatives in Cardiff disgracefully connived. It was back in 2005 that Cardiff’s joke quasi-parliamentary assembly of clownish second-raters otherwise known as AMs voted for huge swathes of the Principality to be covered in wind farms. But its only now that people have started to catch up with the environmental havoc this is going to wreak. (H/T Mike Blood who runs the Conservation of Upland Powys Facebook page, which deserves our support).

The wind farms  are bad enough on their own. But to make matters far worse, as Christopher Booker reports, in order for these bird-crunching, bat-chomping, view-blighting, rent-seeking monstrosities to be connected to the grid a huge 400kv power line is going to be constructed all the way from Montgomeryshire through some of Britains most spectacular scenery to the equally beauteous Shropshire. Its not just happening in Wales, of course. Alex Salmond is wreaking similar havoc in Scotland. Cumbria is under threat; so is the Kent Weald; so are the Mendips; so is the Isle of Wight; so are dozens of other beauty spots: first will come the wind farms themselves, with their vast concrete bases; then the power lines, over 300 miles worth, 160feet high.

Its one of those subjects that makes me so upset it leaves me almost lost for words. Ours is going to be the generation forced to witness the most grotesque act of vandalism ever committed against the British countryside and what makes it so much more painful is that there is no reasonable justification for it whatsoever. From wind farms to solar arrays to biofuels, Britain is committing both economic and aesthetic suicide. Even if one were to believe the discredited theory that CO2 is a dangerous driver of climate change, even then the argument for wind farms wouldnt wash because being so unreliable and sporadic in their power generation they replace not one single conventional power station.

The sheer madness of Britains energy policy is beautifully captured by Matt Ridley in this must-read Spectator article.

Welcome to the neo-medieval world of Britain’s energy policy. It is a world in which Highland glens are buzzing with bulldozers damming streams for miniature hydro plants, in which the Dogger Bank is to be dotted with windmills at Brobdingnagian expense, in which Heathrow is to burn wood trucked in from Surrey, and Yorkshire wheat is being turned into motor fuel. We are going back to using the landscape to generate our energy. Bad news for the landscape.

The industrial revolution, when Britain turned to coal for its energy, not only catapulted us into prosperity (because coal proved cheaper and more reliable than wood, wind, water and horse as a means of turning machines), but saved our landscape too. Forests grew back and rivers returned to their natural beds when their energy was no longer needed. Land that had once grown hay for millions of horses could grow food for human beings instead — or become parks and gardens.

Whether we like it or not, we are now reversing this policy, only with six times the population and a hundred times the energy needs. The government’s craven decision this week to placate the green pressure groups by agreeing a unilateral and tough new carbon rationing target of 50 per cent for 2027 — they wanted to water it down, but were frightened of being taken to judicial review by Greenpeace — condemns Britain to ruining yet more of its landscape. Remember that it takes a wind farm the size of Greater London to generate as much electricity as a single coal-fired power station — on a windy day (on other days we will have to do without). Or the felling of a forest twice the size of Cumbria every year.

Why is this madness happening? Why is nobody in a position of power or influence save the odd brave soul such as Glyn Davies, Tory MP for Montgomeryshire doing something to stop it before its too late?

Simple: its because the very environmentalists who ought to be campaigning against such wanton destruction have instead been responsible for fostering the warped thinking, junk science, and knee-jerk anti-capitalism which made it possible.

Consider George Monbiot: the man lives in Machllyneth, just down the road from the wind farm development, for Gods sake, yet here is as far as he is prepared to go in his Komment Macht Frei column on the subject:

Three conclusions seem obvious. Unless the new powerlines are buried, the renewables programme will stall: underground cables must become a firm green demand, though they will add significantly to the cost. Even so, its now clear that theres a limit to how much more renewable power can be deployed before it clatters into a mountain of public opposition. This is one of the reasons why we should start considering other options for decarbonising the electricity supply: especially new nuclear technologies such as thorium, integral fast reactors or travelling wave reactors.

Do you see the pusillanimity and muddled thinking, here? He has neither the intellectual lucidity nor the moral courage actively to oppose this utterly pointless desecration of his local landscape. All he can manage is an unrealistic demand that the powerlines be buried (aint gonna happen: renewables are expensive enough already), followed by a tacit admission that his most serious objection to renewables is not that theyre expensive, environmentally destructive and dont work, but merely that they are likely to generate a climate of public resentment towards decarbonisation.

And what about the Prince of Wales? Where is he in all this? Doesnt he have some connection or other with Wales and her people? Isnt that why, er, he went through that ceremony at Caernarfon in 1969? Isnt there something in his current title I forget which, though Im sure sharper-witted readers will be able to remind me that suggests a special concern for Wales might be part of his job?

Yet what does the man have to say about the most grotesque crime committed by Big Government against the Welsh people since Llewellyn Ap Gruffydd? What efforts has this famed floral conversationist, this defender of old-school values, this ex-foxhunting, stalking-about-the-Highland-Glens-with-his-crooked-stick countryman made to prevent a 100 square mile stretch of Britains most glorious countryside being transformed into a sterile Golgotha of wind towers?

Zip. Nada. Nothing.

Or as they say in Welsh (and I must say the word does seem peculiarly apt where our future King is concerned):

Dim.

Related posts:

  1. What did our grandchildren do to deserve the Prince of Wales?
  2. Why the Prince of Wales’s letters shouldn’t be kept secret
  3. WTF? Prince of Wales tells disgraced CRU: ‘Well done, all of you!’
  4. Prince of Wales to give up his Aston Martin, two Jags, two Audis and Range Rover to save planet. Not.

 

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How the Climategate Weasels Wriggled Free

The mainstream fails again

Delingpole tries to flee lunch engagement at University of East Anglia

Delingpole tries to flee lunch engagement at University of East Anglia

This week marks the anniversary of Climategate but even though I helped break and name the story I’m certainly not celebrating. That’s because, despite the marked shift it effected in public opinion, its effect on public policy-making has been close to zilch.

For chapter and verse on the horrifying disjunct between what all sane, informed people know about “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (ie, it’s a crock)  and what our governments are doing in response (i.e., “Nyah nyah. Not listening. We’re going to go ahead with our crazy tax, regulation and wind farm schemes anyway”) I refer you to this superb summary by M’Learned Friend Booker.

Since then, despite a series of unconvincing attempts to clear the Climategate scientists, it has become clear that the 20-year-old climate scare is dying on its feet. The money draining away from the Chicago exchange speaks louder than all those inquiries – and the same point will be made obvious in a fortnight’s time in Cancun, Mexico, as the UN attempts to salvage something from the wreckage at a conference that will draw scarcely a tenth of the numbers that met in Copenhagen.

But to all this deflation of the bubble our political class in Britain remains quite impervious. Our governments in London and Brussels charge on with completely unreal and damaging policies which increasingly look as much of a shambles as the warming scare which inspired them. Scarcely a single politician dares question the Climate Change Act, by far the most expensive law in history, which commits Britain, uniquely in the world, to reducing its CO2 emissions by 80 per cent in 40 years. By the Government’s own estimates, this will cost up to £18 billion a year. Any hope that we could begin to meet such a target without closing down most of our economy is as fanciful as the idea that we can meet our EU commitment to generate 30 per cent of our electricity by 2020 from “renewable” sources, such as wind and solar.

And why is this so? In part, at least, it is because of the abject, ongoing failure of our Mainstream Media to report environmental issues with the robust scepticism that ought to be the natural tack of responsible journalists. Too many environmental reporters are still regurgitating press releases handed to them by activist organisations like the WWF, Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth. In the MSM, as in government, it’s like Climategate never happened.

Those few pieces on Climategate which HAVE appeared in the MSM tend to have consisted of the various guilty parties trying to spin their way out of it. The disgraced, FOI-breaching, email-deleting, scientific-method-abusing Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, for example, has granted tame interviews in Nature magazine and the Times presenting himself as a man far more sinned against than sinning. Michael Mann has been doing a similar auto-whitewash job in the US. But if you want to see an ecotard Houdini act at its most sublimely nuanced and slippery, I highly recommend this piece of sophistry from Mike Hulme in the Guardian.

Here’s the bit where it gets really evil:

Second, there has been a re-framing of climate change. The simple linear frame of “here’s the consensus science, now let’s make climate policy” has lost out to the more ambiguous frame: “What combination of contested political values, diverse human ideals and emergent scientific evidence can drive climate policy?” The events of the past year have finally buried the notion that scientific predictions about future climate change can be certain or precise enough to force global policy-making.

The meta-framing of climate change has therefore moved from being bi-polar – that either the scientific evidence is strong enough for action or else it is too weak for action – to being multi-polar – that narratives of climate change mobilise widely differing values which can’t be homogenised through appeals to science. Those actors who have long favoured a linear connection between climate science and climate policy – spanning environmentalists, contrarians and some scientists and politicians – have been forced to rethink. It is clearer today that the battle lines around climate change have to be drawn using the language of politics, values and ethics rather than the one-dimensional language of scientific consensus or lack thereof.

And when I say “evil” I really do mean “evil.” Mike Hulme is professor of climate change at the school of environmental science at the University of East Anglia. In other words he’s not just in the belly of the beast but right up its digestive tract. Yet miraculously, he has managed to emerge from the Climategate scandal smelling of violets. How?

Well there’s a clue in that phrase “the meta-framing of climate change”. Like his fellow arch-fiend Jerome Ravetz (co-inventor of Post Normal Science, the cod-intellectual movement that made Climategate possible) he is fluent in pseudo-academic gobbledegook designed to mean whatever listeners want it to mean. It sounds reasonable to many people because it doesn’t sound dogmatic. But the reason it doesn’t sound dogmatic is because like all postmodern waffle it’s not interested in trivial issues like truth or untruth, right and wrong. For people like Hulme, the science of “Climate Change” is a means to an end – and that end is advancing the goals of the liberal Left through ever more involved and constrictive policy-making.

Translate Hulme’s speech from academese into plain English and what it actually means is something like this: “All right. You rumbled us on Climate Change. But that’s OK. There’s always ocean acidification. And biodiversity. And whatever urgent crisis we dream up next…”

Like the Bourbons, the watermelons of the global green movement have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from Climategate. For them, AGW has never been about science or objective truth. It has always been just a pretext.

Or, metatext, perhaps, if your name is Mike Hulme.

Related posts:

  1. On the anniversary of Climategate the Watermelons show their true colours
  2. Steven Mosher: the real hero of Climategate?
  3. Climategate 2.0: the Warmists’ seven stages of grief
  4. Climategate 2.0

2 thoughts on “How the Climategate weasels wriggled free”

  1. Velocity says:20th November 2010 at 1:46 amHulme has consumed the snake-oil management-speak of Gov’t.

    In short he has dis-functioned the English language and like the professional classes (lawyers, accountants etc), turned words of substance into trigger words that mean something in your head but in truth are hollow, designed purely for deceipt and to bamboozle.

    These people are crooks, dysfunctional, phsycopaths. Welcome to the inner workings of socialism

  2. Groper says:25th November 2010 at 12:37 pmHey Delingpole, what’s with a picture of a muscle man when a picture of a puny spectacled chinless wonder sitting behind a desk typing away articles of faith on hate on all would be enemies of your libertarian movement would be more apt? Bit like those old pictures of Heinrich Himmler sitting behind a desk. Come to think of it, how uncanny!

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Chris Huhne’s favourite yoghurt ingredient | James Delingpole

Huhne: A taste for something better. . .

Huhne: you'll get used to the taste, eventually
Huhne: you’ll get used to the taste, eventually.

Let me explain the analogy, which I first introduced to a nauseated world in a Spectator column penned in bile in the aftermath the Eton Grocer’s spectacular general election non-victory. Here’s the relevant passage:

Quite the most absurd piece of recrimination I’ve heard so far from the Cameroons, though, is the notion that the real people to blame for all this are those 900,000 or so folk who voted UKIP, as well as all those rabid head-banging types like James Delingpole who were so unhelpful in pointing out the flaws in Project Cameron’s splendid policies. If only we’d held our noses and accepted that the Cameroons, for all their flaws, were our last hope of restoring Conservatism to power in Britain, then Dave might be in position right now to effect Real Change.

This is what I call the Dog S**t Yoghurt Fallacy. Suppose your preferred brand of fruit yoghurt manufacturer has been losing sales of late and has decided, after doing a bit of market research, that it may be necessary to alter the formula slightly. What at least some of the punters are clamouring for these days, it seems, is not chunks of fruit in their yoghurt but bits of dog poo instead.

“But that’s revolting!” you tell the manager of your preferred yoghurt brand. “Fruit goes way better in yoghurt than dog poo does.” “Look, you know that and I know that, but trust me we’ve crunched the numbers, done the research and it’s the only way. If we don’t put some dog poo in our yoghurt, then people will say we haven’t moved with the times. We’ll be forever stuck in the boring, fuddy duddy age of strawberry, and raspberry and apricot. But under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the public have acquired a real taste for excrement. If we don’t give it to them – we’ll only need a little bit, I promise – then we’ll probably go out of business.”

“No you won’t!” you reply. “There are loads of us who still like fruit yoghurt. And still loads more who’d buy it if you made it even fruitier. Your analysis is barmy.” “Well I’m sorry sir, but our marketing expert Mister Hilton assures us there’s no other way. Surely, you won’t object to just the inclusion of a tiny hint of merde de chien to save our brand from total ruin?”

Call me weird, call me stubborn. But I prefer my yoghurt to taste of fruit, real fruit and nothing but fruit.

As you see, I was talking mainly about the death of the Conservative party. But the analogy applies just as well to the Coalition’s energy policy, as supervised by the appalling Chris Huhne with the full encouragement of the no less appalling David Cameron.

In this case, the fruit element of the yoghurt would be nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is good. It’s what we need, both for energy security and to fill our looming energy gap. Only a total nutcase could possibly be opposed to nuclear energy, as my colleague Louise Gray has been demonstrating with her ring-round of the asylums:

But Mike Childs, head of climate change at Friends of the Earth, insisted the expansion of nuclear power could not go ahead without some form of public subsidy because of the massive costs of construction.

“It is not obvious to see how nuclear will be affordable without some form of public subsidy because the costs keep rising of building nuclear and getting rid of the waste,” he said.

“The only way nuclear will get built is if they [the Coalition] renege on their promise not to subsidise it.”

What, and the supposed green alternative to nuclear – wind power – doesn’t require massive public subsidy on an even greater scale? Pull the other one, Childs. According to Booker, who unlike some has actually been bothered to do the maths, our economically suicidal attempts to meet the EU renewables target are going to add £880 a year to our energy bills.

Which brings us to the poo element in the yoghurt: renewable energy and decarbonisation. There are many within the Coalition and indeed in the country at large who take what they imagine is a ’sophisticated’ line on Climate Change. As to whether or not it’s a serious threat and to what degree it is or isn’t “man made” they don’t much care. What motivates them is a vague sense that some climate change action is better than no climate change action, that it’s probably quite useful to keep the Caroline Lucas fringe onside, and that there might be some green jobs in it for someone somewhere. In other words: “Let’s just put a few lumps of dog poo in the yoghurt, just in case. No harm done if it turns out to have been unnecessary, eh?”

Er, no actually. In the name of the “precautionary principle” on Climate Change, quite enormous amounts of harm are being done. Richard North gives an example of this in his scathing dismissal of Chris Huhne’s new carbon capture project, which will cost the taxpayer £1 billion to no purpose whatsoever:

Whichever way you look at it, £1 billion is a lot of money. That is £1,000,000,000.00, and it is our money – more money than you and I will ever see, or ever dream of earning. It is a sum of money that would buy 150,000 hip replacement operations. It would pay the energy bills for two million pensioners for a full year, or pay the university fees for 600,000 students. More specifically, and of some personal interest, it would pay for 100,000 life-saving heart operations.

Yet the ****wit pictured is going to take that amount of money from us to play around stripping plant food from coal-fired electricity generation and bury it deep in a hole in the ground.

This man, therefore, will – indirectly – be responsible for many deaths, lost in “opportunity costs”. The money frittered away on this moronic enterprise cannot be spent on life-saving functions. And we do not have the money to spare. If we waste this money, it is not available for anything else. People will die because of this action.

And what about this:

[Huhne] is set to give the go ahead to a new generation of eight nuclear power stations, alongside an expansion of renewable energy and the creation of up to 44,000 wind turbines.

Anyone care to hazard how much environmental damage is going to be done to our countryside by 44,000 – count ‘em – wind turbanes? How many birds – and protected bats (H/T Ian Smith)- are going to be liquidised? How many views spoiled? How many householders impoverished?

Oh and let’s dispense once and for all with the idea that renewables bring any economic benefits. The green experiment has already been attempted in Spain and Germany and has failed dismally. Why? Because renewables only make economic sense if they are subsidised by the taxpayer – which means of course that they make no economic sense at all.

Here’s a report on the Spanish disaster (H/T Global Warming Policy Foundation)

Spain stands as a lesson to other aspiring green-energy nations, including China and the U.S., by showing how difficult it is to build an alternative energy industry even with billions of euros in subsidies, says Ramon de la Sota, a private investor in Spanish photovoltaic panels and a former General Electric Co. executive.

“The government totally overshot with the tariff,” de la Sota says. “Now they have a huge bill to pay — but where’s the technology, where’s the know-how, where’s the value?”

And here is the German energy disaster:

Next year, German households are in for a big price shock: the renewable energies levy, which every household in Germany has to pay as part of their electricity bills, will increase by over 70 per cent to 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour. This was announced by the German network operator on Friday. For an average household this will mean additional costs of around 10 € a month, according to the Federal Environment Ministry.
An end to the price spiral, which is caused by the subsidies for green electricity, is not in sight. Holger Krawinkel, energy expert of the Federation of Consumer Organizations, expects a further rise of the so-called EEG surcharge in the medium term. “It will rise by more than 5 cents in coming years in any case”, Krawinkel predicted in an interview with the news agency DAPD. The reason: The federal government has failed to cut subsidies for solar energy fast and strong enough. Moreover, the impending boom in offshore wind energy is not even included in the green energy levy.

And all because a few plausible charlatans have been able to persuade an awful lot of influential people over the years that plant food is a deadly poison. Thanks Bert Bolin! Thanks Stephen Schneider! Thanks James Hansen! Thanks Al Gore! Rest assured that one day – and let’s hope sooner rather than later – your names will live in infamy for all eternity.

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Climategate: Where Is Private Eye?

Suppose the British government  – in the teeth of the worst recession since the 1930s – were committed to spending £18 billion a year for the next 40 years on a problem that did not exist. Suppose the total estimated global cost of dealing with this non-existent-problem were $45 trillion.

Suppose that a scandal had erupted in which some of  the principal scientists who had been talking up this non-existent problem, essentially for political reasons, were found to be corrupt, dishonest and fraudulent. Suppose that among the institutions which stood to benefit from this massive scam were top financiers, banks and energy companies. Suppose that the people pushing this scam were an unholy, often hilarious, eminently mockable alliance of disappointed ex-communists, hair-shirt greens, failed presidential candidates, scheming politicians, bald-snarling-nightclub-bouncer lookalikes, loopy Old Stoics, European technocrats, one-world-governmenters, Notting Hill yummy mummies and tree hugging loons.

Suppose this were the biggest con trick in the history of the world – a Ponzi scheme to make the South Sea Bubble look about as serious as claiming for a cab that wasn’t strictly for work.

Pretty good subject matter, might you not think, for one or two fabulously thrilling exposes by Britain’s premier satirical magazine Private Eye?

But apparently not. Apart from a feeble polar bear joke on its cover – “Go with the floe” says one bear to another, perfectly encapsulating the magazine’s pathetically limp position – and a couple more similar cartoons within, Private Eye has chosen to pretend that the most important issue of our time isn’t happening.

Why not? Well perhaps this passage from the end notes of Christopher Booker’s The Real Global Warming Disaster offers a clue:

“In conversation one day with my Private Eye colleague Ian Hislop, I remarked casually how flimsy it seemed was much of the evidence behind the global warming scare, only to receive an almighty put down to the effect that George Monbiot of the Guardian knew a great deal more about the subject than I did and that I should think twice before daring to challenge such an expert authority.”

Booker, let it not be forgotten, was the first editor of this once-great satirical organ – whose purpose, he always told contributors in the early days, was “to challenge all orthodoxies.”

Over the decades, Private Eye has more than lived up to this precept with its frank, fearless (and legally costly) willingness always to speak truth to power.

But apparently not on this occasion.

Related posts:

  1. The sad death of Private Eye
  2. At last: expert Sir David King expertly reveals true identity of Climategate ‘hackers’
  3. Prof Brian Cox: prettier than Brigstocke but just as wrong
  4. Climategate 2.0
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