Besides the Brexit Party, one of the big winners of the European Parliament elections — in Germany, France, Austria, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK — were the Greens.
There’s a lesson buried in this story — but it’s not what you might think. And it’s definitely, definitely the opposite of the conclusion being drawn by the Conservative Party.
In the Conservative mindset, green issues are one of those politically neutral, morally and socially positive causes you can embrace without betraying your principles or alienating your base.
This delusion is widespread, as we can see from the number of Tory leadership candidates who have decided to campaign on a green-friendly platform. Rory Stewart, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock, even the hard-headed and supposedly right-wing Dominic Raab have all, with varying degrees of canting enthusiasm, mentioned environment and climate change among their urgent priorities.
Gosh it hurts when your little corner of paradise is destroyed by a few idiots’ ignorance and greed. This is what has just happened to one of Britain’s best-kept secrets, the magically beautiful and remarkably untouristed stretch of the Wye Valley round and about Builth Wells.
Every summer we used to take a holiday let there, jumping into our favourite swim-hole in the Wye, playing Cocky-Olly in the bracken, exploring Llewellyn’s Cave, watching the last of the sun bathe the uplands from the shade of the boules terrain outside the house where we’d enjoy our well-earned fags and evening gin and tonic. But I don’t think I could bear go back there. The sight of what they’re doing to it is just too painful.
Ofgem — the UK government regulator responsible for energy — has been caught covering up two major scandals in the ‘low carbon’ energy industry.
The cost of these scandals — involving smart meters and the renewable heat incentive (RHI) — may run into the tens of billions of pounds.
But rather than protect the consumer, which is supposedly its job, Ofgem has taken the side of the vested interests profiting from these industries. It has done this by using draconian gagging orders to silence two whistleblowers who had wanted to expose the scandals.
Ironically, the story was broken in The Guardian — a newspaper which has long been committed to supporting the corruption- and incompetence-riddled green industry that the whistleblowers were hoping to expose.
Climate change has been a difficult subject for the BBC, and we get coverage of it wrong too often. The climate science community is clear that humans have changed the climate, but specifically how is more difficult to evidence. For instance, there is very high confidence that there will be more extreme events – floods, droughts, heatwaves etc. – but attributing an individual event, such as the UK’s winter floods in 2013/2014, to climate change is much less certain.
We must also be careful to distinguish between the statements. For example: “Climate change makes this kind of event both more frequent and more severe,” and “Climate change caused this event”. The former uses previous scientific evidence to say ‘it is likely’ the event is the result of climate change, whereas the latter may be making an assertion without the proof to back it up.
What’s the BBC’s position?
Man-made climate change exists: If the science proves it we should report it. The BBC accepts that the best science on the issue is the IPCC’s position, set out above.
U.S. foundations are now spending over $1 billion a year to advance the global warming agenda – an amount several orders of magnitude bigger than the sums spent promoting climate change skepticism.
The eyewatering sum is revealed in an investigation, conducted by Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, into some of secret forces and nefarious methods pushing the climate change agenda in the U.S. and beyond.
What the report clearly demonstrates is that – regardless of President Trump’s attempts to introduce an element of scientific rigor and economic practicality to America’s climate and energy policies – a powerful, richly funded and determined Green Blob is working to undermine the Administration’s efforts at every turn.
Among the familiar names involved in the scheme are former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, three left-leaning state governors – Andrew Cuomo (New York), Jay Inslee (Washington) and Jerry Brown (California), plus, of course the inevitable Al Gore. The institutions involved include fake-neutral, pretend-scientific green activist group the Union of Concerned Scientists, Harvard Law School and the Rockefeller Family Fund.
One of the more dubious schemes exposed in the study – the result of numerous FOI requests from highly reluctant institutions – was a plan to encourage the offices of sympathetic Attorneys General to push through climate change legislation by secretly providing them with off-the-books staffing funded by green-aligned non-profits.
The report argues that these arrangements were at best dubious and possibly illegal.
Viewers complained the advert for its Climate Neutral Now scheme appeared to mock green lifestyle choices and downplay the urgency of the climate challenge.
Published on Facebook and Twitter, the video struck a jokey tone, showing a man trying to give up his car, flights, steak and even breathing to cut his carbon footprint.
“OK, we know that’s slightly impractical, so here’s the real solution,” said the narrator, directing viewers to a revamped website where they can pay to cancel emission reduction credits issued through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
Just when it seemed that our national energy policy — alongside defence of the realm, an absolute priority, to keep the lights on — couldn’t be managed in a madder or more alarming way, along comes the most bizarre project of all.
This is a £1 billion scheme to build a colossal U-shaped stone breakwater, six miles long, enclosing the whole of Swansea Bay in South Wales, containing 16 giant submerged turbines, whose blades would be seven metres across.
The idea is that these would be driven by the water pouring through them from both directions by the 30ft daily rise and fall of the Bristol Channel’s tides, the second highest in the world.
This mammoth scheme, recently given a glowing plug on the BBC’s Countryfile, is said to have everything going for it.
It is backed by an array of financial investors, led by the giant Prudential insurance company. Also behind it are our most influential ‘green’ lobby groups, such as Friends of the Earth, the World Wildlife Fund and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
The ‘tidal lagoon’ project, which would be like nothing else built anywhere before, is favoured by politicians of all parties, led by Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, who can barely contain his excitement, saying that tidal power offers Britain ‘fantastic economic opportunities’.
The plan was given positive mention in George Osborne’s recent Budget speech, and has now been included in the Conservative manifesto.
On the internet, there is a picture of David Cameron meeting the chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), the company behind the scheme. So, the project certainly has friends in high places.
Note that by the time Booker was out of the traps with the first in-depth article on the subject, the project was already pretty much a done deal.
But this is not something you ever hear about it in the media, obsessed as it is with the doom narrative fed to them by green activist bodies like Friends of the Earth.
That’s why I heartily recommend the excellent speech that Matt Ridley has just given in the House of Lords:
Globally, there have never been more hives of honey bees; there are about 90 million in the world compared with about 60 million 50 years ago. In Europe and the UK, too, we are near to a record number of hives. There are of course continuing problems with Varroa mites, as the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, said, and Nosema and other pests, but there is no evidence of a decline in honey bees. It is true that there was colony collapse disorder 12 years ago, mostly in the United States, but it was a brief episode and is now reckoned to have been something to do with diseases or pests, not farming.
Presumably, that is why the opponents of neonicotinoids stopped talking about honey bees a few years ago and started talking more about wild bees. But where is the evidence that any decline in wild bees is recent or related to pesticides rather than to land management and habitat change? One recent study found that wild bees declined significantly before 1990 because of agricultural intensification but that the decline has since ceased or possibly reversed.
The rule will ensure that the regulatory science underlying Agency actions is fully transparent, and that underlying scientific information is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.
“The era of secret science at EPA is coming to an end,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “The ability to test, authenticate, and reproduce scientific findings is vital for the integrity of rulemaking process. Americans deserve to assess the legitimacy of the science underpinning EPA decisions that may impact their lives.”
This represents a massive victory for both Pruitt and President Trump in their war on the Green Blob. It’s a victory too for the taxpayer and for free markets.
It means that if this or any future administration in the U.S. wishes to create new environmental policy it must do so on the basis of science which is credible and reproducible and independently verifiable. No longer can policy be slipped through the system on the say-so of a cabal of eco-activists whose “science” is to be taken on trust.