Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project Nixed. Good!

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

Finally, the UK government has rejected the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project.

Phew!

This is a tremendous victory for common sense, for the environment, and for the hapless energy users who would have been subsidising this massive white elephant for many decades to come.

Christopher Booker explained precisely why the project was such a bad idea in a series of articles for the Daily Mail.

The first one, in 2015, began:

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.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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It’s Only Midges…

August 10, 2015

Count them all for a fabulous prize!

Lots of people, when they see this disgusting photo, will go: “Oh that’s not midges. That’s….”

And then they’ll shove in their tuppenny ha’penny worth as to what they think was the real culprit.

My legs. My bites. And it definitely was midges, I can tell you. I was there. It wasn’t in Scotland, surprisingly, but by the road at end of a particularly lovely sunny day last Wednesday in mid-Wales – my birthday, as it happened – when our car got a flat tyre and I had no option but to crouch there being eaten alive while I changed it.

You wouldn’t think creatures so small could wreak so much havoc. (Well, actually you could: fleas are about the same size and do the same damage). That’s probably why when I felt them feasting on me savagely I didn’t do what I would definitely done had it been they been, say, mosquitoes on a roadside in the Democratic Republic of Congo and changed into long trousers sharpish. I just carried on, thinking, “Ah well. It’s only midges.”

Some midge facts:

An individual midge is almost invisible to the human eye, at about a millimetre long. Only the bloodthirsty female causes us torment. The male feeds on plants and nectar, while his mate requires blood to form her eggs. Midges are alerted to human prey by the carbon dioxide on our breath. A swarm can inflict about 3000 bites per hour using a distinctive feeding technique: while mosquitos pierce the skin and suck up blood through a syringe-like mouthpiece, midges cut the skin, and then lick up the pool of blood that forms.

Oh, and apparently, midges cost the Scottish tourist industry £286 million a year in lost income from all those tourists who’ve been chomped and vow never to return.

How many bites can you count on my leg? If you email me at Jamesdel@dircon.co.uk and you’re the first with the right-ish answer then I’ll send you a free signed copy of one of my books. You’ll deserve it. You’d have to be pretty weird, bored or obsessive to count the insect bites on a revolting photograph of someone’s leg. So I shall be very interested to see if anyone does.

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One thought on “It’s only midges…”

  1. apparently says:26th August 2015 at 10:25 amNever mind the midges James…

    Where did you get those hairy legs?

Comments are closed.

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Why Britain Is Stuffed: An Unintentional Masterclass Courtesy of the BBC

I was going to post on biofuels but they can wait: this glorious piece of unintentional comedy from the BBC News website is too good to miss. (H/T Nicholas Jones)

It analyses what BBC reporter Julian Joyce seems to believe is the heartrending plight of a family in Wales struggling to get by on benefits. Apparently – claims unemployed father-of-seven Raymond (“not his real name” – love that detail!) – if the Government manages to enact its heartless scheme to impose a £26,000 per annum cap on welfare benefits, then it could be a “choice between heating or eating.”

Unfortunately, all sympathy for this family evaporates when Joyce goes into more detail about their budget. We learn, for example, that their weekly shopping bill includes “24 cans of lager, 200 cigarettes and a large pouch of tobacco.” They also spend £32 a week on mobiles and £5 on their Sky TV subscription. But all this is now threatened by the heartless fascist Coalition government: why, if it gets its evil way, then this family’s £30,284.80 annual benefit package will shrink by £82.40 a week!

In case we fail to see why this is very sad, the reporter whips out an onion:

Unemployed father-of-seven Raymond (not his real name) and his family rent a former council house on a social housing estate in north Wales. They do not own a car or take a regular annual holiday.

Raymond, a former educational software writer, has been jobless since 2001. His wife Katherine suffers from bipolar disorder with an anxiety disorder and is unable to work.

Says Ray: “The market for my skills dried up 10 years ago – there’s a total lack of work in my area of expertise.”

The whole piece is such a textbook case study of a) why Britain is completely screwed and b) the prevailing BBC-fomented left-liberal cultural assumptions which explain why we got into this mess and why it’s going to be so hard to get out of it that you almost wonder whether Julian Joyce is in fact not a right wing plant parachuted into the BBC by the Conservative party’s black ops department.

It’s worth reading some of the 600 plus comments below to realise just how badly this sob-story jars with the national mood. Or at least the national mood among that part of the country which actually works for its living.

“They do not own a car or take a regular annual holiday”? I should ruddy well hope not if we’re footing the bill.

“The market for my skills dried up 10 years ago”? Then retrain, you workshy sod.

“Father-of-seven?” Meanwhile in the private sector, hardworking couples think long and hard before having another child, recognising as they do that kids cost enormous amounts of money which they – as respectable people with a work ethic – fully expect to have to pay out of their own income, rather than as the feckless underclass do by spongeing off the state.

“bipolar disorder with anxiety disorder”. Know the feeling, love. I too find myself daily crippled with anxiety about the fact that our economy is tanking, in part at least to the massive burden being placed on it by people with convenient mental problems which render them “too ill” to work. That’ll be why, for example, you never, ever see Stephen Fry on TV do you? Hmm. Stephen Fry whatever happened to him? Oh yes, that’s right. He’s a depressive. He’s got bipolar disorder. He can’t work, can he? Hasn’t done for years…

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We’re destroying our countryside – and for what? | James Delingpole

August 16, 2011

By the time you read this I’ll be in the place that makes me happier than anywhere else in the world: a section of the Wye valley in beautiful mid-Wales, where I’ll spend every day paddling in streams and plunging in mill ponds and playing cockie-ollie in the bracken and wandering across the sunlit uplands, drinking in perhaps the finest view God ever created — the one across the Golden Valley towards the Black Mountains, and beyond that to the Brecon Beacons.

And each time I do so I wonder sadly whether this will be the last time I get to witness such perfection. No, I’m not dying, I don’t think. But the country I love is.

(to read more, click here)

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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.

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