Lilley Sticks It to ‘Trougher’ Yeo

Yeo ho ho

Tim Yeo’s carbon-free future (Alamy)

Not everything in the Tory party is rotten and irredeemable. There was good old Owen Paterson in the papers yesterday with his squirrel traps. There’s Gove, sticking it to the eco-loons by removing global warming junk science teaching from the curriculum. And then there’s this utterly magnificent performance by Peter Lilley in a climate change debate at Westminster Hall last week, up against two of his more bubonic colleagues Tim “Trougher” Yeo and Greg “so utterly crap he doesn’t even merit a nickname” Barker. Lilley was participating in his new role as a member of the Climate Change Committee, which he was able to infiltrate by means of a secret ballot. I recommend you read the full Hansard transcript. It is, as they say, *popcorn*.

Here is Lilley on the various COP (Conference of the Parties) meetings staged around the world at venues like Copenhagen, Durban, Cancun, Doha etc. (But never Eastbourne, I notice):

Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad. One of the early signs of madness is an indulgence in compulsive displacement activity, which could not be a better description of the whole COP process. Tens of thousands of people are displaced across the globe to an environment where they are cut off from reality and the rest of the world, where they can indulge themselves in demonstrating their lack of realism and reality, and where the original objective of obtaining a legally binding agreement between nations to reduce worldwide emissions has itself been displaced by the alternative objective of reaching an agreement to meet again—and to agree to reach an agreement at some distant future time. That is displacement activity on a massive scale, and it involves a massive degree of hypocrisy, given the huge emissions incurred by these eco-warriors as they swan across the globe in jets and hire fleets of limousines, so emitting more CO2 than a small African country.

On fossil fuel:

I do not like seeing hundreds of millions of my fellow human beings wallowing in misery and living lives that are stunted relative to what their material living standards might be if they achieved economic growth. But growth requires energy—it is almost synonymous with the rise in the use of energy—and the growth in energy use needed to raise their living standards will absorb much of their capacity to invest and much of the capital available for them to invest in future decades.

Fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy. Renewables cost two or more times as much as fossil fuels to produce a given amount of energy. If developing countries are forced to use renewables, they could only afford less than half as much energy as they would otherwise be able to bring on stream. That means they will not use renewables; they will continue to develop by exploiting the use of fossil fuels.

As the debate progresses, Lilley’s contempt for his colleagues on the Climate Change Committee becomes palpable. (“I am overwhelmed by my Right Hon. friend’s eloquence and verbosity” he tells Barker at one point) He describes them as “united in lunacy” – and not unreasonably so. Whether it’s Labour’s Luciana Berger boasting about a wind farm she once saw in Tanzania or an extinct frog she just looked up on the internet, or Greg Barker having the gall to invoke the late Baroness Thatcher in order to justify taking “unpopular” measures to deal with climate change, or Tim Yeo praising emissions trading schemes in California, it’s like being privy to a debate in a parallel universe where the main goal is to make the most stupid, wrongheaded, irrelevant argument you can in order to win. This is the bubble our politicians inhabit – and Lilley has just given it an almighty gregbarker with his pin.

I’ll leave you with Lilley’s demolition of Tim Yeo’s patronising arguments Britain can somehow team up with China to combat Climate Change. It’s long. But it’s good. Well done Peter! You’re a bloody hero. And when Cameron is defenestrated there’s definitely going to be a place for you – as Energy Minister at the very least I hope – in the UKIP/RealConservative Coalition government.

Criminologists have observed that the victims of confidence tricksters are often willing—indeed, eager—to believe the story to which they fall victim, and the more absurd, fantastic or fabulous the story, the more willing they are to believe it. The report is an example of a confidence trick that has been willingly absorbed by the Government and members of the Committee. It contains all the characteristics necessary for the sort of fairy tale in which one wants to believe: it has a faraway country, mysterious powers that we attribute to ourselves, and pots of gold—green gold—at the end of the rainbow.

The first delusion affirmed by the report is the delusion of power. It is a strange hangover from liberal imperialism that the British intellectual classes believe that they can still dominate the world—that the world is anxious to hear from them, and will jump to attention at their every word and follow their every command. Take the opening words of the report:

“China is central to global efforts to tackle climate change”—

true, but it continues, and I ask Members to savour these words—

“and should be at the heart of HMG’s climate change mitigation strategy.”

What imperialist arrogance and what delusions of grandeur that the United Kingdom, a nation of 65 million people off the coast of Europe, could somehow direct, guide or in any substantive way influence the policies of the largest nation in the world, with 1.3 billion people, on the other side of the globe.

How are we to achieve that remarkable feat? The summary refers to

“our leadership role in China”.

Members should also savour those words. I read about the change of leadership in China last year, but I did not realise that that involved the replacement of Xi Jin Ping by “Greg Bar Ker” and “Ed Da Vey”—they apparently now have a leadership role in China to which the Chinese are now anxious to respond. The report states that, sadly, our

“leadership role in China is being undermined by our ‘image’…The UK’s image is also tarnished by the reputation of being ‘all talk and no action’.”

I wish it were all talk and no action in this country. When people who do not like windmills—I quite like them—look across our countryside and find that they blight the horizon, they wish there was more talk and less action. When people pay their household bills, they wish there was more talk and less action. Abroad, however, the word has apparently got out that we do not really mean what we say. I do not know how that has happened, but it will apparently be made worse if we do not inflict more problems on ourselves, because the report states:

“Slowing the pace of decarbonisation at home could undermine…the credibility of UK leadership on climate change.”

The second delusion is about China’s decarbonisation policy. The British intelligentsia has always been capable of convincing itself that China is a paragon of whatever is the current fashionable virtue. When I was at Cambridge, Professor Joan Robinson used to dress in a Mao suit and teach us that China had shown us a new economic model that we could all follow. Now it is doing the same on climate change. The report states:

18 Apr 2013 : Column 177WH

“China has set out some of the most ambitious decarbonisation plans in the world.”

Yet, it also states that,

“half the growth in energy-related emissions from now until 2030 will come from China.”

Half of that growth will come from the country that is pursuing the most ambitious decarbonisation policy in the world, and by 2030

“China could account for half of the world’s emissions.”

I submit that those two views are incompatible. Either China is pursuing the most ambitious decarbonisation policy in the world, in which case one assumes that it will decarbonise—or at least match our skills in reducing, or preventing the growth in, carbon emissions—or it will not.

Why is that rosy view of China’s emissions policies peddled? The British public have to be convinced that China’s emissions are under control. The report admits:

“The UK’s emissions reduction efforts are negligible compared with emissions increases elsewhere.”

In 2011, the increase in emissions from China exceeded the UK’s total emissions by 200 million tonnes. The device used in the report to convince us all that the Chinese are pursuing an ambitious decarbonisation policy is, first, to glide from talking about reducing emissions to talking about reducing emissions growth, which is not quite the same thing, and secondly, to equate reduction in carbon intensity with cutting carbon emissions, which is not the same thing at all.

Like any sensible country, China of course wants more economic output from every tonne of fuel or joule of energy used. It enjoyed steady reductions in carbon intensity until the beginning of this century—not that it had any particular plan for CO2 reductions; it just used energy more efficiently each year—but for some reason that stopped early in this century, and it now has plans to return to the same path of increasing energy efficiency each year. Despite such increasing energy efficiency, however, it will experience major rises in energy use and carbon emissions.

The third delusion is the prospect of green jobs in the UK resulting from exports to China. That prospect depends on the UK inflicting on itself severe and ambitious measures to decarbonise the UK economy. The report states:

“Slowing the pace of decarbonisation at home could undermine our low-carbon businesses and the export opportunities for this sector”.

What are the opportunities? The report states that the

“inquiry identified three sectors where…the UK has an established lead”.

What are they? The first is the oil and gas sector. It is true that we have expertise in oil and gas, but I would not have thought of it as a typical green sector. Indeed, the report states that,

“British expertise could help to ensure that”

Chinese resources are used

“in the most sustainable way possible. The UK’s own emissions profile has been improved by the ‘switch to gas’ and…a similar switch could be achieved in China, reducing emissions between 50% and 70%. Significant potential for gas development lies in the exploitation of unconventional resources.”

The report mentions shale gas in China, but not much encouragement has been given to that in this country, where we have had an 18-month moratorium and no drilling so far. None the less, the Committee’s report, which the Government have endorsed, believes:

18 Apr 2013 : Column 178WH

“UK skills in the emerging market for unconventional ‘shale’ gas could help China to diversify its energy mix away from coal.”

Anything further from reality than the suggestion that we, who have held back shale gas development in this country and who—as we are told by the Committee, which has carried out an investigation—lack the expertise and will take a long time to develop our own resources, if they are there, can nevertheless help the Chinese to do so and then count that as a green export, would seem to me to be pretty bizarre.

The second sector is low-carbon buildings, primarily their design. That is fair enough. Let us send a few designers and architects over there and get the Chinese to pay their fees, but it will not revolutionise the British economy.

Interestingly, the third sector is carbon capture and storage. We are actually paying the Chinese to help them to develop the technology, and the report says that they already have a plant up and running. The idea that somehow the result is going to be us exporting carbon capture and storage technology to them when we are helping them develop a technology in which they are already further ahead than we are is bizarre.

Related posts:

  1. ‘Trougher’ Yeo: we mustn’t laugh…
  2. This government simply hasn’t a clue about ‘Climate Change’
  3. ‘Trougher’ Yeo recants on global warming
  4. Boris sticks his thumb in the wind

 

This government simply hasn’t a clue about ‘Climate Change’

Transferring money from the poor.

Barf!

Barf!

Last night I was rude to a Minister of the Crown. His name’s Greg Barker, he’s the Minister for Climate Change, and – or so he tried to allege in a flabby speech to the Conservative Future (formerly Young Conservatives) in the Commons last night – he’s actually a Conservative MP not a Liberal Democrat or a Green or a Communist one.

So I asked him what it was that first drew him to the Conservative party. Was it because he’d always nurtured a burning desire to drive up inflation? Or to increase fuel bills? Or to transfer money from the poor to the pockets of rich landowners like Earl Spencer and Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt? Or to destroy the British economy? Or to despoil the British countryside?

Whichever one it was, I suggested, he must be feeling so proud because thanks to the efforts of Greg Barker and “conservatives” like him, every single one of those objectives is now being quite spectacularly achieved.

You’ll gather I don’t think much of Greg Barker. I’m sure the feeling’s mutual. The difference is, I’m not part of an administration which plans to spend £18 billion of your money every year till 2050 “decarbonising” the British economy; I’m not the one who’s planning to cover the British countryside with 10,000 more wind turbines at a cost – again borne by the taxpayer – of £100 billion (plus another £40 billion to connect them to the grid), none of which will replace a single conventional power station; I’m not the one who is driving the British economy towards economic suicide by imposing on it a unilateral carbon reduction policy (the only country in the world to enact such extreme measures) which will affect not one jot the climate of the planet (our contribution to anthropogenic CO2 being about 1.7 per cent of the world total, diminishing each year as China’s industrial machine grows ever larger); I’m not the one who’s deaf to all argument about the absurdity of these measures. Whereas Greg Barker is.

To give you an idea of the intellectual calibre of the man who is helping decide our energy future (Greg is the man, incidentally, who pushed the Tories towards their “Vote Blue Go Green” stupidfest; he accompanied Dave on that silly huskies-and-melting-glaciers Greenland photoshoot) here are some of the points he made in his speech.

1. The Conservatives’ green policies belong to a fine tradition. After all, it was Margaret Thatcher back in the 80s who set the ball rolling on global climate change policy.

2. As an example of just how helpful and effective and Conservative-friendly green policies can be just look at booming California, which has the highest growth rate in the US.

The first point, though true, only tells half the story. It neglects to mention that Thatcher did so not because she had studied science at Oxford and therefore understood these things but because she had been nobbled by arch-Warmist Sir Crispin Tickell – and said things she subsequently bitterly regretted.

The second point is a bit like going on stage and saying Pol Pot was a cuddly, lovable fellow who never hurt a flea; or that Gordon Brown was a Titan among Prime Ministers; or that Polly Toynbee doesn’t have a lovely house in Tuscany. California has been RUINED by its environmental policies. Surely everyone knows that? Its coffers are empty. Unemployment is rising. And while its economy isn’t the worst-performing in the US, its growth rate is comfortably eclipsed by those of lower-tax states such as Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming,Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Louisiana and Arizona.

So why does a government minister feel able to stand on a platform and cite such blatant untruths to support his policies? Is it because doesn’t do any research? Is it because he is very poorly advised? Is it because he is exceptionally thick?

Well, no, I fear the real answer is even more depressing than any of the above. The reason that the Minister for Climate Change is able to stand on a platform and sell his climate narrative to Conservative Future without recourse to any meaningful, evidence-based data or coherent intellectual argument is this: reality is of no relevance to the Cameron government’s climate change policy. Our political class – of which Barker unfortunately is one – have made up their minds what they’re going to do and they’re not about to allow a few awkward facts to get in the way of their devastating plan to make the world a better place (even if it means destroying it in the process).

I need hardly say that Barker didn’t even attempt to answer any of the points I raised about the stupidity of the government’s drive for renewables, about the damage this will do to economic growth, about the Verso economics report showing that for every “Green Job” created in Britain by taxpayer spending another 3.7 jobs are lost in the real economy. That’s because he knew – as increasing numbers of us know – that there is no answer to them.

Sitting on the same panel was a Conservative MP of considerably higher intellect who ought to be Secretary of State for Climate Change but won’t because he fails to align ideologically with Cameron’s liberal consensus. John Redwood MP, it was clear from his informed remarks, understands perfectly well what the problem is.

He spoke of how our freedoms are in danger of being “mangled by too much law and regulation.” And he warned that Coalition’s unilateral carbon reduction policies represented a kind of “false greenery.” How could it possibly make sense, he argued, to close down our economy and congratulate ourselves on the CO2 reduction we’d achieved as a result if the net effect was simply to export our energy intensive industries so that other, less hair-shirt economies could enlarge their carbon footprints instead? Redwood – unlike Barker, apparently – actually understands business. He recently visited a factory whose energy bill is three times its wages bill: you can imagine how much that factory is going to welcome it when government enviro regulations push energy prices even further through the roof.

If it weren’t for the immense soundness of Conservative Future’s committee members (at least they seem to understand what conservative principles are even if Cameron’s nomenklatura don’t) I should have ended the evening almost suicidal with despair. As it is I just left it feeling very, very, VERY depressed. Barker’s dismal, lame, flannel-ridden speech, full of manipulative phrases like “we’re doing it for our children and grandchildren’s future” but entirely devoid of any understanding as to why it is that the Coalition’s environmental policies are so wrong and damaging in every way, rammed home with all the chilly unpleasantness of the “rectal snip” I once had to endure while testing for bilharzia at the London Tropical Diseases Hospital just how stupidly, ludicrously, almost comically out of touch our political class are.

Reality, facts, arguments, practicalities, evidence: to our political class these are nothing more than a tedious irrelevance. They’ve already modelled in their silly little heads how they would like the world’s imaginary future to be. Now all they want to do is act on it.

It was exactly this same kind of muddled thinking which brought Greece into the Eurozone. The consequences will be no less disastrous.

Related posts:

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  2. Miliband’s brilliant plan to combat climate change: ‘We’ll export unicorns to China’.
  3. Why money-printing is like ‘global warming’
  4. What the liberal elite feel you should know about ‘Climate Change’

Posted on 21st June 2011Author jamesCategories Blog

2 thoughts on “This government simply hasn’t a clue about ‘Climate Change’”

  1. Robert says:24th June 2011 at 4:19 am•Robert
    Regarding solar panels, and wind derrick’s (I use derricks instead of wind mills “Oil derrick” NIMBY) Liberal’s use lexicon to pull the wool over the tax payer eyes and ears to further their agenda. Their agenda is to live a very comfortable life on this planet without working, and we the tax payer support their elitist lifestyle and ignorant idea’s. I inserted links to articles in the Sac Bee today that should P*ss you off. The energy dept. is continuing their quest dig deeper into our pockets to fund this HOAX (alternative energy). Union owned retread “Brown” (California) is still trying to balance a budget without laying off permanently, the bloated numbers of UNION bureaucrats, and adjusting their retirement packages. And where are the legislators? They care so much, how about throwing in their own salaries, and expense cuts into the mix!?!?! Utilities say GREEN ENERGY bill COSTLY. Obama has given Billions in loans to George Soros’ Brazilian oil company that is drilling in our gulf. Yet our American oil companies cannot! WAKE UP! (And do not believe that non story days ago stating that Obama says the oil companies CAN drill. YES! And the cost for permits and the lag in the dept. energy, and the threats from the coast guard lay in wait. We are being starved of oil by our government. If you have solar on your roof, and a battery powered auto guess WHAT! It’s still being powered by a Hydro plant, natural gas, oil, and coal power generating plant!!! And when we have power outages; YOU HAVE NO POWER EITHER. It’s called (“Islanding”). You cannot direct power back on the grid during outages due to a safety protocol. During repairs, the grid will be safe for workers repair the outage. But! If you want you can have a multi thousand dollar battery backup system installed. And how do you dispose of the spent batteries? (Ah La: Nuclear spent fuel rods); conveniently left out of the argument. Ask anyone that lives OFF grid. And with $olar you have two payments: the utility provider and your banker. Also remember what the government thinks of you. They know better than you what’s GOOD for you. You, the taxpayers are stupid!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8qFvo2qJOU&feature=player_embedded)

    http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/30/3513178/lawmakers-send-jerry-brown-bill.html

    http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/30/3513321/green-energy-legislation-means.html

    http://climatescience.blogspot.com/2010/05/wind-turbine-maintenance-costs-3-times.html

    http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/1010136/Breaking-down-cost-wind-turbine-maintenance/

    http://www.mnforsustain.org/windpower_schleede_costs_of_electricity.htm#A.

    http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2011/02/14/daily2-Evergreen-unhappy-with-debt-exchange-outcome.html

    http://greenecon.net/understanding-the-cost-of-solar-energy/energy_economics.html

  2. Capt G Blomstrom says:27th June 2011 at 8:59 pmWhile I’m certain you and that special little group you refer to as friends cannot stop laughing at your ‘insider’ jokes the rest of the world needs more then childish tantrum.
    You have a unique opportunity as someone with an occasional audience to make a substantial difference in the dialogue(s) of the human race. Don’t piss it away. It’s your world (or toxic unlivable rock) as well.

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