Owen Paterson’s Assault on the Climate Change Act Puts David Cameron on the Horns of an Impossible Dilemma

Just when David Cameron needs it least, one of his former ministers has opened a devastating second front on the Coalition’s tattered administration.

Owen “Minister of Sound” Paterson has urged the repeal of what is arguably the most damaging, wrongheaded and suicidal piece of legislation in recent parliamentary history: the 2008 Climate Change Act.

The Act was the creation of Labour leader Ed Miliband during his stint in the Gordon Brown administration as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. It was devised by a green activist, Bryony Worthington – formerly of the hard-left, anti-capitalist pressure group Friends of the Earth, subsequently ennobled as Baroness Worthington. And it was endorsed by David Cameron, while in opposition, as part of his “Vote Blue, Go Green” strategy which culminated his announcement – delivered at Greenpeace’s London HQ, shortly after the last general election – that he intended to lead the “greenest government ever.”

This was a costly mistake. Just how costly, Christopher Booker explains here:

[The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s] declared aim at an estimated cost of £1.1 trillion, is the almost complete “decarbonisation” of our economy. Astonishingly, this means that, before 2030, the Government plans to eliminate almost all use of the fossil fuels we currently use to generate 70 per cent of our electricity, to cook and heat our homes and workplaces, and to power virtually all our transport. They want all our existing coal- and gas-fired power stations to close.

Out will go petrol-driven vehicles, along with all gas-powered cooking and central heating. These are to be replaced by such a massive switch to electricity for heating and powering our vehicles that it will require a doubling of our electricity needs. Much of this is to come from “renewables”, such as wind turbines; most of the rest from new nuclear power stations – although, after 2030, new gas- and coal-fired power stations will again be allowed, on condition that all the CO? they emit is buried in holes in the ground (what is called “carbon capture and storage”, or CCS).

In order for this crackpot scheme to work, Booker goes on to explain, the UK taxpayer will be compelled to spend £360 billion building 90,000 giant bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes – 85,000 more than we have at the moment. To put it another way, we will have to build 2,500 wind turbines every year for the next 36 years, swamping an area of the British landscape the size of Scotland. Apart from being physically impossible – we would have to be putting up wind turbines eight times faster than we are at the moment – it would be environmentally devastating, not just to the millions of birds and bats killed by the turbines, but also to the swathes of hitherto unspoiled countryside which would be turned into an industrial zone. It would, furthermore, significantly drive up the costs of energy, placing huge burdens on both private and business users, as well as making the UK economy less competitive.

Paterson was perfectly aware of the scale of the problem during his stint as Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Much of his time there was spent heroically trying to resist the swathes of green legislation being urged on Britain by the European Union, by his rivals at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and by environmental campaigners from the WWF, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. His reward from David Cameron? To be booted out of his job at the last cabinet reshuffle because Cameron could no longer bear the flak he was getting from the green lobby and wanted to promote someone more pliable and emollient.

This is a move Cameron will surely come to regret.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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Official: Wind Turbines Are an Iniquitous Assault on Property Rights

Owen Paterson: Minister of Sound (Rex Features)

I’m writing these words in what was formerly one of the loveliest valleys in all of Wales. To be fair, the Edw valley still is pretty spectacular. But this year, for the first time in the decade or more I’ve been holidaying here, I no longer look at the white houses dotting the valley and wish one day that I could own one.

Why don’t I wish to buy my dream home in my dream valley any more? Because the greed and selfishness of a local sheep farmer has killed it, that’s why. I’m sure he doesn’t see it that way. I’m sure if you asked him he’d come up with some guff about how he needed to “diversify”, and how it would save on his energy costs and enable him to farm more sustainably. But the fact is that the poxy wind turbine which this ghastly man has erected on a promontory visible from almost every high point in the area – not to mention the bedroom window of our beloved rental cottage – has changed the character of the Edw valley forever. For centuries, millennia even, this idyllic, breathtakingly beautiful spot has survived untarnished by any form of obtrusive industrial development. No longer.

Now for me, that turbine is a minor irritant: I only have to put up with it for two weeks in the year. The people I feel sorry for are the poor buggers who have to live here permanently: the B & B owners, the people who run pony treks and riding stables, the retirees whose nest egg lies mainly in the value of their properties. How can it possibly be right or just that while this sheep farmer makes thousands of pounds per year as a result of the whopping subsidies paid for the intermittent, unreliable energy produced by his poxy turbine, everyone else for miles around is made to suffer?

The tragedy of the Edw Valley is, unfortunately, a tragedy is being repeated across our once-magnificent country. Especially in poor Scotland – a crime for which Alex Salmond and his co-conspirators will one day burn in hell. I do find it particularly odd that while on the one hand our Coalition has decided to try and claw its way out of recession by pump-priming a new housing bubble, it is simultaneously enacting energy policies guaranteed to reduce the value of rural properties by many billions of pounds.

As I have reported before, rural estate agents (and the poor sods trying to sell their turbine-blighted homes) have long known about the deleterious effects of wind turbines on property values. Price drops of 25 per cent are not uncommon and there have been cases where houses located near wind turbines have been rendered simply unsellable.

This ought to have been a major national scandal years ago. The only reason it hasn’t is because of what amounts to a cover up by a number of institutions including the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, RenewableUK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Advertising Standards Authority, each of which has helped promulgate the outrageous lie that there is “no definitive answer” to the question as to whether turbines affect property prices. In every case, the people responsible for this claim are either  disgusting liars or useful idiots – and if you want to know why I feel so confident in tarring them thus, just re-read the last blog I posted on the subject.

You’ll gather, then, that I’m very much looking forward to reading the first official admission of the blighting effects of wind turbines on property prices, to appear in a report commissioned for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by the estimable Owen Paterson. It’s no wonder the slithy Ed Davey is trying so hard (though of course he denies this) to suppress it. Once news gets out, it will open the floodgates for thousands of claims against the government, wind developers and wind turbine hosts for the loss of property values caused by bat-chomping bird-slicing eco crucifixes.

It will also, of course, give rural communities an even stronger reason to loathe and despise those greedheads within their midst who choose to profit from these monstrosities while all their neighbours not only lose their favourite views and their healthy nights’ sleep but also the value of their properties.

Since it is becoming increasingly clear that the pusillanimous Cameron is quite unprepared to protect rural Britain against the depradations of wind farm zealots like Davey and Tim Yeo and Dale Vince, it may be that communities will have to take matters into their own hand. I’m not arguing for direct action: I don’t believe in violence or threats of violence, either to person or to property. But I do very much believe in the power of ostracism – one of the most effective ways a society can regulate itself according to common values without the need for government meddling.

Anyone who puts a wind turbine on his land fully deserves to be ignored, isolated and loathed by his neighbours. These people have caused more than enough damage with their selfishness and greed: now it’s payback time.

Related posts:

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What really happened on BBC Any Questions | James Delingpole

June 10, 2013

One of last night’s protestors.

I did very much enjoy recording Any Questions in the belly of the beast – aka Eco Loon Central, aka the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth – this week. But I’m not sure it necessarily had the makings of brilliant radio.

The big problem with radio – as opposed to TV – is that if things start kicking off in the recording venue (as they very much did with last night’s unusually lively audience of yoghurt-weaving yurt-dwellers) there are no cameras to relay what’s going on to the outside world. If you were listening last night – or if you listened to today’s repeat – all you’ll have heard is some background protestations from the audience and the sound of Jonathan Dimbleby trying to keep order.

I think the technical term for what the BBC did with this programme was “trolling.” Step one: arrange to record your panel show in ground zero of green lunacy. Step two: invite one of Britain’s most infamous climate sceptics and one of Britain’s most outspokenly anti-wind-farm, pro-fracking MPs (Owen Paterson – who was partly responsible for effecting the government’s recent policy shift making it easier for groups to oppose wind farms). Step three: light touch-paper and run.

That noise you’ll have heard in the background was partly all the mung-bean-munchers in the audience jeering and hissing me when I expressed scepticism about climate change; but mainly – the real rumpus at the end – was when a small group of anti-badger-cull protestors in the front row tried to hijack the show by loudly shouting insults at Owen Paterson. Annoyingly this was at the very moment when it was my turn to speak about wind farms and I ended up having to shout into my mic so as to avoid being drowned out by the yelling badger huggers.

Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot, as I think Paterson did too. We didn’t feel threatened, the volunteers from the Alternative Technology Centre were all very sweet and welcoming, and of course it’s always tremendous fun getting to tell a bunch of eco loons to their face that they’re a bunch of eco loons – and have it broadcast all over the country.

But I fear that the real – and thoroughly undeserved – losers from all this were the thousands of people all over mid-Wales who are struggling desperately to stop their matchlessly beautiful landscape being destroyed by wind turbines and pylons. Taking the train to Machynlleth on Friday I looked out of the window slack-jawed at the magnificence of mid-Wales’s The-Shire-like hill country which has been rendered more lushly green than perhaps at any time in recent history thanks to the atmospheric abundance of glorious CO2. And the question I kept asking myself is: “How could anyone who really cares about our natural heritage possibly want to destroy this with wind turbines?”

Under current government plans, 800 turbines – some over 400 feet tall – are to be built in mid-Wales, with another 100 miles worth of pylons to be built across Montgomeryshire and into Shropshire in order to connect their expensive, intermittent, unreliable electricity with the national grid. This is going to cost a minimum of £2 billion. Yet, for about one fifth of that cost you can build a gas fired power station capable of producing nearly three times as much power – without blighting the countryside for miles around and without draining the pockets of the poor, put-upon energy user with unnecessary green tariffs.

These people deserve better than to have the cause dearest to their hearts trivialised in the way it was on BBC Any Questions. Given a bit more space and given a more balanced audience, I could have made a much more persuasive case for them. Instead, I was forced to bellow my point, slogan-like, into the mic in the last few seconds before the show closed while the badger protestors were barracking Paterson. Exciting for some us, perhaps, but not really fair on the people who really matter: the thousands of victims of the unconscionable wind energy scam still being forced on them by our Coalition government, the Welsh Assembly and Alex Salmond.

UPDATE: I’ve written some further thoughts on this which I think a few of you might enjoy. There’s a particularly delicious section on one of our house trolls.

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