Hello Flammable Ice; Bye Bye Renewables – Enter the Greenies’ Worst Nightmare

Albatross via Getty

China is on the verge of unleashing an energy revolution which will destroy pretty much forever the green argument that “we are running out of fossil fuel.”

At the heart of this revolution is a miracle substance, sometimes known as “flammable ice”, made up of deposits of frozen gas concentrate in the ocean bed. The substance – methane hydrate – is incredibly energy intensive: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration one cubic foot of flammable ice holds 164 cubic feet of regular natural gas.

It is by far the world’s most abundant reservoir of fossil fuel, as the Global Warming Policy Forum has reported.

According to one conservative academic calculation, Earth’s conventional reserves of natural gas hold 96 billion tonnes of carbon. Earth’s reserves of oil contain 160 billion tonnes. Earth’s reserves of coal contain 675 billion tonnes: Taken together, 931 billion tonnes of fossil fuel. But Earth’s methane hydrates contain 3,000 billion tons of carbon.

Or more. Methane hydrates are found at larger and larger volumes the deeper you drill. ConocoPhillips drilled 830 metres for its field test at Prudhoe Bay. At this level, you calculate the reservoir of methane gas in the hundreds (100s) of trillions of cubic feet (tcf). Drill deeper and you calculate reserves in the thousands (1,000s) of trillion cubic feet. Drill deeper still and you calculate reserves in the hundred-thousands (100,000s) of trillion cubic feet. Earth’s reserves of this resource could theoretically reach millions (1,000,000s) of trillion cubic feet.

Though methane hydrate is not a newly discovered phenomenon – various countries are researching its potential including the U.S. and Japan – China’s announcement via its state media agency that it has made a “major breakthrough” in successfully collecting the frozen fuel means that it is one step closer to being used commercially.

This won’t be good news, long term, for the U.S. shale gas industry.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Report: Wind Industry Riddled with ‘Absolute Corruption’

A Mexican ecologist has blown the whistle on the corruption, lies and incompetence of the wind industry – and on the massive environmental damage it causes in the name of saving the planet.

Patricia Mora, a research professor in coastal ecology and fisheries science at the National Institute of Technology in Mexico, has been studying the impact of wind turbines in the Tehuantepec Isthmus in southern Mexico, an environmentally sensitive region which has the highest concentration of wind farms in Latin America.

The turbines, she says in an interview with Truthout, have had a disastrous effect on local flora and fauna.

When a project is installed, the first step is to “dismantle” the area, a process through which all surrounding vegetation is eliminated. This means the destruction of plants and sessilities – organisms that do not have stems or supporting mechanisms – and the slow displacement over time of reptiles, mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, arachnids, fungi, etc. Generally we perceive the macro scale only, that is to say, the large animals, without considering the small and even microscopic organisms…

….After the construction is finalized, the indirect impact continues in the sense that ecosystems are altered and fragmented. As a result, there is a larger probability of their disappearance, due to changes in the climate and the use of soil.

Then there is the damage caused by wind turbine noise:

There is abundant information about the harm caused by the sound waves produced by wind turbines. These sound waves are not perceptible to the human ear, which makes them all the more dangerous. They are also low frequency sound waves and act upon the pineal and nervous systems, causing anxiety, depression (there is a study from the United States that found an elevated suicide rate in regions with wind farms), migraines, dizziness and vomiting, among other symptoms.

But the wind turbine operators are able to get away with it because the system is so corrupt.

What happens is absolute corruption. I have to admit that generally there are “agreements” behind closed doors between the consultants or research centers and the government offices before the studies are conducted. They fill out forms with copied information (and sometimes badly copied), lies or half truths in order to divert attention from the real project while at the same time complying with requirements on paper. Unfortunately, consultants sometimes take advantage of high unemployment and hire inexperienced people or unemployed career professionals without proper titles. Sometimes the consultants even coerce them into modifying the data.

Research centers, pressured by a lack of funding, accept these studies. It is well known that scientists recognized by CONACYT (National Counsel on Science and Technology) accept gifts from these companies, given that they need money to buy equipment for their laboratories and to fill their pocketbooks to maintain their lifestyles. This is the extent of the corruption. Upon reviewing these studies, it is clear that the findings are trash, sometimes even directly copied from other sources online. These studies tend to focus on the “benefits of the project” and do not include rigorous analysis.

The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) does follow-up to the studies, but everything can be negotiated. The bureaucrats have the last word.

Read more at Breitbart London

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Greenpeace and the Guardian: Yet Again, Sticking up for the Bad Guys

Single issue

Not quite the scoop it pretended to be

When is a scandal not a scandal? When it comes via Greenpeace and is splashed over the front page of The Guardian, I’d say.

While obviously I’m delighted that The Guardian and Greenpeace think I’m so powerful that I have the ability to effect a 180 degree shift in government onshore wind policy just by the mere threat of standing in a by-election, I do think a little examination of news priorities might be in order here.

In an op-ed for tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph (which will probably appear online later this evening), I explain – not for the first time: but hey repetition is always useful if you want to get your idea across – why it was that I chose to stand in Corby as the anti-wind farm candidate. It’s because I honestly believe that the Great Wind Energy Scam is by far the greatest scandal of our age. As I’ve argued time and again,  in articles like this, this, this, and this, the wind industry is a very expensive solution to a non-existent problem. It makes no sense economically, ecologically, politically or environmentally. It kills wildlife, needlessly drives up energy prices, causes fuel poverty, blights property values, creates Low Frequency Noise which makes people ill, ruins the landscape and enriches the already rich at the expense of the poor. It even increases carbon emissions.

The only reason the industry exists at all is because of the vast sums of money made available to it through hidden tariffs consumers are forced to pay on their energy bills. Greedy rich landowners and even more rapacious corporations (most of them foreign-owned) are making a fortune at the expense of ordinary people by making a useless, environmentally-unfriendly product – unreliable, intermittent energy – which would be worthless in a free market and which causes enormous misery and damage to humans, to wildlife, to the landscape and the economy.

This oughtn’t to be a party political issue. It ought to be a scandal that concerns everyone, even Guardian readers, even Greenpeace members, so why instead of investigating it are they using their considerable influence and their vast resources to try to keep this evil scam going?

Perhaps they’ve bought into the myth that wind energy is clean and green. That’s certainly what wind industry propagandists like RenewableUK would tell you. But it only takes an hour or so’s reading to find more than enough hard evidence to dispense with these beautiful lies. This is what troubles me about the Greenpeace and the Guardian line on this subject: are they really so bound by ideology that they never want to expose themselves to the truth? Why are they so determinedly sticking up for the bad guys?

If my on-off role in the Corby by election was responsible even slightly for helping spare one or two communities in rural Britain the misery of having wind farms plonked on their doorstep, then I would consider it a cause for pride rather than embarrassment. And if it made no difference whatsoever, well I’m happy with that too, because I didn’t lose my deposit, I didn’t take votes from my friends at UKIP and I met lots of nice people on the way including that rather hot yummy mummy whose baby I kissed.

It’s not as though there aren’t more than enough real scandals to concern ourselves with right now. This one for example.

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The Orgy of Greed Spoiling Our Countryside: Why I Campaigned in Corby

The troughers at Ovenden Moor

From Thursday’s Daily Telegraph

The Yorkshire moorland that inspired Wuthering Heights is about to be blighted by nine 377ft wind turbines, each one the height of Salisbury Cathedral.

Do you need to be a rabid, bat-crazy, monomaniacal, classical liberal loon to find this upsetting? I hope not, I really do. The vandalisation of Ovenden Moor, near Haworth, in the heart of Brontë country should concern us all, regardless of which way we vote or what newspaper we read.

Caring greenies ought to be dismayed by the widespread environmental havoc it will wreak: the kestrels it will slice and dice, the protected bats it will cause to implode, the huge concrete bases, the poisonous rare earth minerals mined under the most atrocious conditions in China. Bookish Left-leaning wimmin in glasses with large, red plastic frames ought surely to be concerned by the blighting of the landscape which inspired Emily – and Charlotte, and Anne.

Red meat socialists ought to be spitting blood at the injustice the Great Wind Scam perpetrates against the common man. It takes money from the poor and funnels it straight into the pockets of greedy, often toffy landowners and rapacious, mostly foreign-owned energy companies.

Here, roughly, is how the spoils will be divided among the troughers at Ovenden Moor. The landowner will be paid £401,000 pa, index-linked, for the next 25 years. The developer will get an income of around £2,679,300 pa, index-linked, over the same period. The vast bulk of this will come straight from the taxpayer in the form of compulsory subsidies, payable even if the turbines produce no power.

And the energy that will emerge from this orgy of greed and destruction? It will be neither green, clean, abundant or useful. Wind power requires full back-up from fossil-fuel-powered stations. It doesn’t save CO2, nor provide energy security, nor contribute anything to the base load power Britain so badly needs to keep the lights on.

These are just a few of the reasons why I consider the Great Wind Scam to be the biggest political scandal of our generation, and why I accepted an invitation by local wind-farm protesters to stand as their candidate in the Corby by-election.

As I said right from the start, the very last thing I wanted was to be an MP: my wife would divorce me. But what I didn’t want to do either was to let down my cause with a really crappy showing on election night. That’s why my strategy was to play the whole thing by ear. If I thought I stood a chance of becoming one of those Martin Bell-type outsiders who sweeps the board, well, whoop-di-do, I’d risk the divorce and spend two years in Westminster doing what I like best – really peeing my enemies off. If I could achieve more with a tactical, last‑minute withdrawal, well that would suit me too – not least because I’d no longer be letting down my friends in Ukip.

I love Ukip. There’s barely a single one of their policies I disagree with. Inevitably, there was much upset among my Ukip pals when I announced I’d be standing against them: they were worried that I’d take away votes from their excellent candidate, Margot Parker. This I didn’t want to do.

Equally, though, I had a lot of sympathy for my local Conservative MP, Chris Heaton-Harris, whom I got to know and like at a Tory conference in Windsor in September and who is masterminding the Tory campaign in Corby. Chris is the kind of Conservative who would have me voting Tory again: small-government, anti-EU, massively anti-wind. He, too, was worried I’d steal Tory votes – gosh how nice it is to feel important! – and was keen to show me that his party was at last seeing sense.

For example, he was the one who drew my attention to the anti-wind speeches made by Owen Paterson and the new energy minister, John Hayes, at the Tory conference. It was newspaper reports of some even stronger anti-wind remarks by Hayes which gave me just the excuse I needed to withdraw from the election with honour, claiming victory.

The timing was perfect. Obviously, I totally love the idea that the Coalition rewrote its entire energy policy because of me – and if the Guardian and Greenpeace wish to credit me with such mighty powers, as they did yesterday, then great. But politics is a bit more complicated than that. George Osborne is known to be fiercely anti-wind; Cameron, it is rumoured, appointed Hayes and Paterson quite deliberately to placate all those shire Tories mortified at the bat-chomping eco-crucifixes ruining their views and wiping out their property values. So while I’m proud to have played my small part in the war to defeat the great wind menace, I think it’s more likely that I was only ever a humble Sancho Panza rather than the true Don Quixote.

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Why the Prince of Wales’s letters shouldn’t be kept secret | James Delingpole

October 20, 2012

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

From: HRH Prince of Wales

To: David Cameron

Dear Prime Minister,

As you will surely be aware having no doubt followed with close interest my trip round Britain on my bio-fuel-powered royal train, my landmark speech to the European Parliament on the theme “Why we must end this capitalism thingy now and retire to our agreeable Scottish estates and go fishing with our ghillies” and my speech in Rio warning that we have just 100 months left to save the world, the planet is in grave danger. As your future monarch, here is what I command you must do:

Build more wind farms. Lots of them. Especially offshore ones. That’s because the sea belongs to Mummy and money accruing to the Crown Estate is good money because one day it will fund my tireless crusading on behalf of Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and Friends of the Earth and also pay for the upkeep of my Aston Martin which, don’t you know, is powered entirely by biofuels.

Stop everyone indulging in the frightful practice of breeding. You are doing an excellent job with the employed classes, having created an economy where it is all but impossible for anyone to earn enough to pay for their own upkeep let alone afford more children. But with the underclass there is much work to be done. Is there not some way you might persuade MI5 to slip bromide – or better still, some form of sterilising agent – into the batter on the chicken at… (Note to Perkins: please look up the name of the frightful place where the underclass consume their hideous prole food and insert). (Note to HRH from Perkins: Nando’s, sire.)

Encourage everyone to wear tweed. Tweed is splendid. Besides being robust, thorn-proof, and ideal for stalking in, it also keeps one warm in the chilliest of climes and therefore saves enormously on the cost of heating one’s various homes.

Rid me of the turbulent Delingpole. He delighteth me not.

Yours, etc,

 

Charles

I have no idea whether these are the exact words of the secret correspondence which the Attorney General has decided we’re not allowed to see. But I expect it’s pretty close. What are the Prince of Wales’s main political obsessions? Greenery is one. Easing Britain’s progression into the Caliphate is the other. It’s quite likely, I imagine, that both subjects would feature in his private letters to ministers. Which would surely explain why Dominic Grieve is so keen to keep them secret. After all, Charles’s future role as a constitutional monarch will expressly forbid him from meddling in the nation’s political affairs. It would hardly encourage much public confidence in our future king if he were revealed as a barking meddler who wants to drive up our fuel bills, ruin our countryside and undermine the established church, would it?

But perhaps the Prince of Wales’s suggestions were entirely sweet, sensible and unobjectionable. If that’s the case, surely it will do no harm releasing his correspondence.

And if they weren’t, well, all the more reason that we should know. After all, if Prince Charles is using his position to lobby (H/T Ian Whittaker) for policies which will affect us all then it ceases to be a private matter and becomes very much a public one.

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Wind farms: even worse than we thought… | James Delingpole

March 9, 2012

The face of the enemy

The face of the enemy

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has produced yet another devastating report: this time on the economics of wind farms. Turns out they’re even worse than we thought.

Not only do the Bat Chomping Eco-Crucifixes (TM) ruin views, kill birds, cause bats to implode, destroy the British film industry, frighten horses, enrich rent-seeking toffs like David Cameron’s father-in-law Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt, drive up electricity bills, kill jobs, create fuel poverty, cause old people to die of hypothermia, wipe out property values, drive people mad with strobing and noise pollution and enable smug liberal idiots to spout rubbish like “Oh, I don’t mind them. Actually I think they’re rather beautiful”, but also  by 2020 they’re set to drive up consumer bills in the UK alone by £120 billion.

This is about ten times more than it would cost if we stuck to gas. (Which we have in abundance, just waiting to be exploited, in places like the Bowland Shale).

In the latest Spectator, Matt Ridley delivers the coup-de-grace. Here’s a taste:

To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine — despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.

If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now. The people of Britain see this quite clearly, though politicians are often wilfully deaf. The good news though is that if you look closely, you can see David Cameron’s government coming to its senses about the whole fiasco. The biggest investors in offshore wind — Mitsubishi, Gamesa and Siemens — are starting to worry that the government’s heart is not in wind energy any more. Vestas, which has plans for a factory in Kent, wants reassurance from the Prime Minister that there is the political will to put up turbines before it builds its factory.

Some readers may occasionally detect in my coverage of wind farms a mild hint of contempt for those involved in the wind farm industry whether as lawyers (that means you Mrs Nick Clegg), paid propagandists/disrupters (see commenters, below), rent-seekers (yep, Sir Reginald) or corporatist blood-suckers feeding off the backs of innocent taxpayers.

One thing is certain: the arguments against wind farms are so abundant and well-known that ignorance is no longer a plausible excuse. If you’re involved in the wind farm industry, you’re a weapons-grade tosser, simple as that.

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The Best Article on Wind Farms You Will Ever Read

Aaaaaaaaaghhh!

Before I got sidetracked this morning by my sublime irritation at the Coalition’s latest ludicrous foray into Nanny Statism, what I’d meant to blog about was this.

Some of you will have seen it already. It’s by the great Kevin Myers, it ran in yesterday’s Irish Independent (not the English one, for reasons which are bleeding obvious) and it’s the best piece anyone has written, EVER, about wind farms.

Here’s a taste:

Russia’s main gas-company, Gazprom, was unable to meet demand last weekend as blizzards swept across Europe, and over three hundred people died. Did anyone even think of deploying our wind turbines to make good the energy shortfall from Russia?

Of course not. We all know that windmills are a self-indulgent and sanctimonious luxury whose purpose is to make us feel good. Had Europe genuinely depended on green energy on Friday, by Sunday thousands would be dead from frostbite and exposure, and the EU would have suffered an economic body blow to match that of Japan’s tsunami a year ago. No electricity means no water, no trams, no trains, no airports, no traffic lights, no phone systems, no sewerage, no factories, no service stations, no office lifts, no central heating and even no hospitals, once their generators run out of fuel.

Modern cities are incredibly fragile organisms, which tremble on the edge of disaster the entire time. During a severe blizzard, it is electricity alone that prevents a midwinter urban holocaust. We saw what adverse weather can do, when 15,000 people died in the heatwave that hit France in August 2003. But those deaths were spread over a month. Last weekend’s weather, without energy, could have caused many tens of thousands of deaths over a couple of days.

Why does the entire green spectrum, which now incorporates most conventional parties across Europe, deny the most obvious of truths? To play lethal games with our energy systems in order to honour the whimsical god of climate change is as intelligent and scientific as the Aztec sacrifice of their young. Actually, it is far more frivolous, because at least the Aztecs knew how many people they were sacrificing: no one has the least idea of the loss of life that might result from the EU embracing “green” energy policies.

This is not to do down all the other fine articles which have been written on this subject, many of them by Christopher Booker. But sometimes it takes an outsider, someone who hasn’t been covering the story day-in day-out for years, to conjure the full and hideous magnitude of a scandal.

What I love about Myers’s piece is the concentrated rage – and the Swiftian disgust with all those who have been pushing the renewables scam or benefiting from it. It chimes perfectly with how I feel. Of all the miserable specimens on this planet, no category repels me quite so much as those parasites involved with the great renewables boondoggle. I’ve said before that I’d rather break bread with someone who manufactured land mines for his living than someone involved in rent-seeking from solar power or wind farms. At least with land mines a reasonable case could be made – despite their vile, random destructiveness – they offer some practical value for force protection. As Myers recognises, there is no argument for wind farms whatsoever: they’re just an emblem of the green religious faith, perhaps too a symbol of the environmental ideology’s geographical and political dominance, nothing more useful than that.

Incidentally, I notice that the greenies are now changing their tune on wind farms. Where before the bat-chomping eco crucifixes were spun as a vital part of “energy security”, they are now being repositioned as a kind of carbon-friendly bolt-on which is nice to have around and generally acts as an occasional substitute for fossil fuel when conditions are right.

Have a look at this debate between pro-renewables campaigner Jonathan Pyke and Mark Duchamp of the European Platform Against Wind Farms in The Earth Times and you’ll see what I mean:

Q: How accurate is the argument that wind turbines have to be ‘backed-up’ by alternative sources of power, eg nuclear or coal, due to the irregularity of wind?

Jonathan: It’s not accurate and I think it stems from a misunderstanding about what wind energy is for. It’s better to think of wind as the back-up for gas, allowing us to make much better use of our existing fossil fuel power plants than relying on gas alone. There’s no need to burn gas when the wind is blowing, which National Grid can predict extremely accurately. So comparing it to nuclear or coal is misleading because wind serves a different purpose; every time it blows there’s a substantial decrease in carbon emissions, volatile fossil fuel costs, water for cooling, manufacturing and pollution. The ‘back-up’ argument just isn’t valid.

R-i-g-h-t. So what you’re saying, Jonathan, is that the ONLY reason we’re carpeting some of the world’s most attractive wild countryside in horribly costly, economically inefficient, bird-liquidising, noise-polluting, view-blighting, rare-earth-metal-exploiting, property-debasing, horse-frightening, rent-seekers’ uber-horrors, is to save the odd tonne of CO2 emissions, as and when, despite the fact that the science increasingly suggests that the difference this will make to global climate will be so negligible as to be beyond measurement?

I genuinely don’t understand how the people involved in this scam can sleep at night, really I don’t. But I do know what their punishment should be. They should be forced to spend the rest of their lives living in one of the many newly vacant properties at the foot of the nearest wind farm.

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2 thoughts on “The best article on wind farms you will ever read”

  1. Martin Lack says:11th February 2012 at 1:29 pmHi James, whilst I sympathise with your misgivings about wind farms (because I don’t wan’t to see the industrialisation of our country side), I do not share your blind faith that we can do without them. However, I do wish the government would put much more effort into investing in all forms or renewable energy (rather than pulling the rug from under people’s feet w.r.t. feed-in-tariff subsidies).Where our views diverge massively, of course is that, despite the absence of any discernible scientific understanding, you have convinced yourself that Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) is a scam; whereas I understand that most relevantly-qualified scientists are convinced that ACD-denial is a scam.

    Good luck with that! Let’s hope the people behind Climategate 2.0 are not so stupid to repeat their stunt a third time, the joke is wearing a bit thin now – most intelligent people have seen it for what it was – a mendacious attempt to discredit climate science and scientists by publishing data-mined, cherry-picked quotations devoid of context, etc., etc..

  2. Martin Lack says:15th February 2012 at 3:10 pmBREAKING NEWS:Anthony Watts has been unmasked as a master of a Heartland Institute-funded misinformation campaign? What will it be next? Will we discover that the Heartland Institute was behind Climategate itself? I for one would not bet against it.

    http://deepclimate.org/2012/02/14/heartland-insider-releases-budget-and-strategy-documents/

    http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-institute-exposed-internal-documents-unmask-heart-climate-denial-machine

Comments are closed.

Green Jobs? Wot Green Jobs? (pt 2/2)

A glimpse inside David Cameron's head

A glimpse inside David Camerons head

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has published a report into the future of “Green Jobs” in Britain. It is damning indeed. Though it doesn’t actually say as much the GWPF is too austere and restrained for such flippancies this Government’s green policies are the equivalent of trying to pay off the national debt by breeding unicorns to sell to Chinese millionaires.

Among the conclusions of The Myth of Green Jobs by Gordon Hughes, Professor of Economics at Edinburgh University, are:

1. “Green jobs” are a chimera. Though diverting taxpayers money into the renewable energy sector may indeed “create” jobs in the renewable energy sector, it will cost many more jobs in the broader economy.

2. Policies to promote renewable energy will add 0.6 to 0.7 per cent per annum to core inflation from now till 2020. This is equivalent to a rise in the same period of the Consumer Price Index by 6.5 per cent. if the Government sticks to its inflation targets and applies restrictions on speed of growth through higher interest rates, then the “sacrifice cost” ie what the economy could have made, but was prevented from doing so by monetary policy is £250 billion.

3. These same policies will, on top of that £250 billion cost, reduce GDP by 2 per cent to 3 per cent for at least ten years. This will cost Britain the equivalent of 60 per cent of the amount the government spends each year on primary and secondary education.

4. Renewable energy will cost £120 billion making it 9 to 10 times more expensive than energy from conventional sources.

5. Claims about “innovation” and the development of “new industries” are a nonsense. “Almost every country in the world wants to claim the same benefit so the numbers do not add up.For the longer term, there is little doubt that the primary beneficiary will be China. That is already apparent from the way the market is developing.”

6. Not only is there no evidence to support lobbyists’ and government ministers’ claims that green “investment” will create green jobs, but also such a policy will result in lower real disposable incomes and higher prices. Little thought appears to have gone into considering the real consequences of this government policy. Indeed, all these claims about green jobs “seem intended to divert attention from the consequences of setting arbitary and poorly considered targets for renewable energy.”

Not, of course, that we didn’t know all this already. I’ve written before about those non-existent “green jobs” here, here (the one where we learned that for every “green job” created in Britain 3.7 jobs are lost in the real economy) and here (my evisceration of the beyond-dismal Climate Change minister Greg Barker). What’s more significant, though, surely, is that for all the overwhelming evidence out there of the environmental and economic damage being done by the Government’s green policies, the Government is making no effort whatsoever to change course.

The story is the same in Obama’s America, as described in this brilliant piece by Walter Russell Mead. HT Chris Horner. The examples he cites of Obama’s green jobs quest what he calls “feeding the masses on unicorn ribs” almost beggar belief.

150 green jobs created in Southern Michigan, at a cost per job of $2 million.

$700,000 city and state investment in Green Vehicles in Salinas, CA, which has failed to produce a single car

Even the New York Times admits that Obama’s Green Jobs aren’t working.

Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show. Two years after it was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize drafty homes, California has spent only a little over half that sum and has so far created the equivalent of just 538 full-time jobs in the last quarter, according to the State Department of Community Services and Development.

and

Job training programs intended for the clean economy have also failed to generate big numbers. The Economic Development Department in California reports that $59 million in state, federal and private money dedicated to green jobs training and apprenticeship has led to only 719 job placements — the equivalent of an $82,000 subsidy for each one.

And earlier this week, a US solar company which had received a $535 million government subsidy filed for bankruptcy due to falling panel prices and global demand.

Solyndra is the third U.S. solar manufacturer to fail in a month as falling panel prices and weak global demand are driving a wave of industry consolidation. President Obama visited Solyndra’s factory in May 2010 to promote investments in renewable energy and its closure will provide fuel to critics of his policies.

You bet they will. One of the questions these critics may well be asking Obama is: isn’t squandering half a billion of taxpayers’ money on a failed project a rather cheeky way of funding your election campaigns?

A solar energy company that intends to file for bankruptcy received $535 million in backing from the federal government and has a cozy history with
Democrats and the Obama administration, campaign finance records show.

Shareholders and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing solar panels, fundraised for and donated to the Obama administration to
the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a key Obama backer who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the president’s election campaign, is one of Solyndra’s primary investors. Kaiser himself donated $53,500 to Obama’s 2008 election campaign, split between the DSCC and Obama For America. Kaiser also made several visits to the White House and appeared at some White House events next to Obama officials.

Campaign finance records show Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obama’s election campaign.

Yep, it seems like there’s one rule for the political class and its cronies and another one for the rest of us. If, say, you’re Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt the father-in-law of the British prime minister you can make getting on for a £1000 a week from the wind farms on your estates; if you’re the wife of the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg you can make hundreds of thousands of pounds as a legal adviser to the Spanish wind farm company whose unsightly bat-chomping eco-crucifixes are going to be wrecking the British countryside.

If on the other, hand you’re an ordinary punter, you’re expected to sit there and take it as the cost of your energy is doubled, your standard of living lowered, the countryside you love is ruined, and the destruction of your ailing economy is accelerated by the policies of a Government which no longer gives a damn what you think about anything.

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Sorry, but Wind Farms Are Useless Even against Vampires

Flyers! The wind turbines have broken down. Again! said Caleb.

Alicia tested the blade on her throwing knife, which she could throw faster and more accurately than any man on the Watch, because that was the kind of woman she was. A strong woman. A fearless woman. Honed and lithe and taut and brilliant at rescuing you from the vampire-infested Mall on horseback with her special riding skills when all seemed lost though God knows what they were doing going into that Mall in the first place something to do with a room full of dead children which some other character in the book had been perversely attracted to, what kind of weird reason was that? The kind of strong female character, in fact, whos absolutely de rigueur for you to create if you’re an English professor at Rice University in Texas who’s slumming it in genre fiction, yet at the same time not slumming it because look what you can do you can treat the reader to SO much detail about the world you’ve created that its like reading Dickens almost, no, like Dickens with icing and cherries and hundreds and thousands on top because not even Dickens would go into so much detail about what the characters looked like, what they had for breakfast, their back story, their emotional history, their favorite color, their favorite character on Sesame Street, plus of course its got vampires, proper vampires, not your pussy vampires like the ones in Twilight but ones with so many teeth they rip you to shreds like torn up bunnies and –

Lish, get your taut, firm, desirable, simmering, as-yet-unfulfilled love interest ass over here NOW. The lights are down. The virals are over the fence. They’re aiiieeeeee.

THE END.

As some of you will have worked out, I spent my return flight from the US reading half way through Justin Cronin’s bestselling vampire novel The Passage. I like vampires. Indeed, as I told my audience when I spoke at the Heritage Foundation if they didn’t want to hear me talk about Climate Change I would have been quite happy talking on another of my favourite topics, viz, why vampires are the scariest horror creatures of all, especially the Master in Salem’s Lot. But though Cronin’s contribution to the genre has its superb moments, I think I may have spotted one or two flaws in it as the above excerpt intimates.

OK, so here, as I see it, is the fundamental problem. The vampires have taken over the Earth. (Something like 42 million of them in the US alone. Ri-g-h-t. So what are they feeding on once all the humans and farm animals and wild animals have been killed? Have they suddenly, like, taken up farming or something? Perhaps this question is answered later in the book. If it isn’t then I’m sorry but I count this a serious flaw in the books schemata. As indeed I would if it turns out the vampires HAVE taken up farming. Yeah right, how likely vampire behaviour would that be?). In the second part of the book we’re 90 years into the future after the vampire apocalypse, with a tiny colony of humans which have survived in their fenced settlement.

How have they survived in their fenced settlement? Why, because it is surrounded by bright lights which they turn on at night to scare off the vampires. How are these bright lights powered? Why, by wind turbines.

Look, I can just about buy the conceit that indestructible, multi-fanged, voracious leaping vampires have taken over the earth. (With those superpowers how could they not?) But what stretches the book’s credibility far, far, FAR beyond breaking point is the idea that a) those wind turbines would still be operable 90 years into the future (they last 20 to 25 years at most) and b) given that they operate intermittently and at roughly 25 per cent of capacity that they would be capable of giving the survivors colony round-the-clock electric power.

Heres the truth: wind farms do not save you from vampires (or anything else). If wind farms are really all that stands between the survival of the human species and bloody, fanged extinction then we’re doomed, I tell you, we’re doomed.

URGENT UPDATE

It has been brought to my attention by a very senior editor oh, all right: Damian that the Telegraph Blogs Stylebook insists that no mention of Wind Farms is permissible without a reference to Britain’s most distinguished Wind Farmer Extraordinaire, Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt. I apologise for having to rub salt into the wound of poor Sir Reginald who would no doubt prefer to be recognised as the father-in-law of the current British prime minister rather than just another of those rent-seeking landowners leeching off the back of the taxpayer by destroying the landscape with ugly, bird-chopping, heavily subsidised windtowers. But what can I do? Orders is orders.

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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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