The Tory part of the Coalition is beginning to recognise some painful truths, but it is time for the Coalition to tear up its energy policy before the lights go out.
With the worst snow conditions in the country since 1981, it’s worrying, to say the least, that gas supplies are running low. A month ago, The Sunday Telegraph warned in this column of the problems of an energy policy that puts expensive, inefficient green power before coal-fired and nuclear power. There have been a few signs that the Coalition is at last turning its attentions to the issue but, still, not nearly enough has been done. Now we are reaping the consequences. Because of a misguided faith in green energy, we have left ourselves far too dependent on foreign gas supplies, largely provided by Russian and Middle Eastern producers. Only 45 per cent of our gas consumption comes from domestic sources. All it takes is a spell of bad weather, and the closure of a gas pipeline from Belgium, to leave us dangerously exposed, and to send gas prices soaring. Talk of rationing may be exaggerated, but our energy policy is failing to deal with Britain’s fundamental incapacity to produce our own power.
Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, may have granted planning permission this week to a new nuclear power station, Hinkley Point in Somerset. But one nuclear power station, with two new reactors, isn’t nearly enough. Moreover, it will take a decade to build and, even then, will only provide seven per cent of the country’s energy needs.
WHAT do Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie, Philip Davies Christopher Chope and I have in common?
We were the only MPs to vote against the 2008 Climate Change Bill, which is to say we had by then considered all the evidence and found it wanting.
For years we have endured insults.
Behind the scenes Fiona Bruce, normally the most courteous of broadcasters, called me a “flat-earther” to my face.
Others branded us “deniers” as if we were disputing the holocaust. The Al Gore film was accorded the status of Holy Writ. David Bellamy lost his job. Doubting scientists were scorned.
Nigel Lawson found it difficult to get his book An Appeal To Reason published.
In short there was an orthodoxy which was enforced with all the rigour of communism or fascism or, for that matter, the Spanish Inquisition. Dissenters must not be heard and global warming became a religion.
In 1988, the year global warming made its entrance into politics, Margaret Thatcher declared that mankind had unwittingly been carrying out a massive experiment with the planet, in which the burning of fossil fuels would produce greenhouse gases, leading to higher global temperatures. The results of this experiment remain an open question. As Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, acknowledged last month, there has been a 17-year pause in the rise of average global temperatures.
Of more immediate consequence to British families is that the UK has embarked on perhaps the most aggressive political experiment attempted in peacetime – gradually outlawing the use of fossil fuels, which we have relied on since the Industrial Revolution, as our principal source of energy. The results are already evident. Two weeks ago, Alistair Buchanan, chief executive of Ofgem, warned of rising energy bills, and questioned whether Britain would be able to keep the lights on. When there is a glut of natural gas in the US and coal prices are plunging in Europe, this country faces a green energy crunch as it attempts to decarbonise its economy.
Environmentalism has taken the Marxist concept of the alienation of the working class and applied it to the rich man’s alienation from nature. “By losing sight of our relationship with Nature… ,” the Prince of Wales wrote in 2009, “we have engendered a profoundly dangerous alienation.” In one respect, environmentalism is even more radical than Marxism. Whereas Marxism aimed to change the relations of the working class to the means of production, environmentalism is about changing the means of production themselves. Ironically, Marxism was a flop in the West, whereas environmentalism has triumphed.
One reason Britain has gone so far down the green path is that politicians have not been honest about its economic implications. During the passage of the Climate Change Act in 2008, which commits Britain to cutting net carbon emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050, the energy minister Phil Woolas rejected his own department’s estimate that the costs could exceed the benefits by £95 billion. The House of Commons never debated the costs and the Bill was passed, with only five MPs voting against.
Britain’s deeply unpopular Climate Change Act (2008) may be set for repeal as another politician joins the growing number of MP’s aghast at the damage it is having on the nation’s ailing economy.
Conservative Member of Parliament, Douglas Carswell’s mea culpa today (February 25, 2013) shows dignity and acceptance of the weight of evidence conflicting with the already scientifically dubious notion of human-caused global warming. “My biggest regret as an MP is that I failed to oppose the 2008 Climate Change Act. It was a mistake. I am sorry,” said Carswell on his blog.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of last week’s surprise admission by Rajendra Pachuari, the UN’s head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr. Pachauri conceded that we are now into a 17-year pause in global temperature rises, as confirmed recently by Britain's Met Office. Even NASA’s most strident climate doomsayer, Dr. James Hansen concedes there has been "a pause” in any temperature rise.
The 2008 rush to enact the UK’s "carbon tax" is now dismissed by Carswell as “gesture legislation” and like other politicians he admits “this law has turned out to have real consequences.” Like others Carswell has woken up to the stark reality of just how much the UK’s Climate Change Act has pushed up energy prices and is “squeezing households and making economic recovery ever more elusive,” says the MP. Under the Act the government is currently legally committed to cutting CO2 emissions by 35 per cent by 2022 and 50 per cent by 2025. In contrast, the EU is only committed to cutting emissions 20 per cent by 2020.Skyrocketing energy bills have forced 6 million households in fuel poverty and the proposed Carbon Floor Price will increase this number to 12 million - that is 1 in 4 households
The following extract comes The Guardian article Lord Deben: Thatcherite turned green warrior defends Climate Act by Fiona Harvey....Some Tory MPs have taken to booing and jeering every time the Climate Change Act is mentioned in the Commons. A growing section of the party would like the Committee on Climate Change to be scrapped and the act repealed.
Their hero is climate sceptic Peter Lilley, a former cabinet colleague of Deben's under John Major, and recently appointed to the select committee on energy and climate change, where he will play a key role in recommending changes to legislation. Lilley's appointment is seen as a bridgehead for his fellow rightwingers to attack the act and all green policies. Their campaign got a further boost when Osborne's father-in-law was recorded saying the chancellor was opposing the "absurd" climate targets. Another rightwing Tory, the junior energy minister John Hayes, has prompted a series of rows with the secretary of state, the Lib Dem Ed Davey, over wind energy....click source for full report from Fiona Harvey
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You are advised to arrive about 12.30pm to get through security, further details will be posted on WeatherAction, ClimateRealists and other sites
· THE SCIENCE – CO2 CLIMATE WARMIST THEORY HAS FAILED
Report on the dramatic weather of the year and exposing climate and weather falsities put forward by CO2 warmists - BBC; PLUS the physics of why the CO2 theory is absurd AND some exciting forecasts – Piers Corbyn.
· IT’LL COST YOU! – CO2 WARMIST POLICIES ARE A TAX CON AND DON’T WORK EVEN IN THEIR OWN TERMS –
The failure and crippling costs and sheer madness of wind farms, solar panels, carbon capture and so on; while shale gas and other sources are available in abundance to meet energy needs.
The following Climate Protest was launched by a handful of Climate Realists against a hundred or so "Green" and Uniformed protesters, a single voice could be heard in the crowd, namely, Piers Corbyn, he had the most to say.......
Green Isn't Working Demo. On the steps of HM Treasury, Westminster, London. 18th Oct. 2012, 10am. Raising the public's concern about costly windfarms which are increasing fuel poverty. The "enviromental Taliban" tried to stop the public's voice. The Green NGO's wore a political uniform of black coats with green helmets! Are these caring charity workers or political militants?
There's a nasty shock in store for the British householder when a new 'carbon' tax comes into force
Fast approaching, if largely unnoticed, is yet another massive shock the Government has in store for us with its weirdly distorted energy policy. It is surprising to see what an abnormally high proportion of the electricity needed to keep our lights on has lately been coming from coal-fired power stations. Last Wednesday evening, for instance, this was over 50 per cent, with only 1.3 per cent coming from wind power. Yet by next March, we learn, five of our largest coal-fired plants, capable of supplying a fifth of our average power needs, are to be shut down, much earlier than expected, under an EU anti-pollution directive.
One reason why these plants are being hammered through their remaining quota of hours allowed by the EU is that a new UK tax comes into force next April, which aims to make fossil-fuel power significantly more expensive. In 2010, George Osborne announced his intention to impose, from April 2013, a “carbon floor price” of £16 on every tonne of CO2 emitted by British industry, rising to £30 a tonne by 2020 and £70 a tonne by 2030.
Green lobby groups have been defeated, as energy minister favours massive investment in gas generation
Last week saw a truly momentous defeat for the green lobby groups which, in the past decade, have exercised almost complete control over Britain’s future energy policy. The fact that this took the form of a mighty slapdown for Lord Deben (formerly John Gummer), newly confirmed chairman of the Climate Change Committee, makes it all the more telling.
As his first act on being appointed to head this committee, set up to advise the Government under the 2008 Climate Change Act, Lord Deben wrote an extraordinary open letter to Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. This expressed his committee’s “great concern” over a statement by Mr Davey in July that indicated that Britain must continue to rely heavily on gas to produce electricity. Although Mr Davey is still proposing to build 30,000 inefficient and unreliable wind turbines, he was implicitly recognising that these could only help to keep Britain’s lights on if they are supplemented by a massive new “dash for gas”.
As I wrote at the time, this drives a coach and horses through Britain’s legal commitment under the Climate Change Act to reduce CO2 emissions by four fifths in less than 40 years. Lord Deben’s letter made exactly the same point. In the letter, signed by seven members of his committee, all unquestioning believers in the need for renewables to combat global warming, he and his colleagues went even further. Astoundingly, they called on Mr Davey to issue a statutory instrument banning the use of fossil fuels to provide electricity. Of course, they did not put it like that. They urged him to impose a maximum emissions limit on power generation of 50 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour (kWh). But since only nuclear and renewables are below that threshold, while gas emits 400 grams per kWh and coal 700, what in effect they were calling for was an end to any further use of the fuels that currently supply some 75 per cent of our electricity.