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HoC Climate change committee notes the appointment of chairmen to the select committees of the UK's House of Commons. This one is striking...

Energy and climate change committee - Tim Yeo (Con)

Yeo has easily made the transition from the environmental audit committee, which he chaired in the last parliament, after that committee's chair passed to Labour hands. He beat Philip Hollobone despite declaring an impressive range of interests, including a non-executive directorship of Groupe Eurotunnel, a non-executive chairmanship of AFC Energy and a consultant role for Regenesis.

It is very hard to look an anything that goes on at Westminster without getting a faint whiff of something unpleasant.

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Reader Comments (22)

Institutionalised corruption... with a thin veneer of parliamentary process...

Jun 13, 2010 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Back in March and April I emailed Tim Yeo with regards to statements of the Environmental Audit Committee. The reply from Yeo to the first email ignored what I said and was full of the usual statements about the 10 warmest years on record and the scientific consensus. The second one fell foul of the election and was answered by the Clerk of the Committee, but reiterated ther "overwhelming scientific authority" mantra.

Having written to the new PM and various ministers and my MP, with the usual propaganda response from DECC, I am at a loss to know where to go next.

Anybody got any ideas?

Jun 13, 2010 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"...a faint whiff of something unpleasant."

You think that's bad, take a sniff at this:

"Just weeks after party leader Nick Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister, his lawyer wife Miriam accepted a lucrative job with Acciona - the world's largest provider of wind farms...."

The green muck-heap.

Jun 13, 2010 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPops

I hadn't seen that about Miriam Clegg, thanks Pops. Then Huhne says:

'We can put Europe ahead of the game by taking new lowcarbon economic opportunities.'

Just like Green put us ahead of the game in South Africa last night. He certainly affected it and as the farsighted man he is took the opportunity to move it ahead of expected to its final conclusion. His impact was about as welcome as that of wind farms on our economy so it continues to seem a good fit.

Among the Labour select committee chairpersons, Joan Walley, winner of the 2004 Epolitix environment champion award, beat Barry Gardiner of GLOBE to Environmental Audit and Andrew Miller trumped Graham Stringer at Science and Technology. I wonder if Stringer will be elected to the committee again. A civil servant friend who used to assist with Scitec could offer no assurance on that, given the system is entirely new.

Although there are glaring examples of conflict of interest involved with Tim Yeo, Miriam Clegg, uncle Ron Oxburgh and all, I would accept that the secret ballot of MPs mainly reflects false belief about how strong the science of AGW is. Which is why this blog and others like it continue to be so valuable.

Jun 13, 2010 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

RD In your first paragraph you are being very harsh on Green, who made an honest cock-up. There is no comparison with the crookery that has gone on here.

I agree 100% with the second part, though. There is still a sense in the political class that warmists are the good guys, trying to save the poley bears, and sceptics are all evil polluters funded by big oil. It doesn't matter how many times it is pointed out to them that it is in fact the warmist lobby that is heavily funded by the energy industry, with the BP/UEA and Tata/Pachauri links being just the most obvious, they just don't want to know.

Jun 13, 2010 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

David S

with the BP/UEA and Tata/Pachauri links being just the most obvious, they just don't want to know.

Looks like their American Idol, Obama, is about to gut BP. So it will be interesting to watch.

As for Green, I agree -- he has to live with it. That should be punishment enough.

Jun 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo, you point out a marvelous, heart rending, irony for Obama. Beyond Petroleum was supposed to be a big partner in the grand new green order.

It puts him in quite a spot. Nobody deserves it better.

Jun 13, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

I have spoken to three Conservative MPs about AGW and their knowledge of not just the subject but the facts is quite abysmal. They each quoted the IPCC as if it was proof positive. I fear for the issue if Cameron is another of those who do not question before making policy. A sherry or two with Zac is not proper consideration of the subject.

Jun 13, 2010 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony

Phillip Bratby

They are fighting a rear guard action and know it. It is not given to all of us to express ourselves well but I sense you like the Bishop, have that gift, the geo- chemico- physico- astro- historical record, and your fellow commenters, are solid behind you. Just keep driving on, wear them down, they have a weak hand, and will fold it before the game finishes.

Jun 13, 2010 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Has anyone else noted how relatively quiet Greenpeace , WWF and other major green lobbyists have been over the BP disaster. Maybe they are too beholdened to them financially to speak out too much.

Jun 13, 2010 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Our MP, Peter Lilley, is well-informed and seriously sceptical, but unfortunately appears to have been marginalised by the Goldsmith tendency, for whom economics means no more than directing borrowed money towards one's own pet projects, just like Brown and Darling did.

Jun 13, 2010 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Davis S

Lilley has sacrificed much for his stand against climate malfaisance or rather ignorance. Several senior posts including Shadow Chancellor under Hague, he should be riding high but for his lone struggle, testified for posterity in Hansard in numerous debates with virtually the whole house vilifying him. He has my respect.

Jun 13, 2010 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

David S, the comments on Robert Green were playful. I don't think football's that important, when push comes to shove, but I think the destruction that can be wreaked by unthinking application of green dogma is very serious, as you obviously do. I've no hard feelings about any England footballer. I just found the name connected to an unusually inept piece of play last night quite funny.

I strongly concur on Peter Lilley and on the general laziness of the moral approach of so many others, including those in public life. What I would call thinking rationally about the AGW hypothesis and whether it makes any sense at all to try to cut carbon emissions, not least for the billion and half in the world without electricity, has become the epitome of evil in the worldview of many. I view the oil company conspiracy theories as nothing but a symptom of this deeper malaise. For as you say people seem quite unaffected by evidence (in terms of what BP and Shell have funded over here, let alone the conflicts of interest of a Pachauri or a Strong) that suggests exactly the opposite.

This irrationality is a really disturbing development - but I also feel it's no good harking back to 'traditional religion' to give perspective. We need something more radical than that, as they did in the time of Wesley and the Enlightenment. Traditional forms won't hack it in the face of what is in fact a new and potent religion, as Ian Plimer has cogently argued. May you live in interesting times, as the Chinese would say. Ah yes, then there's the Chinese and what they're up to in all this ... but that has to be for another day :)

Jun 14, 2010 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I have long admired Peter Lilley since I saw him on a fly on the wall documentary in the 1990s at an internal meeting at the home office when he was quizzing the officials in detail about progress on some system they were working on. His attention to the boring detail was impressive as he showed that he understood the process of delivery. He actually knew how to get things done.

He is also the only politician who can claim foresight about the financial crisis. This is what he said in 1997 when as shadow Chancellor he argued against Labour's changes to the banking regulation framework - the setting up of the FSA and the introduction of the tripartite regulatory system

With the removal of banking control to the Financial Services is difficult to see how and whether the Bank remains, as it surely must, responsible for ensuring the liquidity of the banking system and preventing systemic collapse.

The coverage of the FSA will be huge; its objectives will be many, and potentially in conflict with one another. The range of its activities will be so diverse that no one person in it will understand them all.

The Government may, almost casually, have bitten off more than they can chew. The process of setting up the FSA may cause regulators to take their eye off the ball, while spivs and crooks have a field day.

Jun 14, 2010 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterDominic

Phillip Bratby

Anybody got any ideas?

Just keep driving on, wear them down, they have a weak hand, and will fold it before the game finishes.

I agree with Pharos, Phillip. Grind the bastards down. Until now, it has been the "Big Lie" at work, but with time and enough harping on the "leaders" of our respective countries, they will understand that that they risk removal from office.

Jun 14, 2010 at 4:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I agree that keeping on is essential.

I do detect that gradually the truth is seeping in to the general public mind.
With that will come the media and the politicians too, leading from behind, which is their job.

I see it this way.
A knowledgeable few have and are still analysing the issue thoroughly and this is being posted on leading blogs.
Others, like myself, read it and talks to a few neighbours.
So it spreads.

My wife and I had moring tea with neighbours yesterday.
Before Christmas - he was beside himself with anger when I questioned AGW.
Yesterday, he himself made a few critical comments - he has become a feint doubter.

The truth is slowly getting out.
It's frustratingly slow but its happening.

We must keep on.

Jun 14, 2010 at 6:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

It's a case of "Follow the money".
The money, in this case, being our tax revenues.
As we've all noticed, there's a bit of an overdraft issue with UK Plc (& a few other countries around the world). There's also a need to provide a few more jobs that are actually outside of the government machine (Or at least appear to be).
To help plug this hole, we have to pay for our sins, one of these has been identified as burning fossil fuels, one source of jobs has been labelled as being "Green" and are thus good & worthy.
If one Western government breaks ranks and declares that AGW isn't such a big threat, so removes justification for penal duties in fossil fuels & products thereof and there's no reason to disfigure the countryside with wind subsidy farms (currently producing a whacking 0.2% (90MW of our power! [Installed capacity of 1588MW, how's that for efficiency?] - ), then the rest will have a hard time trying to convince their voters that (insert name of country) either doesn't know what it's talking about or has very different power requirements.

Jun 14, 2010 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

I have emailed Yeo again in his new role (previously I emailed him as chair of the Environmental Audit Committee). The problem as I see it is they either don't want to hear the message (because thay daren't break ranks) or they don't understand. Every one of them defers to the "consensus" and the IPCC and other "august" bodies. IWLTBGMD.

Jun 14, 2010 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Tim Yeo was quoted as saying, "that anyone challenging the man-made global warming theory was likely to be old and dead within the next few years."

Tim Yeo's business interests include being chairman of a company that provides nursing home accommodation and domiciliary care, and as non-executive director of eco-companies Eco City Vehicles plc and AFC Energy (electricity from fuel cell technology) plc.

So his business plan to save the planet is to have the growing number of aging denialists transported by eco-vehicles to his care homes, homes that will be powered by fuel cells.

He seems to have the market covered.

Jun 14, 2010 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Register of Members’ Interests

Not going to post them all, example below, isn’t good being impartial?

AFC Energy; company developing alkaline fuel cell technology. Address: Unit 71.4 Dunsfold Park, Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8TB. Undertake duties as Chair, run board meetings and keep in touch with senior management.
Received payment of £3,750. Hours 6hrs. (Registered 15 August 2009)
Received payment of £3,750. Hours: 5 hrs. (Registered 12 September 2009)
Received payment of £3,750. Hours: 5 hrs. (Registered 12 October 2009)
Received payment of £3750. Hours: 7 hrs. (Registered 7 November 2009)
Received payment of £3750. Hours: 6 hrs. (Registered 7 December 2009)
Received payment of £3750. Hours: 6 hrs. (Registered 9 January 2010)
Received payment of £3,750. Hours: 5 hrs. (Registered 13 February 2010)
Received payment of £3,750. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 24 March 2010)

Jun 14, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Phillip Bratby Having written to the new PM and various ministers and my MP, with the usual propaganda response from DECC, I am at a loss to know where to go next.

Anybody got any ideas?

CAGW is an Extraordinary Popular Delusion to rival any on Charles MacKay's book and has an inertia that means it will not vanish overnight. I doubt that its eventual demise will come about because the Great and the Good suddenly recognise they have hoodwinked themselves and denounce it as nonsense.

I think its demise will come when the majority of the voting and tax paying population laugh it out of existence. Maybe another couple of cold winters...?

Jun 14, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Don't forget Chairman of Eco City Vehicles PLC AIM listed supplier of taxis and electric vehicles.

He has a list of his speeches, with links, on his web site,

Total commitment to the nonsense.

Jun 14, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA

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