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« Dellers on Reason | Main | In which I catch a Turner »
Tuesday
Sep272011

Guilty men and guilty women

I've just been sent this video and transcript of Baroness Worthington speaking at an seminar called the CDKN Action Lab (H/T Barry Woods). In it she explains the roles she, David Cameron and David Milliband played in bringing the UK's Climate Change Act into being. When the time comes to point the finger of blame this will be a good place to start.

I started out in climate change, possibly like other people. My main passion after leaving university was environmental protection and biodiversity and habitats protection and species conservation.

I think it was around the mid-90s when I realised that all the work I had been doing to try and conserve species and habitats was about to be hit by this massive tidal wave of a problem which was global climate change. And, it was quite soon after that I tried to shift from the work I had been doing on legal protection of species and habitats to working on climate change, and I was fortunate enough to be employed by Friends of the Earth as their UK climate change campaigner. So that was my very first job that was specifically looking at climate change.

And after joining... I started to get very interested in the data...so I’m a little bit of a data geek I’m afraid. I like spread sheets and numbers. And I feel safe knowing the number tell you something and you can rely on them hopefully. So I looked at what was going on in the UK’s emissions history...of its record. And I realised that although we had been doing reasonably well in reducing our emissions. It had nothing to do with government policy. It was almost an accident, and it was largely down to the shift to gas. We discovered North Sea gas, we exploited it and built a lot of gas fired powered stations and those replaced pretty filthy old coal powered stations and we had a double benefit. So not only is gas a much cleaner fuel, but the stations themselves were newer and more efficient. So the government was very happy telling everyone, “We’ve got climate change licked, you know, were are doing very well". But actually it was an accident of economic policy. Nothing to do with the environment really.

And, so what then happened was in 1997 we had a Labour Government come into power. And their view of the world was slightly different to the preceding government and they actually brought in a moratorium on the building of gas fire powered stations, because they could see what was happening, which was essentially our coal base was being destroyed. Our miners were being put out of work and our power stations were shutting down. So they stopped the building of gas.

And pretty much things stood still for a while and what then happened was emissions started bouncing around a bit. So global commodity prices started shifting and you would see that if coal was particularly cheap, and gas was very expensive you would see these sudden spikes in our emissions when everyone switched back to coal. Those power stations that had been there since the 60’s were turned back on re-powered and started producing electricity again and this meant that really as a country we had no real control over our admissions.

We like to think we have this very sophisticated handle on the mitigation of climate change, but actually we were really at the mercy of global commodity prices. And, I felt that this was something that needed to be addressed if we were going to really seriously track down our emissions steadily over several decades we needed levers and tools which would enable us to control these forces...these uncontrollable economic impacts.

So, it was also slightly coloured by my background which I had been working on a campaign for new laws for biodiversity and I felt a legal solution for climate change was needed. The government policy at the time was to have policy documents. Every five years they would produce, a very nicely produced, very well written, very well meaning, but actually full of tiny, little policies. You know, a little bit of energy efficiency here, possibly a little bit of support for renewables over here, but no comprehensive view of: What are the big drivers of the economy? How do we get a handle on making these go in the right direction?

So we had two of these lovely looking climate change programmes, which did nothing really to drive emissions down and we at Friends of the Earth wrote a submission in the review before the third one to say, “Look guys are going to have to stop doing this and start a new approach, because this bottom up kind of tinkering with bits of policy is not delivering." And so we wrote a document which called for the introduction of carbon budgets, which is not a new idea, anyone who knows how the Kyoto Protocol works knows that, that sets the world’s carbon budgets. It says this is the amount we should be emitting as developed countries. And over this five year period you developed countries have to stay within that carbon budget - you can trade, but you know there’s a limit on how much you can emit.

So we thought take that idea and make it a national policy, so we will create a legal framework, with the UK Government is not just facing one five year budget created by the UN, but a succession of five year budgets leading out all the way to 2050. So that you have a line of emissions that’s known in advance, that is reducing over that period of time and everyone will...that will be a legally binding commitment. So that was Friends of the Earth’s suggestion.

And as with anything, when you are an NGO and you’re on the outside lobbying...you kind of hope that you are going to have an impact, you’re never really very sure. So we sent this document off. We had some signs that it was being well received, Elliot Morley who was environment minister at the time invited us in, and you know, he is a lovely man and said, “This is the sort of thing we should be doing”, but we never really thought he’d have the power to do it.

But, then something changed, we then had a newly elected leader of the opposition. So David Cameron came in and wanted to reinvent the Conservative Party. And he decided to take an environmental theme. He changed the logo to a tree and he’d obviously listened to the focus groups. He’d realised that the environment was actually an issue for the electorate. So he was lobbied by the Friends of the Earth and he said, “Yeah, I’ll deliver you a Climate Change Act. If you vote me in I’ll give you the bill you want that will bring in this legal framework.” And that was hugely important, that Friends of the Earth campaign that enabled that got the opposition to take up this policy was really important.

At the same time David Miliband had just been made secretary of state for the Department of Food and the Environment and Rural Affairs I think it was then, the bit of government that did climate change. And he was also a young very powerful, dynamic character and he wanted to make his mark and I think initially he was quite sceptical about needing legislation, but there was David Cameron saying he would deliver a bill. So very quickly it became Government policy that they would also deliver a bill.

So already you can see that this process for change was dependent on things that you could not have predicted. That you needed certain characters in certain positions to really take this agenda forward. And, the degree of luck really involved was really quite astounding. And, it did really come down to these personalities these big people who wanted to make a difference.

So by the time David Miliband joined DEFRA, I had left Friends of the Earth, having set up the campaign, I spent some time in a power company learning how things work there, which was very interesting and they had then seconded me into DEFRA. So when David Miliband arrived and said, “Right it looks like we are going to have to have a Climate Change Bill, who do we know in the department who can help us with this?

Then someone said, “Well, Byrony wrote the document that Friends of the Earth, that kicked this whole thing off. Why don’t we get her in and see if she can help?” So I got shifted off my...I was doing some work on public awareness and a campaign about educating about climate change and told, “Right, you’re going to be part of a team of civil servants. We want you to draft a bill.”

And I mean it was quite a challenge. We were a team of I think about eight of us working full time - tasked with preparing a draft bill, and not just a fairly large bill but also in a quite short period of time David Miliband was convinced he was going to be reshuffled off to another department. So he wanted action fast. So he said,”I want this bill in three months”. So the lawyers all said,”No, no, no... you can’t get a bill done in three months. It will take six or may be a year”. And we said, “Well, we’ve only got three months so let’s try it.

And that speed was another key factor, that looking back on it was really important, because one thing that Whitehall is very good at doing is producing huge amounts of documents, and papers, and concepts, and notes, but if you are moving fast often if you bombard people with huge amounts of information they will usually find a couple of things that they object to and then you have to have a process of negotiation on those one or two issues as opposed to the minute of every single clause, every single policy.

So we were fortunate in away that, because.. Let’s not pretend that the Government was united in wanting this. The Department of the Environment was very in favour, DFID was in favour, FCO was pretty much in favour, but certainly the Treasury thought this was a terrible idea and the Department of Business thought it was a terrible idea and largely because they felt the UK acting alone would be really detrimental to our competitiveness. And here we were proposing a self-imposed target that was going to last until 2050. And it would introduce costs and force businesses to move overseas...and the world was going to end, according to the Treasury. And we kept saying, “We don’t think that’s true. It’s all very moderate, very manageable and it’s important, because we have got to show leadership”, and it was.

So we ended up arguing with the Treasury more on the principle than on the detail. Because we were moving so fast that they had may be one or two policy people covering our brief, whereas we had a team of lawyers and us and all our special advisors and we were - basically, were able to outwit them a little bit by moving quickly so that was another element that led to it being successful.

And the draft bill come out with I think elements that were true to the Friends of the Earth concept. Friends of the Earth always wanted it to be more ambitious, or slightly different in its format, but it had the basic premise there which that was a legally binding cap, that would make the whole government responsible for delivering emissions reductions.

It had adaptation clauses in there. It had enabling powers that meant that in the future if the government wanted to introduce policies to constrain emissions they could do so easily.

And importantly it created an independent body called the Committee on Climate Change who would advise the government on how the budgets should be set and met over time. And those elements, those sort of key elements are what are now in the bill today.

And I think, where are we now? 2011. It was finally signed off by parliament in 2008. And has it made a difference? Well, I think the major difference it’s achieved is it’s made government take this issue more seriously. I don’t think it’s necessarily driving down emissions exactly the way we wanted it to, but every department now has a responsibility towards meeting the requirements of this bill.

There is an independent body - the Committee on Climate Change - who are able to talk to the media and create a sense of pressure on government to do the right thing. And we will know in the next few months, the fourth carbon budget is going to be set. Now the proposals from the committee are quite impressive they are quite tight, they are quite challenging and we are going to be seeing now how government is going to respond when that goes through parliament in terms of, will government stay true to its ideas of being a green government? And back a tight fourth carbon budget. So we will see what happens in the next few months. And actually, I should say my role since doing all this - I’ve just been made a baroness so... in the House of Lords and so my role having being involved in this, in quite a number of ways, my final role will be seeing how it goes through in the House of Lords and I’m hoping to be able to use my position to make sure it is as tight as it possibly can be.

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Reader Comments (172)

I listened to the whole, dreadful thing.....

Please may I remind everybody here that there is an epetition to repeal this disgusting legislation:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2035

This has been running for over a month now and there have only been 555 signatures. Does anybody here have any ideas how to promote it, or are there any better ideas how to stop this nonsense? It is no use just to complain - we need to do something!

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

"and this meant that really as a country we had no real control over our admissions. "

A telling freudian typo that one. :-)

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

Grief. I spent most of the time wondering whether she would poke her eye out.
Substantively, it is very scary how activists can manage to steamroll major things through with so little reflection.

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie

And there you have it. An energy/climate policy designed by anti-nuclear renewables boosters at FOE with unbelievable access to power. Literally unbelievable.

Don't be fooled by the self-depreciating tone. Here is someone who is breezily saying, gosh yes weren't we lucky to be able to lobby right at the very top of the government and the opposition, and get our ideas translated, post-haste, into legally binding policy complete with an unelected, unaccountable Committee on Climate Change to enforce it in perpetuity.

Energy policy literally dictated by Green lobbyists. Heaven help us all.

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Don't remember this being in any NuLiebour Manifesto or LD or CONS for that matter so we could never show our approval or displeasure at the ballot box. the next generation of Adair Turners are primed and ready to keep us in own place.

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterbreath of fresh air

From the archives:
I managed to get this past the thought police at Guardian Environment on the occasion of Lady Bryony’s coronation by Pope Damian

Don’t put your carbon up the flue Lady Worthington
Don’t put your carbon up the flue
There’s a couple of billion tons of it escaping every day
And the chaps in the East
Aren’t taking the least
Notice of what you say

It’s a trace gas
And one you can pass
Without any any effect
That we can detect
Or hinder in any way
Reason calls Lady Worthington
B*lls Lady Worthington
Don’t put your carbon up the flue

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

"when you are an NGO and you’re on the outside"

Well, that's the right place for a non-elected, self-serving bunch of liars - unfortunately it's yet another lie. These vermin are eating the heart out of our government, institutions and personal liberty and we can't even vote to get rid of them.

And she's deluded - if she's the numbers 'geek' she claims to be, why did she go to University to study ENGLISH LITERATURE??

Bedwetting halfwit.

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers

By jove she's got some rabbit.

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

"I divide officers into four classes -- the clever, the lazy, the stupid and the industrious. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the high staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy is fit for the very highest commands. He has the temperament and the requisite nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be removed immediately." - Attributed, circa 1933; General Baron Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

Here we see what happens to a nation that decides to leave the stupid and industrious in charge.

Interesting experiment - thank you running it. Presumably the write up will be in Nature, in due course...

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Reason calls Lady Worthington
B*lls Lady Worthington
Don’t put your carbon up the flue
Sep 27, 2011 at 7:32 PM geoffchambers

Sublime - Geoff

You're the only lefty I've encountered with a sense of humour.

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

This is so full of political discomforture-worthy quotes that I will be very surprised if the story fails to go viral and break bigtime.

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

This is the most fascinating analysis of the workings of democracy that I’ve read in a long time. (“...so Cameron does a focus group and goes like, “let’s go green”, and then this Miliband is young and dynamic and goes, like “let’s go green too...”).

The way she came to realise that the world is facing unprecedented peril is referred to very briefly at the beginning:

“I think it was around the mid-90s when I realised that all the work I had been doing to try and conserve species and habitats was about to be hit by this massive tidal wave of a problem which was global climate change”.

No evidence, no process of rational enquiry. No questions, no debate. And not the slightest contact with a voter.
Did it just came to her in a vision? Of course not. As she says herself, “the degree of luck really involved was really quite astounding”. An unproven hypothesis to support her biodiversity obsessions, and three political parties in the hands of clueless nerds. That’s all you need to destroy an economy.

And she’s in parliament for the next 40+ years.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Your Grace

And children such as she govern us?

God help us.

DP

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDP

Perhaps some of you might remember my remark about bi-polar behavior in some of these advocates. Do the following -- watch her with the audio turned off. Very rapid head, eye, and hand movements, with an apparent lack of focus on anyone or any thing. Now listen to her talk without looking at the video. A total lack of contiguity of thought from one utterance to the next.

From Bipolar symptoms

Mania Symptoms

Mania symptoms may include excessive happiness, excitement, irritability, restlessness, increased energy, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, high sex drive, and a tendency to make grand and unattainable plans.

Draw your own conclusions. I am just pointing out what I see.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Pass the sick bag, somebody!
I won't say I've never heard such nauseating drivel — I have been around quite a long time — but I can't remember when, if ever.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Your Grace: should we thank you for posting this?!
The ultimate handwaver; I could hardly believe that this woman could influence anybody but this does go some way towards showing how our political leaders are being influenced and the sort of rubbish being accepted as the truth without any sort of regard to an alternative point of view. She is a disgrace to the honours system (which has always been a bit dodgy anyway) and I hope Lord Lawson will be able in some measure to demonstrate the error of her ways. Not that anyone from the F of E would ever listen to anything apart from their own garbage. Difficult to stop myself punching the screen listening to her!
Tony

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Windsor

Donna Laframboise investigates the WWF and she is turning up some eye-popping connections:

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/09/23/how-the-wwf-infiltrated-the-ipcc-%e2%80%93-part-1/


http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/09/26/how-the-wwf-infiltrated-the-ipcc-part-2/

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterLynne

I wrote about Bryony a while back when she was enobled.
http://www.realclimategate.org/2010/11/climate-connections-an-alarmist-in-the-houses-of-parliament/

extract:
“Whilst at SSE, she was seconded to government to take part in writing the climate change bill, which is now law and binds the UK to cutting its carbon emissions. The idea of national carbon budgets, now in law, was hers”

extract:
In the Guardian on the anniversary of Climategate: (19th November )
Damian Carrington – Guardian Environment Editor has written a very nice nice article about her peerage
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/nov/19/labour-peer-bryony-worthington

Bryony Worthington is a 10:10 Campaign board member

Damian also splashed Bryony’s 10:10 Campaign ‘No Pressure’ video as a ‘scoop’ for the Guardian.
I imagine the Guardian must have had a really hard journalistic challenge on it’s hands to win the 10:10 Campaign scoop because:


Duncan Clark (10:10 Campaign Strategy Director), also writes for the Guardian in the Environment section.

Bryony has written 27 articles for the Guardian on emmision trading 10:10, Copenhagen and climate change.

Ed Gillespie [also Futerra] her colleague at Sandbag, also writes for the Guardian.

I imagine just this would be evidence of considerable man made global warming vested interests to many, yet this is just a small example of the many interlinked network of political, business, media, lobby group and personal connections that have built up over decades in the UK.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Oh, and a very big thank you to Barry Woods for drawing my attention to this video. I would love to see her talking while standing up. Another very common characteristic is "kneading" or shifting weight from one foot to the other and back in a repetitive manner. Any leads on that?

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Talking about the treasury she says,

"Because we were moving so fast that they had may be one or two policy people covering our brief, whereas we had a team of lawyers and us and all our special advisors and we were - basically, were able to outwit them a little bit by moving quickly so that was another element that led to it being successful."

Good to see that policy is decided by Government departments being "outwitted"

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDayday

According to Wikipedia, the first draft of the Climate Change Bill was written by Friends of the Earth. It was then rewritten after the election. Interesting to get confirmation of Cameron`s role in this. Somewhere I read that his wife is/was a Greenpeace activist. His father-in-law waxes fat on the proceeds of the windfarm on his estate.

The consequences for us all are dire. If you have not already seen this I recommend you listen to this speech by Rupert Soames, CEO of Aggreko, to the Scottish Parliament. He discusses how long it will take before the lights go out and why wishing things to happen will not make it so. It is about 21 minutes long but, I believe, well worth watching.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Oops! Omitted the link:
http://www.aggreko.com/media-centre/video-centre/rupert-soames-speech.aspx

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Does she live in Truro?

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

ZT

"I divide officers into four classes -- the clever, the lazy, the stupid and the industrious....."

Or to put it more succinctly: Better an idle fool than a busy one.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Sep 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Roger, I have been doing my level best to get people to sign your petition. There is a facebook club called Repeal the Climate Change Act, which has going on 800 members, and I have urged them to sign without much apparent success.

I overcame my initial reluctance to give my personal information and signed. Could it be that a lot of people feel unable to leave the personal details required to sign the petition? Could it be that some are afraid because of their jobs? I don't know, but it's frustrating.

Will keep on keeping on all the same :)

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterA Lovell

The very readable Counting Cats blog shines a spotlight on "campaigners" as the new version of what trade unions were in the 70s

now it is Campaigners who stalk the corridors of power, forcing their demands on the rest of us.
But while the motives of the unions were at least rather obvious to the cynic, the motivations of the Campaigners are more opaque; they can constantly hide behind a presumption of righteousness- that they are seeking to help others, to save children or save smokers or save England’s Green And Pleasant Land, and so on.

The blog continues...

...now we have [Cameron] “agreeing to talks” with The National Trust, just as a Wilson or Heath or Callaghan would have to “talk” with the unions. This is not democracy. It is the very antithesis of democracy.

One of the worst aspects of this is that these "campaigners" are paid by the taxpayer - to lobby the government.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Not the first woman to bring a nation to it's knees.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

“I’m a little bit of a data geek I’m afraid. I like spread sheets and numbers. And I feel safe knowing the numbers tell you something and you can rely on them hopefully”.

Someone who feels safe knowing that “the numbers” tell us we’re doomed is in need of serious help.

Don Pablo and others:
I don’t think you’ll get far with the psychological analysis. From the little of the video I could bear to watch, she looks like a totally normal member of the British leftwing chattering classes - just like me and practically everyone I know, in fact.
The only possible useful outcome of such analysis might be to provoke a libel action - the only way we’ll ever get a rational face to face debate with these people. I feel like screaming “ecofascist”, then I remember that real Nazis actually went to the bother of fighting elections.

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Clearly bonkers.

BBD, succinctly said, could not agree more.

Lord B. V funny...

Sep 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Taxation without representation is tyranny. Yeah, I know we didn't want to pay the defense bills.
================

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

@Roger Longstaff

Could someone get in touch with James Delingpole abut the petition? If he did a post on it, it might have some effect at encouraging more signatures.

Bishop?

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

A Lovell - thank you for your support. I think that you are right - many people are afraid to stand up and be counted, as is required to sign a government petition.

I am just a semi-retired physicist/engineer, but I think that I know the difference between right and wrong, and in extreme circumstances the difference between good and evil. Perhaps I am over-reacting but I am beginning to think that the Climate Change Act represents the sum of all evil.

But I refuse to see my country ruined by pompous, self-serving egomaniacs like this dreadfull "Baroness".

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Messenger,

I have tried the Telegraph (Delingpole), Mail, GWPF anf UKIP, but all are reluctant to promote petitions (I can see the point - they would get flooded with requests, and where to stop?).

Your Grace - could you use your influence?

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Josh,

The Red Baron-ess

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

This reminds me of the ambivalence I used to feel when watching Yes, Minister. Yes it was funny but at the same time you feared that it was actually too close to reality - and that would not be any laughing matter at all.

"but certainly the Treasury thought this was a terrible idea and the Department of Business thought it was a terrible idea and largely because they felt the UK acting alone would be really detrimental to our competitiveness".................

"So we ended up arguing with the Treasury more on the principle than on the detail. Because we were moving so fast that they had may be one or two policy people covering our brief, whereas we had a team of lawyers and us and all our special advisors and we were - basically, were able to outwit them a little bit by moving quickly so that was another element that led to it being successful."

Makes you want to cry frankly, the level this once great country has sunk to.

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterstanj

So, Mr Cameron, newly elected and desperate to appeal to anyone who might vote for him teams up with a Mr D Milliband who's looking for some way to make his name and beef up his career prospects, and a green activist who reckons she knows one end of a spreadsheet from another, and this crew push a half baked policy with no evidence base through government with what looks like everyone's opinion but the energy department?

No doubt our defence and economic policies are given the same deep and thoughtful consideration.

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

geoffchambers

I cannot speak for you or your friends, but I do have a couple graduate degrees from Cornell University in physiological psychology, with a strong background in biochemistry and pharmacology. I was merely pointing out the symptoms of manic phase bi-polar syndrome in her behavior. They are there. Now is it due to a clinical condition or was she play acting I cannot and did not say. Draw your own conclusions.

And perhaps you can explain your credentials when you make the observation of: "I don’t think you’ll get far with the psychological analysis."

And frankly, I do not like being threatened by "The only possible useful outcome of such analysis might be to provoke a libel action." I am Irish remember. We consider such statements as bullying. And given I am outside of the British Pale, not in the least worried.

I haven't step foot in the UK for 10 years and that was in NI from RoI. They don't check passports at that border anymore. Anyhow, I am not very worried about the UK's liable laws as I was giving a competent professional opinion on observed behavior, not the causes of that behavior.

As a final point, what do you ascribe the behavior of a " totally normal member of the British leftwing chattering classes" to? Just because they all do it doesn't make it normal, just typical. Very different things, actually.

My mother used to breed Siamese cats, and they had very characteristic behaviors which I would not call "normal" but inbreeding did make it an issue with the entire breed -- it was typical for them to be 'high strung" and noisy. Unfortunately, the cats could not vote, so I have no idea what their political views were.

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

OMG! (my daughter says that's the thing, these days) Twelve minutes-worth of involuntary colonic irrigation within the cranium! Even at scan speed, this was the most egregious video ever.

I so want Bryony Worthington to read two books: 'The Limits To Growth' (1972 - and a load of cr*p); and 'The Hockey Stick Illusion' (magic). She has after all, expressed a love of numbers ('I'm a little bit of a data geek. I love spreadsheets etc...').

I just wish people like her would take the trouble to get a broader education. (It reminds me of a 'high flyer' who joined my company back in the '90s. I asked her what her degree was in (she told me she had TWO!!!); and she then asked me what mine was in. I told her (it was 1994) that I had been to the same university as John Major. 'Wow!', she said, 'I'm impressed! Where was that?'

'Life', said I. (retires, stage left with tired look on face...)

Sep 27, 2011 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

And, so what then happened was in 1997 we had a Labour Government come into power. And their view of the world was slightly different to the preceding government

Slightly different?

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterjameshigham

She is typical of her kind. Earnest, worthy, smug, utterly convinced of her calling and very, very dangerous.

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterA Lovell

Thank you for this wonderful video. If Bertolt Brecht had written a play titled "Mother Red," it would have depicted Bryony perfectly.

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

I don't normally say a good word for Watermelons but she is pushing Thorium reactors in the house of Lords and has helped start the Weinburg foundation see here http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/index.php.
Even if you don't believe CO2 is evil (like me) getting LFTR's off the ground would be good for everybody.

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

A nice lady, but she will kill millions in the UK.

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

Thanks to Barry Woods and the Bish for this very interesting and informative video and transcript.

Re relevant additional material, in addition to the recent post about campaigners at Counting Cats, and Donna's ongoing series of analyses there is a new and excellent post at Climate Resistance about the role of green lobbyists in shaping government policy.

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Don Pablo: "Unfortunately, the cats could not vote, so I have no idea what their political views were."

Surely they were Maoists.

Sep 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Chris M - I don't normally say a good word for Watermelons but she is pushing Thorium reactors in the house of Lords...

I don't want to sound nit-picky, but there are many making the case for thorium, and her embracing of it will come with all sorts of eco-caveats that I for one am not comfortable with. Since there is only one (IIRC) commercial-ish reactor in the world, it's a bit too soon to start talking about it as a near or mid-term answer to our energy needs. We don't yet have the expertise to exploit thorium, and we've been investing instead in training our next generation of engineers in renewable energy generation. That is why I suggested to Worthington via tweet recently that "the time for thinking about thorium was before the drafting of CCA2008".

Her reply... "what is CCA2008?"

Precisely. It's as if she'd forgotten that it might stand in the way, of, you know, thinking about energy more positively. (Including some of the many other nuclear technologies involving uranium, which shouldn't be overlooked simply because we're so excited about thorium. The best thing about thorium is that it answers green whinges about resource-depletion.)

Sep 27, 2011 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

FAO. 'oldtimer' et al.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/8640824/Just-10-inches-from-oblivion.html
Geoffrey Lean's Telegraph blog 15th July 2011 - 'Might Greenpeace rename on of its ships SAMANTHA CAMERON, after its former supporter ?'.

Sep 27, 2011 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Lord B, again very funny! Great idea too...

Sep 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article6164181.ece
'It was she who persuaded him to run for leadership'.
(In case you had any doubts who's boss)

Sep 27, 2011 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

It's always illuminating, when plotting the labyrinthine networks surrounding these selfless megastars of the quangocracy to - follow the money.

After inveigling her unelected way into government, and being responsible for legislation which is now pushing thousands into poverty, "Baroness" Worthington didn't hesitate to hop across to the private sector - where she could indulge in a little traditional "nest feathering" at an environmental compliance consultancy called AMEE:-

Gavin Starks, Founder and CEO of AMEE commented, “AMEE’s growth over the past 12 months has been quite remarkable. We are delighted to have the financial and strategic support of such experienced investors to take our business forward.

AMEE is driving change by increasing the accuracy and transparency of emissions and consumption in a manner that has not been achieved by any legislation, market or service to date.

We have developed and demonstrated a forward-thinking and innovative business model. It is based around neutrality, scale and collaboration. This reflects the dramatic changes that will impact our societies, their financial and social systems in the years to come.

The execution of the Climate Change Act in the UK last week, combined with President Elect Obama’s forward-looking Federal Cap & Trade statements are indicators of the scale of change approaching us.”

Bryony Worthington, Head of International Policy at AMEE added, “As one of the authors of the UK Climate Change Act, I am delighted to be bringing dedicated solutions to industry and consumers. The time to act is now.”

http://www.amee.com/blog/2008/12/11/amee-fuelled-by-leading-vc-funds/

......... the age old question.... Cui Bono?

Sep 27, 2011 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

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