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« Medieval Matt | Main | Parliamentarians do statistical significance »

Today on wind power

In amongst the carnage and bloodshed of the BBC's handling of the McAlpine affair, the Today programme took a moment to talk to Lord Deben and somebody from the Renewable Energy Foundation about subsidies for wind power.

Does it strike anyone else as strange that every time somebody from GWPF goes on the BBC they are asked about their funding, but every time Lord Deben goes on nobody asks him about his acknowledged (and continuing) conflicts of interest?

Anyway, Lord D was on top form, trying to convince everyone that wind is nearly cost-competitive with other forms of energy (the great levelised costs lie) and waffling on about the "devastation" of climate change.

Deben and REF

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Reader Comments (30)

Deben? Gummer, whatever.

Even - if that bloke was trying to convince me that the tide would return - I'd have to check his story.

Nov 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

a somewhat confusing read, but here goes:

Roger Harrabin slides seamlessly into Black’s place...

Nov 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Sadly it doesn't strike me as strange at all that the BBC behave like this. They were so keen to nail a Fatcha era top Tory as part of a peedo ring that normal standards of journalism went out of the window, (and decency and dignity). That is the way of the BBC now.

Nov 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

The chap from the Renewable Foundaton was John Constable, their director for policy and research who thinks (or thought in 2007) that wind energy shoud be produced off-shore.

Nov 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

So we're going for offshpore wind on environmental grounds. Pull the other one Deben.

And the CCC listens to all the experts and gets all the best evidence. Hmmm. As far as I can see, all the real experts and all the genuine evidence are ignored.

Nov 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I listened to this exchange this morning. I was rather gob-smacked to hear Constable say that subsidies should be abolished altogether as I thought the Today programme would not allow such heresy to be heard on their program!

I also found out that Deben is pronounced Deeben,and that he seems to think ('cos he said it) that as long as we in Britain maintain our renewable, 'low carbon' portfolio of energy production we would be doing good for Britain in that the climate for us would be OK (I paraphrase) no matter what the rest of the world did. He really did not have much idea about the fact that the climate is global or is effected globally (if, in fact it ever is). But you can see that he hasn't a clue what he's talking about as he prefaces his comments (at 56') with the standard poitician's/liar's phrase: 'The fact of the matter is...'.

The five minute slot is well worth a listen. You can find it at 51'50" in.

Nov 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

A full transcript of the Today programme segment is now here:

Nov 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Deben is indeed pronounced Deeben after the river a couple of miles from where I live, but Debenham is pronounced with a short e. That's Suffolk for you, bor.

Nov 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

For once, David Mellor has managed to say something that I can agree with. He said of George Entwhistle: "'I feel so disillussioned (sic DM) that such a man can rise without trace to be Director General. He came across as so out of touch, it made me it made me think Winnie the Pooh would have been more effective."

Nov 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Did anyone notice our great friend George Monbiot, a man with very close family ties to the leadership of the Conservative Party trying to derail the wheels of justice by naming Lord McAlpine ?

Here is George talking to the conservative Party Conference.,,1887360,00.html

For some strange reason, the Guardian forgot to mention that Monbiot's father was Deputy Chairman of the Tory Party at the time.

Nov 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

There's a full transcript of the segment of today's Today programme, with Lord Deben and John Constable, here:

Nov 10, 2012 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Is there a definition of "nearly cost-competitive"? I ask because the recent DECC response to e-petition "We do not want any more onshore wind turbines/farms in Norfolk or elsewhere in the UK." ( states:

Reports by ARUP and Parsons Brinckerhoff commissioned by DECC in 2011, found that the cheapest onshore wind has a cost of £75/MWh, which is around the cost of nuclear at £74/MWh.

Thus even the cheapest wind energy is more expensive than nuclear, and of course, nuclear is more expensive than any 'fossil-fuel' based generation. If we must have low-carbon electricity then surely nuclear should have preference over wind in that it provides well controlled output, does not need massive expansion of the grid, has far less impact on the countryside and is cheaper.

Nov 10, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Drake

That's Suffolk for you, bor.

Nov 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM | Mike Fowle


Nov 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

Folks it is no surprise that Deben has no clue about climate change, he is not interested in CC just as Pachauri is no longer interested. Both of them are about sustainability and Agenda 21. This is what Deben said to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee when he was "interviewed" for his job as Chair of the CCC:

"I do say to those who are sceptical about climate change that, really, there is no need to argue about climate change, because we have to do all these things anyway if we are going to feed a world that has 9 billion people. What we have to do for climate change, we have to do in any case"

Having said the above they give him a glowing report??
Can anyone think of a way in which reducing carbon emissions will help feed 9 billion people?

Nov 10, 2012 at 9:34 PM | Registered CommenterDung

O/T but Quite Interesting.

On QI XL tonight there was a question: What's smaller than the Moon and keeps moving the sea around?

Not a seal on caffeine

Not a whale

Not a school of fish

It accounts for 40% of the biomass of the ocean


Scientists at Caltech say they cause an enormous amount of mixing!

Contribute a TRILLION watts

Now given the amount of over-fishing in the last decades, and fish feed on jellyfish, could jellyfish account for the rise, if any of ocean heat content?

Nov 10, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

As it stands at five to ten in the evening UK time Saturday here's how much energy is being created by the wind:

Nov 10, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Apparently Winne the Pooh has just resigned.

Nov 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Reacting to the news, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: "It is a regrettable but the right decision. It is vital that credibility and public trust in this important national institution is restored.

"It is now crucial that the BBC puts the systems in place to ensure it can make first class news and current affairs programmes."

Nov 10, 2012 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

"It is vital that credibility and public trust in this important national institution is restored."

How about ensuring it has a mechanism that 100% prevents the likes of Winnie the Pooh, Harrabin and Black never get employed in the first place.

Nov 10, 2012 at 11:35 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

"How about ensuring it has a mechanism that 100% prevents the likes of Winnie the Pooh, Harrabin and Black never get employed in the first place"
Good News - I'd get back the BBC that I once loved.
Bad News - I'd have to pay another £140 pa on top of my increased fuel bills!
OK, I'll take the latter option.

Nov 10, 2012 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

how about BBC pays its own way!

9 Nov: Independent: Chris Bryant: Don’t bash the BBC too much. You know you’ll miss it when it’s gone
Even Chris Patten, the chairman of the BBC, sounds deeply downbeat about the future
Chris Patten addressed the trustees’ dinner at the British Museum on Wednesday. Speaking in the Enlightenment Gallery, he gave the most lugubrious, depressed, downbeat speech I have yet heard, either from him or from a BBC chairman. It was as if the whole weight of the world were upon his shoulders.
Sure, the BBC has a lot to answer for over what seems to have been a systemic failure to tackle Jimmy Savile and others. But for God’s sake don’t give up on the BBC. Bear in mind that, day by day, the extremely dedicated people who have always hated the corporation for personal, ideological or commercial reasons are grinding their axes. They got their way immediately after the election when the BBC was slashed by 25 per cent in one of the strangest and most secretive of government negotiations. BBC journalists are now being double-decimated. Production budgets were slashed, and doubtless Rupert Murdoch and his Tory acolytes are happy...

11 Nov: Independent: Ian Birrell: An epic, tragic blunder, but we must not let the BBC self-destruct
The Director General has stepped down, but the broadcaster needs yet more radical surgery
Yet we would miss it massively if it were not there: the quality of its news, its genuine quest for balance, its cultural reach, its creative daring, its public-service ethos. The more I travel around a fast-changing world covering foreign stories, the more I appreciate what a rare jewel it is, compared with fare on offer elsewhere. Why else is the World Service so precious in so many parts of the planet?...**

**because of its splendid coverage of the english premiership league?

Nov 11, 2012 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Deben states that this is 'insurance against climate change'. Surely, this is the knub of the issue. Do we really know how to control the climate, one way or the other. Most of our political leaders have been persuaded that we can't risk waiting for a definitive answer which does not yet exist. Meantime, the BBC, the most important information source in the planet refuses, with the support of like minded jurists, to reveal the evidence behind their decision to create more Deben disciples.


Nov 11, 2012 at 1:49 AM | Unregistered Commentermetro

They, BBC,have invested heavily in that industry?

Nov 11, 2012 at 2:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Nov 11, 2012 at 5:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Snotrocket 9:01 PM

From Urban Dictionary


Norfolk slang term meaning young man or boy. Used to address young males.

"hey, you up for some footy bor?"

“Hello, Bor, how’re yer gorn on, tergether?”

Nov 11, 2012 at 7:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

Bor is Norfolk in origin but some older Suffolk folk also use it.

Nov 11, 2012 at 8:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

The one redeeming factor of the BBC was that you saw a program without adverts. Now they spend so much TV time promoting their own BS that you might just as well have mildly entertaining adverts instead. The fact that programs are all timed to incorporate advert breaks, as the majority of TV stations require, negates any advantage the BBC once had. Now it is just a cumbersome bureaucratic, out dated,dinosaur and should be disbanded immediately. It won't be because both colours of government use it shamelessly as a propaganda outlet, whilst decrying it's bias in favour of the other side.

Having re-read my post I am surprised that I have used so many words to so say nothing of significance. Maybe I should apply for a BBC senior management post.

Nov 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDisko Troop

It gets better by the day. Now, according to the Mail, George Moonbat is potentially facing legal action regarding a Twitter comment he made about Lord McAlpine.

Nov 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Better still. The Mail is now referring to Moonbat and Bercow as 'the pair' hahahahah

Nov 11, 2012 at 9:22 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Today also did a piece on the wood-firing conversion work at Drax. Not very conclusive, except the ending remark that it would proceed whatever the updates to the Climate Change Act!

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

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