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« Proper wrong - Josh 194 | Main | Lewis on Schmidt on climate sensitivity »


The Mail on Sunday has a story about conflicts of interest in individuals involved in renewables policy. In fact, it is our old friends Lord Deben and Bernie Bulkin.

When quizzed by MPs before his appointment was confirmed, he was asked about his chairmanship of the £500 million company Veolia Water UK. Lord Deben insisted it did no energy-related business and only dealt with water. If it had ‘even a remote connection’ with the environment or climate change, he promised, he would step down.

In fact, Veolia – of which Lord Deben remains chairman – boasts on its website of supplying ‘large electrical grid connections for renewable energy producers’, and illustrates this with a large photograph of wind farms.

The firm also publishes a ‘case study’ of how its engineers ‘braved the Scottish gales’ to install 12 miles of high-voltage cable to connect the national grid to the Dalswinton windfarm near Dumfries.

You read it here first.

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Reader Comments (50)

This is no Wikileaks-style revelation. No reasonable person can think MPs "have been misled" when all the information was on the internet.

Jan 13, 2013 at 8:48 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Deben - same old, same old.

The David Rose article is excellent. A simple statement of reality.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:14 AM | Registered Commenterretireddave

BitBucket? You are keen to play devil's advocate against the general spirit of BH. So I think you add value to the site.

Recently, you also seem keen to promote/police a moral framework that you perhaps think BH does not meet. That is a more tricky area.

What is your opinion on this? Gummer? Yeo? This is a well written story in the MSM. In the "old" pre-internet days, just the sort of story that would form/activate public opinion. So safe ground (unless of course you think the only thing Daily Mail has correct are the football scores.)

We all know with roles reversed the greenies would be all over this with Ward, Lucas, WWF, Greenpeace demanding resignations, to be replaced by "house trained" appointees. With soft "friends" in the media backing it up.

Do you have an opinion on this? Silence no one should take negatively (no one is under any obligation to comment). Just interested.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Well, if he insists he'll step down, that'll save us the trouble of insisting he steps down then.

Also, check out John Selwyn Gummer, who hasn't declared his membership of the 'World Future Council' on the list of members interests.

WFC=Shady organisation driven by interests other than those of the British People

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered Commentertallbloke

He said Veolia’s core business was water, while Veolia’s grid connection division would be just as happy to connect a coal-fired power station as a wind farm.

Drax power station = 4000MW (coal fired)
Scout Moor = 2.5MW (onshore wind)
One coal fired power station = 1600 wind factories.

Which one is better for his business? One coal fired power station or 1600 wind factories?

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

If he said he would resign if there was a conflict of interest, then as a man of honour he will do so. There again, Tim Yeo said there was no conflict so that's all right then.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Talbloke - JS Gummer and Lord Deben are the same person.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterdc96

I loved this comment from the DM...

David Rose was wrong before and he is wrong now. Once again he uses cherry picked data points and a data set too short to be able to state statistical significance. He also can't have read hasn't read the MetOffice response which states this ---------"This means temperatures will remain well above the long-term average and we will continue to see temperatures like those which resulted in 2000-2009 being the warmest decade in the instrumental record dating back to 1850."---- Disgusting article in which once again David Rose & The Mail show their ignorance, willfull or otherwise, of science and how it works. But of course they are, as usual, pandering to an audience of deniers and fake sceptics so that's alright then isn't it.
- daveh1950 , North Yorkshire, 13/1/2013 08:22

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Bit O/T but still about Energy Policy.Better news from Japan

Gives more international incentive for the UK and EU to renew its ageing Nuke Power Stations.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

It shouldn't be necessary for Lord Deben to resign because the shareholders of Veolia ought to be so outraged that they give him the heave ho at the next AGM. Veolia is only concerned with water!

For a non executive director of a major company to have so little knowledge of the company that employs him is pathetic and Deben should be ashamed of himself. Veolia may have begun life as a water company but it has long since moved on into other areas, for example it is one of the UKs major waste disposal companies - nothing to do with the environment pah!

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Can anyone here point me to a graph showing the temperature stats for Australia since they started perhaps more than 100 years ago. I've looked but no luck so far.

Jan 13, 2013 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul


I noticed that one too. I mean how dare the DM publish an article critical of that clowns religion!!!!


Jan 13, 2013 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Jiminy Cricket -

I see the commenter was a daveh1950 from North Yorkshire. Do you think that 1950 was when he was born OR the last time he engaged his brain? My Dad was a Yorkshireman but I never held against him!!

But seriously the lack of critical thinking amongst some the AGW foot soldiers is quite amazing. I guess this guy would still be making such comments as the glacial edge moved over Yorkshire. People like this are just religious believers and we all know that CAGW is now 90% superstition.

I think there are signs that science is beginning to return to climate science, but when even the Met Office continues to display its faith that the warming will be as bad as ever eventually who knows.

Jan 13, 2013 at 10:31 AM | Registered Commenterretireddave

In David Rose's MoS look back article ...
I like the red-orange polar map and ...
I like the red-orange Aussie pic and ...
I like the red-orange temperature graph ... Hmm...
Is there some reason for this pattern here?
Is the picture-puter-innerer on Rose's side? ;-)

Jan 13, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrady

Does the eco-stalinism to which David Rose refers provide rascals with a sense of security that they can get away with anything, even brazen attempts at deception over temperatures and vested interests that can be readily checked? This is not just unimpressive people being no better than they can be, this is deliberate deception. Groupthink is said to include a sense of invulnerability for those immersed in it. Perhaps we are merely seeing some UK illustrations here of what is a Global Groupthink event?

Jan 13, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

A bit O/T, I know, but I recently stumbled upon this talk at the(?) Nobel Institute. Apparently the blog’s author is in full agreement with the “philosopher’s” sentiments.

It is frightening. Very, very frightening.

(Hope the links works - not something I do very often. For Justin (Justin Case - we all know him), I'll add this:

Jan 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

As well as these other interests, Gummer is a Council Member for the World Future Council, a rather shadowy Marxist outfit. One of their policies is

Global common goods to be placed in trusts, coordinated by a revived UN Trusteeship Council, setting sustainable usage caps and distributing “commons income” usage fees as a basic citizen’s income.

See their full manifesto here.

Gummer is one of about 40 such Members, whose role is a policy setting one. (i.e. it is not just like being a member of the golf club). Other policies include ending nuclear subsisdies, nuclear disarmament etc.

There would certainly be a possible conflict of interest with his role at the CCC. Yet Gummer has NOT declared this membership in his Register of Interests at the House of Lords, and the DECC made no mention of it on his appointment.

I have submitted a written complaint to the Commissioner for Standards at the House of Lords, and he has confirmed that it warrants investigation and has written to said Gummer.

I also have a FOI out with DECC to see what they know.

Jan 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

J S Gummer and Lord Deben don't amount to half a person.

Jan 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

Ah yes, the Australian bushfires. Something rarely seen in this part of the world. The PM talks of climate change while people rummage through the ashes of their homes. The opposition leader is unavailable to comment on Monbiot's question because he is on duty as a volunteer firefighter.

And then, like cockroaches upon opening a long forgotten cardboard box, they appear - the climate scientists! Profs Flannery and Karoly in HD digital telling us that if you think this is bad you ain't seen nuthin yet. One heads our Climate Commission and the other is a learned member. We are very fortunate to have men of this calibre and integrity guiding us on catastrophic climate matters.

Jan 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

As shown in Paul Homewood's link, Deben/Gummer (Dummer?) is just the advanced guard;

"An ecological literacy test to be introduced for candidates for public office, economists and business school graduates."

I suggest he brings that up in his defence at the HoC.

Jan 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Dont forget Dumber's presidency of Globe International which also has policy aims which conflict with UK government.

If the MO has declared that the old climate models it used are unfit for purpose and also states that the new model has only been run for the next 5 years, on what basis does it predict that the climate will return to a warming trend?

Jan 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Talbloke - JS Gummer and Lord Deben are the same person.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM | dc96

Ah1 But do JS Gummer and Lord Deben know that?

Jan 13, 2013 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Back in 2007, when the Labour Government was preparing what became the Climate Change Act, far from being neutral, the Met Office made a blatant attempt to influence political debate.
In a glossy brochure, it revealed it had a ‘new system’ that could predict the future, by combining analysis of natural variability with long-term trends. The system, it warned, showed that by 2014 ‘global average temperature is expected to have risen by around 0.3 degrees compared to 2004, and half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than the current record hot year, 1998’.

"The first time that these initialised forecasting techniques were used for decadal forecasting was this paper published in 2007. So this was the first time there was actually a proper forecast looking forward in time - anything before then is a hindcast. This is the case for all versions of the decadal forecast that you might find".

Jan 10, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Richard Betts

Jan 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Until recently Debummer was also chair of Forewind ltd.

Jan 13, 2013 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

On the MSM theme, Booker has commented on the Met Office's experimental decadal forecast

Jan 13, 2013 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

A day before the revised Met Office forecast broke, US blog site Planet 3.0 awarded me its Golden Horseshoe award for the ‘most brazenly damaging and malign bad science of 2013’.

Michael Tobis must be given the Golden Chuztpah Award. He and his band of flops are continuing an award for 'bad science', instituted by ... Peter Gleick. Says everything you need to know about the neo-Malthusians and their 'Planet' 3.0.

It is no coincidence that people like the Planet 3 gang and Peter Gleick want to get into positions, or issue pronouncements on science integrity, and on what is 'good' science and 'bad' science. The wolves always want to guard the sheep pen.

Jan 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM | Registered Commentershub

Did anyone see the Guardian editorial this morning..

"In fact, the Met Office's figures indicate that most of the years between 2013 and 2017 will be hotter than those of the hottest year on record. More to the point, British forecasters still stand by their longer-term projections that anticipate there will be significant warming over the course of the century."

I've persuaded the Met Office Chief Press Office to tell the Guardian that what they said was incorrect...!

Chief Press Officer ‏@metofficenews
@omnologos @BarryJWoods @richardabetts @rogtallbloke @ret_ward I've spoken to Observer, asked them to correct error and i've posted comment

Jan 13, 2013 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Add to this the undeniable {ahem} evidence of e-mail deletions and efforts ongoing to simply ignore FOIA and disclosure by 'the team' and their enablers, and the reality is that the climatocracy is just another kleptocratic movement using the self-righteousness of environmentalism and cliamte hype to shake us down.

Jan 13, 2013 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing


I hope you arent suggesting that the good reporters at the Guardian blatantly lied to their readers Barry? :)



Jan 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

O/T - except it is nice to celebrate someone who has principals rather than look at politicians.

I was direct by GWPF to the Independent piece on David Bellamy - I thought I would have a look at the comments (I know, I know, I should have known better) - some amazing stuff on there.

I salute those of you trawl through the Gruniad and Indy stuff - I just couldn't last 10 minutes without needing a new monitor. The level of ignorance and nastiness is rather sad.

Jan 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

According to the CPI ( Corruption Perceptions Index ), an attempt to quantify relative levels of public sector corruption, countries are rated on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). The UK scores 74%, ( ranking 17th cleanest in the world) and scoring about the same as Belgium, Barbados, Japan, the US, Chile and Uruguay.

Intuitively, environmental related funding forms a significant target for corruption, not least given the large and poorly audited international budgets for environmental related foreign aid, going mainly to countries with extremely high corruption indices- see map in link below

Jan 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

As usual Barry Woods is playing the ball,

See the Gaurdianista article up at the great Tom Nelson site.
Of even more interest to me (an Irishman - and defender of the efficatious effects of Jameson 10 whiskEy), Tom has two other crackers, One unbelievable one from the Irish Sun from a Prof from Maynooth College who is a pal of Al Gorejezeera. The most perceptive is from the Asian Tribune linked from Tom. This shows that realism (regarding the great scam) is not confined to WASPS.

Jan 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterpatthepoet


"He said Veolia’s core business was water, while Veolia’s grid connection division would be just as happy to connect a coal-fired power station as a wind farm."

Wouldn't it be interesting to see Veolia's business plan.

Under current Guvmint policies, how many coal-fired power stations are likely to need a connection? (Clue, last one built was probably Drax, in 1974). And how many wind farms already have planning consent?

What a weasel.

Oh! Sorry, weasels. Completely uncalled for.......

Jan 13, 2013 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

@ Paul [Jan 13, 2013 at 10:01 AM ]

Can anyone here point me to a graph showing the temperature stats for Australia since they started perhaps more than 100 years ago. I've looked but no luck so far.

There's a good list of Australian graphs on the late John Daly's website - What The Stations Say

For more recent data try Clive Best's clever interactive map.

Note that GCHN data is totally untrustworthy, e.g.: An Adjustment Like Alice

Jan 13, 2013 at 6:31 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Articles of association for VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT (their spelling!)

3) The object of the Company, directly or indirectly, in France and in all other countries, is:

- carrying on, for private, business and public customers, all service activities relating to the environment and, more particularly, to water, sewage, energy, transport, cleaning, etc.

Jan 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Slightly OT, but the Sunday Times reports that Mark Lynas now supports GM farming and apologises for his previous Guardian articles and other activities.
He admits to attacking the science of GM even though he had done no academic research (reading! ) and had a pretty limited personal understanding.
Amazing but typical of the 'environmentalists'. I wonder how much 'research' Lynas has managed on AGW and the same query for Dave1950 and the rest of the co-religionists.
Gummer and Yeo should banned from holding any government positions.

Jan 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

How much work/understanding Lynas has done on AGW can be seen by his statement when it was first pointed out in The Spectator that there might be a standstill in global temperatures. He said it was "wrong, totally wrong." he was dogmatic whilst demonstrating an almost total ignorance of the technicalities of the subject of which he was a self appointed expert.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterTHr

People like Lynas, Monbiot, Flannery etc etc and most politicians have an unusual but not rare genetic abnormality - the absence of the 'embarrassment' gene.

Jan 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

The current Holocene has been cooling for 10,000 years and CO2 cannot overheat the planet as its relationship to heat creation is logarithmic something the climate models appear to now reflect. So what do they do? They ramp up the positive feedback and put very little in for the negatives.
In fact Ms Sligo has said that their predictions would be affected by volcanic eruptions.
Major negative feedback is cloud, rain and volcanic ash...but they have not allowed for one of the three. Who knows what else?
CO2 levels 15 times higher 500million years ago, circa 5,700ppm and absorbed over millions of years by the plant world. Average was around 2,100 over the various periods from Cambrian to present day.
Did the planet green up...or burn up? greened up...thats why we are here. At the end of the last Glaciation we were at 180ppm...only 30ppm above extinction! 280ppm is what idiots and Luddites think we should be at but that is way too low. We are actually suffering from CO2 starvation as commercial growers use CO2 in doses of 800ppm - 1200ppmm to achieve better yields averaging at 33%.
It would therefore be sensible to have such a levels in the climate if it were at all possible.
With cooling on the horizon later this century we are going to need as much CO2 as possible to feed everyone and the plants will love it as it improves photosynthesis and in desert like conditions helps plants to retain moisture, so in theory we can use land currently unsuitable for growing.
The belief that the planet's number one fertiliser could damage Mother Earth is beyond laughable and reflects total ignorance.
In 2002 the Aqua Satellite was launched and part of it's mission was to check for hotspots in the Troposphere, which was looked on as evidence of AGW...nothing found! So with the temp data and CO2 working against the mantra, "Global Warming" becomes "Climate Change"...a catch all excuse. There are not 97% of scientists who believe in climate is 100%. However what the IPPC actually mean is AGW and for that only around 33% of scientists believe the nonsense and they are largely infuenced by the IPCC scientists who have been found wanting time and time again.
Their crazy predictions come from using playstations and their garbage in and garbage out principal leads to scare stories that never come true.
Please tell Jimmy Cricket that I am real, very angry and willing to leave the imprint of a size 9 on his backside.

Jan 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterHolbrook


Please do not hurt our Jiminy >.< he is very popular and says many things that you seem to agree with, what did he do to annoy you Mr Holbrook? ^.^

Jan 13, 2013 at 11:22 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Rose writes:

On Tuesday, news finally broke of a revised Met Office ‘decadal forecast’, which not only acknowledges the pause, but predicts it will continue at least until 2017. It says world temperatures are likely to stay around 0.43 degrees above the long-term average – as by then they will have done for 20 years.

Based on their record of previous forecasts, it looks like we will experience global cooling in the next four years.

Jan 13, 2013 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Aussie fires - I want to know if it's the alarmists out there lighting them, you know, to make us all realize "it's worse than we thought." - It wouldn't surprise me, they are all game for anything, including destruction, for their Cause. Arsonists are rife here in Australia and have been for years. How many are Green? The... [insert swear word(s) of your choice]!

Jan 14, 2013 at 6:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterA.D. Everard

Up here local councillors who belong for example, to the local sailing club or the local gardening society, are not allowed to vote on matters which concern the local sailing club, or the local gardening society, presumably even if they declare it, because, we are told, they must not give the slightest hint of bias.

Why is there one rule for local councillors and another for MPs who are actually making large sums of money from their "interests"?

Jan 14, 2013 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

He's in the news again this morning, due to a report from GLOBE International of which he's now president (following Stephen Byers and Elliot Morley). The article from Harrabin contains this gem: "these changes are way off the pace scientists say is needed to stave off potentially dangerous climate change. The World Bank warned recently that temperatures might rise by a catastrophic 4C (7F) above pre-industrial levels".

Jan 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews


As I noted on "Unthreaded" this morning, Gummer/Deben - commenting on that Globe report - seems to have persuaded himself that "progress at a national level" means that

"The tide is beginning to turn decisively on tackling climate change, the defining material challenge of this century. This is a game-changing development …taking place across each and every continent."

However, Harrabin rather spoils this rosy picture by pointing out that a recent World Resources Institute report may be a "reality check". One finding:
According to WRI’s estimates, 1,199 new coal-fired plants, with a total installed capacity of 1,401,278 megawatts (MW), are being proposed globally. These projects are spread across 59 countries. China and India together account for 76 percent of the proposed new coal power capacities.
This may be "game changing" - but not as Deben has in mind.

But I think there's a serious issue underlying the Globe report. As I've been pointing out on the New Left Project and as is demonstrated by the WRI report, the hard reality is that most of the world isn't concerned about climate change; and it's obvious that there's nothing we can do to change that. Therefore, not only are our climate policies further weakening our already damaged economy and hurting the most vulnerable, but they're completely pointless. The people at Globe are not stupid so they must understand that. But it strikes right at the heart of their ambitions and best interests. Therefore, they have concocted a report that (they claim) demonstrates that, despite the apparent failure at international level, really there's a lot of positive progress at a national level. Although even a cursory look at their report shows that to be utter nonsense, I can hear them saying to anyone who proposes a change of course for the UK (e.g. repeal of the CC Act) that "now is not the time: it would send out completely the wrong signal just as the world is coming round to our position" - and that therefore, if we do and international negotiations (continue to) fail, it will be "all our fault".

Jan 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

What if the first lemming isn't followed?

mythical behavior or not.

Jan 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Just out of interest - for those of you who've read the 'Mail' article and puzzled at the picture of Gummer/Deben with small girl (his daughter)...
This was a stunt at the time of the BSE (mad cow disease) business - he was at pains to suggest that beef was SO safe, that he'd be perfectly happy for his daughter to eat a burger prepared from said suspect beef. As you can see, there is no way that her little mouth took that bite from the burger - it is alleged that his researcher took the bite (no record of swallowing it) and then plonked it in said small daughter's hand.
Of course, since then Gummer/Deben is a reformed character...

Jan 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Actually Globe are correct but it is about sustainability not climate action. The government (the one we elected to serve us!) may not say much about sustainability but it infects everything they do. Letwind is responsible for ensuring that sustainability is at the hear of all government projects and only today this report was published by the DECC:
Sustainability in the Overseas Territories - written evidence
You might ask what sustainability has to do with an energy and climate change committee?

Jan 14, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Harrabin forgets to mention Lord Deben (gummers) other roles and vested interests,etc

Chairman of the UK's independent Committee on Climate Change,

Jan 15, 2013 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


that burger was probably a shergar-burger

Jan 17, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

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