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« Bank of England attacks green policies | Main | Political inertia »

ECC on gas strategy

The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee is taking evidence this morning about the UK's gas strategy.

The witnesses are the usual suspects - a bunch of green activists and activist academics and representatives of big business.

There are some amusing exchanges with Peter Lilley near the beginning, with representatives of the Grantham Institute and the Climate Change Committee insisting that they are open minded and indeed want to collaborate with Lilley.

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Reader Comments (21)

Well, says one activist, if we don't decarbonize, we won't meet the targets under the Climate Change Act!

Rather begs the question.

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

I've never really understood this about governments enacting laws that only seek to control themselves. (like the climate change act) In the event of failure to compy, who is going to enforce the law? Who will be prosecuting who? It's all rather incestuous. Could they just not declare that it isn't in the public interest to prosecute, and we're home and dry, job done. Or have I missed something, like some priggy little Greenpeace jobsworth bringing a private prosecution?

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

Mention of a Commons Select Committee gives the excuse to relate that the other day I had a few spare minutes in central London and bowled up to the Banking Standards committee quizzing two executives from Lloyds. As I'd hoped Nigel Lawson was again sitting next to new Archbish of Canterbury and ex derivatives trader Justin Welby. They both asked incisive questions before I had to leave, Lawson in particular scoring a direct hit against corporate doublespeak. The combination was cool to witness.

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

In the meantime, Jonathan Amos has stepped right into Richard Black's shoes at the BBC, with a feature headed: 'Cryosat spots Arctic ice loss IN THE AUTUMN...' (my capitals).
This is what passes at the BBC for 'news'..! (Expect anytime the headline: 'The King is dead..')
Anyway - I've got a better headline for him: 'All satellites show Arctic Ice now completely average for the time of year..'
No - I know they won't use it...

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid


Here's how it works

Minister for Climate Change (Zaphod Beeblebrox)

Head 1 (left hand side): Hey dudes we've missed our like climate targets. I've gotta sue the ass of somebody. I reckon that's the Minister for Climate Dude ..whatever he does..where is he?

Head 2 (right hand side): That'd be us. We're the Minister for Climate Change

Head 1: Super wow! You mean we're supposed to be on top of this when I spoke to those buttoned up Royal society guys about all that weather stuff?

Head 2: Yep. That's what is was all about!

Head 1; Coooool! I thought there must have been some point, but couldn't quite grasp all got a bit sciency for me...and you know we don't do science. Philosophy, Politics and whatever that other weird stuff with equations was called was all a bit much for me.

Head 2: But we've still got to sue ourselves!

Head 1: No problemo. We plead not guilty. What's the maximum sentence?

Head 2: Beheading!

Head 1; Doublo bubblo troublo! That could be a severe dent to our prospects of a long life on this planet.

Fire up the Heart of Gold!

Make sure that pesky Ed Davey dude doesn't hitch a ride.. He gives me a headache and is a pain n the ass. He can be beheaded as a proxy for us.

Head 2: Infinite Improbability Drive on maximum. We're outta here

Ed Davey : Come back Beeblebrox you bastards! They've appointed Chris Huhne as executioner. Please let me have a lift Betelegeuse...........

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Funny - I always thought that Ed Davey came from Guildford.......

With grateful thanks to Douglas Adams who foresaw all the absurdities with such vision and humour


Feb 13, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterFord Prefect

Gas STRATEGY - I bet you had your tongue firmly in your cheek Bish. when you thought up that heading??!!

Surely at some point reality will have to crowd in, but the blinkers are still firmly on as demonstrated by the Ed Davey RS piece yesterday.

As Rick Bradford says above, this is all to meet the Climate Change Act targets. There are signs that the Germans are beginning to panic and eventually the EU pressure may ease but without repeal, or at least modification, of the CCA nothing can be done here. It will eventually be recognised as the biggest piece of madness government has ever devised, but how much damage will have been done by then.

I finally watched a BBC "Countryfile" programme from a few weeks back and was impressed with the way the presenter (I think it was Tom Heap) looked at bio-mass in a fairly balanced way and certainly stated that there were many who pointed out that it wasn't green - he pointed out also that 95% of the fuel for Drax power station would be imported and ended the piece by saying that it was possible that its benefits could just go up in hot air.

Interestingly I think, the Green movement is now against bio-mass for electricity generation as they have now realised that the carbon debt for much bio-mass will be decades or even centuries - BUT the government have not only spent £billions on it (urged on by the Green movement) but it is the only way they can argue that electricity is "renewable". And 20% has to be renewable by 2020 (that is strictly all energy).

What a total mess.

Feb 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

I took it as far as I could:

I presume Peter Lilley is the jacketless one on the front row? Probably – there were very few laughable comments from his direction, but many the other way.

“Damaged our credibility”? What credibility? Is a landscape of flattened fans a credible future? The tremors from Greece is Homer spinning, hearing Odysseus’ journey twisted so. What galls me is that most of these people are being paid by us, and probably more than many of us are being paid. Our credibility is down in the gutters already; we are now digging hard to bury it, and bury it deep.

“…open-minded [….] that we are exposed to the risks of dangerous climate change.” “Dangerous”? What is dangerous about the climate change so far? Extremes of weather, all of which have been remarkably similar to the extremes of weather that have been occurring “since records began”? Sea levels that have risen a frighteningly negligible amount? Ice sheets that disappear in summer, to reform in winter, to terrifyingly average degrees? “Endangered” polar bear populations booming?

“…depending upon how the facts change.” Erm, I am not sure facts change; it is more likely that it is your interpretation of the facts that change.

“…capital invest in intensive things how can we do this cheapest?” Erm… yes… I am sure that made sense as you thought it, however….

However, contrary to much of the evidence, I do have a life to lead.

Feb 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

You get it out of the ground
You pipe it to where its needed
You burn it to make heat and power.


Feb 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGas Strategy for Dummies



Oh dear, I'm sure I had it yesterday...

Perhaps the dog ate it?

Did Huhne's wife take it for him?

Better adjourn for another year or isn't important anyway

Feb 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGas Strategy for DECC

"20% has to be renewable"

So is coal and oil - just on a longer timescale.

Feb 13, 2013 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

JamesP, all energy sources are renewable, with the application of suitable amounts of energy to convert them back and forth. Think of all that solar energy going to waste not hitting our planet. Dyson said all advanced civilisations would eventually cover up their sun with solar panels, so we wouldn't see them at all :)

Feb 13, 2013 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

The Grantham Institute is owned by 100 billion hedge fund owner Jeremy Grantham.

Jeremy Grantham wrote this in his newsletter

"Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future.

He also challenged climate scientists to get arrested. Something I am sure we would all like to see.

"Be persuasive. Be brave. Be arrested (if necessary)"

"It is crucial that scientists take more career risks and sound a more realistic, more desperate, note on the global-warming problem. Younger scientists are obsessed by thoughts of tenure, so it is probably up to older, senior and retired scientists to do the heavy lifting. Be arrested if necessary. This is not only the crisis of your lives — it is also the crisis of our species’ existence. I implore you to be brave."

Crazy like a cobra.

Feb 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

One of the very few reassuring things to come from listening to this recording was the extent to which the Treasury has its hands on the purse strings. There's hope for us yet.

Feb 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan_UK

Why do these paid advocates, as Peter Lilley accurately described them, have the right to put evidence to the Select Committee? This is a grotesque caricature of expert advice to government.

Feb 13, 2013 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, fingered the persistent stagnation of the economy on the BBC1 six o'clock news tonight with a very quietly spoken but hugely pregnant insinuation using the two words- green policies.

Feb 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

I could only bear the first few minutes. In response to the question from Peter Lilley each of the male witnesses, in turn, revealed themselves to be liars. The female witness did not comment.

Not much point in continuing to watch activists obfuscating for their salary.

Feb 13, 2013 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Sadly requires Microsoft Silverlight which I flatly refuse to install.

Feb 14, 2013 at 2:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry

Why on earth do the weasels from the Gaddafi Memorial Institute (LSE) have anything to do with UK energy policy?!

Feb 14, 2013 at 3:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I think its disgraceful. This language is couched in a remote almost abstract manner and so far from the direct and damaging consequences of their actions. It could be Wansee

Feb 14, 2013 at 5:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterlittle polyp

Of course we are open minded and base all our decisions on evidence!!!

BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAA...I think any organisation that employs people of the cable of Bob Ward most certainly CANNOT claim to be open minded or even to base their views on this thing called "evidence".


Feb 15, 2013 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

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