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« The Age of Global Warming - Josh 210 | Main | Met Office or bookie's office? »

Cold on Nelson's column

It's not new, but Fraser Nelson has a very eloquent denunciation of energy policy and the effect on the old in today's Telegraph.

By now, the Energy Secretary will also have realised another inconvenient truth – that, for Britain, global warming is likely to save far more lives then it threatens. Delve deep enough into the Government’s forecasts, and they speculate that global warming will lead to 6,000 fewer deaths a year, on average, by the end of the decade. This is the supposed threat facing us: children would be less likely to have snow to play in at Christmas, but more likely to have grandparents to visit over Easter. Not a bad trade-off. The greatest uncertainty is whether global warming, which has stalled since 1998, will arrive quickly enough to make a difference.

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Reader Comments (36)

Fraser Nelson's article is well written and worth reading. What a pity our politicians will either fail to read it, or ignore its conclusions.

Mar 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Logic v Dogma. Add the recent Hansen realisation that if we are going to burn fossil fuel then coal makes for more trees than does gas.


Mar 29, 2013 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

"children would be less likely to have snow to play in at Christmas, but more likely to have grandparents to visit over Easter. Not a bad trade-off."

That is a cracking line and perhaps that's what the geezer was getting at when he proclaimed our kids wouldn't know what snow was in the very near future??



Mar 29, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

A lot of good comments on the article. When will the Government learn?

Mar 29, 2013 at 9:46 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Superb article. Fresh and furious and full of insights.

Mar 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

In my wildest dreams, I can see some of the wilder greens and their numbskull political allies ending up in e meteorological Hague explaining the unnecessary deaths of thousands. They should be jailed, second thoughts one of them already is!!

Mar 29, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterTrefjon

Still I suppose they see the upside, there's less OAP's to pay pension too.

Mar 29, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterForester126

The subtext to Fraser Nelsons excellent piece is his exasperated fury with what is now patently a truly disastrous government energy policy.

There's no longer any doubt; the renewables policy is well on the way to becoming a full-scale disaster for the residents and businesses of UK plc. We shut down perfectly good coal energy plants without having replacements ready. (Would we close down Heathrow without a replacement lined up?) We swap coal for wood at Drax, in the process spending hundreds of millions to import fuel and drive energy prices not down, but ever higher.

We procrastinate over nuclear and - even worse, repeat the stupidity over shale gas, which we know is right underneath our feet and would thus contribute towards fuel dependency. To call this madness is to polite by half.

And for what exactly? 0.5 of a degree 'warming' since the fifties actually amounts to nothiing more than norma variations. However even if ALL of that was allocated to human emissions the UK would be responsible for just 2% - a mighty 0.01% of 'warming' over fully 6 decades!

All we need to complete the insanity is the final end game; rolling blackouts. If that happens, our politicians would fully deserve to be in the dock at the Old Bailey. I would love to be on that jury.

Mar 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered


An excellent, pithy and entirely accurate summary. You might have added that in the face of this self-evident lunacy, we are simultaneously being told by the government that it is lowering electricity prices. Anyone who believes that will, literally, believe anything.

Mar 29, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

I see none of our resident warm-mongers are offering an opinion on this one... What's up lads? Cat got your tongue?

Mar 29, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

"We swap coal for wood at Drax, in the process spending hundreds of millions to import fuel and drive energy prices not down, but ever higher. "

Not to mention the effect on the price of firewood, which has more than doubled in only 4 yrs. Many cutters are tied up cutting softwood to chip up for drax, making hardwood cord scarce. The price of softwood chip is now around £38 per ton for biomass, so expect hardwood prices to skyrocket this year, one supplier I spoke to yesterday was expecting to pay £50 per ton for hardwood cord at the roadside, this will translate to over £120 per cubic meter of seasoned hardwood logs, at that rate my annual wood fuel bill would be £3120.00 (unaffordable)

I have been buying in Arb arisings to process and season myself, even this is getting more expensive.

Mar 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Mar 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM | cheshirered

I agree with Agouts - an excellent summary. (One point: I think you meant 0.01°C not 0.01%.)

Mar 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

This is becoming an "Atlas Shrugged" moment. This looming disaster evokes the scene where the looters had destroyed the food system, the transport system and finally the power grid. Only our leaders seem to be working hard to impose this on a global basis, with the UK as the pace setter.

Mar 29, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

@ Agouts. Cheers. When will sanity finally prevail at government level? Answers on a postcard...

On this note, at what point do the bloggers protest movement and more recognised opinion-formers like Fraser / The Spectator et al, combine their collective opinions into a single voice of reason?

IMO there needs to be a new, fully co-ordinated, full-on assault on this hopelessly flawed energy policy from multiple big-hitters, and soon. The Dailies Mail, Telegraph, Express and Speccie, plus serious bloggers like BH and others have the platforms to reach out to the population with real credibility. It should be a one-piece comment run simultaneously across multiple media platforms.

Nobody would be in any doubt about the consequences of our currently insane energy policy.

Really, do we sit back and do nothing more than rattle off a few angry words online, or is there something else? No disrespect to everyone but so far we're repeatedly swatted away by ministers with impunity, who ignore aall calls to reason and then continue on their stark raving stupid green journey.

This has now got to the stage where our own governments energy policy is already causing - and will increasingly cause, truly horrendous impacts across our country. This has to stop. If the current people who are sold on such an unutterably dangerous policy (and refuse to even discuss it) won't stop, then they should be left under no illusions about what will happen to them when they're held to account for the consequences of their actions.

We have surely reached the point where such a Comment piece should carry an absolutely unambiguous warning to all concerned that the nation WILL hold ministers - up to and including prime and deputy prime ministers, plus energy and various cabinet ministers who've promoted this rubbish from the highest levels of government, entirely to account?

It should target cross-party politicians because all 3 main parties are sold on this insane policy. (You can do what you wish with Crown Immunity, this has the makings of a genuine national emergency so requires something more.)

Collectively, those with real influence; has the time arrived where you ALL take your gloves off and start fighting seriously?

Mar 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

I've put in a number of off-topics comments on the Spectator's business-as-usual political posts about the crazy energy policy. Much support from other commenters, no response from the Spect. Either they don't recognise the problem or possibly Fraser is planning to go large on this in the print edition. His DT effort doesn't go far enough, what is needed is a serious analysis of just how useless, expensive and inappropriate the policy is, and how urgent it is to reverse it.

Mar 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

From the safe distance of New Zealand, UK energy policy is a fiasco. The Drax situation, as just one example, beggars all belief. The absurd over-confidence in wind is another. There are plenty more. The actions of British politicians have moved Britain beyond the laughing stock status to a point where we can only watch its disintegration in dismay. I used to work for the UK Atomic Energy Authority in the days when it had real expertise and a positive belief in its contribution to Britain's future prosperity. Alas, those days are long gone. The problem is that all the significant political parties subscribe to this folly, so the long suffering British people don't appear to have any choice but suffer.

Mar 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDespairing


Good post. The government's energy policy is indeed disastrous and not just because it's killing old people. A proposal has been reported in today's Marlow Free Press to install, what the Environment Agency's hydropower project manager has described as, "a large industrial screw mechanism" to generate electricity on Marlow Weir. The EA spokesman said, "it [Marlow Weir] is from our point of view an industrial asset". The machinery being described consists of a pair of 4 metre diameter, 12 meter long Archimedes screws, each, with their troughs, weighing about 40 tons.

Marlow Weir is just downstream from Marlow's famous and well-loved, Grade 1 Listed, suspension bridge, which was the model for the much larger Chain Bridge in Budapest. The world famous views across Marlow Weir with the suspension bridge, All Saints church and the Compleat Angler hotel as a backdrop are much loved, much painted and much photographed. The Compleat Angler hotel's restaurant with its views over the weir would be feet away from the proposed turbines. Canoeists use the proposed siting of these massive turbines to practise their sport shooting the weir. Fish breed in the pool below the weir. There is no spare capacity on the weir in times of flood. Turbines sited on the weir will obstruct flood flows causing upstream flooding to be worse.

This the Environment Agency is proposing to inflict on Marlow so that a developer can reap Feed-in Tariffs. Feed-in Tariffs, paid for by electricity consumers, are the direct result of the Government's disastrous energy policy. As the result of Government policy, we will end up, not only with increased elderly mortality, but also with expensive electricity and trashed heritage sites.

Mar 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post


Mar 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecm

cheshirered Mar 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM

If you don't mind, I would like to use part of your text in an email I will send to as many politicians as I can think of. I urge others to do the same.

Mar 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterhebe

Fraser Nelson's article, is a fine and nicely balanced polemic, a nuanced assault on the green madness. Lunatic green targets, which arise out of a form of messianic political psychosis the resultant policies of which - are causing the stifling of life, both literally and metaphorically out of the people and industry of Britain.
Though, his final thoughts leave a very big question mark - good article Fraser but I am very much afraid that: government schemes - are not the solution to anything.

We should have imposed building regulations with strict Scandinavian like standards long ago, they also had this clever idea - 'waste' [you know that stuff going up the spouts of the cooling towers] excess steam from power stations is pumped into; hospitals, schools and senior peoples accommodation - why didn't we fink of that?

One problem....

well actually a cornucopia of government interference.

Though, building regulations good proper thermal insulation [with correct damp proofing and ample aeration], triple glazing - for new build homes certainly yes.

But retrofitting domestic insulation, raises a whole new set of problems - governments can't be involved. and the Aussies gave up - why can't we learn lessons from other countries?

Why did we stupidly turn down this road when there are close to home perfectly valid examples of how these green policies are ruinous to the economy?

Why have we allowed the green nutters to draw up and then facilitate national economic suicide?

Ed Davey, your tumbrel awaits.

Mar 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

A piece over at The Register demolishing the government's "green measures save us money" garbage:

Mar 29, 2013 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

But - and I speak as one - the government doesn't WANT more old people..! We have to be paid pensions for longer; clutter up the hospitals; live in houses with too many bedrooms - you name it - we're a bloody nuisance, so the quicker that the benign results of 'global warming' are stamped out, the better...!

Mar 29, 2013 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

But it seems that for the founders of our global warming scare , 'overpopulation' is a far greater evil -

"The biggest threat we face is our own success as a species. Unlike most other animals we have contrived to remove most of the checks and balances which in the past kept us in our natural place. We have learned how to live in virtually every climate; we have changed the face of the continents to meet our needs; we face no serious challenge from other species, and know how to cope with most of the dangerous viruses and bacteria; we have changed the balance, number, and genetic inheritance of animals and plants for our own purposes; and we have a system of morality deriving from pack and tribal instincts which, in spite of habitual collective violence between human groups, has established a conscious community of mankind in which each has a certain sense of responsibility for all.

The result has been a vertiginous increase in human numbers .....

The impact on the environment could be severe...

Even on the best assumptions the world of the future will be still less of a natural forest of life, in which our species is an animal like any other, than an enclosure, cultivated for strictly human purposes, whose health depends for good or ill on conscious management.

The dilemma was well put by A. V. Hill:

"Some might [take] the purely biological view that if men will breed like rabbits they must be allowed to die like rabbits. . . most people will say No. But suppose it were certain now that the pressure of increasing population, uncontrolled by disease, would lead not only to widespread exhaustion of the soil and of other capital resources but also to continuing and increasing international tension and disorder, making it hard for civilization to continue: Would the majority of humane and reasonable people then change their minds? If ethical principles deny our right to do evil in order that good may come, are we justified in doing good when the foreseeable consequence is evil?" [12] "

Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition), by Crispin Tickell 1986

Mar 29, 2013 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Agree entirely with cheshirered and I suggested something similar, though far less eloquently, in a previous thread.
All those responsible for the disastrous energy policies must be informed in no uncertain terms that there will be consequences, including potential corporate manslaughter.

Mar 29, 2013 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

Overpopulation is real but the carbon trading elite should not benefit from killing: the CAGW scam is a proxy for Eugenics.

Mar 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecm

cheshirered Mar 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM

If you don't mind, I would like to use part of your text in an email I will send to as many politicians as I can think of. I urge others to do the same.

Mar 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM | hebe

Don't mind in the slightest. Help yourself hebe.

Mar 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered


I had not seen your post on this thread when I penned my latest email to Nick Clegg mentioned on Met Office or Bookies Office thread. I agree that it is high time that we took the fight to the enemy. We cannot expect results overnight but we must persevere. The future of the country is at stake.

Meanwhile Matt Ridley has some words of wisdom on energy at -

Mar 29, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Just three words encapsulate this absurdity: damaging, dangerous and pointless.

Damaging - because of the harm increased fuel costs are doing now.

Dangerous - because of the looming disaster of electricity failure.

Pointless - because, with 1.7% of emissions, the UK cannot alter the global picture.

Mar 29, 2013 at 3:16 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier


Thanks for the link to the Register piece which I have sent to Nick Clegg with a simple query

‘if, for instance, a financial institution used this sort of misrepresentation, would the citizens have a right to compensation?

Mar 29, 2013 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Apologies in advance for mashing two comments I made at TallBloke's on this subject earlier today.

First on the subject of Fraser Neslon:

If you aren’t supporting the agenda you’re under the bus – its about as simple as that. Socialism Kills.

Of course the self-sealing nature of socialist logic will always allow them to then deflect criticism away from themselves, blame their ideological adversaries for the logical outcome of their own agenda [they're just trying to fix the problem YOU created, so its really all on YOU] and then propose ANOTHER government, taxpayer funded program to fix the fix to the problem they couldn’t fix because of YOU and YOUR resistance and unwillingness to fund their original fix the first time ’round.

There’s a new paper out at Environmental Research Letters [no paywall] that suggests strongly that “Air conditioning versus heating: climate control is more energy demanding in Minneapolis than in Miami”

I think we northern climate people already understand this: Cold Kills. It’s also more expensive.

I thought the video was hysterical. Very funny, very tongue in cheek. Somebody spent some money on this production, this was not amateur night with the iPad.

There seem to be some real ironies embedded in this production, Norwegian NGO’s funding and creating the whole thing. I wonder what they thought they were doing? I wonder if those expectations have been fulfilled?

The credits read:

A film by: SAIH, the Norwegian Students and Accademics International Assistance Fund.
Music: Wathiq Hoosain & Lyrics: Bretton Woods
Supported by: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation [NORAD],
The Norwegian Children and Youth Council [LNU]

I love it, Bretton Woods and NORAD both taking part!

Similarly on the subject of Edward Davy:

And if it doesn’t work the first time you try it, do it twice as much the second time around [rinse, repeat]. Any old geezers who freeze in the meantime will only make our goals more achievable, and besides they can’t afford the carbon tax anyway they are on fixed income, don’t commute anymore, don’t travel far and don’t use the airline, simply not much to be gotten from them, so it’s really like killing two birds with one stone [sorry, unfortunate choice of words]. Children if they happen to freeze are a regrettable but very valuable means of achieving our goals, they represent entire generations of carbon producers who will never be born – of course their parents, who CAN pay the carbon tax, are likely to be upset that since the decay of our pension system their personal security in retirement will be diminished, which is why we also desperately need the linkage to immigration reform so we can import brown and yellow colored babies, or maybe more cute white babies from Eastern Europe to take care of us in our dotage. I know I will enjoy the diversity that their company represents here in Surbiton, of course they won’t actually LIVE in Surbiton – how could we afford to pay them at all if they did? – they’ll just have to commute.

I simply do not understand people’s resistance to the program. As a government minister I personally have done some of the easier things. I’ve written about it, delivered leaflets about it, spoken about it and had high street stalls to campaign on climate change. I’ve got energy efficient light bulbs, have good loft insulation, have a LPG car and use the train to work from my affluent suburb, which happens to be well serviced [London Waterloo in fifteen minutes can you believe?] and leads straight to my office at the ministry. It all really very easy, the easy parts. Everyone should be an MP.


Mar 29, 2013 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterw.w.wygart

The world population is 7,021,836,029 Source here.
The size of Australia is 1,900,740,513 acres Source here.
So you could give every person on the planet ¼-acre of Australia and still have a bit left leaving the whole of the rest of the earth for farming, industry, recreation, you name it. That's another 31,396,694,368 acres not counting Antarctica or the oceans.
Over-population is a myth; the world's biggest problem is inefficient use of the land that could be used to feed people and the reasons for that are mainly political.
The neo-Malthusian theories of Ehrlich, Strong, the Club of Rome and others are purely racist and aimed at keeping the inferior races in their place. All this indiscriminate breeding! I mean!

...the only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States: We can't let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the U.S. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.
Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund
He did go on to add: "And it is important to the rest of the world to make sure that they don't suffer economically by virtue of our stopping them." which might be a sudden qualm of conscience or, more likely, a sudden realisation that they might just come after him with their pangas or blow-guns or whatever these benighted people use for weapons (these days, AK47s and portable SAMs mainly). Either way, like so many of these arrogant dreamers, he didn't seem able to explain how this particular circle was going to be squared or even if it were possible.

Mar 29, 2013 at 4:32 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

nTropywins - ‘if, for instance, a financial institution used this sort of misrepresentation, would the citizens have a right to compensation?

Yes it is just a form of miss-selling.

Mar 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

The article was welcome but rather passive and limp, contrasting with the passionate anger that fires Booker's pen up of late. I also thought that the attempt to ridicule the winter fuel allowance was ill-considered, particularly since it has been reduced this extended winter despite steep price rises and persistent cold and the allowance has now become an essential means of assisting with fuel bills for most elderly people.

Mar 29, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Mike Jackson: you are correct in your analysis. What I have done in commenting on the Nelson paper is to relate facts. It was interesting how the usual suspects are very touchy about me, possibly because I have hit on the mother lode of the scam.

This is from the textbook by Goody and Yung: 'at every point of the region in pointwise radiative equilibrium, for all wavelengths the total interconversion of energy between thermal radiation and heat is zero.' You can't create a perpetual motion machine by getting the lower atmosphere to cause itself to expand!

Mar 30, 2013 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecm

Fuel poverty ,Energy Security ,No warming . The press is turning on Global Warming .The Sun ,The Times ,The Mail,The Express.Financial Times.The Economist ,Telegraph,

Murdock invites Nigel over for a private lunch.

The Newspapers want payback for Levison.

Cameron Clegg Milliband all conspired together.

A regulated press cant destroy the Political Elite that emasculated them . But they can destroy their smug sanctimonious believes and values.

Mar 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Mike Jackson - I believe I once saw a statistic (don't you just love 'em..?) that stated that the entire population of the earth could stand on the Isle of Wight...

Mar 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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