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« Paul and the pug dog | Main | Climate sensitivity in AR5 »
Friday
Apr262013

ECC committee on shale gas

The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee has issued its report on shale gas, concluding that exploration should be encouraged.

...if companies can demonstrate that they can meet the required standards the Government should encourage exploratory shale gas operations to proceed in order to improve current estimates, providing that public concern over environmental impacts is recognised and taken into account.

However, they also conclude that various market-fixing mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that gas is not too successful and note that regulation should be so tight as to prevent any nasty shale gas revolution taking place here (or words to that effect).

I can't see this as doing much to stop the delays within government. Ed Davey seems determined to keep things moving forward as slowly as possible, if at all. He has even chosen to sit on the British Geological Survey report on shale resources, which was due to be published months ago. What possible interest could he have in withholding it we wonder?

Meanwhile the rest of the world moves on, leaving the UK floundering in last place. As an indictment of the UK's rapid descent into banana republic territory, this quote from Nick Grealy quite took the biscuit:

US investors I know who were enthusiastic about [shale gas in] the UK last year recently told me that after all the dither in the UK they’re putting their money in Argentina, where government regulation is considered to be more stable.

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Reader Comments (123)

I think it a damned travesty that shale is being deliberately held back in this country by politicians who are more interested in protecting their religious beliefs than from ensuring the general public and industry don't have access to cheap gas!

Mailman

Apr 26, 2013 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

So what they're telling us is: 'We've got hundreds of years' worth of really cheap energy but you plebs aren't allowed to have it, even though the rest of the world can'

If LibConLab don't break ranks on this, things could get really interesting for Farage.

Apr 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

The Argentina bit must be a joke considering the Repsol affair and its disastrous consequences.

Apr 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Mailman is wrong about politician's religious beliefs, it is Deben and Yeo maintaining their monies from the Green Energy sector. They are both hypocrites of the highest order. Delingpole has a few more words for them that are very apt.

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

My comment is tongue in cheek John Marshall.

It IS a damned travesty these same clowns are being allowed to virtually hold this country to random for no other reason than to prop up their dirty little empires.

Mailman

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

"...providing that public concern over environmental impacts is recognised and taken into account."
In a sane world it would be the environmental impacts that would be taken into account. But in the UK it is 'public concern' over them, whether justified or not.
I had to laugh at the report's quoted description of the US regulatory regime as being a "let's get it done" approach. A phrase I would bet has never passed the lips of anybody in the current UK government.

And judging from the report the other holdup appears to be that the government hasn't worked out how to tax shale yet. Great, we can't get any benefits because HMRC hasn't yet worked out how to appropriate most of the revenue. Wouldn't the large economic boost from cheaper energy (not to mention fewer shivering pensioners) be benefit enough?

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

John Marshall has it spot on....corruption greed and graft is holding this economy back.

If we had a single honest investigative journalist in the MSM this would all be exposed and Britain would have an industrial boom.

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Booker does his best but no one seems to listen.
Gummer, Yeo and Hendry we know about. What arms' length investments does Davey have, or for that matter others on the committee?

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

Damn it all, this stuff of nonsense - pooh, pooh to shale gas, the British people aren't interested in cheap and plentiful gas right under their feet!
Nah, the British want to import the same stuff by the use of far more expensive methods of transport and thus import world geopolitical, security and technological problems associated with - using these LONG supply lines entails - in LNG from the gulf - mainly Qatar, piped from Norway and from that loverrrrly bunch of free marketeers at Gazprom.
Cheap and reliably sourced energy - no we'd much rather spend trillions on erecting worse than useless bird mincers and even more useless solar arrays - but hey the taxpayer/consumer pays for installation - WTF cares - certainly not us in the ECC.

Anybody would think, that the ECC has another agenda - no they don't - they just hate the British people and desire: to deliberate over the deconstruction of the British industrial base.

Then, who is going to pay the taxes?

Apr 26, 2013 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Having been snipped on a recent post for speaking my mind I shall choose my words very carefully and trust that your Grace will indulge my many shortcomings.

It seems that the current crop of MP's are hell bent on leading the country to third world status as rapidly as they can. Message to George Osborne - imagine how well the economy would be doing if you did not have Id(iot) Davey with his foot firmly on the brakes.

Apr 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnotherBadDay

Groucho Marx: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”.

Apr 26, 2013 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Harrabin, true-to-form, can report only the negative aspects of the UK's windfall, giving undue prominence to FoE, WWF-UK & Mr Yeo.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22300050

Apr 26, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

On question time last night the panel included Nigel Farage and the Labour Minister for Climatge Change. There was no question from the audiance on either Energy Policy or Climate Change; an opportunity missed.

Apr 26, 2013 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Ross Lea

"There was no question from the audience on either Energy Policy or Climate Change..."

I wonder how Auntie chooses which questions to air?

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

There was no question from the audiance on either Energy Policy or Climate Change; an opportunity missed.
Or a blinder played, perhaps.

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

HOW QUESTIONS ARE CHOSEN
Having been in the 'audience' a few times I can confirm that you have the opportunity to ask a question by filling in a form as you arrive.
If there is no question on 'Energy' or 'Climate' then there will probably be no discussion, but there is opportunity for the 'selection committee' to influence which one of those actually posed is chosen.
I posed a humorous/frivolous one which was used as the 'warm-up', but which was not broadcast.
Fair enough.
I'm told by one who has been on many times that the secret is never to answer to answer the question put, but always to answer the one you would have wanted to be posed.

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Just what "evidence" does that buffoon, Davey have of environmental impacts or geological difficulties?

Precious little I think, or he would have published the British Geological Survey report.

Unfortunately shalegas is to "green" energy as garlic is to vampires.

And those green bloodsuckers (money-grubbers) are not going to give up easily.

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I attended QT in Edinburgh about 10 years ago. The selection method then was that all audience members were given two cards to write their questions. When handed in, they were sorted by subject, with the biggest 7 or 8 piles then becoming the subjects for discussion, and the best phrased question from each pile being used.

I did speak to David Dimbleby and the production team about this in detail after the show as I was then heavily involved in the campaign against IR35.

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJ

So, they're in favor of exploration, but against exploitation. But, why would anyone explore if they can't exploit what they discover?

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd Fix

They REALLY don't want us to have shale gas, do they..?

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

The problem with shale gas is that it would allow emissions targets to be met and make unecessary much of the costly and lucrative machinery to 'combat climate change'.

Fewer scams, no hairshirts, less non-jobs. No wonder it strikes fear.

Apr 26, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

On regulation should be so tight as to prevent any nasty shale gas revolution taking place here, do you mean regulations to prevent the companies from damaging the environment or peoples' property etc? What is more important, protecting these things or allowing gas companies to make a profit? Do we decide on the level of protection after working out how much Cuadrilla (or whoever) can afford to pay, or do we decide who and what we want to protect, define the regulation on that basis and let companies operate if they can do so profitably within those bounds?

Apr 26, 2013 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BB,
or do we decide who and what we want to protect, define the regulation on that basis and let companies operate if they can do so profitably within those bounds?
I have to admit that that sounds perfectly reasonable to me; it's just a shame it doesn't seem to work that way for wind.
I'm pretty sure all the operators/construction co's would pack up and go home if local people's concerns were actually taken into account, species protection put back in place etc; and of course, crucially, all the subsidies were scrapped.

Apr 26, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMeIKnowNothin

MIKN
BitBucket is not interested in a comparison with wind. BitBucket is not interested in a comparison with anything. BitBucket is interested only in BitBucket and making an attempt to derail another thread.
How are the feet, BB? Recovered from the bullet wounds yet?

Apr 26, 2013 at 2:46 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

If nationalisation of your assets without recompense attracts you then Argentina is the place for you.
Meanwhile prodigious numbers of successful wells continue to be fracked in the USA Mississipi Lime and Bakken formations on a daily basis as can be seen by checking the AIM oilers on the LSE.
Big USA oil cos such as Marathon are also fracking in a frenzy but it is more difficult to identify this activity in their reports.
Davey et al are insane.
Nigel Farage and UKIP need to do well and shake up these subsidy troughing sharks.

Apr 26, 2013 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterroger

quote
If LibConLab don't break ranks on this, things could get really interesting for Farage.
unquote

In spite of the fact I'm standing as a UKIP candidate (it's a seat that no-one else wanted to take on as the conservative vote is huge), I've been unable to work out what the hell is going on with the BGS report. In what way does a delay lead to political advantage? I can imagine a brown envelope reason with the nuclear suppliers trying to get a fixed price contract at double the charges that we could get from shale gas, I can imagine Gasprom trying desperately via bribes and threats to keep a stranglehold on their captive European customers, or Qatar worrying about losing its Ferrari-style income, but what is in it for the Coalition?

I don't actually believe that many of our leaders are corrupt, so why are they dragging their heels on this? It's cleaner (replace diesel with CNG and watch London air lose the dangerous black carbon overnight), it reduces CO2 emissions, it improves the balance of payments, improves industrial competitiveness, would regenerate the depressed North West, etc etc....

So, why?


JF

Apr 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

JF,

Government isn't all about politicians making their minds up and taking a decision. It's also about herd behaviour, whipping, inertia, reluctance to admit a major policy direction has been a mistake and a large aspect is the permanent administrative establishment with its own agenda.

For instance, I believe DECC is loaded with activists. They not only carry out policy, they help define it.

Apr 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

JF
I think this quote from Delingpole might enlighten you just a bit (added to cosmic's comment above about the DECC civil servants):

What [climate change] really is is just another proxy conflict in the culture wars: between those who believe in limited government, low taxation, minimal regulation, personal responsibility, free markets and liberty on the one hand; and on the other those who believe in an ever-enlarging state (perhaps even to the point of One World Government), high tax, more regulation, and rule by an elite of technocrats and "experts" on the other.

Apr 26, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

JF. Our leaders are dragging their feet because they've had they are scared of global warming. They are scared because it is scientists who are telling them it's dangerous, and it is only fitting that if your degree is a 1st in PPE at Oxford that you should feel the intellectual inferior of a scientist (or postman for that matter, but they don't. Feel the intellectual inferior of a postman that is). As it happens what they're being told by the scientists, who are Sinn Fein to the PIRA that is the environmental movement, or at least the scientific establishment is, the vast majority of scientist, climate scientists that is, just want to get on with doing science, this scare is pouring money into their coffers, and like you, or I, they're not going to denounce their leaders (a) because it would be pointless, because they're small fish, and (b) because their careers in climate science would be over and (c) the money is great.

So the consensus is born. What I am failing to understand is what the climate scientists promoting the scare are thinking. They don't appear to feel the weight of responsibility anyone else would feel in demanding that we cut CO2 output, with all the concomitant damage to the economies of the western industrialised civilisations, and the poor and needy of the world deprived of inward investment as hundreds of billions of dollars are poured into an absolutely fruitless attempt to stem the output of .

I don't believe the scientists are heartless bastards, (the environmentalists are), the hockey team may be, but not the majority of scientists. I cannot fathom it, they're providing legitimacy to the demands to end our personal freedoms, it's a high stake game, where punishment for the loser will be severe. If I was in such a game I'd be focussing on the uncertainties like Judith Curry.

Apr 26, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

MeIKnowNothin, do two wrongs make a right?

Mike Jackson, nobody could ever be "enlightened" by any of the fiction Delingpole writes. Entertained, perhaps; mislead, quite likely; enlightened, no.

Apr 26, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Tsk.
Touched a nerve there, have we, BB? Feet still hurting a bit?
Your answer to MIKN doesn't actually answer anything (why am I not surprised?). Why are you not demanding the same standards from wind that you are from shale? Come on, try a bit harder.

Apr 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

MeIKnowNothin

Here Here !

Apr 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

I have just skimmed the report to which Andrew referred but I am not too pessimistic about shale gas exploration. There will be plenty of opposition to it and there will be genuine environmental and safety issues to address. Until fraccing is done no one can say how the industry will develop. Exploration companies have their own estimates of recoverable quantities for their acreages but it means little until the drill bit works.
Egdon Resources is an oil company that has, until now, been exploring and developing oil onshore. The website might give some idea of the infrastructure involved - at least for oil. Shares are available - I have none - and the company has shale gas prospects. Roll up.

Apr 26, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered Commentersam

Mike Jackson, no you are right, the same rules should apply. We* should decide who and what we want to protect, define the regulation on that basis and let companies operate if they can do so profitably within those bounds. Companies should be paying their costs, for example paying for the damage they do, compensating locals for disruption or property value losses, insuring themselves against any potential loss or damage (damage to property from turbines falling, damage to property, water-tables, rivers, etc. from fracking or transport of produced fluids etc, etc), paying for the upgrading of roads to cope with increased traffic flows etc.

Then we get to the subsidies. Are they necessarily wrong? If they are open-ended, then I'd argue they are wrong; if time limited, I'm not so dogmatic. New industries need time to mature so some state funding is not anathema to me. Or to frack-heads, since the US government was significantly involved in the early fracking research. (As an aside, if Cuadrilla had to build a gas distribution network to all consumers, they would think again about their profitability. That network exists, its costs written off over decades, but that could be seen as a historic subsidy all the same. That might seem silly, but it just goes to show that subsidies are not always apparent unless you look closely and take a long perspective.)

And lets say that after, considering the costs of extracting shale gas, companies decided it really was too expensive to be profitable. Would it be right for the government to say, "well this is a strategic resource, so we'll cover your insurance costs and road repair - you just get the stuff out of the ground"**? According to anti-subsidy zealots, in that case the gas should stay in the ground.

As I've said before, I'm not a wind-evangelist. But I also have no irrational fear and loathing of wind.

* or actually 'they' since neither of us live there
** not a quote

Apr 26, 2013 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I think the only explanation of the attitude of British politicians to shale gas is that they think that by pursuing their present policies they will go down in history as having "saved the world" - just like Gordon Brown claimed to have done after the financial crisis broke!

Saving the British economy by giving us access to reliable and affordable energy is much less important in the eyes of our politicians.

Apr 26, 2013 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Lets hope Peter Lilley is waking them up from their green ideological zealot dreams (Annihilating all that's made- to a green thought in a green shade.- Andrew Marvell) with some home truths; reminding them that they need a reliable source of taxable energy backup for their subsidised intermittent renewables.

The moratoriam was pure politics. DECC and its predecessor DOE have approved and overseen not tens but hundreds of propped frac jobs offshore for going on thirty or forty years, including horizontal multilaterals even from remote subsea completions. If they are happy with that, fracking from a Halliburton truck on solid ground next to the wellhead is a cakewalk, and they know it.

Apr 26, 2013 at 9:48 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

meanwhile...BP is going to import gas from Angola with, hopefully, just the kind of environmental footprint that "amputee" bitbucket desires.

Apr 26, 2013 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

If only it were possible to communicate with the government. One could ask what they thought was more important; trying to unilaterally save the planet or providing industry and citizens with the cheapest possible energy. S'pose we already know

Apr 26, 2013 at 10:51 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The report sets a moving standard with so many caveats in place as to make the possibility of this working out well for the British/UK consumer at basically zero.

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

HOW THE CARBON TRADERS STRANGLED THE SHALE GAS REVOLUTION IN THE UK
Google 'David Hone Shell' and read any of his last 300 + blogs.
Hone is Shell's Senior Climate Change Advisor. He is also Chairman of the International Emissions Trading Association.
Google 'Telegraph Age of Energy" and see how Hone used his influence. particularly with Oliver Letwin the Old-Etonian Senior Cabinet Minister who 'advises' David Cameron on 'Climate Matters'
Aussie David Hone brags about chairing committees in the House Of Commons and how he has prevented Shale Gas being exploited by insisting on the use of CCS to strangle it.

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Power from shale will be cheap and plentiful.

Nobody will want to purchase power from windmills?

Want will the government do then.....poor thing?

Apr 27, 2013 at 5:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim J

"Argentina ......... more stable" That really does say that we have become a banana republic.

Apr 27, 2013 at 7:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

@Tim J
No one in their right mind would base an energy generation strategy on so called re-newables in a country where energy storage is limited. The wind sometimes doesn't blow at night, the sun never shines at night, there is often slack water at night. In winter it is cold at night. The only reason I can think of to use renewables in Northern Europe is population reduction through excess winter deaths; which affect the vulnerable mainly the very old and the very young, As we know many extreme and not so extreme greens think that the human population (apart from them) is a problem to be removed.

Apr 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered Commenter toad
Re David Hone of Shell.
He's an Aussie, but not one we would like to have back here.
A vice-like closed mind on the open-ended questions of what CO2 really does is not as asset in a person.
I laughed at his blog statement that "Shell will have to do better at exploration".
In the 70s and 80s Shell spent large funds exploring Australia for minerals. We, in opposition to them, were forever hearing about "Shell sized ore bodies". Shell looked with disdain on anything that might be less than top world class and set out to find bigger and better.
In the meantime WMC found Roxby Downs (one of the world's greatest mineral ore bodies), we found Ranger One (one of the world's greatest uranium bodies at the time) and Shell went home with tail between legs, having found bugger all.
It's tough, but in the minerals game, delivering the goods is the name of the game.
Mental dreams do not pay dividends. David Hone, you are full of mental dreams.

Apr 27, 2013 at 8:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

@ "Mailman" - it wouldn't be much of a religion if people didn't protect their belief in it, would it.

Oh, and as an aside, your name is signed for you. It's kind of superfluous to write "Mailman" at the bottom of every post you make.

Apr 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid, UK

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:43 PM | toad

That's an interesting reference to Letwin. He tends to lurk in the background almost unnoticed, yet clearly is a major player in Cameron's inner circle.It seems to me that he's a dangerous influence, a man who's never grown out of sixth-form politics, full of 'we must take the moral high ground' BS. A full-page piece he wrote in the Telegraph not long after the last election was nauseating.

Apr 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

BB
I'll stick with the "we" if you don't mind since I am still concerned for the well-being of my children's children's country even if I don't live there any more and the same arguments apply in France anyway.
The problem with your approach is that it's arse over tit. What ought to be the basis for any discussion is whether or not a civilised society needs a ready, permanent, consistent supply of affordable reliable energy.
If you like to argue that it doesn't then we can stop this conversation dead right here because any further debate is fruitless.
Assuming that you do agree with that premise then it should not be too difficult to establish what fuel(s) will supply that requirement. Then you go about using them ensuring as far as is possible that the costs — financial and social — of acquiring the raw materials, processing them and then distributing the end product are acceptable.
And that's it. Stop agonising over whether the theoretical health costs of using coal outweigh those of having to cope with intermittent supply on cold nights. We've been there and done that. Every one of the last five generations has found ways of improving energy supply and making the air cleaner at the same time.
As for subsidies, the only rationale for subsidising energy generation is if the method is inherently expensive but the output essential (at least in the sense of guaranteeing continuity of reliable supply). Hence there is an argument for subsidising nuclear but no argument for subsidising wind or solar.*
There may a case for government investment into research into wind and solar but given that we are not about to run out of gas or coal or uranium (or possibly even oil) any time in the next thousand years, why bother? Let private industry carry out that research and when they can make their product competitive with coal or gas or nuclear (at whatever subsidised level governments have determined) both in price and reliability then they can come to market.

And just in case you are one of those who doesn't understand the concept, a reduced rate of VAT applicable to domestic fuel whatever the source is not a subsidy any more that zero rating of books or children's clothes is a "subsidy" to readers or children.

And the fatuous arguments against shale are just that. Fracking is not a "controversial" method and neither is it anything new. Oil and gas companies having been using it for years. It does not cause earthquakes (at least that are measurable); it does not cause your tap water to burst into flames; it is unlikely even to disturb neighbouring premises more than about 20 metres away. It is probably one of the most user- and community- and neighbour-friendly methods for recovering raw energy that there is.
The only reason the eco-warriors don't like it is because it is likely to guarantee the one thing they hate most — a reliable supply of cheap energy for decades, if not centuries, into the future.

* It would be much better — since we are already agreeing that cheap reliable energy is a sine qua non for a civilised society — if construction and decommissioning of all power stations were a charge directly on the taxpayer. This avoids any accusations that there is not a level playing field.

Apr 27, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

By far the most blatant example of misconduct in public office, is the politicians 9of all parties) approach to energy. The UK does not have an energy policy so uch as a green policy/agenda. In fact, why would any one call the energy department DECC? If there is to be a department for climate change (and I can see no reason why there should be such a department0 it should be seperate from the department for energy. The department for energy should firmly be in the energy corner.

Not only is the government's policy holding back industrial growth and wealth for the general citizen, it is contributing to needless deaths and missery from fuel poverty. People are being needlessly stressed to make ends meet (which can be very stressful and not good for one's health), and some are having to ration heating. There is little more miserable than shivvering in one's house. It is also not good for health (vz the high winter mortality rates) and it encourages people to take refuge on the sofa under a quilt (not good for productivity nor fitness). In fact, it is a disgrace that politicians seem to pay so little regard to the UK's high winter mortality rates. Just think how much money is spent on road safety to save a few lives and yet there are tens of thousands of old people ecach year needlessly dying early and not a murmur from the politicians or MSM.

The tructh is that there is no case for wind, whether on economic, energy or green criteria. Given that almost 1005 backup is required from conventional power generation there is no significant reduction in CO2. Surely, the only raison d'etre for wind would be that it reduces CO2 emissions and if it does not achieve that, there is obviously no point in it at all.

There is no case against shale. In fact in the present economic doldrums, shale is a necessity. It does not require government funding. Private enterprise would be willing to put up the capital costs of investment since there are real profits and a real business to be had at the end of the day. It would create a lot of jobs. The treasury would earn money on NI paid on the new jobs, corporate profits made on the sale of the product, and, of course, licencing rights. It is a win win win situation.

Cheaper energy prices would not simply drive inductrial growth generally but would put more money in the pocket of the consumer (via lower energy bills) and this would encourage consumer spending thereby helping th ehigh street and service industries.

The one stimulus policy/policy for growth that Osbourne should have on the top of his list should be full ahead with shale gas. He should reduce planning restrictions to encourage this. Ed Balls and labour could hardly complain since they would look foolish to oppose a programme that would create real growth and wealth and one which would be good for industry and consumer alike.

Apr 27, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

We should appreciate that these moves to restrict energy use by raising its price have little to do with green politics. Instead, the purpose is to reduce population, the real aim of Agenda 21. This is a re-run of Eugenics but on steroids. Tickell who got Mrs Thatcher to accept the false global warming mantra [at equilibrium, strong negative feedback control in the atmosphere gives zero warming as CO2 increases], wants 20 million UK population. Porritt has talked of 30 million and it was he who reportedly indoctrinated Davey whilst he was at Oxford.

The key organisations are 'Population matters', which used to be called the Optimum Population Trust, and the RS whose President used to be President of the Galton Institute, until 1989 the Eugenics' Society. Their aim appears to be to set limits to growth by imposing limits. In the past this used to be called totalitarianism.

[BH Update 11/11/13 The claim re Nurse appears to be false]

Apr 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecm

@geronimo

"...I don't believe the scientists are heartless bastards, (the environmentalists are), the hockey team may be, but not the majority of scientists. I cannot fathom it, they're providing legitimacy to the demands to end our personal freedoms, it's a high stake game, where punishment for the loser will be severe. If I was in such a game I'd be focussing on the uncertainties like Judith Curry...."

They may be scientists, but they're also human. Read Charles MacKay. This is how humans behave, en-mass. If you're standing in a crowd, and it all goes one way, you go with it.

We are social animals. We are designed to follow trends. It's much safer in the herd. We even have processes for maintaining that cohesion, by ostracising anyone who steps outside the flock...

Don't knock it. Evolutionarily it must provide an advantage, otherwise we wouldn't still be doing it. It's probably the thing that enables us all to pull together and troop off to the trenches when a war starts, rather than deciding not to. I know that all my examples are things you would consider bad in isolation, but that's just how human societies (and, I suspect, all other social animals) work....

Apr 27, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

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