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« Cheshire gas | Main | ECCO chamber »

Davey rants and raves

Desperately trying to put off a decision on a 2030 decarbonisation target, but beset by the serried ranks of woolly-jumpered Lib Dem backbenchers, who are all demanding that he take the UK back to the 17th century, Ed Davey has decided to do what climate secretaries always do. He is going to give a speech bashing global warming sceptics! Nice one. That will please LibDem MPs, earn him nice write-ups in the Guardian and the Independent, and distract attention from the fact that he will be unable to give them what they want.

...some sections of the press are giving an uncritical campaigning platform to individuals and lobby groups.

This is not the serious science of challenging, checking and probing.

This is destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism born of vested interest, nimbyism, publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness.

This tendency will seize upon the normal expression of scientific uncertainty and portray it as proof that all climate change policy is hopelessly misguided.

It's alright Ed, we know you can't get a decarbonisation target through Parliament. Get over it.

It's funny to read the specific terms of the rant that Davey's speechwriters have crafted for him. As readers at BH know, ministers in DECC meet two kinds of people only: energy giants and green campaigners. Both these groups are of course are massive vested interests and the latter are the publicity seekers par excellence. So it takes the kind of chutzpah in which those ministers specialise for Davey to label his critics in this way. Particularly as he is going to deliver his speech at a meeting attended by a bunch of those same vested interests.

You can imagine how this sort of thing comes together. The speechwriters will be spectacularly uninformed on the global warming debate or what it is that sceptics are doing or saying. Their work will be based on what they read in the Guardian last week; probably Nuccitelli et al. They probably know that they know little or nothing, but there is a simple political requirement for a distraction. So we can watch and snigger and move on to something more important.

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Reader Comments (53)

Harribin quoted the "97%" on Today this morning, not good for my blood pressure first thing on a Monday !

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeil

Davey said:

publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness.

Yikes Ed!

Though, a rather wonderfully apt description of the green group think or, of the prattling yellowy-crimson ideologues within his own political party?

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

This was mentioned on Radio 4 at about 6.35. Harrabin said Davey would be referring to the new study that shows that 97% of published papers agree with MMGW thesis. Of course he didn;t point out that (i) author of that study is warmist fanatic John Cook; (ii) that its methodology is suspect (iii) that we have heard the number 97% before funnily enough (in, 'all scientists agree' theme). Of course Harrabin knows all this, and chooses to keep his mouth shut for the sake of the cause.

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

You would have thought with a BA in PPE and an Msc in Economics, that Mr Davey would have an ear out for Mr Tol's thoughts. i have just read Mr Davey's Wiki entry, he is probably a really nice chap, but another MP, nonetheless with no real life work experience - straight into politics from University, and therefore straight into Westminterworld.

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterIsabelle

Apart from the woolly-minded politicians, like Davey and his ilk, it seems that most of the AGW protagonists are to the left of the political spectrum – often far, far to the left, wishing to undo the huge progress that the human race has made over the centuries. Here is an argument as to why they are wrong:

Progress, simplified. For the hard of thinking. Or, why wind power may be so much hot air.

I will type this very slowly, for those who cannot read very fast.

The wind blows everywhere, usually at varying rates, often in varying directions. Hanging an electric plug outside in the wind will not give you electricity; the wind has to be harnessed. To use the wind for travel, this is done by rigging sails (which is what those big sheets on the posts – called masts – sticking up on boats are called). The wind blows on these sails and the boat moves. On land, sailing becomes more difficult, and most people do not even try. However, the wind can be used. In the olden days, before even your parents were born, the wind was used in windmills to grind grain, and to pump water.

Then came the Industrial Revolution. This started with engines driven by steam. This steam was generated by burning wood and coal. Wood is easily found; just go outside, and you can find it lying around on the ground below trees and bushes; it is what sticks are made of. If you want more, you can cut down the trees and bushes. Coal is more difficult to find and to get, as most of it is underground, so you can only get it by digging for it – by mining. Mining helped to fuel the Industrial Revolution, which helped to make mining easier, which gave more power to the Industrial Revolution, and so on.

(Are you with me so far? If you are having difficulty, look up those words I have highlighted. If necessary, get your teacher to help.)

With the more reliable source of power that engines gave, the fickle nature of the wind was abandoned. Engines became more reliable, more varied, using different fuels. The most commonly-used engine today is the internal combustion engine, where the fuel is actually burned inside the engine! Isn’t that amazing? Even the car that your Daddy drives has an internal combustion engine, using petrol (short for “petroleum”; it is also known as “gasoline”) or diesel for fuel. Some engines use petroleum gasses for fuel; this is mainly methane (CH4), which is in natural gasses found deep underground. This is most usually compressed so much, or chilled so cold that it condenses into a liquid; in other words, it is liquefied, giving us the phrase, “liquefied natural gas”, commonly shortened to “LNG”. Never, never try to touch LNG. At -160°C, it is so cold it will freeze your hand immediately, killing the flesh!

Petrol and diesel, yes, and even LNG, are obtained from crude oil. Like coal, crude oil is most often found underground; like coal, crude oil is usually black; like coal, crude oil is usually very dirty. However, unlike coal, crude oil gives us more than just fuel for our engines; it gives us plastics. In fact, it has given us everything that we have in the modern world. Look around you; there is nothing that you will see that is not there, either directly or indirectly, because of crude oil; its use seems to be limited only by the limits of our imagination.

Our discovery and application of the potential of crude oil is what has helped to raise the human race out of drab servitude on the land to the freedoms that we all take for granted today. Less than 150 years ago, children younger than you – some as young as 4 or 5 – had to work, and work in the most appalling conditions; dirty, dusty, dank, dark, and very, very dangerous. Many children were killed or died, or were maimed in most horrible ways, working up to 15 hours a day, often for every day of the week. Those who survived into adulthood found life no better, and continued working 12, 15 or more hours a day, 7 days a week. Most of the money earned was spent on food, clothes, or shelter; there would have been very little left over for luxuries, like a holiday, or even meat.

It might seem odd, but a lot of this pain and suffering was because of the Industrial Revolution. Being revolutionary, no-one was too sure how it should be operated; all they knew was that the engines provided the power for the mills, which could then process more raw materials, producing more goods (or commodities). At first, the dangers were unknown, and it took a lot of time, and a lot of very brave people, to identify the dangers, to see how to reduce them, then to reduce them to the levels we now enjoy.

The cost of anything is an indication of the time taken, and energy spent, to make it; when clothes are made entirely by hand, you have to allow the time to collect the raw material (let’s say wool, for this example). This has then to be processed (removing knots, seeds, and so on); then spun into a thread. The thread has then to be woven into cloth. From this cloth, clothes can be made. This takes a lot of time, and a lot of personal energy, and the quality of the cloth is very much dependent upon the skills and patience of the person processing, spinning and weaving the cloth. In an industrial mill, all the processing, spinning and weaving is done by a machine. A person may have to operate the machine, but the skills and patience required for this are different and not as important as for manual production to get a larger quantity and a more constant quality.

As a square metre of cloth is produced in considerably less time, using far less energy than by manual production, so, with the growth in production came a reduction of cost of production, as well as an increase in the quality of the products (or goods), so the higher quality products became cheaper. This meant that dressmakers paid less for better quality material, and could pass that saving on to the customer, so the cost of clothes reduced, and people could buy better clothes, and more clothes. The same is true for other products, too.

So, why did people choose to leave working on farms, where the dangers were known, to work in the mills of industry? Because, on the farm, the work was hard, and the rewards were few; and there were still a lot of dangers. Cloth for clothing was rough, and comparatively very expensive. Food may have been cheaper, but that was because you grew it and harvested it yourself. The house you lived in may have been very basic, and poorly constructed, and you often had to sleep in the same building as the animals. There certainly would not have been running water, or even lavatories.

With the growth in industry came a growth of jobs in industry. Work in the mills of industry was often inside, away from the chill of the wind and rain, so more comfortable. It was often quite simple work, and did not need heavy lifting, so was usually a lot easier than work on the farm. As people could now develop a smaller range of skills, so they became better at those skills, and specialisation developed, which helped to advance progress even faster. Also, industry created machines to help the farmers, so that, now, one worker can produce more food than 100 – or even 1,000 – workers once did.

The owners of the industries had to provide homes for the workers, and towns grew. The houses in these towns were often of better quality than many on the farms, and with better services. Eventually, the houses had water piped directly to them, and the waste piped away. With running water came better cleanliness; with better cleanliness came better health. Gas and electricity followed, so the houses came to be as we know them, and people started living longer, healthier, happier lives. This all happened within the space of less than 100 years.

However, industry suffered the usual problems that new ideas have – it made lots and lots of mistakes. Many of the mistakes, and many think that the worst mistakes, were in the treatment of the people employed in industry – the workers. Brave and forward-thinking people worked hard and helped to correct these mistakes, and now the workers are a lot, lot safer, a lot wealthier, healthier, and generally happier than 160 years ago.

There are still many people who think that the very idea of having someone employ another person to do jobs that he cannot do, or does not want to do, is wrong; it is demeaning for the person doing the work. Consider this: whatever you buy, whether a jet plane or a pencil, you will have made a lot of people work for you. When you buy a pencil, you will have employed a sales assistant, making them work for you. You will also have employed the shelf-stacker; the stock-controller; the delivery driver; the packer; the machinery operator; the production controller; the yard operator, all the way back to the lumberjack cutting the tree down to give the wood for the pencil. In buying that pencil, you will have employed at least a dozen people, making them work for you; many will be doing jobs you cannot do, or do not want to do. Do you think you are wrong?

Without people to dream up new ideas for new products, without people to arrange and organise all the people and the equipment required to realise that dream, there would be no-one working for someone else. This is the fantasy of a lot of people. However, like many fantasies, it has no connection with reality, as there would still be workers, but there would be no progress. There would be no houses, there would be no cars, there would be no roads. We would all be workers, and of the lowliest kind, still living in caves and working outside, dressed in animal skins and coarse cloth and working hard, using stone tools to scrape a bare living from the ground for all of our short lives, because it is not possible for just one person to make a pencil.

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

wont help that UK shale gas estimates have multiplied by 20 x this morning...;-)

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Yeah, THIS 97%:

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

Radical Rodent

thank you

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

The headline point seems a little complacent. Listening to this morning's Today it seems the amendment to decarbonise by 2030 will be backed by Labour, the LibDems and some Conservatives. So there's every chance the amendment will pass.

I really thought we'd made progress away from this idiocy, but apparently not. Don't the politicians realise that they're not voting for an ideology here but perhaps the biggest/fastest engineering project this country has ever undertaken without any attempt to assess the costs or risks of the project?

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

It is difficult not to conclude that people of that ilk are eirther dishonest or thick. Surely no sane person could hold the view that the science is known and understood, still less that it is settled. In fact, the expression settled science is almost an oxymoron given that there are so very few issues of science which are truly setlled, and/or what in the past had been the consensus view has later shown to be wrong.

Has he not looked at the CET data, which shows ups and downs in temperatures which are unrelated to the levels of CO2? has he not noticed that since 2000, CET has shown a fall in temperatures of about 0.5deg C (ie, about half of the 20th century warming), and winter temperatures have fallen by a staggering 1.5degC (or thereabouts).

Is he not at all concerned that irrespective of what might be happening globally (temperature increase has stalled for between 14 to 22 years depending upon data set), as far as the UK is concerned, its region of the globe is cooling, and if that trend were to continue it would have serious implications on (i) the health of the citizens of the UK (cold brings more heart attacks, more strokes and of course premature deaths in the vulnerable), public transport (consider the fiasco of the last few winters with bus, rail and air travel), the demands for energy (see the recent experience where the UK was almost out of gas - with cold and longer cold spells the demand for energy increases). Has he not reviewed the performance of wind farms during the last few winters and considered how they will cope in future winter conditions should the experience of the last 4 or 5 years be repeated (and CET is showing a current trend for colder winters lasting for longer periods)? Does he really not understand the perilous state of the UK energy supply.

He certainly seems to be economic with the truth as to the financial implications of the current green energy policy and seems to be living in cukoo land if he thinks that people will save significant amounts of energy by buying new energy efficient apppliances and better insulating their homes.

It would appear that he has not listend to the financial director (may be he was the chairman or CEO) of Southern & Scotish Energy. H e was recently interviewed on Hardtalk (his Grace has a link to the iplayer stream). In this interview the financial director clearly advised that the costs of the suppply of energy is only 50% of the bill total. The other 50% is the consequence of the governments energy policy. Broadly this was 25% higher costs/ subsidies relating to renewable enery, and 25% to cover grants for home insulation schemes and helping those in fuel poverty. So in practice UK energy bills could be halved over night if the government completely abandoned the green energy policy and if energy firms simply and only charged for the cost of supply. indeed, i suspect that the cost of supply could be driven downwards if the government was prepared to allow energy from coal and/or from shale gas exploitation.

It si the father who sets the price, but it is the children who pay the bill. Our children will not be thanking us for the energy supply mess that successive governments have bequeathed.

People like Davey should be held to account and full recompense should be sought from them and from all those who would wish to see the open and honest debate closed down.

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

First they ignore us.
Then they laugh at us.
Then they fight us.
Then we win


Jun 3, 2013 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

Why is it now apparently considered perfectly all right by some politicians to denigrate the integrity and opinions of sections of the community that they are meant to serve, by using such OTT language about those whose opinions differ from theirs?

I tell you what, Ed Davey, if you used that sort of language about women, Muslims, immigrants, you wouldn't last long . Why is it OK to use such derogatory terms about sceptics?

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Davey I can almost forgive, as Isabelle points out above, "he has no real life work experience - straight into politics from University, and therefore straight into Westminterworld".

But for Harrabin to cite the 97% statistic is disgraceful. For a journalist to be so ill-informed of Nutelli's dishonest and blatant activist psyience, beggars belief. Harrabin as a journalist should be by nature sceptical of everything, and in particular of statistical claims. As a public sector BBC employee he has a duty to cover subjects impartially, and not to misinform and mislead listeners. For him not to be aware of the many genuine criticisms of Nutelli's paper (by Tol etc) is inexcusable. This is the final straw for me, and I won't be renewing our license fee, Wimbledon or not.

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Mr Davey gave way last year to demands from the chancellor to drop a commitment in the bill for almost all electricity to be generated from low-carbon sources like wind and nuclear by 2030.

I like that. The implication that Davey has "given way" under some awful pressure from nasty people rather than the fact the unicorn dream was clear rubbish is just pure propaganda.

It seems the scale of the delusory policy ambitions of the alarmist politicians and journalists tactically have to be countered by a delusory powerful opposition that will serve as a handy excuse when the inevitable fact it wont happen is apparent. The general uselessness (and sleaze) of politicians today should explain the impotence of Davey's petty puffed up rant.

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:58 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The odiferous reek of the spirit of Huhne is all over this Libdumb utterance.

An afterthought, as you say Andrew - all Davey ever hears is biased pap, how sad though unsurprising he does not open his tiny mind. So it's green stats and arguments pitched in comparable terms by fresh faced global warming fundamentalists at circa year 12 level. What is even more pitiable - that, we've heard it all before.
Most of Davey's rant will be repeated mush, as has been pointed out above by 'bill' - repetitive and lamentable - the old "97% of scientists" - how long has that crappy statistic done the rounds? It has been so easily countered by the real facts. That, there has never been any consensus on the factoids of any of this palaver [MM warming] and it never existed except in the minds of the IPCC cabal - it was they [Mann et al] themselves who corralled the wagons and set in for a siege - risibly...................... everybody has moved on lads - the Indians have gone home and it is still not your country.

Though, I am still vexed, the sad reality is that the forthcoming energy bill will pass through Parliament most of it intact, thankfully without Yeo's amendment.
But what we will be left with is enough to end all hope of any sane energy policy. The consequences of which will be dire, it is only a matter of time before the lights go out and we all know which time of the year that will be - it "the energy bill" will be the cause of some considerable extra but unnecessary* deaths among the old and vulnerable and be the cause of great hardship for many.

Davey, you are an ignorant clown and a lamentable one trick political pony - but don't you ever claim in latter years - that you were never warned and be assured - we will bear witness.

*UNNECESSARY - in the UK - a first world society where billions are wasted in government, by government on; civil servant/quango wages, £3.2 billion a offshore wind farm / £600 million for a coal fired power station, waging war in the far flung east and giving it away to third world despots as foreign aid 'presents'.

Jun 3, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"to decarbonise by 2030"

I trust that means a proper end-to-end audit of the CO2 footprint of the proposed 'solutions'?

I suspect that the amount involved in the production (not to mention disposal) of solar panels and windmills, associated piling, concrete foundations, sub-stations, inverters and cross-country distribution adds up to much the same as what we're using now (except, of course, that's already there and at no extra cost).

The question I would dearly love to hear put to Davey is how he intends to measure his 'decarbonisation' and how he will know if he's achieved it.

I should also like to hear if he knows how his own electricity bill is broken down, or even if he knows what his last one was!

Jun 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The Torygraph has picked up on this too

I think that this will backfire on him. More people will wonder just what these terrible climate sceptics are saying that has so rattled the portals of the church of CAGW.

I hope our friends at GWPF, UKIP. Mr. Stringer, Mr. Lilley, Lord Donoughue and His Eminence The Bishop are lined up for a busy day.

Thank you Ed, for the oxygen of publicity!

Jun 3, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

"I think that this will backfire on him."

Agreed. He may have unwittingly roused a significant section of the MSM from its torpor and, in attacking them directly, invited a few robust replies. Popcorn, please...

Jun 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Just who advises this graduate in PPE (P*** Poor Education)?
Greenpeace, FoE (the acromyn is very apt), or the MET Office?
Whoever it is should be held to account when the lights go off.

Jun 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Expensive as 'decarbonising' is, I suspect that cost will be trivial compared to the effects of regular black-outs, including loss of production, the effect on all monetary transactions and subsequent rioting, policing, etc.

A descent into anarchy would be a fitting monument to Lucas, Huhne and Mr Ed.

Jun 3, 2013 at 9:56 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Failing suicidal energy policy - can't be Ed Davey's fault he is saving the planet after all - must be those evil skeptics!

How many times have we heard politicians blaming people for their failures! I see we have the return of Joseph McCarthy in our midst.

Cured the patient pity he/she died.

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

As a point of interest regarding this 'need' to reduce CO2 because it is 'warming' everything up. This past weekend (1 and 2 June) the ski lifts at Port Puymorens here in the French Pyrenees were working and skiers were having a wonderful time (the ski season ends at the end of April usually for lack of snow).

This and many other things points to the fact that the green agenda is now a religion.

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterivan

Even for the Dog Lovers Party he is over promoted. What intrigues me is the illiberal views he has on our right to have contrary opinions to his greatness and also that he should dictate what the press covers.

It may well be in his nature to suck up to his boss whose family directly benefits from wind farm subsidies.

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

How to argue from a losing position in five easy steps:

1. Take the opposing position = 'skepticism'
2. Emphasise for dramatic effect = 'destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism'
3. List your own position's worst failings = 'vested interest, nimbyism, publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness'
4. Identify true link between cause and effect = skepticism is 'born of' your failing position
5. Reverse cause and effect ...

et voila: 'This is destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism born of vested interest, nimbyism, publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness.'

Instant political success! No critical thinking required. Amaze your political friends. Grab success from the jaws of defeat.

Can I have a PPE degree now? :)

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterR2

Do not feed the troll.

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

... oh, and for students struggling with the five steps, there is a sixth - usable separately or together with the five:

6. insult the opposers of your argument.

Warning! this can backfire catastrophically and lead to massive electoral swings in favour politicians that make clear, honest statements about their position. (Bonus points for students describing a recent example in British politics)

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterR2

Wind currently 310 MW - about half the output of a single turbo alternator powered by coal or nuclear.

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

My first post on 'five steps' seems to have disappeared, so the post on rule 6 is out of place. Here is the whole thing...

How to argue from a losing position in five easy steps:

1. Take the opposing position = 'skepticism'
2. Emphasise for dramatic effect = 'destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism'
3. List your own position's worst failings = 'vested interest, nimbyism, publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness'
4. Identify true link between cause and effect = skepticism is 'born of' your failing position
5. Reverse cause and effect ...

et voila: 'This is destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism born of vested interest, nimbyism, publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness.'

Instant political success! No critical thinking required. Amaze your political friends. Grab success from the jaws of defeat.

Can I have a PPE degree now? :)

... oh, and for students struggling with the five steps, there is a sixth - usable separately or together with the five:

6. insult the opposers of your argument.

Warning! this can backfire catastrophically and lead to massive electoral swings in favour politicians that make clear, honest statements about their position. (Bonus points for students describing a recent example in British politics)

Jun 3, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterR2

It's going to be interesting to see if 'Trougher' Yeo proposes ammendments to the Energy Bill this week to include a decarbonisation target and/or increased subsidy payments to renewables after the lobbying scandals that have made headlines this week, given the massive payments he receives from the wind industry.

If there is any move by Yeo to move any ammendments to the Bill that would be a bigger scandal than any in the news this week.

Jun 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnB

Old Goat:
Yeah, THIS 97%:

Cook's 97.1% maybe better be described thus:

67.4% of the papers were considered to hold the view that they were uncertain about / outright rejected / held no view on AGW, while only 32.6% endorsed it.

Now how do we arrive at the headline 97%? Well we only count those that express any view at all and dismiss those considered with no view-point on AGW, then say something like 'of those that expressed a view' 97.1% endorse the AGW position.

Of course you could also state that of those that did not endorse the AGW hypothosis 99.5% held no AGW position at all :)

Jun 3, 2013 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterunknownknowns

I'm not sure at what point the libdems started to think that they should become the new green party, nor what genius in their midst decided that going green was a votewinner. Sure lots of folk pretend to be green but nobody wants a green tax, regardless of who they vote for. Surely this "iron law" would occur to them at some point you'd think.

Jun 3, 2013 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG


Wind now down to 0.20 GW.

0.0052% of demand.

In layman's terms 'one twohundredth'.

Jun 3, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

This explains why Friends of the Earth have splashed out for an advertisement in The Times today, urging people to contact their MP to support this moronic target. Hopefully by now only a dwindling number of people will be as naive as this site's resident troll.

Jun 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

Wind down to 0.2 GW.

Jun 3, 2013 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

No comments allowed on the Telegraph post in this.

Jun 3, 2013 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Radical Rodent
Thank you for that excellent — if somewhat lengthy(!) — polemic.
One aspect of the Industrial Revolution, essential for its success but rarely mentioned as part of the cause and effect is reliability of supply.
Prior to the introduction of steam power and the reliable transport system afforded by the canals manufacturing activity was confined to the area where there was a reliable supply of water and/or enough wind to power the mills — now and again.
Once a manufacturer, be it of cotton products or the new-fangled widget, had access to a power system which could be relied on to operate day in day out and for as long as required a customer could order 24 bolts of cloth of a given size and pattern and if he wanted them by next Thursday then his supplier was in a position to guarantee that he would be able to meet that deadline or say that he was unable to do so. The ability to produce an endless supply of widgets on spec also represented a major step forward in business activity.
This ability to meet deadlines reliably and to harness inventiveness to the production of goods for which there was initially no guaranteed market but every possibility of creating one was the catalyst for the wealth explosion that followed.

Jun 3, 2013 at 1:38 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Ah Mr PotatoEd. A prime example of the Peter Principle. In his case he reached his level of incompetence when he was allowed to go out unsupervised. Simple request for you Ed 'list the benefits of generating electricity by wind turbines.'

No you can't include the vast sums paid to the PM's father-in-law as a benefit. Naughty naughty.

Jun 3, 2013 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Davey has Benn's eyes. Beware.

Jun 3, 2013 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBill Irvine

Good response from Toby Young.
Tags: Ed Davey, free speech, global warming, State Censorship

(But Bish is ahead of me with his new post.)

Jun 3, 2013 at 2:09 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

'He is going to give a speech bashing global warming sceptics!'
Beyond the content itself, the reporting of this (by BBC to Telegraph... comments disabled) thus far has been risible. Adding to Mr. Balls' 'will say today', we now have this run up the flag pole, presumably on the basis that actual interrogations would be bad form on something that hasn't happened yet. Seems the perfect excuse for astoundingly uncurious media barons to act as #prasnews shills with implausible deniability on actually... reporting. By asking a few apposite questions.

This will surely see a backlash (not one the media want and are wishing on us elsewhere, but still failing to drum up). I was fairly immune to the predictable tripe from the establishment in the form of Energy Secretaries and their media glee clubs, but ceased to be on the fence when Ed (M) and Gordon Brown decided to get really, really stupid with legitimate questioners (in the same way as Mr. Davey) to cover up their total inability to concoct proposals that added up, and hence proved impossible to promote without calling in media favours to help with the ex-pram toy projectile efforts.

Lions, led by donkeys held to account by jackals.

Jun 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

"ex-pram toy projectile efforts"


Jun 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The Davey speech is up on a Gov website His interpretation of the 97% magic number shows his vacuity to its best :

97% of the climate experts who expressed an opinion agree that human activity is driving global warming.

Just 3% question man’s contribution.


Let me quantify that for you.

If this was a general election vote, 97% of the vote would generate 630 MPs, the 3% just 20…..

………under a system of proportional representation of course.

Surveys like this are, of course, indicative rather than definitive, but when, as a policy maker, I am confronted with the evidence supported by such an overwhelming scientific consensus, I am clear, I am with the 97%.

So he sees the crappy survey that says 97% of scientists believe in some ill defined aspect of their field and takes that information and publicly has a wet dream that this should nicely translate to voting numbers supporting his fantasy policies.

Voter numbers that would only be seen in a controlling dictators plebiscite are offered to his fevered brain by "science".


The man is a prize moron. And the scientists who stand by and let this be used this way are assholes too.

Jun 3, 2013 at 4:53 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Davey may be Chief Moron but there are plenty more to replace him.

MPs will vote on Tuesday on whether to introduce an amendment to the Energy Bill which would commit the UK to have a “near carbon-free power sector” by 2030.
The MPs’ amendment would bring in the requirement almost immediately, whereas the Government is proposing separately to agree the target in 2016.
The backbench amendment would remove coal-fire and gas-fired power stations from their network unless they can capture and store their emissions.

Govt is expected to defeat this motion by a majority of ONE.

So 324 for 326 against, so 323 Davey replacements.

And the 326 against just want to put off the decision until 2016, they are not against it just want to delay.

Jun 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air


Pardon my ignorance, but is it possible to see how my MP votes on this?

Jun 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans


There's also a nifty complementary website from the same folk:

A danger of info overload exists, but rich seams to mine if the needs arises.

Jun 3, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

Stick in your post code and start there.

Jun 3, 2013 at 6:21 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I'd just like to record that The Telegraph is already responding to Davey's threats.

My post illustrating the vacuity of the 97% agree meme

'97% of all homeopaths agree that homeopathy works

97% of all catholic priests believe in transubstantiation

97% of all drunk driver believes they are fit to drive

97% of all jihadist suicide bombers believe they will be rewarded with 72 virgins

Believing something doesn't mean it's right'

has had the last three examples removed..after 6 hours and 120 recommends.

The Davey Terror is already upon us! Beware.

Jun 3, 2013 at 7:35 PM | Registered CommenterLatimer Alder

I was amazed when I saw you post was moderated LA, so I posted the question WHY and only you have answered so far. Davy's plan is working ;(

Jun 3, 2013 at 7:54 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Donna Laframboise has a dood piece on Ed (potato) Davey.

Jun 3, 2013 at 9:10 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I can see a Josh cartoon where little Ed tells the new kid not to talk to the cool dudes because they don’t shine their shoes, tie their ties properly or give teacher an apple.

Jun 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

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