Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Walport and Ridley | Main | 28gate hits the MSM »

Travelling Tina

Readers may remember my interest in Tina Rothery, the anti-fracking activist who suggested to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee that she was a local resident protesting against the Lancashire shale developments. This was surprise since she had also spent the summer in Balcombe protesting developments there as well as having been involved in the Occupy movement in London.

Today, she turned up again on the Radio 5 phone-in, described as an anti-fracking activist from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The show also featured James Verdon of the Frack Doctor blog, and a very balanced contribution from Roger Harrabin.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (68)

Sorry, but "very balanced contribution" and Roger Harrabin does not compute.

Jan 13, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

Tina Rothery - UK address and phone number -

Has a Tina L Rothery registered as residing in Blackpool

one presumes the L is for loony

Jan 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Isn't it funny how the BBC can dig up activists like this on a whim but seems never to ever be able to get activists from the other side of the debate?


Jan 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

I listened to some of this morning around about 7:10am, she quoted that renewable energy in Scotland now provides 60% of Scotland's needs. Does anyone know where she got this figure from?

Jan 13, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

I liked the green party member who said we can get all energy from renewables - solar when the weather is good and wind when it isn't.

Harrabin was on best behaviour - wonder why ;-)

Jan 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Jack; I heard that too but thought she was claiming 40%. Whatever....I had the same reaction.
My guess is that it happened once, for a few hours on a balmy summer night (in Scotland?!) when demand was at its lowest and there was a nice steady breeze across the whole region.
Also she must have been talking about electric power which is, of course, only a fraction of the total energy needs of any region or country.

Jan 13, 2014 at 10:41 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

Update: found this on the Scottish govt site:
" In 2012, Scotland generated a total of 49,498 GWh of electricity, a decrease of 3.4% on 2011. The main source of electricity generation in 2012 was nuclear power, accounting for 34% of the electricity generated. Output from nuclear power was particularly low in 2006 and 2007 due to unplanned condition related outages. Coal accounted for 25.0% of the total electricity generation in Scotland in 2012 - up from 21.1% in 2011.

Renewable sources accounted for 29.8% of electricity generated in 2012, an increase of 7.3% in the amount of electricity generated by renewables since 2011. The share of electricity generated from non-Hydro renewable sources (wind, wave, tidal, solar power and thermal renewables) has consistently increased every year from 0.6% in 2000 to 20.0% in 2012."

Jan 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

Jack Cowper,

I’ve been looking at the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap, Update 2013, see

So far I haven’t managed to pin down the details on overall renewable energy usage. Para 19 says: “renewable [Scottish electricity] generation during 2012 represented approximately 39% of its electricity demand, compared to 36% the year before” [the Scottish 2020 target is 100%].

On heat, Para 221 says: “Scotland generated 2.48 TWh of renewable heat, an increase from 3.8% in 2011 to 4.1% in 2012. ... The proposed new methodology shows that Scotland will need more renewable heat to achieve the 11% target for 2020”.

There seems to be nothing specific on transport. The Scottish 2020 target is 10%.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Brodie

Jack Cowper
I was looking at the Scottish Government Energy Report the other day. It doesn't answer your question directly, but does imply that "renewable" contribution is still considerably less than 50%.

The report is dated Thursday, March 22, 2012, and data seems to be from 2010 for most of the report.

I'm assuming that she was talking about electrical energy, and not counting gas and transport.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

a very balanced contribution from Roger Harrabin.

Bish, your humour is getting so dry that you could pop an olive in it and call it a martini.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Let's contrast the BBC's treatment of "science" and "sceptics" in relation to:

1. dangerous man-made global warming, and

2. fracking.

In the first case, the BBC has commissioned learned reports to tell it that, where a scientific consensus exists, it need not provide balance, and need only give "due" regard to sceptics, i.e. it can, to all intents and purposes, ignore them. Thus we hear, almost exclusively, the voices of activists.

In the second case, whilst a scientific consensus exists that fracking, properly done, is not harmful, the BBC nevertheless consistently describes it as "controversial". Furthermore, it gives great prominence (often unopposed) to the views of extremist activists from the Green Party, Greenpeace, etc. and permits them to make unscientific, uncorroborated and unsupportable comments ad nauseum.

Were the BBC to consistently apply its "scientific advice" it would either:

1. Consistently describe dangerous man-made global warming as "controversial" every time it is mentioned AND allow a spokesperson from GWPF or sceptical boggers free reign to sound off at every opportunity; or

2. desist from describing fracking as "controversial" and stop giving green nutjobs a platform to spout their poisonous gibberish.

The fact that the BBC acts differently in each case demonstrates its pro-Green agenda, regardless of actual scientific evidence, and also exposes its "reviews of science coverage" as nothing more than an excuse to shut down dissent on global warming and promote its own policy objectives.

On a final note, this discussion leaves aside the question of the relative credibility of each side's "sceptics". A sober analysis would demonstrate that sceptics of dangerous man-made global warming have cogent and forceful points to make, based on sound evidence. Whereas fracking sceptics make up wild, fact-free scare stories with no scientific merit. This makes the BBC's silencing of sceptics of dangerous man-made global warming and their promotion of fracking sceptics all the more invidious.

Finally finally, I did not hear the 5 Live 'phone in. It may be an isolated example of balance, I can't say. I did, though, hear some of the coverage on Today (R4) this morning and have heard and seen much coverage across the BBC's radio, TV and website output over the last year or two on fracking which has informed my views here expressed.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

I am afraid that these anti frackers must be ignored by government. They can be allowed to protest peacefully, but if they become obstructive to the exploration companies, then the police must step in. The reserves of shale products are too important for our country to be left unexplored.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

IIRC, there are already numerous fracked wells in operation around the country. The BBC seems to be unaware of this and it would be nice to put them straight...

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Thanks for info on the 60% figure, had only been awake 20 minutes or so when I heard that, so was more likely the 40% figure quoted by Mike.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper


"solar when the weather is good"

At this time of year in central Scotland, there is about 7 hours of daylight! Still, I suppose if the weather is good, there may also be the odd braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht to generate something. Time for Wallace and Gromit's lunar panels, perhaps..

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:33 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Angus Pangus
You've got it base over apex, my friend!
The BBC assembles a group of 28 activists that tell it that global warming is so dangerous that sceptics should not be given air time to derail the drive towards de-industrialisation.
The BBC assembles a motley assortment of activists that tell it that fracking is so dangerous that sceptics should not be given air time to derail the drive towards de-industrialisation.
Perfect logic and absolutely consistent.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson


"Renewable sources accounted for 29.8% of electricity generated in 2012, an increase of 7.3% in the amount of electricity generated by renewables since 2011. The share of electricity generated from non-Hydro renewable sources (wind, wave, tidal, solar power and thermal renewables) has consistently increased every year from 0.6% in 2000 to 20.0% in 2012."

I take that to mean that the non-hydro content is now 20% of the 29.8%, i.e. 6%

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

re: Harriban on best behaviour....

The gent concerned has been to the USA and seen fracking in the field. From what little I know the sites he will have visited as a guest of the companies concerned will likely have been "top drawer" with HSE, risk assessments and procedures obsessively applied - he's done as far as I know two reports where he actually found nothing to criticise but as usual the twottery was applied in the summations with the usual lexicon of precautionary principle / activist buzzword negativity....

He knows that enhanced gas recovery both works and is safe by all normal standards and he is not so stupid as to simply plow on only to be marooned when the actual evidence come out... CYA all the way - whilst working in the background to do it down.

The Harriban is a slippery item.

This is a propaganda game. I expect his next point of attack will be the familiar Vangel style "it's not economic" - to which the correct answer is - if they are risking their own money - it's their own lookout - but socialising the losses via stupid institutional investors is possible. There seems to be a fair bit of "me fracking too" in marginal or simply bad geology in N. America which somebody is paying for...

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Tina Carpetbagger, Roger Haridan?

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterchippy

jamesp; from the graph on the site hydro was approx 10% of production and all other renewables added up to 20%.
The info is here:

It will be interesting to see what happens if the Scots vote for independence. England could cut a nice deal on wind where we cut all the subsidies north of the border and offer to take wind-generated power at a realistic market price when it's available and sell them back-up - also at fair rates - when they are becalmed.

Jan 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

I agree with Anoneumouse,

Tina Rothery does seem to be based in Blackpool. So the claim to be a ‘local resident’ may be correct.

This seems to be her LinkedIn profile. If you login to it’s clear that communications and writing are her thing.

On this page, she says “I write glossy brochures for a living”.

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterChaveratti

Isn't that known as the Danish Ethical route to penury?

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The contribution from a Michael Hill at the end was particularly interesting and, IMO, the most potentially dangerous for UK frakking (circa 55m)
He sounds authoritative and roundly condemns what he says is the UK government's reduction in safety regulations.
He appears to have a foot firmly in the EU camp and was essentially given the last word by Auntie.
Colour me cynical and borderline conspiratorial but the BBC could be pulling a fast one here while Tina and chums may just be red/green herrings.
Perhaps a BH denizen, more skilled in such matters as I am, could dig a little.

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

PS- as the Bishop said, RH was very balanced. Perhaps too balanced - beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

The BBC can never, ever, report on 'fracking' without using the word 'controversial'.
Here's a thing. Supposing, suddenly, the government was to sanction a situation where anyone over 16 was , without any training or supervision whatsoever, able to dispense one of the most volatile and dangerous liquids on the planet in quantities up to 100 litres via a high-speed nozzle directly into a tank...
Wouldn't there be widespread civil unrest - and the 'greens' would be sounding off all over the country and on the media..?
I'm talking of course, about filling your car with petrol....
So - any chance of a sense of proportion, do you suppose...?

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

@JamesP - I know, I am sitting here now!

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Re the fantasy that 60% of Scottish electricity comes from renewables
I bet there are certain zones in the US where a high percentage of the electricity, comes from fracked gas.
.... anyone know ?

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Roy, Mike Hill is a dangerous individual. He runs an engineering company providing equip to the oil and gas industry. Such equip helps o&g companies meet their regulatory requirements. So its in Mike's interest to campaign for more regulation. He's using the anti frackers for his own purposes. Look up Gemini Control and his name on Google and you should find the article on Counting Cats blog which ripps into Mike in a big way. Mid is also on twitter as @FrackingRegs.

Jan 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

@ Jan 13, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper
Where did she get the numbers? Not out of facts.
Media seems enamored of faux activists like Tina.
...when it fits their agenda.
Let's see how much attention an actual journalist like Donna, with actual research, integrity and a strong case, gets by media.

Jan 13, 2014 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

The Dim Lib MP Munt was on the Daily Politics today. She stated that the economics for fracking in the UK could not be compared to that in the US because in the US the primary product was ethane and propane, and that methane was only a bi-product. It is not the first time I have heard this. Does any one know where this meme came from?

Jan 13, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Ashton

Beware, no less, of geeks sharing gifs.

Jan 13, 2014 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

Does Tina want to kill everyone that disagrees with her, the same way that micro commie Jasmine Beckett does?

Jan 13, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRightwinggit

Tessa Munt is very dim indeed. She is confusing the earnings per unit volume of the three alkanes. Ethane and Propane are more valuable because they are feedstock for chemical engineering, e.g. Grangemouth is importing them to survive economically.

Jan 13, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

" when the weather is good and wind when it isn't."
Scotland doesn't have nights anymore?! How did they manage that?

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Activist = Troublemaker

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn in cheshire

Thanks SBML.
The link at is what I found.
Makes for very interesting reading and wheeling him in for the last 5 minutes of the Nicky and Tina Show makes a lot of sense from a BBC perspective.

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

grabbabin balanced, the pope converted to islam

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

Anyone read this yet?Fracking without freshwater at a west Texas oilfield.

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterwilbert

Coincidently on the link to counting cats there's a number of comments by a Tina Louise. Googling Rothery throws up a Tina L Rothary from Blackpool. Probably no connection.
As an aside I was reminded when I heard some of the random members of the public phone calls of an episode of the radio Alan Partridge show which included Joe the Plumber.
Alan, when interviewing BBC controller Tony Heyers, got a call from Joe who went on to extol the financial benefits to the beeb of using Alan's Peartree Productions company as if he'd thought it up himself.
I couldn't copy the link from YouTube on my Kindle but it's there at about the 6 minute mark.
Perhaps 'Norwich' radio has set a marker for dear old Auntie to follow?

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

A mate of mine is a geologist working with fraccing. He put me on to this - from Vivienne Westwood of all people. "Who?" I hear you ask in unison? Exactly. (She said it in Milan, by the way. I wonder if she walked there?)


Fracking is the Big Fight. In England we must all challenge the irresponsible behaviour of our governments who are trying to force fracking upon us with no consideration of alternatives. The public must be informed. One thing is sure: At this point in time we must think before we rush into further action to fracture our Earth.

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Roger Harrabin was indeed on his very best behaviour for whatever reason; fair do's.

Tina sounded like what she probably is; a shouty, angry nut-job anti-capitalist against everything. In early exchanges she went up against a young university guy who out-debated her on every point.

Over at The Grauniad there's a lot of exceptionally angry people. They know the 100% council tax take for councils will see fracking rolled out in volume. Unless the EU rides to their rescue - not beyond possibility btw, then they've lost this battle - and boy they don't like it.

Excellent stuff.

Jan 13, 2014 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

Ah, Harrabin when somewhat unbalanced. :)

Jan 13, 2014 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

What you must always be wary of when listening to greens parrot renewables %s - when it suits them to do so they will be including hydro and even nuclear in their 'renewables', but most will immediately pick up the signs and start marching against the prospect of building more dams or nukes.

Jan 13, 2014 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

The deal is that councils that give consent for fracking will get 100% of the commercial rate levied on those premises instead of the normal 50%. Not to be confused with Council Tax. I'm afraid it's just that sort of misunderstanding that causes confusion and leads to further conflicts.
Sorry, but we have enough on our hands trying to cope with the idiocies and general dissembling that the eco-luddites spew out without making errors like this ourselves.

Jan 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

@ Mike Jackson.

Quite so, my error.

I shall now go and face the corner on the naughty step.

Jan 13, 2014 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

I am not really surprised that Ms Rothbury should think the renewables contribution to Scotland's electricity supply is around 50% when in reality (excluding large scale hydro as is conventional) it is only 6%.

Lord Deben (John Gummer that was) chairman of the Climate Change Committee told the Science and Technology committee that around 30% of Germany's electricity was from renewables when in reality it is only about 8%.

One might have thought Lord Deben would be more knowledgable than the Green Party or the BBC, but one would be wrong. One might have thought that at least one of the 12 or so committee members might have noticed Gummer's error, but with a bunch of scientifically illiterate MP's this again would have been a mistake.

The neglect of science in our education system over the past 50 years is showing up everywhere.

Jan 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave

I shall now go and face the corner on the naughty step.
Not necessary. You know me — ever the pedant!
And on the subject of pedantry,
Dave, do you mind not insulting one of the most beautiful villages in England by confusing its name with that of Ms Rothery! Now that is an offence!

Jan 13, 2014 at 4:33 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"Roger Harrabin was indeed on his very best behaviour for whatever reason; fair do's."

I'm surprised you and other commenters say this.

Harrabin claimed that successful shale exploitation would not lower prices significantly in the UK, as it has in the USA, and offered two reasons: a) the USA is a local energy market whereas the UK "is an international market" and b) the US has protectionist measures.

This is, charitably, gibberish. It appears Harrabin has conceded much of the ground on fracking "safety" and environmental damage, to focus on fighting the pricing war, and playing down the benefits of shale gas on the economy. Not surprisingly, since lower energy bills and economic growth are compelling reasons for encouraging shale gas exploitation.

Jan 13, 2014 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterEveryman

BBC interview style on fracking is exact contradiction of that on Climate
CLIMATE : "science is settled"
- questioning & skeptic protesters banned
- Interview style : PATSY : scientist activists given a free ride, claims not tested

FRACKING : "published science doesn't count"
- activists invited on air
- Interview style : CONFRONTATIONAL : scientists are vigorously contested by BBC guys

BBC the Green madrassa brainwashing your kids

Jan 13, 2014 at 5:22 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"Today, she turned up again on the Radio 5 phone-in, described as an anti-fracking activist from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire."
Given context in such debates can be important (a local person from an area of interest could be seen as having more legitimacy than an antithiskidofthing flying squad that roams around looking for a cause), that description smacks of providing cover more than explaining agenda.

Who emerges on air via the BBC address book to share their views, vs. who is not known or cannot be located, remains another unique mystery for the country's best resourced, rather forgetful, least trustworthy news monopoly.

Jan 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>