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« Carbon cycle: better than we thought | Main | Diary dates, feedback edition »
Monday
Oct132014

The green blob speaks

The green blob has, after a short pause, issued its response to the news that Owen Paterson is about to issue a call for the Climate Change Act to be scrapped. In an article in the Guardian, Adam Vaughan has been around the usual suspects and has got the usual responses.

Bryony Worthington, for example says that Paterson's ideas are "bonkers", a position she reinforces with her normal battery of pseudoscience.

At the current time, when all the evidence is that climate change is getting worse and we need urgent action, I can’t see any desire to repeal this act. It’s the desire of a small group of fanatics who don’t even know what the act does.

She is clearly a "pause denialist" it seems.

You don't expect to get the truth from the Grantham Institute, so it's no surprise to hear what Lord Stern has to say:

Repealing the Climate Change Act now would be a perverse backward step by the UK, with the worst possible timing. It would create additional uncertainty about the direction of government policy, undermining the confidence of investors, and increasing the cost of capital for new energy infrastructure.

You have to concede that the Climate Change Act has brought about considerable investor certainty - they are, almost to a man quite clear that they want nothing to do with the UK energy sector. Replacing that certainty with a little uncertainty is therefore probably a step forward. Who knows, we might even get some dispatchable generation capacity built.

Meanwhile Richard Black, that former paragon of BBC neutrality, has this:

Paterson’s claim that the lights will go out because of current energy strategy is at odds with the regulator Ofgem, which says disruption to supply is not “imminent or likely”.

And what a wonderful bit of selective quoting that is! If you follow the link you find that the linked article continues:

...as long as industry managed the situation carefully.

Among the measures proposed is that the National Grid, which runs power transmission lines, can ask businesses to reduce their electricity use at times of peak demand, something that could cost industry dearly.

So the lights will not go out so long as industry agrees to switch off at enormous cost!

And that, my friends is what the green movement has in store for us.

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Reader Comments (52)

Guilty men and women.

They can't deny it later. Their words are in print.

Oct 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Take it as a back handed compliment. They are obviously afraid that a straight talking former minister equipped with the latest real facts and figures can do a lot of damage to their already limited credibility with the general public. The reality of the situation is seeing light of day in the EU as the reality of a nasty Russian regime smashes the Emperor's clothes of the rather silly and naive green movement.

Oct 13, 2014 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

"It’s the desire of a small group of fanatics who don’t even know what the act does."

Is that what the psychologists call projection?

Oct 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

Sooner or later people are going to have to be responsible for their actions. This country needs a sound viable manufacturing industry. Germany is taking direct action, digging lignite, to ensure their capability. Whist in the UK:-

High cost of energy: anti-competitive and could drive investment overseas say manufacturers

" A projected 50% hike in electricity prices by 2020[1] would damage British manufacturing - hitting investment, margins and competitiveness says EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.

The stark warning follows new research showing that escalating energy costs would see a quarter of manufacturers (25%) considering investment in facilities outside the UK[2]:

• 73% of manufacturers say the projected rise in electricity costs would have a noticeable impact on profit margins – over half (53%) say it would hit their competitiveness[2]

• Energy already accounts for 6% or more of turnover for 27% of firms[3] – affordability is a key concern for 83% of companies[4]

• Balancing act: while a third (32%) say the UK’s lead in setting ambitious climate targets drives innovation, 41% say it risks undermining competitiveness[5]

• EEF is calling on the next Government to ensure that energy policy supports ambitions for a better-balanced economy.

Britain’s ambitions for a better-balanced economy could be seriously undermined by escalating energy costs, warns a new report out today from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation........"

Industry won't have to switch off, they won't be here!

Oct 13, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

"So the lights will not go out so long as industry agrees to switch off at enormous cost!"

One aspect of this I've not seen covered in the MSM is: who pays the workers when their factory temporarily shuts down?

There would be a certain irony of all those civil servants, nurses, teachers, MPs, police and armed forces personnel etc subsidising those whose endeavours normally pay their wages.

Oct 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Bryony Worthington is another English graduate (like Jonathon Porritt, Caroline Lucas, etc.) and clearly has little understanding of the issues.

According to Wikipedia
" In the mid 1990s, she worked for an environmental charity, and by 2000 had moved to work for Friends of the Earth as a climate change campaigner. She then worked for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, implementing public awareness campaigns and helping draft the Climate Change Bill" She was awarded a Labour Life Peerage for all her great work destroying our economy. I am sure Putin will also give her an award for helping the Russian Federation!

And she says "It’s the desire of a small group of fanatics who don’t even know what the act does". A small group of fanatics? What does that make her!!!!

Oct 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Since peak demand is usually around 6pm (when industry is still running, but lots of voters are getting home to their kettles) perhaps the Baroness would like to volunteer the palace of Westminster for a break in supply. It's not as if they are an essential service, is it..?

Oct 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Bryony has only been correct on one thing as far as I am aware.

The need for nuclear power. Preferably using Molten Salt Reactors.

http://thoriumremix.com/th/

Oct 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

But this nonsense is only reported in the Grauniad, so it will only serve to reinforce the dogma of the green blob. It won't be read by anyone living in the real world.

Oct 13, 2014 at 4:29 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Nice one Phillip Bratby, but since peak demand is usually around 6pm when neither wind nor sun is providing much electricity, all those public servants will get the full benefit of any blackouts, and some will wake up to the problem.

Although I suppose all the Grauniad readers will take it to mean that the UK needs more wind farms.

Oct 13, 2014 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

It strikes me that, given Peterson comments and UKIP's policy of repealing the climate change act, that a punt on Paterson defecting to UKIP might not be a bad bet?

Oct 13, 2014 at 4:53 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

At least Bryony is open about the limitations of the Climate Change Act.
"There is nothing in the act which tells you how to get to the (2050) target".
No, no - I don't suppose there was. Silly of me to expect it.

Oct 13, 2014 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Graeme No.3 When there are power cuts, it is 100% certain that they will only hit people living in the countryside. The Metropolitan elite won't realise blackouts are happening. If there were blackouts in major cities, there would looting and rioting.

Oct 13, 2014 at 5:16 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Don't forget the Smart Meter roll out, with the embedded piece of code that states:

IF (Non Gov) THEN

DIE;

ELSE IF (Gov) THEN

ENJOY;

END IF

Oct 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Bryony Worthington would say that, wouldn't she?

Oct 13, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Sponge

Patterson is not going to UKIP. He gets his Research from Booker and RAE North, and North at least despises UKIP, based on his experiences as a staff member.

Oct 13, 2014 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

It's a rather pathetic attempt by the Graun, trawling the usual suspects (eg Kevin Anderson) for the required response.

Even slower in response is their climate genius Dana bestowing his expert opinion on the climate science / sceptics dinner.

Oct 13, 2014 at 6:04 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

When the time comes, remember 'Bryony Blackouts' and 'Bryony Brownouts'.
=================

Oct 13, 2014 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Hey - I've got an idea; why don't we put industry onto a three day week with different industries working different days? That way we could limit power cuts _and_ reduce traffic jams at the same time. I am surprised no politician has thought of this one before.

Oct 13, 2014 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan W

The Dark Age Green Death Spiral. Businesses shutters operations to reduce power which, in turn, reduce the number of workers which, in turn increases people at home using energy which, in turn, makes businesses reduce operations further, which,,,

That's why euthanasia is popular with the Greens.

Oct 13, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Fixed it for Stern:


It would create additional uncertainty about the direction of government policy, undermining the confidence of investors, and increasing the cost of capital for newthe wrong energy infrastructure.

Oct 13, 2014 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

Having spoken with my boss about the prospect of grid power becoming unreliable, he agreed that we would have to have a back-up generator installed. It's really that simple. It won't be like it was in the seventies when you could light a few candles, drag out some old manually operated equipment and carry on. Everything we do now relies on computers, without them work literally comes to a halt.

Oct 13, 2014 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

I recall reading one green proponent argue that industry must adapt to the requirements of renewable energy, running their operations only when the power is available. She was dead serious about it. I nearly died laughing.

Oct 13, 2014 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Poirier

The Tories need to understand that repealing the Climate Change Act, dismantling DECC and getting rid of all Green advisors to government etc should be top of their manifesto. It is Labour legislation after all. If they don't do this then UKIP will present a serious challenge for them in May. The most sensible thing Cameron has said all year was "Get rid of the Green Crap".

Meanwhile over on Energy Matters we are still trying to get to grips with climate truth. Roger Andrews has a cracking post today looking at the growth of the terrestrial biosphere in response to carbon fertilisation. And last week I exposed what I believe are a host of urban myths in the climate science debate beginning with the solubility pump that I don't see can possibly exist.

The terrestrial biosphere - a growing carbon sink
The Carbon Cycle: a geologist's view

Last time I posted more than one link The Bishop deleted them :-( So here's hoping!

Oct 13, 2014 at 8:18 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

diogenese2
At least Bryony is open about the limitations of the Climate Change Act.
"There is nothing in the act which tells you how to get to the (2050) target".

That says it all, The empty headed green blob have no idea how the target will be achieved.
To them the wind is free, so lets cover the land and the sea with many thousands of windmills.
They do not know if it is viable or what it will cost. The Public will pay to satisfy our foolish dreams.
On a high pressure Winters day the wind barely blows - oh we will fix that our smart meters will ration supplies.
Never mind that the poor cannot pay and will be in fuel poverty.
Have no fear Miliband and Flint have all the answers - decarbonise electricity and freeze prices.

Oct 13, 2014 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

A reminder

The Green Blob..

"...the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely."

Oct 13, 2014 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

On a practical basis I think it is wise for households to plan for power cuts in the UK as we are sailing very close to the wind, with up to 5 power stations currently shut down and we only need a moderately hard winter to potentially cause supply problems.

I have a small generator that cost £80, a calor gas fire, a small stove fed by gas canisters and today there arrived from Coopers two excellent LED 'Lanterns' that cost a total of £10.

I view these as insurance policies as I work on the basis that even our government can't be unaware of our perilous energy supply position. However, IF they are mad enough to believe that wood pellets for Drax are a good idea then they are capable of anything, but I am at least prepared.

tonyb

Oct 13, 2014 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

They must feel that they are close to achieving their objective, the destruction of our industry.

Oct 13, 2014 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

The good lady has confused "hype" with "evidence".
There is no onslaught of evidence, new or old, that so-called climate change is happening in anything like the ways the climate obsessed claim.

Oct 13, 2014 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Pause denialist.

Pause denier - even better.

Very good phrase, Bishop. One to throw at them when insulted in this way by the green blob.

Oct 13, 2014 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

tonyb - the only question is whether one is able to run an extension cord over to Baroness Worthless' digs.

If she's anything like the comparable American sort of bureaucratic Marie Antoinette then you and forty of your best friends could plug into her landscape lighting five or six days a week (better know what days the gardener comes out) before anyone noticed what was going on.

Oct 13, 2014 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Of course, the greens do not want industry. The way this is going, it really looks as if Worthington, Stern et.al. are aiming for a medieaval UK society. They have their goddess Gaia already lined up. Incurable romantics, or are they something worse?

Oct 13, 2014 at 9:18 PM | Registered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

From last year, influential people agreeing with what Patterson is to say:

"We face a systemic industrial massacre," said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.

Mr Tajani warned that Europe's quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America's shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.

"I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can't be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can't sacrifice Europe's industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide," he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.

"The loss of competitiveness is frightening," said Paulo Savona, head of Italy's Fondo Interbancario. "When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10295045/Brussels-fears-European-industrial-massacre-sparked-by-energy-costs.html

Oct 13, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

Richard Black's philosophy requires power cuts.

Oct 14, 2014 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I am going to Godwinize the thread, so please don't be too harsh:

Life is hard in the Green Bunker. They are sure that they are going to win, because they have the right ideas, the smart people, and all the important institutions in hand. They don't want to acknowledge the hoards from the east that have broken thru the Brandenburg Gate(and now appearing in portions of the formerly supportive MSM), and are about to surround the bunker. Surely all the spare divisions from the south (or maybe from Penn State) will arrive at any minute to save the cause. They just have to hang on a little longer, keep talking up the program, and ignore the facts on the ground (in the Tiergarden, or maybe the ice in the Antartic)and all this unpleasantness will go away. Keep talking, keep talking, keep talking, and keep your fingers in your ears.

Oct 14, 2014 at 3:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterrxc

"On a practical basis I think it is wise for households to plan for power cuts in the UK as we are sailing very close to the wind, with up to 5 power stations currently shut down and we only need a moderately hard winter to potentially cause supply problems.

I have a small generator that cost £80, a calor gas fire, a small stove fed by gas canisters and today there arrived from Coopers two excellent LED 'Lanterns' that cost a total of £10.

I view these as insurance policies as I work on the basis that even our government can't be unaware of our perilous energy supply position. However, IF they are mad enough to believe that word pellets for Drax are a good idea then they are capable of anything, but I am at least prepared.

tonyb"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wise and prudent, Tony.

But, how sad is it that things have come to this?

Britain was once a powerhouse of science, technology and innovation. Now, people like Tony are (sensibly) stocking up on alternatives because there is a real chance that the power might fail - and not because there is any actual constraint on keeping it up and running.

What will happen when the zillions of interlinked computer networks that run everything from traffic lights to high level Defence installations go down?

Oct 14, 2014 at 3:32 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Who is going to compensate Industry for reducing their electricity use at times of peak demand? There is no mention of this.

Oct 14, 2014 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Constable

So have I got this right?

To keep the lights on, we have to turn the lights off. Is that it?

Oct 14, 2014 at 7:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

Phillip - I would not be so sure that the bryony blackouts (thanks kim) will be confined to the rural areas. Only 5-10% of the population live in rural areas, and when demand exceeds supply as it likely will in windless severe cold periods it will be rolling bryonys for some urbanites also.

tonyb - I agree that things are so bad and the politicians are so clueless, that domestic backups are sensible. But don't plug in any sensitive electronics into your £80 generator, they will be unlikely to last very long. There are a few threads on BH explaining all the merits of different backup systems.

johanna - I have asked the same question before - (high level defence systems etc). Historically the UK government has never cared much for the people, and it would appear that their determination to bring about bryonys confirms this. But there is the national security issue also, and its long past time for the top military to have pointed this out to Cameron.

Richard Black / Ed Davey / Cameron / DECC mandarins - see page 24 of this pdf* and then explain how it will be possible for the grid engineers to keep the lights on, even if Davey doesn't get his way to cease all coal generation by 2025.

*Hint for arts and PPE graduates in positions of power: when the black line (projected peak demand) rises above the height of the columns (generation capacity), the lights will begin to flicker and go out, and most other things (central heating boilers, TVs, shop tills, petrol pumps, sewage pumps etc), will stop working. Instances of riots and looting are possible, and many old people will likely die of cold. When the lights do come back on, angry people will begin to ask searching questions about how this could have happened in a technologically advanced society the 21st century, why you decided to build more useless windfarms and close perfectly good coal and gas power stations, and you will will probably wish the lights were still off.

Oct 14, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Who is going to compensate Industry for reducing their electricity use at times of peak demand?
You don't really need an answer to that, John, do you? One guess should do it!

Oct 14, 2014 at 8:39 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Just had another thought.
Remember all the panic about the possible Millenium Bug.
What are the chances for the CCA Bug striking.
Power cuts - all the millions of computers that run our lives crashing.
Oh what chaos!!!

Oct 14, 2014 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

I scratch my head a lot these days mostly about mankind's propensity for falling for sales patter - and here I am also referring to political storytelling. We all fall for it to a degree, we are all creatures very susceptible to hanker and desire, if you like fast cars it is 'quite' easy to be seduced by a sleek shiny bit of steel with four wheels and what's not to like?

We only listen to what we want to hear, all else is blocked out, keeping your mind open - that's the really hard bit.

I am fascinated by the green agitprop groupthink method - building, fashioning, creating a collective guilt complex in wider society, needs much propaganda and even more story telling, in an age of instant information and communication how can it be that so many people have fallen for the great scam?

How is it, that such as; Kim Naidoo, Zac Goldsmith, Al Gore, HRH Prince Gormless, Polly Toynbee, Baroness Worthless, Connie Headbanger, Jeremy Grantham, Caroline Lucas and a very long list. Then, think of those thousands of taxpayer sponging civil servants, NGOs who jet around the world on a perma junket of climate conferences - all of that clique have one thing in common - none of them practice what they preach.

Slowly, oh so very slowly the penny is beginning to drop, what is the point of Britain if we have no income generators, nobody who makes anything, if all of our manufacturing pushed off to the USA, China, India - what happens then?

A nation which has been seduced by the siren green songs are going to lure us onto the very hard rocks of economic catastrophe - what could be worse than that? Well it is worse because it was all done on the basis of telling a very big - albeit so slickly done - the big lie, a massive swindle, fraud on a grandiose scale.

How did it come to this............................... I am still scratching my head.

Oct 14, 2014 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Athelstan - We indeed live in difficult times. There seems to be a madness that drives these activists. They somehow influence the policymakers who then proceed to ruin our energy infrastructure to the detriment of future generations while the masses sit back in apathy.

I call it madness because it is a fact that a static wind turbine cannot generate electricity yet these people insist that we rely on this technology to power our national grid.

Oct 14, 2014 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Well there is at least some overlap of views. Ms Worthington represents the Weinberg foundation who hope to revive thorium nuclear power, Kirk Sorensen the current guru of thorium reactors reckons this is best done via Small Modular Reactor's (SMR's) and Owen Paterson is recommending the mass rollout of SMR's. The only difference here is in the type of reactor but I'd guess the concept of modularity easily allows a mix. Even Exxon agrees:
"World electricity demand is likely to grow by over 80% by 2040, and nuclear energy capacity will need to double to help to meet it, according to figures from Exxon Mobil." See here:
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/ee-double_nuclear_by_2040_says_exxon-1309138.html

Trying to defend the climate change act will do anything but harm is like arguing black is white. Only Peter Lilley had bothered to uncover the horrendous costs and the actual effect on global temeperature are widely admitted to be nil even to the pause deniers. Apparently it is purely and simply justified on the basis of the UK showing world leadership. Alas we are currently only showing them how to go bankrupt. An SMR rollout and/or supporting thorium reactors would be real leadership but it needs to be organised pdq.

Oct 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I've got an idea.
Why don't we stick Bryony Worthington on top of a pole and get her to wave her arms about (which she does a lot) - surely that could generate some electricity..?

Oct 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Apparently it is purely and simply justified on the basis of the UK showing world leadership. Alas we are currently only showing them how to go bankrupt.
+ +
Keep saying it. Sooner or later the people will wake up and listen!

Oct 14, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I have heard this nonsense talked of as showing moral stance to other Countries, please tell me how killing your own people is moral? Perhaps the green blob will respond!!

Oct 14, 2014 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

I recall hearing (and to my shame using) similar arguments about the UK giving a lead when the debate was about joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism. It would show we were good Europeans yada yada. As Tim Congdon said when asked when the recession would end - On present policies, never. I expect we are going to have to suffer Bryony's dire consequences before the fools wake up.

Oct 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

" when all the evidence is that climate change is getting worse" --people mistake their level of fear with the actual thing. People insist that gun violence is getting worse in USA when it has been going steadily down for 20 years and is back to the level it was at 40 years ago. But it doesn't matter: it is all about "how we feel". There is absolutely no evidence that climate change is getting worse on any dimension you can name.

Oct 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

I wonder if Richard Black has actually read the Offgem Capacity Assessment



We assess that the risks to electricity security of supply will increase in the next four years. In particular, we expect that electricity de-rated capacity margins will decrease significantly from the current historically high levels. In parallel, the risk of electricity customer disconnections will appreciably increase from near zero levels. This is primarily because of a significant reduction in electricity supplies from coal and oil plants which are due to close under European environmental legislation.

Oct 14, 2014 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterClovis Marcus

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