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Is it all over?

Further to yesterday's post on whether UKIP's success was due in part to their position on climate change, Eric Worrall, writing at WUWT, wonders if green politics isn't in full retreat right across the world. Noting the travails of green tinged political leaders like Obama, Merkel and Hollande he asks

The question – could here and now really be the last show of strength by green politicians, before voters back home sweep them and their policies into the dustbin of history? Will green politics soon be a thing of the past?

My gut feel is that there is probably a retreat going on, but that "soon" is far too optimistic. It will take many years to undo the network of vested interests and to defeat the armies of troughers who are filling their pockets from the public purse.

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Reader Comments (50)

The "outing" of Oliver Letwin as the most dangerous and influential "green" in the Cabinet, needs to be vigorously pursued.
There is plenty of evidence that, as Cameron's "Minister of State for Policy" he has more influence than even Ed Miliband or Bryony Worthington.
He put Cameron where he is, and "Dave" trusts him implicitly !

Nov 22, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Politicians don't have opinions. They do what they're told by their advisers. Cameron retained the Green policies of the previous Murdoch (New Labour) government.

The fundamental climate issues are the PAUSE and the virtual collapse of the carbon markets. These weren't meant to happen. Who knows where we are going now.

Nov 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Don't forget that Samcam wears the pants in the PMs household and she is a rabid green.

Nov 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterivan

Correct, as a man who has never had an original idea in his life, with Olly at "worK' and Sam at home, "Dave" was doomed to be green.

Nov 22, 2014 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

toad. Do you mean he was groomed to be green?

Nov 22, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I agree with BH that this is far from over. It is not just the politicians (and indirectly the electorate) who call the shots, the media have a bit part to play. And individuals within and the corporate policies of media organisations will continue to be as biased towards green spin for a long time yet - just look at how the BBC covered an unplanned outage at Torness yesterday - they gave half the report to a spokesman from WWF:

EDF Energy said the 640MW Torness 2 reactor went offline at 01:16 on Friday.

The unit was expected to remain unavailable for seven days, the firm said. It means nearly 5GW of British nuclear capacity is offline.

The reactor normally has a capacity of 640 megawatts.

Paul Winkle, Torness Power Station director, said: "The reactor shutdown safely and cooling to the reactor was maintained at all times. There were no health or environmental impacts."

Lang Banks, WWF Scotland director, said: "With yet another unplanned shutdown this year at a Scottish facility, nuclear power has once again shown itself to be a totally unreliable source of energy.

"Thankfully Scotland has plenty of cleaner, safer energy alternatives it can call on to be able to deal with unplanned shutdowns at atomic facilities like this.

"Last month, wind turbines in Scotland alone generated enough electricity to supply three millions homes in the UK - equivalent to 126% of the electricity needs of every house north of the border."

Reactor 1 at the plant was temporarily shut down in July due to an issue with the electrical system.

[My emphasis].
Source: Torness nuclear reactor has 'unplanned outage'

No mention that wind output for the first 3 weeks of September across the whole of the UK was rarely more than 1% of grid demand. No mention of the key statistic from Capell's recent Adam Smith report that windfarms typically only produce 90% of their capacity for a total of 17 hours a year. (or is it minutes?)

Nov 22, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus
Nov 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"Wait & non-greens will all dies out, since they are all old", is the thinking in many green circles.

- Strange how the world go turned upside down ..and it is the young who are fervently religious green dogmatism
I think there are a lot of hard core rellgious greens
- Note how the Green Party got a petition of 260,000 signatures about appearing in the election debates. ( many non-genuine sigs, I expect)

As regard political parties Ed Davey & many Liberals are basically the Green Party anyway
- What happened is that the Green Religion spread out into all the parties ..but now it is retreating back into it's own party taking members with it I guess. But it's losing power as parties who adopt unrealistic Green policies are getting kicked at the ballot box

Nov 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Now that significant renewable energy schemes in UK & Germany are online, the public can now see that their power supply is more unreliable and more expensive, not less, by following green energy policies and this realisation is changing people's minds.

Nov 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterColin Wernham

Isn't the green party actually growing at the moment

Nov 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Showing LibLabCon the door ought to do the trick, its a political problem requiring political change, and that change is on the way !

Nov 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterc777

stewgreen - 260,000 green signatures out of a total population of 60m+ just shows what a vocal minority they are. I expect many of those are probably 16-18 year olds who are agitating for a vote now too (as in the Scottish ref).

Having recently undertaken a post-grad course, I can vouch for the extent of the green/CAGW tentacles in universities, funded through EU and government grants. Local councils have had to pick up the green/CAGW baton under diktat from the government and are quite happy to take EU funding for whatever project is going as it keeps more people employed and brings in yet more grant funding. It will take years to unravel, and as long as these grants are available it won't be those types of useless services that local councils will be chopping when other funding diminishes. The stresses and strains in local government are children and adult services where costs and demand is rising. Strangely, at this time, the climate change officers are keeping their heads down, but if the subject is ever raised they are applauded because of the extra funding they pull in, even if it is ring-fenced for climate change projects.

Nov 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

Some green philosophy is good and right, some was right but has been taken to extremes and some is just corrupt. Thus for example: anti-pollution, not excessive consumption, the Hockey Stick respectively. We shouldn't just accuse greens of being troughers (although many are the loony left these days).

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

I think we will see a continuation of the status quo for some time with token gestures to green policies. In the background we may find the green taxes minimalized to try and woo voters ahead of next May's elections. But, as we saw recently with Cameron's big donation to the new Green fund of twice what Oxfam thought reasonable, that he is still far to generous with our money.

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek

If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, then environmentalism is the first... - Anon.

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterManniac

No matter what evidence is placed in front of people like Lord Deben, Tim yeo and Ed davey, they simply will ignore it.

There are many people in both Houses of Parliament who make significant amounts of money from the CAGW scare meme, so this will continue.

The disillusioned LibDems are joining the Greens in significant numbers and since the Greens are largely full of loons like Caroline Lucas, things may even get worse.

Also given the huge amount of money WWF, Greenpeace, etc get from donors, why would facts get in their money grabbing ways.

The universities and institutions will merely reword the scare story in order for the gravey train the continue: Myles Allen will ask for millions to model the "increase" in rain; the MET Office will say their computers (before they get their new one) are not powerful enough because climate is more chaotic than they thought, etc...etc.... blah, blah we are all doomed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Too many pies and too many fimgers to stop this gravey train.

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

The Left never "retreats". They are always attacking and suffer "setbacks". If they ever retreated, they would fill the dust bin of history and join T-Rex.

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Definitely not over. Wishful thinking. The spin, goalpost-moving and history-rewriting will continue, helped by the likes of Harrabin, Mooney, Black, Ward. What charmingquark says.

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

In today's Wall Street Journal ...

Growing a Second Green Revolution

The ‘golden rice’ champion on the bewildering campaign to stop a miracle food that could save millions of children from blindness and death.
[ ... ]
Robert Zeigler is an environmentalist, but he is also a plant scientist. And that has led him to question the motives of an environmental movement that opposes genetically modified crops despite overwhelming evidence that they are safe.
[ ... ]
"If you’re not tied to the science and the facts, you can say just about anything.”

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpeed

Reality does not seem to be very important to our craven political class. The greens are in the main well off financially, and greenism a symptom of economic prosperity. The world is in a poor economic condition and the political paradigm will change, but as you correctly state glacially slowly. One thing is for sure, when the change happens no one will remember their complicity in the " green crap".

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

Greenishness ought to be sensible, but it isn't (mostly). The Clean Air Acts had a cost, but provided significant benefits that were well worth the costs. A move to renewable energy doesn't look like it is. One should never forget the unforeseen consequences (good and bad) - like in the case of the move away from UK coal mining and the social unrest it caused, or the fact that many car parks on commuter stations occupy the former coal yard, and thus the stations have a larger catchment..

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterHow did we get here?

A train driver at work:

I don't think we are heading for the sidings any time soon.

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Jennifer Marohasy has pointed out that what is really needed is a new paradigm about climate. She is right. The green paradigm stretches from Malthus to Muir, Carlson, and of course Ehrlich. It is now festering as the 'green blob'. It is a tough one to replace. It has sold us fear of our creativity, our works, ourselves. But while we wait on new thinkers to frame the new paradigm we can certainly keep pointing out the obvious failures of the current one.

Nov 22, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I agree that as long as the media keep up their biased reporting not much will change.

Maybe a few greenouts this winter will help...

Nov 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

I think supporting Green Politics is very much a fad. Same as running Marathons, Atkins Diet, Hula Hoops ( not the crispy snack) Zumba and lots of other things that appear, shine brightly then fade. Some like Marathons leave a residual rump which takes decades to fade, some like Hula Hoops only last a couple of years before becoming an embarrassment. There will always be a rump of Green Party candidates and supporters, maybe even councillors.

On the other hand local efforts to improve the environment will continue and even expand, this is a good thing which needs to be encouraged and supported.

Nov 22, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommentersandyS

For a while I've been highlighting the way the internet and social media are bypassing the traditional communications through the newspapers. The traditional channels favoured the traditional parties and large institutions like universities.

In contrast social media favours large numbers of people or small groups who don't get heard by the traditional establishment media - so sceptics.

My perception is that the traditional media are really all very similar "middle class liberal" with very similar views on immigration, EU who should run the country (them and their friends) who shouldn't (engineers) and - yes, like our Oxbridge politicians they pretend to have different politics, but underneath they are clone like "arts students" who all look down on us "plebs".

So, parties like UKIP are thriving on representing the viewpoint that has been squash by the establishment journalists and politicians and academics. So, the groups growing in political importance are all the "social outcasts" ...

- sceptics
- pro-family
- pro-British
- non "establishment"/greenblob environmentalists
- football supporters (as seen by the pushback on anti-football supporter legislation).

In other words, any concern or issue that ordinary people have which the oxbridge elite think is beneath them.

Nov 22, 2014 at 1:06 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Firstly, Worral shows his ignorance of Canadian politics by misnaming the Prime Minister. It is not “Steve Harper”. It is “Stephen Harper”. He is not anti-green. He is just cognizant of the fact that Canada’s economy depends on trade with the US and refuses to set policies that will destroy the Canadian economy by imposing green costs that will make industry non-competitive.

Harper is a deeply rational person and as such he is deeply unpopular with the idealistic greens who give no thought to the practical implications of their policies. he will address the science of climate change in a reasoned and deliberate manner. He realizes that his actions have consequences and that he must be careful in ways that bloggers and newspaper columnists do not have to be.

Nov 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTAG

Firstly, Worral shows his ignorance of Canadian politics by misnaming the Prime Minister. It is not “Steve Harper”. It is “Stephen Harper”. He is not anti-green. He is just cognizant of the fact that Canada’s economy depends on trade with the US and refuses to set policies that will destroy the Canadian economy by imposing green costs that will make industry non-competitive.

Harper is a deeply rational person and as such he is deeply unpopular with the idealistic greens who give no thought to the practical implications of their policies. he will address the science of climate change in a reasoned and deliberate manner. He realizes that his actions have consequences and that he must be careful in ways that bloggers and newspaper columnists do not have to be.

Nov 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterTAG

The bish (and others) is right to express caution. This is no time for complacency. There is a whole new generation coming up who have been brainwashed into green ideology but haven't yet made their voices heard - but the beeb reassures them that what they have been taught is correct.

Nov 22, 2014 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

I have been saying this for some months.
We need more professional engineers speaking out.

Nov 22, 2014 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMJK

@ lapogus

This is absolutely SOP for BBC Scotland. When it's not Banks it's FoE's Dixon (he of SEPA board, too). Time and again there're inordinate platforms given - quite blatantly - to espouse their deluded 'green' cause.

There's a public meeting being held in Alloa this Wednesday - topic 'anti-fracking/anti-CBMe/etc' - with attendant speakers from... wait for it.... FoE (Scotland). I'm looking forward to that. Meanwhile, the deliberate co-opting of mums continues...

Nov 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterdc9

Gang-green, the rot that kills

Nov 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

Good points, and something that should be worrying the PPE graduates.

Nov 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I don't think the greens will disappear entirely any time soon, if ever. The unthinking protest vote finds its home with the greens and there will always be plenty of those up for grabs. Also, with the imminent disappearance of the LidDems there are hundreds more votes going begging across the nation!

Nov 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Frankly the big worry is the YouGov finding that 26% of people would vote Green if they thought they could win their seat:

There's a long way to go yet.

Nov 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

UKIP have been keeping their heads down on climate policy as far as I can see. Roger Helmer has weighed in a couple of times but the manifest is climate light as far as I can see.

You have to remember they are an immature* political force and are still trying to formulate their message with off the cuff pronouncements all over the place.

*not intended to be derogatory in any way.

Nov 22, 2014 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterClovis Marcus

@ Clovis Marcus;

I agree, as I previously posted on the 'UKIP's second MP thread': "None whatsoever. And I certainly would not rely on UKIP's current policy on climate change being the same next May. Farage has already done a U-turn on NHS privatisation, and today his newest MP is accusing him of changing policy on immigration. It is beginning to look like UKIP policy depends on what the Great Leader is thinking that morning - hope he's not morphing into a western Kim Jon Un."

Nov 22, 2014 at 5:49 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

It is more difficult now for activists and their political cohorts to push the green agenda than it was a few years ago.This is due to the mass of factual information available on the Web countering the hype and providing ammunition against the misdirections of the green activists. We are also seeing more articles in daily and weekly newspapers which are sceptical of CAGW.

As for whether the green lobby is finished, I do not think that is the case. There is too much invested in CAGW coming true, and too much pent up emotional energy to let go of it. UKIP had a table today at Sudbury market today to campaign and to celebrate the win at Rochester. One of the people coming up to talk to us was keen to tell us that climate change was the biggest threat to the world, and that UKIP should change its position to support renewables, money for CO2 reduction schemes, and billions for unspecified projects in the Third World. It would take a lot of patient explanation or a winter of intermittent renewables induced power blackouts to shift from that view.

There have also been too many politicians profiting from the CAGW scare. Sudbury is in the South Suffolk constituency of Tim Yeo, and he has been at the forefront of skewing Conservative party policy into renewables. Although he is not standing in May 2015, some of that legacy will live on.

Nov 22, 2014 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Whalley

Stewgreen and Grumpy: Just because 260,000 people signed the petition for the Greens to be allowed to take part in the leaders' debate doesn't mean that they all support the Greens. I supported it, because I think it would be a good idea for them to have their feet held to the fire in a real debate, so that their policies can be seen to be rubbish. (well, I hope that that is what would happen anyway.) That surely is the best way to show the public how unelectable they should be.

Nov 22, 2014 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterCarolineK

I see the situation as like ENSO: a huge bulge of global warming truth held at bay by media wind. When the winds slacken, the information will start to flow and, once in motion, accelerate until nothing can stop it.

The MSM trade winds are beginning to quarter. The earliest media to reveal the full truth will become the Woodward and Bernsteins of the Great Global Warming Scandal. The last will be anathema, shunned by advertisers and consumers. When the public realize the extent of media involvement, and what it's cost, the mighty will fall, no matter who they are or who they think they are.

Nov 22, 2014 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Just read this on Washington Post website

11/22/2014 8:21 PM GMT [Edited]

"Once the UN and the world's governments are addicted to the new carbon taxes we will never see a real effort to rid the atmosphere of carbon."

With people this ignorant and stupid is it any wonder there is still such support for the nonsense.

Nov 23, 2014 at 1:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMargaret Smith

I consider that 'green' politics will become more of an issue as UKIP policy attracts more and more attention in the MSM and scrutiny.

At the last election, only UKIP had a workable plan for bringing down the deficit. Their policy was to abollish the Climate Change Act and all overseas aid. This would have freed up some £17 to £25 billion per year (depending on whose estimates one believes) and over a 5 year Parliament this would have allowed some £85 to £125 billion to be diverted to paying down the deficit. After the 5 year period, policy could be re-assessed.

This, at the time, was the only sensible policy for dealing with the deficit, and it remains today, the only sensible policy for dealing with the deficit.

UKIP have not yet announced their policies, but I envisage that since this was a policy for the 2010 election, it probably will be a policy for the 2015 election. Whilst I am not a UKIP vter, it sounds very sensible to me, and I suspect that it would be a popular policy appealling to the so called disenfranchised white working class (especially when it is explained how subsidies are finding their way to rich landowners, and that a disproportionately high amount of green taxes/subsidies falls to be paid by the poorest in society).

If it their policy and if it gets scrutiny, no doubt UKIP will wish to justify it, perhaps on the babsis of the 'pause' that windfarms are inefficient and rarely produce any significant energy, that windfarms do not result in the reduction of any significant CO2, that the push towards renewables has doubled the price of UK electricity and added about 20% to the price of gas etc. etc

I consider the tide is turningb against green policies since we are begiining to see the cost. It is like going out for a meal and dining at a high class restaurant. All very nice whilst eating and drinking, but one only begins to consider whether it was a good idea and value for money when the waiter brings the bill. People are now having to dip into their pockets like never before so the true cost of going green is beginning to be seen. A harsh winter, or two, with some brown outs may tip the cart.

Nov 23, 2014 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

in the mean time nobody died from nuclear this year
lefties misinformed us for decennia on end re nuclear

Nov 23, 2014 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

CarolineK, I signed the petition for the Greens to be in the debate for that very reason.

And also because, although I don't agree with what they say. I do agree that they should be allowed to say it. Freedom of Speech doesn't just apply to those I agree with. They have an MP and MEPs.

And one other reason. If the BBC wanted to exclude them then something smells fishy. I'm not going to let the BBC arrange the debate after I saw the second Salmond/Darling debate.

Nov 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

According to Natalie Bennett:
The UK Green party is adding 1000 supporters a week. Not sure how large the time period is! Perhaps a week....

Nov 23, 2014 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr Bliss

For what it's worth: a friend, who works for a large provincial land/property management company, commented that the mood towards "green" seems to have greatly changed from what it was only a few years ago.
Fingers crossed, and keep putting out truth and common sense, one conversation at a time...

Nov 23, 2014 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergareth

Even if "a thousand people a week are joining the Greens", that's in a country with a population of over 60 million. Holding Brighton is their only realistic hope. If they do get 3% - 4% of the vote, it will be at the expense of Labor and the Lib Dems.

All good

Nov 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBill

SNP now has almost 100,000 members, 97% English.

Nov 23, 2014 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Googled from the UK Parliment website as of September

"less than 1% of the UK electorate is now a member of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Party, compared to 3.8% in 1983. Latest estimates suggest that the Conservative Party claimed 134,000 members, the Labour party 190,000 and the Liberal Democrat Party 44,000.

Yet membership of smaller, often nationalist parties has risen markedly since the new millennium. In June 2014 membership of the UK Independence Party was around 39,000; in October 2014 membership of the Scottish National Party was around 75,000; in October 2014 membership of the Green Party was around 20,000. Though none of these parties can claim to equal either the Conservatives or Labour in size, their rise nonetheless represents a notable change in the make-up of the UK’s political landscape."

Disenchantment with mainstream politics all round.UKIP that are moping up the protests votes not the Greens.

Nov 24, 2014 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Actually true Green/left is OK : "I detest Green/Left" is something I might say, but that is just shorthand. I should clarify actually most of us here are true Green/Left in that we believe in caring for environment and also minimising inequality of opportunity ..and rather detest what the modern Green/Movement has come to stand for: ie dogma overuling logic as this is counterproductive.

- Yep have to agree if Greens were involved in the leadership debates that dogma would easily fall apart.. we know Greens do everything to avoid public debate. So interesting to see people here signed that petition.

- I'd actually go further even though I detest the Green party I do think it is awfully unfair that they only have one MP ..It reflects the fact that democracy in the uK is in a mess and doesn't reflect the views of the public ..If you get 5% of the vote then you should have 5% of the voting power in parliament, which means also that Conservatives and Labour should have far less. In reality Greens have a massively higher say in energy policy helped by various infiltration methods ..perhaps they self justify this on the grounds that democracy is unfair to them.

Nov 24, 2014 at 4:54 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

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