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« Thought for the day, Stern edition | Main | Quote of the day, alarm edition »

Destroying DECC

Some wags in the Conservative party have presented a private members bill to abolish DECC.

Mr Peter Bone, supported by Mr Christopher Chope, Mr Philip Hollobone, David T. C. Davies, Mr Graham Brady, Mr Aidan Burley, Mr Stewart Jackson and Philip Davies, presented a Bill to make provision for the abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and for its functions to be absorbed into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

It's fun, but of course it's more a case of shuffling the deckchairs than anything else. Ed Davey would still be a madman if he worked out of BIS.

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Reader Comments (23)

What is needed is what we used to have, a Ministry of Power (or Energy), staffed by competent power engineers. It isn't going to happen though, because power engineers would never allow intermittent and unpredictable generators anywhere near the transmission grid, let alone embedded on the distribution network.

Jul 9, 2014 at 8:40 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Any chance of him working out of Leyhill?

Jul 9, 2014 at 8:49 AM | Registered CommenterPhilip Richens

I believe that the abolishing of said DECC is also within the manifesto of UKIP.

Jul 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

I'd prefer they got ride of the climate change but abs became just the department of energy!


Jul 9, 2014 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

How about demolishing the CCC while they're at it.
Gummer merely using his position to further the ambitions of his mate Sterns Carbon tax scam, with a cheap nasty attack on the Abbot government.
An odious man.

Jul 9, 2014 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterc777

Phillip Bratby. I would say France tends to have better run infrastructure because it's civil servants in the technical ministries are engineers from the Grande Ecoles. I suggest we need to change the civil service. Civil servants running technical ministries should be recruited as chartered Engineers with design, construction and/or operation experience.
An mechanical/electrical engineer who has had experience of designing, building or operating electrical pylons in remote, locations, at elevations about 300m during periods of sub-zero temperatures would understand the problems of operating wind turbines in these conditions.

Jul 9, 2014 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Typo: "shuffling the deckchairs"? shouldn't that be DECC-chairs? :)

Jul 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

On a brighter note I heard John Humphries this morning dare to suggest to some promoter of the latest climate panic (flood defenses) that maybe the public should be skeptical that climate change is ever going to happen after 14 years of non-warming. Hallelujah - are journalists finally realising that their job is to ask the hard questions even if it is not politically correct and even if greenpeace disapproves? Or will John be receiving a dressing down for this heresy? After some further probing, including the priceless line "14 years is a lot more than a blip", he finally got the scaremonger to admit that the 'experts' don't expect to see significant climate change until the middle of the century and that these flood defenses are needed regardless so it isn't really a climate change issue after all.

Jul 9, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

As the Business dept is also run by a Lib Dem, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any big improvement in the way things are run.

Jul 9, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub


The interviewee was Lord John Krebs I think. He is a scientist like myself, but he is an onrnithologist, not a climate scientist. Did you notice that he refused to acknowledge the lack of warming over the last 14 years? He said it was "controversial" or some such. I was under the impression it was not controversial but was fact! If the climate change bigwigs can't even decide whether or not there has been warming over the last 14 years, how on earth can they forecast what will happen in the next 50? Unless of course Krebs refused to acknowledge the lack of warming because it does not fit in with his idea of a "greater truth".

Jul 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterAbandonShip!

At least some in Westminster are starting to think about the lunacy that is DECC
Let's hope it is infectious.

Jul 9, 2014 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Alas Mr Humphries didn't challenge the second false scare of Krebs; heat-related deaths. Surely even the dimmest bulb must realise these are far less important for the UK than cold-related deaths. Even the BBC focus magazine scoffed at the latest nonsense peer-reviewed paper that just deleted the projected reduction in cold-related deaths in order to whip up panic about warming. Apparently the entire UK academic establishment was in agreement. Krebs didn't get the memo it seems.

Personally I can't keep up with MO predictions as they contradict themselves so often: Whatever we've just had it seems the MO predict more of the same. But I could have sworn that the latest projective gibberish for the UK and Europe was for the Arctic meltwater to move the ocean currents and hence generally cool Britain down. Clearly they thought that Europe was rather looking forward to this much delayed warmth. Again Krebs missed the memo. Maybe he was on holiday somewhere a darn sight warmer than here - like most folk in the UK prefer to do, what with 400,000 Brits living in continental Europe where they don't spend so much on heating.

Jul 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

IMHO the problem here is the deep conflicts of interest between Energy and Climate Change. These two functions need to be separately managed e.g. move CC to Environment. This would promote exposure of conflicting issues and wider government debate and involvement.

Energy is so fundamentally important to all aspects of our health and wealth, not just business, that it should stand alone. Moving it to Business Innovation and Skills creates new conflicts of interest and biases.

As others have argued, Energy needs to be run by people with relevant knowledge, skills and experience so that we have a realistic and effective strategy for generation and distribution, investment in appropriate R&D (only bringing proven, cost-effective technologies to implementation) and restoration of real competition between market participants (they employ the best experts, not the governement, since their business survival depends upon it). The government is not delivering in any of these areas despite the tens of billions spent from our hard earned taxes.

Interestingly, many of the factors for success were in place until the last government (Ed Milliband in particular) systematically destroyed them. The current coalition has done nothing to defuse this economic suicide-bomb and instead has put ignorant idealogues and self-serving short-termists in positions of power and decision making.

Jul 9, 2014 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterRayJ

Ray, I presume you do understand that energy and climate change are together for a reason, namely that it is much easier to justify the eco-lunatics' anti-business, anti-industry, anti-people, anti-civilisation arguments for making us all go back to rubbing two sticks together and lighting our hovels with tallow candles (all very sustainable, of course) if you can argue that you're doing it in the name of saving the planet from the current catastrophe whatever that may happen to be.
The minute the climate change house of cards collapses it will become increasingly difficult to keep up the pretence that cheap, reliable energy is bad for us. Or at the very least they'll need to find another excuse.

Jul 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

What I want to know is - if its the Department of Energy and Climate Change - why haven't they changed the climate..? I mean - its been the same since well before the Department was set up..!

Jul 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Mike, Agreed. As a scientist, I've learned that presenting reasoned, evidence-based arguments achieves little in this debate. The problem is political and so the solution must be political too. Changing structures and responsibilities in organisations can have a rapid and profound effect, good or bad. This is something that politicians can do with the machinery of government. After all, it is the lumping of CC and Energy together that has allowed the castrophiliacs to flourish and impose their irrational ideas on us all.

Jul 9, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRayJ

Any country which subscribes to the belief system that changing the climate of this planet could possibly ever fall within the remit of its government is well and truly up a creek without a paddle from the word go. Or to put it scientifically: it's fcuked.

Jul 9, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

Things to Come...

Fen Beagle Cartoon....DECC destroys Britain...

Jul 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterFenbeagle

As soon as you get rid of words such as "Climate Change" from its title, the activities of same can be dwindled away to nothing. You can, of course, have have "climate change" activities going on under the radar when you do away with the words, of course, a sort of bureaucratic tactic akin to Obama's regulatory actions sidestepping congressional mandate. The thing to see is the history: a branch in a department that has always been struggling for funding dies when its public face is taken away, a contentious but expanding department grows like a cancer when it goes black.

Overall, I'd go for a loss of title: the more up-front something is, the less likely it is to be abandoned even when it makes no sense.

Jul 9, 2014 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

So supposedly Millions of British Public Sector Workers are going on strike tomorrow because of Coalition Austerity cuts.

So why don't these Conservative party wags ask David Cameron and The DECC exactly how much has the Coalition supposedly spent on Climate Change and then ask Ed Milliband and the TUC exactly how much has it supposedly cut back.
Then compare that against other EU states.I got a feeling other than a few extra sand bags and a few extra letters in government department names not much.

That brings up nicely the question how much public sector funding has been spent on Wind Turbines and their Diesel Power Backup who owns them and whose entitled to the Electricity they produce.

Jul 9, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Reminds me of the plea this morning at the Heartland ICCC9 conference to dismantle and restructure the EPA in Washington. An idea passionately presented by one of the early (1968) hydrologist contributors to the EPA. These events were unheard of say two years ago. Some progress at last.

Jul 9, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered Commenteroebele bruinsma

"… its functions to be absorbed into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills."

If the members had been serious, wouldn't they have said "… its functions to be dropped from the purview of government"?

No government in my experience has ever given up any power, once obtained; at least not willingly.



Jul 9, 2014 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterGary Turner

Meeanwhile, in Australia, the Senate is expected to pass the key and finall legislation to repreal The Carbon Tax introduced by the previous left government.
You should see the scrabbling as people like electricity suppliers try to avoid the refunds and lower charges that morally should follow.
There is an intensity about the left's actions on climate change, a last effort doggedness that is new to me. Leftist legislation has been booby trapped, there is no cooperation to repeal, there are moves to substitute an alternative like an ETS despite little evidence of of potential to affect the CO2 bogeyman.
Too many citizens have been persuaded that the bogeyman is real.
Thank you team at BH for your international acts to question that notion. You are read here. Expect more readership as we start to dominate cricket in our coming summer, anticipated since there was rare global warming snowfall on the outskirts of Melbourne yesterday.
Our big problem in this global warming policy area continues to be collusion between carpetbaggers and public servants when both have drunk the koolaid and have the subsequent thirst to get rich quick.
Fortunately, we seem to have chosen better politicians than you have in the UK. Democracy has a slightly better chancce.

Jul 9, 2014 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

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