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Green transformation?

See Mikky 9.39am and TinyCO2 at 10. 18 am on Off

I heard McGlade (Chief Scientist to the United Nations Environment Programme) as  well, and was duly appalled, especially when she said that people don't just go for solar or wind subsidies because of the money, but because there is a "sense of pride" that Britain could be  at the forefront of  renewable energy.  What alarmed me was the (?inadvertent ) slip that the intention of the programme  was " to transform the whole of society".   

Whatever next-  taking people to court because they don't agree with the "consensus"- and then re-educating them until they do?

The only bright spot, during the  hour before and no doubt with a much smaller audience, but surprising neverthless,  was the report of comments by Dominic Lawson, which said that most of the reports on the collapse of the steel industry had omitted to point out  part played by increased government green policies leading to distortion of industrial energy prices.


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Reader Comments (33)

Jo Novo currently has a suitable repost, but this time it's Spain!

"Remember, all developed countries are going Green, and Clean Energy is everywhere. It’s only (insert your country) that is falling behind. "

Oct 19, 2015 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

If people do have a sense of pride about going Green, and display it with solar panels on their roof, shouldn't they be willing to compensate their neighbours who are subsidising it? Or do they look at their neighbours as gullible suckers to be ripped off?

Oct 19, 2015 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie
Is that a rhetorical question?

Oct 19, 2015 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I imagine a large section of society are attracted to the idea of wind. The deliberate lack of negative reporting by the BBC and others has given renewables a honeymoon period of epic proportions. Without knowing the negatives, wind and solar seem almost magical.

Less excusable. It seems daft that in 2015 that the public could still be unaware of the link between high taxation and ailing industries and high prices but it's almost as common as the past. In a way you have to admire the Guardian and the green left, for doing exactly the same as Maggie but with a spoonful of sugar. I’m sure that the steel workers won’t be cursing all those architects of the Climate Change Act in forty years from now. Look at the political leaders in the steel working areas – not a blue amongst them. OK steel communities, what has the Labour party or the left wing news papers done for you? How can people still be so dumb in the 21st century? Why don’t they recognise that policies lead to consequences?

Oct 19, 2015 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

You shouldnt be surprised as Milliband was always very up front about the need to deliberately transform society through increasing prices.


Oct 19, 2015 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

The BBC still cheerfully reports the views of McGlade on their front page as "the UN's chief environment scientist", like this is not a badge of shame for a scientist.

If you do politics in your professed scientific discipline, as people such as McGlade do at the UN, then you must expect your public statements to be treated as politics, not science. McGlade takes aim at the economic policies of the elected British Government from behind the scientific façade and comfort of a UN position. A position that can rightfully claim to represent neither science nor the populace, but allows her to pontificate about economics and public policy.

She represents nobody and nothing, except the bureaucrats who appointed her and the green neo-Marxist environmentalists who inveigle people into such positions of title and self-importance.

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Here is the link to the Dominic Lawson article in the Mail today

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:18 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Britain can only be at the forefront of renewable energy if other countries fall in behind. This is not going to happen on a scale large enough to cut global emissions, or even to half the emissions growth. I looked at the country submissions from 7 developing countries with 3300 million population and the 32 major developed countries with 900 million population. For every tonne of emissions cut in the developed world, over 3 additional tonnes will be produced in the developing world.

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Kevin Marshall

That is very near what I wrote in another thread a few minutes ago. It won't just be more CO2, it will be much more pollution in lightly regulated, dirty factories.

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

I wrote up Ms McGlade at
When she was at the European Environment Agency she got investigated for fraud for spending €300,000 on potted plants or something. At the UN. She has, or had, a software company which designs maps of the environment. I wrote:

...when she’s not busy mounting websites full of maps of the environment at the European Union in Copenhagen and the UNEP in Nairobi she’s back in Devon designing software for creating maps of the environment. Did I mention that she’s an adviser to the Gaia Foundation and a director of Open Geospatial Consortium?
I can't remember the details.

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:34 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

“Milliband was always very up front about the need to deliberately transform society through increasing prices.” Mailman

But people hear that and assume the increased prices would be minimal. Milliband probably thought the same. The left has been dreaming of a caring, sharing society forever but it never seems to bother them that people are only caring and sharing when it suits them or that they see themselves of the recipient rather than the giver. They’re more than happy to believe that it’s industry, especially the oil companies that emit CO2. They don’t associate the emissions as the result of their own consumption.

If you read all the warmist discussion about reducing CO2 it’s all about other people, never about recognising their own part in emissions. Their language about oil companies would make you thing the oil is pumped out of the ground and set alight in the same process. Consumers don’t appear to be part of the process.

For a good example of warmists not getting it see this article. It's an expert example of do as I say, not as I do.

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

SandyS, a definite maybe!

I have a sense of disgust that the UK was railroaded into adopting the most disastrous and expensive bit of legislation. Almost all politicians from all political parties gave approval, including the current Prime Minister.

I have a sense of admiration for those MP's, from all parties who opposed the Climate Change Act, even if I may disagree with some of their other beliefs.

It is about time some MP's pointed out the inqualities of the Climate Change Act to the UK, using Parliamentary Privilege if appropriate, to identify hypocritical collaborators from all parties. The electorate has a right to know, who and what they did not vote for, and why.

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


This is a long article, but it explains the modus operandi.


"In 1997 the Club of Rome collaborated with Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute to launch a new report "Factor Four" that promised to "halve resource use" while doubling wealth. The message was that you could get rich saving the planet. A privileged few did indeed double their wealth; but for the rest it was just a case of halving resources.

Immodestly, Lovins made his own California energy scheme the main example of savings in "Factor Four". His well-paid advice to the State of California was that it was a big mistake to adopt a system that rewarded increased electricity output with increased profits. Such a system would naturally tend to boost output. Instead, rewards for cutting energy use were needed. Rather than getting paid for additional megawatts the utility companies should be rewarded for saving power use: negawatts. The impact of Lovins' model on energy generation in California was decisive. "Around 1980, Pacific Gas and Electricity Company was planning to build some 10-20 power stations", according to Lovins.

But by 1992, PG&E was planning to build no more power stations, and in 1993, it permanently dissolved its engineering and construction division. Instead as its 1992 Annual Report pronounced, it planned to get at least three quarters of its new power needs in the 1990s from more efficient use by its customers.[4]

Of course the PG&E was not getting three quarters of its new power needs from anywhere: it had just reduced its output. But manufacturing energy scarcity did indeed grow somebody's cash wealth: Enron's. With these artificial caps on energy production the generating companies could start to hike up the charges to utility companies, including PG&E, now unable to meet its own customers' demands. Those energy companies were owned by Enron. Chief Executive Kenneth Lay turned Enron from a company that made its money generating power into one that made its money trading finance. Whatever else it was doing, there was no denying that Enron was cutting back its own CO2 emissions and getting rich doing it. One company memo stated that the Kyoto treaty "would do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative".[5]

Amory Lovins' negawatt revolution in California was Enron's wet dream. Having shut down its own generation capacity, PG&E was at the mercy of Enron's market manipulation. Buying surplus electricity on the open market PG&E was royally fleeced, losing US$12 billion. Utility bills rose by nine times between May 2000 and May 2001. Enron took advantage of the restricted market and cut electricity to California. They even invented reasons to take power plants offline while California was blacked out. Enron officials joked that they were stealing one million dollars a day from California.[6] The PG&E that Lovins held up as a model went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the State of California.

James Heartfield

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

golf charlie , there were only five MPs voted against the act and they were all Conservative. They were were Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie, and Ann Widdecombe. Some may have been against the Act but didn't vote that way.

Oct 19, 2015 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

It's definitely an attempt to change society and it's essentially political as it concerns fundamental changes in the way that power and wealth are gained and exercised.

It's also fundamentally dishonest, and has had to be sold by scare tactics, establishment bullying, selective bribery and propaganda. This is because no one in their right mind would accept it as an honestly put proposition.

Oct 19, 2015 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

TinyCO2, thank you for that correction. I thought a few Labour MP's had voted against, did they just decide to stay in and wash their hair, or more formally abstain?

Son of Kinnock was not an MP at the time, so presumably with his mother's and father's wise advice, and wealthy experience of the EU, he will be trying to save some family respect in Wales, if nowhere else?

Oct 19, 2015 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

This is a long article, but it explains the modus operandi.

Thanks for the link but, well, yes and no. I typically stop reading articles that (as Heartfield does) confuse MW and MWh but, as I've read other stuff by him, I carried on.

Though his Green Capitalism (manufacturing scarcity in an age of abundance) makes valid points and the article you cite (just above your quote) explores the notion that "What some of the cannier Green Capitalists realised is that scarcity increases price, and manufacturing scarcity can increase returns", he does IMHO make a bit of an idée fixe of it all.

See e.g. linked Wiki piece for arguments which, though not downplaying Enron's role, explain that the scandal was a bit more complex than Heartfield suggests. In any case, is "manufacturing scarcity" not essentially a form of protectionism and thus hardly new.

Oct 19, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB


"he does IMHO make a bit of an idée fixe of it all"

That's because he is very deliberately making a case (as he does in the excellent book) that global warming politics/economics (carbon trading ) is a gigantic Enron generated scam.

Enron Also Courted Democrats

Dan Morgan, Washington Post 2002

"According to internal Enron documents and the recollections of former employees, Chairman Kenneth L. Lay had the ear of top Democrats in the 1980s and '90s. He and his colleagues used that access to promote the company's interests with the Clinton administration and key congressional Democrats.

In a White House meeting in August 1997, for example, Lay urged President Clinton and Vice President Gore to back a "market-based" approach to the problem of global warming -- a strategy that a later Enron memo makes clear would be "good for Enron stock."

On Aug. 4, 1997, Lay and seven other energy executives met with Clinton, Gore, Rubin and other top officials at the White House to discuss the U.S. position at the upcoming conference on global warming in Kyoto, Japan. Lay, in a memo to Enron employees, said there was broad consensus in favor of an emissions-trading system.

Enron officials later expressed elation at the results of the Kyoto conference. An internal memo said the Kyoto agreement, if implemented, would "do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States."

No longer on Washington Post website, republished here

I didn't get my ideas from this book, but from the work of Prof. David F. Noble - York University, Toronto, Canada.

Oct 19, 2015 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

In the 10 years following the Kyoto agreement, crude oil prices rose by a factor of 10. That, according to the oil companies vs environmentalists interpretation of global warming politics, should not have happened. Anticipating a fossil fuel free 21st century, oil futures should have fallen.

Demand did not massively increase.

Oct 19, 2015 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

. . . he is very deliberately making a case (as he does in the excellent book) that global warming politics/economics (carbon trading) is a gigantic Enron generated scam.

I accept that his book deliberately makes a case and that I broadly agree with it. I also acknowledge that he stood up to green orthodoxy from a left perspective - it's just that I'm less struck with how well he makes his case. But it's been a while since I read it and I can't now find the notes I made at the time.

Thanks for the David Noble link. As I didn't know much (OK, anything) about Denis Rancourt before Steyn's book, this post is new to me. I'll give it a read.

In the 10 years following the Kyoto agreement, crude oil prices rose by a factor of 10.

My understanding is that oil demand rose from 73,592 tbd in 1997 to 86,700 tbd in 2007, i.e. ~18 per cent. Prices rose from $31 to $107, i.e. by 240 per cent. Kyoto purported to address FF emissions overall but in practice mainly targeted electricity generation, not oil consumption. I'm therefore not sure your correlation is valid but, in fairness, I am emphatically no oil stats wallah.

Oct 19, 2015 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

DaveB, I think I broadly agree with your post, but I definitely agree with your final sentence, so I am not sure.

Oct 19, 2015 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Appreciate the reply.

Oil was $11-12 a barrel in 1998.

Why Oil Prices are 10 Times More than in 1998

The closing price for a barrel of crude oil sold on the New York Mercantile Exchange on December 31 was $12.05. Just three weeks earlier the price of oil had hit its nadir for the year at $10.72. Oil had started the year above $17 and steadily slid as the Asian financial crisis slowed the world economy and reduced oil demand.

Oct 19, 2015 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

@golf charlie Oct 19, 2015 at 1:25 PM

TinyCO2, thank you for that correction. I thought a few Labour MP's had voted against, did they just decide to stay in and wash their hair, or more formally abstain?

See: Climate Change Bill — Third Reading (and other amendments) — 28 Oct 2008 at 21:58

Oct 19, 2015 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPcar

Pcar, thank you for that. Presumably the Pairing Whips were satisfied with the absences

Oct 19, 2015 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


"Kyoto purported to address FF emissions overall but in practice mainly targeted electricity generation"

That's true. Electricity is roughly only 10% of energy total. However the principle of reduced oil consumption was established as a future trend at Kyoto.

My view is that cheap oil prices had in the past been a policy aim of the United States government, something they appeared to abandon in the early part of the new century.

Rather, that's all i can think of :-)

Oct 20, 2015 at 12:10 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

@GC Oct 19, 2015 at 10:09 PM

Difficult to know as it was allegedly a free vote, so pairing of our "honourable" MPs should not have happened.

Noteworthy is that Nick Clegg did not vote, but his potato head stooge did vote "aye".

I was surprised and saddened to see that Peter Robinson and other DUP voted "aye" - Ulster chaps are usually very pragmatic and sensible. Hmm, pragmatic - one wonders if they were they promised money to vote "aye".

Oct 20, 2015 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterPcar

Pcar 463 votes to 4 is well over 97% consensus. I wonder what it would be today?

It would be devastating if MP's were to be asked again, by pollsters, and the consensus had fallen significantly, having realised that Green is such a low priority amongst the Electorate.

Oct 20, 2015 at 1:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


There were people like John Redwood who didn't vote on the CCA because he said the outcome was clear. He always takes a careful position and he seems to have come out pretty much on the side that it's a huge waste of money and enormously damaging to the economy.

I think you have to see it in the context of a mass mania of the sort that Charles Mackay documented, something along the lines of the South Sea Bubble. At their height, it's very hard to avoid being swept away by them. There were all sorts of silly and fanciful ideas being traded seriously by politicians; the UK was going to lead the way in the Green Economy, The City was going to make a fortune in carbon trading, wind turbines were going to be a great success, because the wind is free and it's always blowing somewhere. None of it was thought through.

The Conservatives were trying to create a new more caring image, and they were trying to compete with Labour to be the Greenest of Them All, so there was no opposition. This was around the time when Cameron was talking about having a windmill on his roof and went off to hug a husky. A huge amount of political capital was invested, and furthermore they set up institutions and enacted laws which they find are difficult to remove.

Also, energy policy is long term, so having set a wrong direction, it's very hard to reverse it and takes a long time.

Oct 20, 2015 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Hate to burst any bubbles but it was the Iraq war that pushed oil prices up. They stayed up via an accidental alliance between Opec (who loved the new price), peak oil pundits and commodity speculators - principally Goldman Sachs. Prices came down because the high oil price stimulated investments in unconventional oil. All very capitalist I'm afraid - and much of it crony capitalism.

Oct 20, 2015 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

cosmic, fair comment, and the mass hysteria whipped up at the time did not generate much adverse comment.

The Dangerous Dogs Act was a good idea at the time.

Few people never make a mistake. The longer a mistake is allowed to go on, the worse the damage. Far better to admit the mistake before Paris. During Paris would be entertaining, after Paris would be really embarrassing, as it would confirm that the complete lack of evidence had been ignored.

Oct 20, 2015 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Fossil fuel prices barely altered at all (indeed, they declined) until Saudi Arabia and Venezuela finally called off their price war after Chavez took over in the latter. Oil prices didn't really take off until 2004

(page down on the inner frame to see the long term price chart)

Oct 20, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

JamesG and 'It doesn't add up'

Thanks. I was happy to admit I didn't understand what caused the price increase. You can read lots of charts which will claim to know the reason for every twist and turn. One of the issues is that OPEC used to set prices with the guidance of the US government, which is why I mentioned it in my post.

The world is so complicated nowadays and indeed crony capitalism is behind a lot of the complexity.

Oct 20, 2015 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff


OPEC last set prices in about 1985 when Saudi Arabia and then several other producers started selling on "netback" terms that guaranteed a margin to refiners against spot product prices - that is they became price takers, not price makers. After that, they have had no control, despite some countries spending large sums in the futures markets at times. The only control they have retained is over their own production - and market share/revenue wars mean they haven't had much control even over that. The prices have been consequences, not imposed, with only marginal adjustments to pricing formulae to reflect changes in market conditions and the relative values of different crude oils.

Oct 21, 2015 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

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