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Walport tour dates

Following on from his climate change tour in 2014, Mark Walport is hitting the road again, this time to talk about energy policy. All over the country nubile young environmentalists are going weak at the knees.

Over the next 6 months, Sir Mark Walport will tour the UK to talk about how we supply and use energy today, and the options we have for the future...

Sir Mark said:

The UK faces a series of choices about energy. We all require energy to live and our dependence on it is total. But how we supply energy and how we use it in the future needs to change. We need power that is secure, affordable and more than ever we need it to be sustainable.

When world leaders meet at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris this December, energy will be at the heart of the debate.

Details here.

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Reader Comments (36)

Great! If he comes to Exeter, I'll ask for his take on coal use to generate electricity! Interesting to see if I don't get a satisfactory answer whether I'll be asked to leave, or just forcably escorted down a back alley to have the sH1t kicked out of me for daring to be so bold!

Nov 4, 2015 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

I'm just emailing Sir Mark Walport to ask for reassurance that it's a carbon-neutral sustainable tour. Be careful on your bike on the roads around Exeter, some of those Met Office folks drive like maniacs!

Nov 4, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRudolph Hucker

'the options we have for the future'

What's this "we" shit, kemo sabe? The use of first person plural indicates a collectivist bent. If government would leave energy production/distribution alone, the marketplace will take care of it.

'We need power that is secure, affordable and more than ever we need it to be sustainable.' And prevents tooth decay.

Nov 4, 2015 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterGamecock

Drive like maniacs? They certainly talk as though we're ALL stupid, can't think, & don't know BS when we hear it, that's for sure!

Perhaps I am getting paranoid, but because it has been fairly mild over the last two or three days, the Wet Office weather forecasts on the Beeb keeping mentioning it & calling it unusual. Is this "warming" up for Paris, which so far appears to have received little attention to date?

Nov 4, 2015 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Does he have any qualification to speak on energy policy? Is he an energy, has he done a science like Physics (not biology), has he e.g. gone and got himself an economics qualification, an MBA? Has he worked in the energy sector?

I think the answer to all those is no ... yet he somehow thinks he is qualified to speak on energy!


Nov 4, 2015 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered Commentermike Haseler

Meanwhile from the Telegraph:

Power plant breakdowns force National Grid to issue alert for extra supplies.

National Grid issues alert for more power plants to start generating by Wednesday evening.

Nov 4, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterunknownknowns

Has anyone calculated whether facial hair increases or decreases someone's carbon footprint?

GaVin Schmidt and Michael Mann have taken quite a bold stance on this important question, perhaps in readiness for a return to stone age technology, however Mark Walport clearly believes in extra insulation between mouth and nose only.

Swimmers and bicyclists tend to be clean shaven for reduced friction, and runners also have to consider excess weight.

If I do not shave every day, it is as much to do with the exorbitant cost of razor blades, rather than the carbon footprint of hot water.

If experts can't agree on the cause of the pause, they could try to be consistent on the mammoth woolly facial hair discrepancy.

Nov 4, 2015 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Do these failed scientists, aka Climate Sceantists, have no shame?

Nov 4, 2015 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

“We need power that is secure, affordable and more than ever we need it to be sustainable.”

That statement is a dichotomy, if ever there was one. Unless Walport’s definition of “sustainable” is the same as mine i.e. that the power to the grid must be sustained at all times, rather than our being subjected to planned rolling blackouts, (as suggested by his “how we use it in the future” comment), then I think he is away with the fairies.

Nov 4, 2015 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterColin Porter

Faeries don't tolerate Claimant Sceantists or IPPC fake fizzicks.

Far more sense that that!

Nov 4, 2015 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

"We need power that is secure, affordable and more than ever we need"... coal, gas and nuclear.

Nov 4, 2015 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

We need Chinese Nuclear like we need a dose of Ebola
We only need coal and gas and we have both in abundance for hundreds of years ahead. Even if we had miner's strikes again then gas could take over, we would have very cheap and efficient energy.

Nov 4, 2015 at 4:36 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Silly me, I thought who gets how much from whom would be at the heart of the argument in gay Paree...

Nov 4, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

BBC radio 4 ( has just announced (about 5-10 mins in) that National Grid has asked power stations to produce more electricity because a number of plants have "broken down". Sustainable, eh?

Nov 4, 2015 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

That word 'sustainable' is misused by all greenies, including, one suspects, Sir Mark

Nov 4, 2015 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterVelcro

The UN has redefined the word SUSTAINABILITY, get with the message FFS ^.^

Nov 4, 2015 at 6:08 PM | Registered CommenterDung

It would appear that sunshine is not always attainable in the dark, and it is not windy enough either. Only Green Thinking could not have thought of that.

Nov 4, 2015 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

the problem wiht the nukes is that it is an old outdated concept which is prolonged at very very high cost.

nuke electricity production should be thought through as a new scaleable failsafe system supplied from
a vibrant dynamic industry.

instead of 1 huge "too big to fail" pot with all sorts of "too big to fail" piping around it, it should be approached
as a "will fail but we will cope" system. instead of 1 pot, 100 or 1000 pots, with thin multilayer walls around it and a maintenance infrastructure that can handle complete failure in all aspects of one such pot.

But politicians are too innumerate too insecure to even envision such things.
So it should be taken out of politicians hands

Nov 4, 2015 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusNotWarmerDueToCO2

"nubile young environmentalists are going weak at the knees"

You can be very cruel, Bish! Funny, though...

Nov 4, 2015 at 8:07 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Looks like he will be racking up a few air miles on his travels.

Nov 4, 2015 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

The Financial Times reported that Severn Power had sold electricity to National Grid at £2,500 per MWh - 40 times the normal price of around £60.


Nov 4, 2015 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterSsat

Being from the US of A, where such 'honours' are constitutionally prohibited, I have to wonder if knighthoods are distributed in boxes of breakfast cereal. So many recipients seem so undeserving of any title other than 'dumbass'.


Nov 4, 2015 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterGary Turner

Government advisor on energy fantasy.

Nov 4, 2015 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

We need power that is secure, affordable and more than ever we need it to be sustainable.

Just like we need skyhooks to take us to the moon.

Nov 4, 2015 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

"National Grid issues alert for more power plants to start generating by Wednesday evening"

Do they normally do that by press release? What happened to their phonebook..?

Nov 4, 2015 at 10:16 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

'He just grinned and shook my hand and, "No", was all he said'

The Band - The Weight Lyrics

What if the plants say, "No."

Nov 5, 2015 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterGamecock


Nov 5, 2015 at 12:36 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Crisis occurs at just shy of 48 megawatts demand, not good, last winters peak was in January just shy of 54 Megawatts. With less than 5% reserve capacity economic and social consequences are inevitable.

Nov 5, 2015 at 3:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

"We need power that is secure, affordable and more than ever we need it to be sustainable." --Mark Walport

Sustainable is a base insult.

Nov 5, 2015 at 3:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

"sustainable power" an unassuming and innocently bashful phrase but when interwoven with the green mania, it assumes another altogether different vision and one of - utter bilge and specious meaning at that.

This sort of blurb of UN=EUspeak - all of it is, duplicitous, nebulous terminology, "sustainable power" is a bullshit term used by politicians and all manner of people who know not of what they speak.

Wind, terrestrial aeolian forces, might be termed "sustainable" but whirlygigs are anything but "sustainable" because; they break down, are rust buckets, use tons of cement, have to be dug up, melted down, processed and transported from China and blow over and don't last as long as wot it says on the tin. Thus by the greens own insane parameters of terminology - building bird mincers is not sustainable - by any stretch. Really, the only thing sustainable with bird choppers is they enforce domestic user subsidy and that is the paradox of 'sustainable technology' - that despite greenistas protestations: it ain't stand alone "sustainable".

Walport, you are as per - banging the wrong bloody drum.

Nov 5, 2015 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"When world leaders meet at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris this December, energy will be at the heart of the debate."

Really? Developing countries will be there in anticipation of wringing as much cash out of gullible western politicians as they can, while said gullible western politicians will be there to demonstrate their self-righteousness (as well as their ignorance) at taxpayers' expense. And of course the 40,000 parasites expected to turn up will all enjoy a jolly near Paris, mostly at taxpayers' expense.

Nov 5, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

"...if knighthoods are distributed in boxes of breakfast cereal."
I've been wondering the same about Doctorates.

Nov 5, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Should be an interesting tour, there's a lot of hostility on here, but he is an interesting chap

Nov 5, 2015 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterEmma @ Energy Company Numbers

If VW can hide apiece of software in their cars to defeat the experts why shouldn't the Chinese hide a bit of self destruct software in their nuclear power station control system ?

Nov 5, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterferdinand

Is Walport as clueless as he looks?
The sad answer is No. He is even more clueless.

Nov 5, 2015 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Here is Wolport pontificating: "...We need power that is secure, affordable and more than ever we need it to be sustainable." Good. I suggest coal-fired power plants that are secure, affordable, and sustainable. If you are influenced by the superstition that carbon dioxide in the air has warming power, relax. It has been proven that it has no effect on air temperature. This follows from the observation that a warming 'pause' or 'hiatus' has existed for the last 18 years. It is characterized by the fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide just keeps steadily increasing but there is no corresponding increase of air temperature. And this increase of air temperature is required by the Arrhenius greenhouse theory, used by IPCC to forecast our future global temperature. Since Arrhenius has made a wrong prediction here it has earned itself a place in the waste basket of history. The only accurate greenhouse theory is MGT, Miskolczi greenhouse theory. It has been around since 2007 but was rejected by IPCC for the unscientific reason that they did not like its predictions. It predicts exactly what we see: addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not increase global temperature. What happens is that carbon dioxide and water vapor, both greenhouse gases, form a joint optimal absorption window in the infrared whose optical thickness is 1,87. Miskolczi has shown (2010) that the optical thickness of the atmosphere remains invariant when the amount of carbon dioxide is varied. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere you are increasing its optical thickness. But as soon as this happens water vapor takes over. It starts to diminish and rain out until the original optical thickness is restored. Warming that the Arrhenius theory would require at this point is not possible because the reduction of water vapor has lowered the absorptivity below the point where greenhouse warming can happen. That is what we have now and that is why there has been no greenhouse warming at all for the last 18 years.

Nov 6, 2015 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterArno Arrak

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