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Diary dates, daily edition

The BBC's Daily Politics is having an energy and environment feature today, with representatives of all the main parties in attendance. My expectations are low.



This will mean that we will have a series of half-baked claims about the climate from the Conservative, Labour, LibDem and Green spokesmen, with Roger Helmer expected to rebut the lot of them. I'm not even sure we will get heat, let alone any light. It will be largely declarations of the faith and damning of the heterodox.

Roger Harrabin's presence is interesting. I'm not a regular viewer of the show, but I can't recall an occasion on which Andrew Neil was given an overseer. Are BBC managers worried he might ask awkward questions?

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Reader Comments (82)

Jake Haye
What is CO2 apart from a trace gas?

Apr 20, 2015 at 7:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

TinyCO2 your mistake is to view unreliability has a 'bad thing ' where if your looking to get energy rationed and controlled and 101 mad ideas forced unto people who otherwise would never touch them then unreliability is a 'good thing' has it improves your chances of pulling these off.

Apr 20, 2015 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

I thought I heard Davy say that the 18-year pause had been predicted by the computer models.
Can someone better informed on this subject than I am please comment?

Apr 20, 2015 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterold grumpy

Delingpole has the story on Breitbart

Apr 20, 2015 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

@ old grumpy.

Ed Davey DID make that claim, and to be blunt, it was a lie. NOBODY in climate science 'predicted' a Pause of 18+ years just as CO2 hit 400ppm. In fact that's about as far removed from climate hysteria as it's possible to get. I dare say someone somewhere had it in a 'projected' scenario, but that's a long way from a specific prediction. It's akin to someone wondering if Aston Villa will make the cup final. They have, but anyone 'predicting ' that was just guessing and got lucky rather than having a definitive secret route to predictive perfection.

Even Roger Harrabin slapped Davey down on his egregious 'prediction' comment, stating something like it has 'baffled' scientists (I paraphrase) which says all we need to know about Ed Davey. Fair do's to Harrabin though.

Apr 20, 2015 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

I thought I heard Davy say that the 18-year pause had been predicted by the computer models.
Can someone better informed on this subject than I am please comment?

Apr 20, 2015 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterold grumpy

This statement comes from one issued several years ago. Not sure from where. Could have been UKMO or USA but the "expert" said sic "Our models find pauses of similar length in their runs". Similar length at that time was about 14 years. What they never said was that their models forecast this particular pause date, length and magnitude.

But Davey is an inveterate liar like many other green polis.

Apr 20, 2015 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

How depressing. Roger Helmer seemed to know the facts but the rest demonstrated how clueless they are about the entire subject. They squabbled endlessly, talking complete nonsense without a shred of awareness that everything they said was drivel.

Apr 20, 2015 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Jake Haye
What is CO2 apart from a trace gas?


The best way to view CO² amounts in the atmophere (for me) is to compare it with the purification of metals such as gold.

The trade uses "the nines". That 999 or 9999 or 99999. They mean 99.9% pure, 99.99% pure and 99.999% pure.

The atmosphere is 3 nines and a bit pure. 99.96% pure. relative to co². That is very pure. Miniscule impurities.

Incidently, to get one more "9" from 99.9% costs a lot of money. It is very difficult to achieve.

Apr 20, 2015 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Nothing learnt.

Davey constantly blurted blatant porkies, the biggest of which was the whopper about GCM's predicted the pause - total and utter bollocks.

Some numpties bickering about the arrangement of deck chairs on the Sinking Ship SS-Britannia and a lone voice piping for reason and sanity, though he was seriously undermined by a torpedo from Brillo concerning Helmer's solar panels which compromises his stance - can he not see it?

Helmer, he then missed the opportunity of the afternoon, to state that: CO² rises as an effect of rises in Temperature not the other way around.
Secondly, he never mentioned the LCPD and the not insignificant fact that a large chunk of UK generation capacity is being phased out for reasons which are now made totally spurious by the salient fact - UK coal plants scrub emissions of Sulphur dioxide etc - acid rain was another scare story generated in the offices of the green loonies on the payroll of Brussels.
Furthermore, when the UK loses by closing thanks to the madness of the LCPD most of its coal generation. Mr. Helmer should have then posited the following question: how the ***k are we going to keep the lights on in the next 5-10 [20,30, 40] years or so? And concluded thus, until we have some sort of back-up plan to cater for the closure of aging coal plant [build new coal plant] the UK must forthwith inform Brussels to 'stick their LCPD where the sun don't shine' and to keep and maintain UK coal generation for as long into the foreseeable future as needs be.

Third, renewable [wind/solar] ≠ base load - which is vital for industry and domestic lighting, the intemittent nature and unreliability of surging power from renewable sources does = extra stress on aging transformers and will result in grid failure.

I could go on, unfortunately Mr Helmer didn't.

Though, even when all was unsaid and lied about, a miasma of misinformation, of drivel and misdirection of confused MP planks - Helmer still triumphed................... because he spoke the truth. Though, what Joe and Joanna public made of it - only time will tell.

Apr 20, 2015 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

What is CO2 apart from a trace gas?
Apr 20, 2015 at 7:35 PM | SandyS

I didn't say it wasn't. I just said it's not helpful to point it out.

Sceptic: CO2 is a trace gas.
Warmist: Indeed it is. That's why human emissions can significantly affect its concentration.
Sceptic: ...

Apr 20, 2015 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

Stephen Richards
I used to work in an electrolytic capacitor manufacturing facility, we used 5 nines percent aluminium.

Jake Haye

Sceptic: CO2 is a trace gas.
Warmist: Indeed it is. That's why human emissions can significantly affect its concentration.
Sceptic: ...

Double of nearly nothing is still nearly nothing, do you know what the current atmospheric CO2 content is?
warmist politician I'm glad you asked that question, but first let me say this.....

Apr 20, 2015 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

My prone-to-Freudian-slips eyes read the first line as " energy and environment failure today..."
instead of " energy and environment feature today...." We'll see.

Apr 20, 2015 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar


Sceptic: Double of nearly nothing is still nearly nothing, do you know what the current atmospheric CO2 content is?

Warmist: Obviously. But small concentrations can have a big effect, contrary to everyday intuition. For example, in an electrolytic capacitor manufacturing facility they use 5 nines percent aluminium, because tiny traces of impurities can have a huge effect, just like our precious delicately balanced climate.

Sceptic: Let me expound my latest pet theory on why that doesn't matter.

Warmist: You lose. Now give me your money.


Apr 20, 2015 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

So Jake Haye

We've all heard the "small concentrations can have a big effect"-talking point.

The relevant question, however is: Well, does it? In the case of atmosphericCO2?

To which the obvious answer it: Hitherto all available empirical data points to that it doesn't. ,

You all seem to somehow conspicuoulsy 'forget' that part

Apr 20, 2015 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Just seen it and was absolutely stunned by Ed Davey claiming that models had predicted the 'pause'. Nobody has ever been so stupid to claim such a thing before so he clearly just made it up on the spot. Even Harrabin couldn't stomach such a blatant lie and had to correct him. Davey's 'gut feeling' that the Winter floods of a year ago were caused by climate change went uncontested though because at least he said the science was still out on that. Well in fact, the science has been in for a while and they most certainly weren't! Ahem - they do realise that last Winter there were no floods don't they? Lord I hate people talking about what the 'science' says when they don't have the slightest clue about any of the science. All they really seem to know is what greenpeace says about the science, which is a vastly different thing!

On the plus side, now Labour, Liberal and Conservatives all seem to agree about the need for shale gas and nuclear power. Alas too little, too late! Flint even seemed to give the nod to fossil fuels to keep the lights on albeit with CCS from one of the 8 remaining pilot schemes. Perhaps it means at last they are starting to shake off the dead hand of the anti-industry faux-green advocates. Good that Helmer got them on the rack for being wrong about temperature and wrong about fossil fuel prices, the two apocalyptic predictions that had dominated energy policy up to now. But surely they all must all realise by now we are up the energy creek already and that green energy ain't going to save us.

I was interested to hear the Tory say that solar energy is now regarded as better value than onshore wind. Hmm!

Apr 20, 2015 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"I was interested to hear the Tory say that solar energy is now regarded as better value than onshore wind. Hmm!"

Yep, I heard that too and was agog, again.

Whatever the truth is of that statement, we are still talking about a fatuous comparison and a pi$$ in the wind. Because, even if the will was there and HMG would, could cover the nation with solar panels, still it would not generate anything near a satisfactory supply to satiate UK electrical power demands.

Apr 21, 2015 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

For those outside the UK who are unable to watch this on BBC iPlayer I have uploaded it to private cloud storage.

I can share with anyone who would like to watch - no cost, free, gratis.

If you would like details of how to download please contact me:


Apr 21, 2015 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterPcar

James Delingpole has written his take on the "debate" at Breitbart -

Apr 21, 2015 at 6:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

Reverend Ed Davey in 2025
"Yes back in 2015 our computer models always predicted that UKIP would win dozens of seats"

(DrWatt "Eurosceptic Finns Party, just pulled off a stunner to become the second biggest party in Finland !"
19% of vote/seats much better than opinions polls predicted)

I wonder what Davey's prediction models are for the num of LibDems seats

Apr 21, 2015 at 6:33 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Good piece at the Spectator about 'virtue signalling' explains how many people operate

Hating the Daily Mail is a substitute for doing good

Want to be virtuous? Saying the right things violently on Twitter is much easier than real kindness

The author articulates well just what many of us have known to be true for a long time - how some people are caught in a narcissistic world where pretending to care and saying the right things are all that matter.

Take David Cameron:

When David Cameron defends maintaining spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid, he is telling us that the Tory party, or at least he himself — as a rather wonderful, non-toxic part of it — cares about the poor in the developing world. The actual effectiveness or otherwise of foreign aid in achieving this aim is irrelevant.

Read the whole piece for an insight into what we are up against.

Apr 21, 2015 at 6:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

what'd you expect ?, no one watched it
"Another fair and balanced discussion from the EU funded BBC, then?" sarc

We talk but no one watches . ..the media is all about trying to get a clip of a politician slipping up bigtime, that they can play later obsessively ..But the BBC news-story about the debate was selective ..the Green4's error were not the errors BBCNews want to mention

Delingpole's report "It was every bit as awful as you would have expected: four politicians (Labour; Conservative; Green; Lib Dems) spouting pure, unadulterated drivel; one talking perfect sense and being marginalised and derided for it"

"Helmer was accused of being a hypocrite for putting solar panels on his roof and accepting government subsidies."
immoral as you shouldn't do biz with mafia... maybe Mrs Helmer decided ?

BBC 2pm on a Monday viewing figures ?
"The BBC show Daily Politics has average daily viewing figures of 250,000" was also repeated at 8.30pm BBC2
There are no less than 5 posts about the debate on the Daily Politics FB page, but apart from UKIP ones all seem to party-activists ..same on Twitter maybe 300 odd posts from party-activists, few retweeted (none during the repeat) so public not set alight

Apr 21, 2015 at 6:41 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Jake Haye
This could go on for ever.
The effects of CO2 are not linear just like the trends in climate are not linear just as the effects increasing purity of aluminiun electrolytic capacitors is not linear . Western culture makes a huge mistake in assuming all trends are linear and extrapolating them into the future. Other cultures do not make this mistake.

Apr 21, 2015 at 8:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Steyning, Sussex Tuesday 7pm - Climate Debate (sold out)
A public hustings debate in "Question Time" style focusing on environment issues and climate change
All five candidates for our local constituency seat, Arundel and South Downs, will be on the panel
Doors (and bar) open at 7.00pm. The deadline for submitting your questions is 7.30pm. The debate itself runs from 8.00-9.00pm, with time to meet the candidates afterwards. ...Eventbrite Tickets

Apr 21, 2015 at 8:08 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Why Harrabin ? ..he didn't do his normal thing of blocking skeptics
- Those not alert missed his good question

V good question in energy debate from BBC's Roger Harrabin: Why is it that climate sceptics are almost always on the right ?
- He threw in the lie that acidification is scientifically proven to become a big problem.
- "Harrabin asks if panel want Monbiot-style rewilding of hill farming?"

Apr 21, 2015 at 8:11 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@Jack Hughes : Brilliant article thanks
‘virtue signalling’
Shouting HATE is an EASY way of showing you are a GOOD guy,
without actually doing the hard work of doing anything good.

Something for tonight's debate ..BBC News ..Today's Hove town hall fire 'caused by solar panels

Apr 21, 2015 at 8:20 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

It's not too interesting to note that climate skeptics are almost always on the right. It's also not unreasonable to split the skeptics up as more optimistic and the believers more pessimistic about mans effect on the planet. The left seem more worried about rampant consumerism fuelled by growth and are less pro-business from the get go. So far, so perfectly explainable! But what was Harrabin getting at? Did he really want an answer or was it just a jibe? Surely lefties cannot be smug about being proven wrong about global temperature and wrong about peak oil?

What we should really look for was who has been more correct so far - pessimists or optimists.....
Deforestation - yes it exists but is dominated by the planet demonstrably greening thanks to the mild warming.
Acid rain - yes it exists but is utterly negligible.
New ice age scare - well they really like to forget that one don't they?
BSE - Government scientists were wrong 3 times in a row.
Oxygen destroying algal blooms - never hear about them now. Did they just go away?
Overpopulation - Hans Rosling shows that the facts are far less worrying than the myths.
Resource depletion - did anyone even predict the shale gas revolution?

While of course pollution is to be avoided and sensible regulation is necessary, life on Earth happily turns out to be a lot more resilient than the catastrophists have believed thus far. However Harrabin and his ilk are setting out their stall for ocean acidification to be the next big scare when the global warming paradigm is abandoned.

Apr 21, 2015 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Disappointed, but not surprised, to find the debate 'relegated' to obscure channels and obscure times to avoid the attention that this particular subject really demands.

Apr 21, 2015 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Nicely balanced panel. If you're an alarmist that is.

Harrabin's presence should be matched by a knowledgeable sceptic. That it isn't is further proof of BBC bias.

Apr 21, 2015 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMardler


Andrew Neil is about the only sceptic they've got.

Apr 21, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

It's depressing to read early comments that adding Harrabin to the mix was some sort of plot. The format follows an identical series before the last general election. Neil chairs a series of specialist debates. In each programme the BBC's main specialist in that subject is there too.

I do agree, though, that (unusually for him) he didn't control the debate tightly enough.

Apr 21, 2015 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

I know that I'm prejudiced -- I'm standing against him in West Suffolk -- but I thought young Matthew Hancock came across as a bit wet. He has been out of his depth as Energy Minister and I'm rubbing it in every chance I get.

The problem for the politicians is that they lack any depth in most subjects that are important. I described Cameron as having all the strategic sense of a maggot yesterday and the Conservative MP I was talking to agreed with me. He wouldn't go the extra mile and admit that the CAGW theory is coming off the rails.


Apr 22, 2015 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Good luck councillor Flood. I can't find a local opinion poll but Hancock got 51% last time you have a hard job.
..but step by step can push the message of rationalism forward.

Apr 23, 2015 at 8:48 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

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