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« The unbearable dawn chorus | Main | Two worlds collide »
Tuesday
Feb232016

Bob's funding feedback

The government's plans to stop grant recipients from using the taxpayer's largesse to lobby government has got the usual suspects all worked up: Bob Ward is his normal dismal form in the Guardian (Unknown funding blah! Check! Ideological blah! Check! Free-market blah! Check!).

Of course this is a prime example of a public-funded lobbyist lobbying using public funds to ensure that public funding of lobbyists continues.

It can't go on.

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Reader Comments (34)

"Bob Ward has served as policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment"

Bob is sponsored by $100 billion hedge fund owner and carbon trader, Jeremy Grantham who is as far from a public institution as one can imagine. Grantham has predatory, free market capitalism in his DNA.

Feb 23, 2016 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Jeremy Grantham's 2Q 2010 investment letter

Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future. But how to make money
around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me. In a fast-moving field rife with treacherous politics, there
will be many failures. Marketing a “climate” fund would be much easier than outperforming with it.


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/05/02/207994/grantham-must-read-time-to-wake-up-days-of-abundant-resources-and-falling-prices-are-over-forever/

Feb 23, 2016 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Do Ward's employers have any evidence that his efforts have done them any good at all? If not why do they continue to employ him?

Feb 23, 2016 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Johnson

In what way is free market capitalism predatory? As I see it, if I hand over some cash to a free market capitalist, I do so voluntarily in exchange for a product or service which I have decided, of my own free will, is worth the asking price. On the other hand, the Government simply helps itself to my cash and hands it over to fake charities that I despise.

Feb 23, 2016 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

Stonyground

Sorry. I didn't mean to suggest all free market capitalism was predatory. In the 1950s and early 1960s, we had a more benign and somewhat paternalist form of capitalism that had full employment as a priority.

This is how it became predatory.It includes our eco chums, the Goldsmiths and full blown Malthusian, John Aspinall.

"The Mayfair Set is a BBC documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It looks at Britain's decline as a world power, the invention of asset stripping in the 1970s, and how buccaneer capitalists shaped the climate of the Thatcher years, focusing on the rise of Colonel David Stirling, Jim Slater, Sir James Goldsmith and Tiny Rowland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mayfair_Set

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=234H8X1-JiA

Feb 23, 2016 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Climeshills.

H/t Stephen S.
===========

Feb 23, 2016 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Did you have to use that photo, Bish? It arouses some of my baser instincts...

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:08 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

That's a bag of sweeties leer.

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:21 PM | Registered Commenterperry

What will Bob Ward's Grandchildren do if his funding is cut now?

We need to cut all Government funding. If private investors like Grantham think it is still worthwhile, then that is his choice.

Taxpayers should not have to subsidise Granthams greed, or Rent-a-Blob.

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@Feb 23, 2016 at 1:08 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

It looks like the bit in a dodgy Hollywood horror-film, about eleven minutes and twenty-eight seconds in, where the baddie makes his first appearance. For reasons that the screenplay never gets around to explaining, an innocent soon-to-be-victim is hiding in a Post Box and...

Sorry, Bishop, since it's totally OT. I think this is the first time I've ever seen a photo of Ward. He was in spectacular projection-mode, just the other day, complaining about people who refused to debate. Now, I can print his picture and have something to aim my tomatoes at.

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

Hey Bob !
nice job, for a gob
or a kn0b
Bob

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

golf charlie

Indeed, LSE allowed Grantham to use their academic prestige in a parasitic fashion as did Nicholas Stern. Grantham would have been better advised leaving his name (and ego) out of it.

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

GC

"What will Bob Ward's Grandchildren do"

You mean there are more of them..? I thought he was the result of some X-files type experiment!

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:59 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

This is what happens when a real statistician analyses climate data.
Just like Professor Wegman's criticism of Mann's "Hockey Stick".
Not to mention Steve McIntyre's impaling of much of climate "science".

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Note to Jeremy Grantham:

It's worth remembering that it was only *after* Bobby "Jnr" Ward was fired by Kevin Rowland that Dexys started having hits.

Just a thought.

Feb 23, 2016 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

It's not so much that capitalism in general became predatory rather that the finance "industry" became so.

Feb 23, 2016 at 2:07 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

In what way is free market capitalism predatory?

It isn't. Applying the adjective "predatory" to free market capitalism is as nonsensical as denying that a forced sexual penetration of a woman isn't rape.

About all you can take away from someone spouting that phrase in seriousness is that they have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to economics.

Feb 23, 2016 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commentertarran

paleopiezometry proved a bridge too far for his Homer Simpson brain
More dough in selling snake oil, isnt there?

Feb 23, 2016 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterVCold

Someone trying to advise government to cut Fossil Fuels

when we just come out of a recession,a stock market collapse in China,tension in the Middle East,caused by the rise of IS Russian boots on the ground about to go into Syria to save Assad and confronting NATO ally Turkey ,Trump on the way to the White House ,the EU in meltdown and breakup about to be overrun by almost a million refugees ,discovery of massive Gas and Oil under the UK and in an Oil Glut with a litre of unleaded at 99p.and your banner waving national broadsheet Newspaper has gone out of circulation.

Not a good time to be a Climate Alarmist competing for headlines and attention.

PS its Gravitational Waves and cheap Fusion Reactors that are occupying the Science Pages now.

Global Warming that is just so last year Bob.

Feb 23, 2016 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Prick Man

Grantham is a $100 billion hedge fund manager, a great white shark cruising the high seas of high finance.

Feb 23, 2016 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

A free market has to be free, but not free of regulation. A market where capitalists (or anybody else with an agenda) conspire with regulators to slant the regs in their favour is not free.

Feb 23, 2016 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Good old Bob encouraging state funded scientists to bite the hand that feeds them.

Can you hear the silence Bob?

Feb 23, 2016 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

I have to disagree. There is some predatory free market capitalism.

Instead of company X making its widgets more efficiently and cheaper thereby selling more and making more money, you have some companies, with the aid of debt, selling at a loss, to make the efficient business close down.

That is predatory.

Feb 23, 2016 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

I guess that Ward and Grantham should be known as 'Big Oily'

(But for some reason, having typed that, I feel they are more like Laurel and Hardy - "another fine mess you got me in. Oily")

Feb 23, 2016 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

I have to disagree. There is some predatory free market capitalism.

Instead of company X making its widgets more efficiently and cheaper thereby selling more and making more money, you have some companies, with the aid of debt, selling at a loss, to make the efficient business close down.

That is predatory.

And after they've lost all that money, and shut the business down, what then? Nobody else can start a competing business? Why are these people 'predatorily' walking away from making a profit?

Feb 23, 2016 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered Commentertarran

Predatory climate change?

You guys.

Feb 24, 2016 at 4:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Bob couldn't flip a burger. Let's go easy on him: This is probably the only job he could do.

Feb 24, 2016 at 6:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

@ Feb 23, 2016 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered Commentertarran

I worked for a long time for a company that seemed determined never to make money from its best ideas. It used to crow about the number of patents it had taken out, but hardly any of those patents ever turned into new technology. They would be worded just vaguely enough, to enable the company's lawyers to sue anyone who tried to patent anything similar, or, by extension, who tried to bring it to market.

I'm all in favour of genuine free market capitalism, but I'm also well aware that crony capitalism is a long way from any free market.

Feb 24, 2016 at 6:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

Smile and smile and yet a villain be.

Feb 24, 2016 at 7:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

F*(k me there are some whinging cry babies over at the guardian (starting with the geezer what wrote that article).

Just hurts the eye balls at just how far removed from reality your average Guardian reader is!!!

Mailman

Feb 24, 2016 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Ayla, when I see the macro effects of the Global Warming Industry it makes me want to weep.

Three examples: on a trip to Scotland last year, I saw beautiful glens despoiled by windmills; on a recent stroll along the North Wales coast, similarly despoiled seascapes; Didcot power station's demolition and yesterday's fatality.

Yes, the predators whose careers depend on peddling the apocalypse myth are prospering at the expense of honest citizens.

Feb 24, 2016 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

@tarran, you miss my point.

Lets say the Chinese, decide to dump shoes on the European market and destroy the indigenous shoe industry, the Chinese then put there shoe prices back up to 'normal' making lots of money.

One of *your* companies sees a gap in the market, gets a loan, builds a business making/selling shoes in Europe then the Chinese dump again.

How many times does this cycle need to repeat before *your* company learns that this industry sector is prohibitively costly to you?

That is why the USA has anti trust law, we have the monopolies and mergers commission, that why most modern countries have similar protections in place.

Unrestricted, capitalism brings the greatest efficiencies to the market place for big business but no one else.

The recent acquisition of the Spanish airline by the owners of British Airways was sold to the regulators as as way of giving 'the people' a more effective service.

Nothing of the source, just a business grabbing market share, cutting others out, enabling tighter control of that particular market.

Feb 25, 2016 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

"Applying the adjective "predatory" to free market capitalism is ... nonsensical"
Indeed, but it works: witness "controversial" hydraulic fracking.

Feb 28, 2016 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterClunking Fist

"Lets say the Chinese, decide to dump shoes on the European market and destroy the indigenous shoe industry, the Chinese then put there shoe prices back up to 'normal' making lots of money.
One of *your* companies sees a gap in the market, gets a loan, builds a business making/selling shoes in Europe then the Chinese dump again.
How many times does this cycle need to repeat before *your* company learns that this industry sector is prohibitively costly to you?"

Why is it that in your world (and maybe in the real world, I honestly don't know) "The Chinese" can do bad things to "us", but "we" can't do similar things to "them"? I mean, if we wait until the Chinese dump their goods and then complain that there are not enough regulations to prevent this, what are they doing right and we are doing it wrong? Hint: The solution just might not be MORE regulations artificially propping up non-competitive businesses, but rather DOING AWAY with all the red tape and pampering that prevents us from emulating the Chinese (and others) in their obviously very efficient way of producing things - the very way that, more than 100 years ago, put England and Germany at the top of industrial production. The Chinese learned the lesson, while we have let it fall into the oblivion that's called Socialism/Ecologism. Today's White Americans and Europeans have become lazier, dumber, and more arrogant than their ancestors in their worst racist mood ever depicted "Coons" and "Chinks". No wonder we quickly ARE becoming everybody's underdog. If we could harness the willpower and industriousness of the 1890s again, the Chinese would buy OUR shoes and we would be the ones swimming in money rather than shaking in fear....

Feb 29, 2016 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris Z.

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