Monday, March 4, 2013

Treasury Kick Back at Greenpeace G.O. O.G.

gTeam Osborne are kicking back at this morning’s Greenpeace fracking stunt. Occupying his constituency office seems to have backfired somewhat; a Treasury source tells Guido: “we are happy for Greenpeace to draw attention to the fact that George is fighting for cheaper energy bills for all”. Something of an own goal…

Frack & G.O. in Tatton

frack-and-go

Across the street from George Osborne’s constituency office is a village green on a roundabout where teams of Greenpeace activists have constructed a huge mock-up fracking operation – presumably to show the Chancellor how safe the process can be. The drivers of the 4x4s passing the stunt will be reminded just how much shale energy will save in fuel costs. Tatton is set to become the Dallas of England sitting as it does atop reserves which will provide cheap energy for the UK’s future as we dash for gas…

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hendry’s Windfarm Windfall
Former DECC Minister Cashes In

Sacked Energy Minister Charles Hendry has not wasted any time cashing in on his expertise; he has just been announced as the chairman of the wind energy giants Forewind. The consortium comprising of four international companies -Scottish and Southern, RWE, Statoil and Statkraf – was awarded the contract in 2010 to build the huge “Dogger Bank” windfarm 125 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast.

Though Hendry has waited for the appropriate cooling off period of three months since leaving government, a look through his declared meetings while a minister leaves an unfortunate taste in the mouth: between June 2010 and October 2011 Hendry hobnobbed six times with the representatives of the companies that make up Forewind, and now he is their boss. It seems the revolving doors spin far more than the windmills…

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Letwin Settles Up – Bins Carbon Reduction Global Agreement

Another nail in the husky coffin as Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin concedes defeat to Nigel Lawson and accepts that the Kyoto Treaty is dead and nothing will be following it. Back in 2008 the two men made a bet, the details of which were published in a Standpoint interview:

Oliver Lewtin: I’d be very happy to have a wager, and I offer you a £100 bet that before either of us is dead, whichever is the first — our estates can pay — we will see a very substantial agreement on carbon reduction.

Nigel Lawson: But I don’t think I want the bet to be “in my lifetime” because I’d like to get the £100. I’m sorry it’s such a modest amount you’re prepared to wager — it shows how unconfident you are — but I would like to be able to collect before I die. So I think we should say “by the time Kyoto runs out”, because there is meant to be no hiatus; there is meant to be a successor to Kyoto. So “by 2012 we will have the agreement” — maybe I’ll die before then, of course —but 2012 is the acid test.

Oliver Letwin: On the same basis, Nigel, I’m perfectly willing to take that bet too. The reason I’m willing to take the bet is that I know that the only way it can be made to happen is if we try to make it happen and if we build up the moral authority to make it happen by taking the steps ourselves.

Letwin has apparently now agreed to settle the bet. Lord Lawson is on a bit of victory lap this afternoon:

“Oliver is one of the nicest people in politics, and one of the cleverest. It is, however, disconcerting that UK climate change policy – which makes no conceivable sense in the absence of a binding global agreement – has been based on the advice of someone so totally divorced from any understanding of practical realities.”

Well quite.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review of 2012: Taxi For Tim Yeo

A serious contender for villain of the year has to be Tim Yeo. The conflicted chairman of the Energy and Climate Change select committee has time and time again flown the green flag this year, insisting that it is mere coincidence he makes over £100,000-a-year from his own renewable energy investments. Just because a conflict of interest is declared, it is still a conflict of interest…

Guido took particular interest in Tim Yeo’s taxi trouble over the summer. There was a distinctly whiffy smell lingering around Eco City Vehicles, an environmentally-friendly taxi company chaired by Yeo, and their wheeler deal to conveniently introduce an age limit for London’s taxis. The job earned Yeo some £440-an-hour, but when Number 10 started sniffing around he quickly resigned on the quiet. Guilty conscience?

And it didn’t end there. Perhaps Yeo’s most shameless moment of the year was when he used his position to lobby the government for more flights to China, the very same day that his company TMO Renewables signed a multi-million pound deal in – you guessed it – China. He still rakes tens of thousands from his positions at three renewable energy companies, despite remaining as chairman of the select committee that helps govern them. Don’t Yeo forget it

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ice To See You, To See You Ice

Good news. It seems the glaciers are not melting. Eco-loons had predicted glaciers in the Himalayas would be gone by 2035, but with 100cm of fresh snowfall in November, the Times of India reports that “the abundance of snow on the mountains has rejuvenated nearly one thousand glaciers in the Himalayas. 

“While scanty snowfall and rising temperature in last decade had sparked the possibilities of fast shrinking of glaciers, good spells of snowfall in last three years have changed the trend with glaciers almost growing to their original size.”

It’s over! Rejoice!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Worst Newspaper Weather Forecast Ever

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How Wind Farm Owners Are Ripping Us Off

A great piece of digging coming up in this week’s Speccie. Green businesses have been taking part in a scam known as ‘de-rating’, deliberately producing less energy than they are capable of in order to cash in on disincentivising government subsidies. With low-energy wind turbines given almost double the subsidy of their high-power alternatives in order to encourage new businesses to enter the market, owners of giant wind farms have been running their turbines at half capacity so they can trouser the top rate.

DECC are aware of the scam but have yet to do anything about it…

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guardian Bails on Hayes Greenpeace ‘Investigation’
+ + + Wind ‘Conspiracy’ Minister Not Energy Minister at Time + + +

Yesterday the Guardian’s Paul Lewis, based on an “investigation” carried out by Greenpeace, put to anti-windfarm campaigner James Delingpole the following conspiracy theory:

  • That Heaton-Harris and you were coordinating a secret plot also involving the Energy Minister, John Hayes.
  • You attended a secret meeting with Heaton-Harris and Hayes to discuss the plan.
  • Hayes’ comments published in the Daily Mail and Telegraph on October 31, 2012, which were initially intended as a speech to the RenewableUK wind conference, were carefully timed to coincide with you withdrawing your candidacy from the by-election and subsequent endorsement of the Conservative position on wind farms.

Last night it ran on the front page the headline:

  • Minister “Linked” to Corby plan

On Twitter last night Guido got into a spat with Ian Katz, the deputy editor of the Guardian:

Only one problem with the conspiracy theory is that it was – apart from Chris Heaton-Harris bragging about his links to Delingpole – demonstrably untrue. He and Heaton-Harris MP are both anti-windfarm campaigners, they are allies and they regularly talk to each other. No big deal, Delingpole is after all his constituent. However a plot involving the Energy Minister John Hayes would be worth a front page. Anyone following the issue would be aware that there is a policy shift going on and enthusiasm for the expensively subsidised windmills is much diminished in austerity governments all over the world. That shift was clearly signalled by the appointment of Hayes during the last reshuffle.

The idea that Hayes was in on a secret plot centred on Delingpole’s Corby campaign is demonstrably nonsense. Delingpole told the Speccie he was going to run in Corby on August 8, 2012, Hayes was only appointed as Energy Minister on September 4, 2012. The supposed plotters could not possibly know that would happen.

Delingpole told Guido when Hayes made the no-more-windfarms speech that he was pleased to be off the hook of running a time-consuming campaign destined to be unsuccessful at the ballot box – “I needed an excuse”. A pretty good excuse given the policy change was a complete victory as this blog reported on the day:

Even in the video recorded by Greenpeace, Heaton-Harris confirms “it was just fortuitous timing”, yet Greenpeace was still allowed to spin on the Guardian’s front page that there was a conspiracy in Corby “linked” to the Energy Minister. Readers might think it was a Guardian story, it wasn’t, it was put together by Greenpeace as a package for the cash-strapped, loss making Guardian – out-sourced like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Newsnight paedo story. John Sauven, Greenpeace’s executive director, says it was “their investigation”. If you outsource investigative journalism to a political campaign, this is what happens. Conspiracy theories replace evidence…

  • There was no coordinated plot involving Hayes.
  • There was no meeting of all three.
  • The speech and Delingpole’s withdrawal from the Corby campaign were not “carefully timed to coincide”.

The Guardian has grudgingly changed the headline online this morning to “Energy minister denies collusion”. The wind has been taken out of the story…

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The List of Names the BBC Did Not Want You to See
Scientist Exposed by Climategate Set BBC Policy

Last month Guido reported that the BBC were refusing to respond to a Freedom of Information request asking for the names of scientists who attended the now infamous climate change seminar in 2006, that was convened to decide BBC climate change policy. The BBC Trust admitted that the evidence given at the seminar led to an unprecedented editorial decision to no longer give equal airtime to opponents of the climate change . At the time Guido wondered why the BBC was spending a six-figure sum to keep the names of the specialists who dictated their editorial policy secret? So who was there?

Well if the BBC had their way we would never know, they are still trying to fight the publication of this list, however what is believed to be the complete who’s who has now been acquired by legitimate sleuthing by Maurizio Morabito:

Specialists:
Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia

BBC attendees:
Jana Bennett, Director of Television
Sacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, Science
Helen Boaden, Director of News
Andrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV News
Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC
Dominic Vallely, Executive Editor, Entertainment
Eleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama Commissioning
Elizabeth McKay, Project Executive, Education
Emma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
Fergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering
George Entwistle, Head of TV Current Affairs
Glenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TV
John Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist Factual
Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy
Jon Williams, TV Editor Newsgathering
Karen O’Connor, Editor, This World, Current Affairs
Catriona McKenzie, Tightrope Pictures
Liz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual Commissioning
Matt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five Live
Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History Unit
Paul Brannan, Deputy Head of News Interactive
Peter Horrocks, Head of Television News
Peter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this Weekend
Phil Harding, Director, English Networks & Nations
Steve Mitchell, Head Of Radio News
Sue Inglish, Head Of Political Programmes
Frances Weil, Editor of News Special Events

What you might call fair and balanced: the conference was billed as bringing together “the best scientific experts”. Scientists, “scientists” and hippy campaigners, but what the Beeb will be most embarrassed by is the representative from the disgraced Climatic Research Unit who were exposed three years later for manipulating data to fit their arguments.

Emails from Mike Hulme, second on that list, were at the heart of the Climategate scandal.

No wonder the BBC are wasting your money hiding this…

See also: Andrew Montford’s “Conspiracy of Green” for background and Andrew Orlowski’s recent article “FOlA judges: Secret 28 who made the BBC Green will not be named“.


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