After Promising 2 Million Trees Sadiq Has Not Planted Single Tree

saquq-lumberjack

In his manifesto Sadiq Khan promised to “plant two million trees by 2020” – it was one of his key policies to combat the undoubted green credentials of Zac Goldsmith. Two million trees over 4 years is some 10,000 trees a week, in fact it is exactly 1,369 a day, every day for 4 years. Clearly Sadiq needs to get cracking with a shovel to meet his target…

So Guido asked City Hall how many trees (to the nearest 10,000) had been planted so far?

No tree planting has been funded since the beginning of this administration as part of this programme.

That is a grand total of zero trees. In fact there are no plans to plant any trees this year… 

Shadow Energy Secretary Talked Up Fracking Last Month

flip-flop-fracking

Labour have found something else to argue about – Shadow Energy Secretary Barry Gardiner today pledges to ban fracking completely if they win the next election:

“Today I am announcing that the next Labour government will ban fracking in the UK. Fracking locks us into an energy infrastructure that is based on fossil fuels, long after our country needs to have moved to renewables.”

Just a month ago Gardiner was talking about how fracking could bring benefits so long as safeguards are met. He said this on August 7:

“Labour recognises that a UK shale gas industry could create a number of jobs and increase the security of our domestic supply”

The GMB union are losing it over the hardening in policy, blasting: “Which henchman, hangman or head-chopper do we want to buy our gas from going forward?” Lights out…

OECD OMG GDP! Brexit Recession Forecast Reversed

oecd-omg

“Not a single serious economist does not think Brexit will be bad for the economy” was the message from George Osborne when he cited the OECD, IMF and the OBR to back up his arguments that Britain would require an emergency budget and that there would be a worldwide economic shock if Britain voted to Brexit. Yesterday the OECD said it got it got the recession forecast wrong and the ONS confirmed none of the latest data suggests the recession that was predicted by 71% of City economists after the referendum vote. That is worse than astrology hence the Sun’s cracked crystal ball. It is actually worse than just flipping a coin.

All this proves once again that economists are as prone to fashion as any other artists. Economic forecasting is not a mathematical hard science, despite the complicated formulas of which they are so fond. It is a question of judgement. Another area which similarly has too many variables to forecast with confidence yet has almost unanimity among those who claim expertise in the subject is “climate science”. The expert practioners in this area also predict doom and disaster. Do you think they could be related?

Ex-SpAd Spins for Murky Lagoon

tomos

Tomos Davies, a SpAd who advised the government on green energy, is in hot water after getting a job with the Cardiff lobbying firm Deryn less than a year after he left his government job. Spin merchants Deryn, a firm which has a hand in far too many Welsh government lobbying scandals, employed the former Special Adviser from the Wales Office.

Until recently Tomos Davies was advising UK Government Ministers on policy issues, including the proposal to a build tidal lagoon off the coast at Swansea. Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Neil McEvoy has complained to the Cabinet secretary, Jeremy Heywood, that he is in breach of the rules governing SpAd employment. Davies, he complains, jumped straight into lobbying work and failed to get Civil Service clearance to work for the firm.

McEvoy cites Davies’ ConservativeHome article praising tidal power as evidence of lobbying on behalf of one of Deryn’s clients in breach of the rules, especially as one of Deryn’s clients is trying to build a tidal lagoon off Swansea. In it Tomos claimed, without irony, that “the unit cost of power from the project can, at a manageably small scale, match that of Hinkley”. Hinkley’s energy costs are among the most expensive in the world. Guido thinks Tomos Davies might be left high and dry…

New Green Leader Says UKIP are Fascists

New Green co-leader Jonathan Bartley is a complete non-entity, so it was important for him to make a good first impression on today’s Daily Politics. Would the smug former Tory take a more moderate, sensible tone? Nope, he said UKIP are “fascist” and compared them to the Nazis. Now the left is in control of the Labour Party, what is the point of the Greens?

Cancel Hinkley, Because It Ain’t Worth It

hinkley

This chart from Bloomberg Energy is devastating. For the same budget as Hinkley we could get 20 gigawatts more electricity from gas, or the same for a fraction of the cost. Even solar would produce more energy at that price. Though with green renewable sources the capacity has to be discounted to reflect how much of the time the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Even so, that renewables are anywhere near competitive in cost terms means this has to be looked at by Phil Hammond with his calculator. George Osborne looked at it in political terms – the Chinese and the French will no doubt create some geo-political problems if May cancels the deal. The dash for gas makes far more sense…

Sturgeon Blames Brexit for Bust

OILBEDAMNED

Nicola Sturgeon chose to jump on a Scottish government report yesterday which claimed the Scottish economy would be hit hardest by Brexit, in a bid to shift the blame for Holyrood’s nose-diving oil revenues caused by economic incompetence. Sturgeon claimed:

“The only way to protect Scotland’s economy – and the clear benefits which come from being part of the world’s biggest single market – is to work to ensure we protect our relationship with the EU.”

Sturgeon led the SNP’s moratorium on fracking just before and during the oil-price plummet, leading to the bottom falling out of the Scotland’s public finances when the more expensive North Sea oil was unable to compete. The official government revenue report today shows a drop of 97% in oil revenues, from £1.8 billion to just £60 million in a year. Nicola, calling for a second independence referendum to prevent a maximum loss of £3.7 billion a year to the public finances, already presides over a deficit of nearly £15 billion a year. What do you say, Merkel – fancy welcoming another Greece to the EU?

How to Make Canadian Mining Interesting

Theresa Longo

The other week Gaia reported on how the Canada Oil Sands Community were attracting publicity with a controversial “lesbian kiss” advertising strategy. Now one of Canada’s leading mining corporations, KWG Resources, has given them a run for their money:

When criticised about the video, CEO Frank Smeenk simply said “sex sells”…

Lights on in Brussels But Nobody’s Home

lights

Over in Brussels, the European Parliament’s grandiose Altiero Spinelli building is shuttered up with the Eurocrats and their bag-carriers off on summer holidays. Inside the 17-storey high-rise office block resembles a scene from an apocalyptic horror movie, not a person in sight. That hasn’t stopped them from leaving all the lights on. You won’t meet your carbon emissions targets like that…

Pics via Bill Etheridge

Hinkley’s Welcome Pause

70602819_hinkley_edf

Gaia has been sceptical of the case for Hinkley Point C on the grounds of cost, the history of over-runs and the manifest problems with these type of EPR reactors. The guaranteed price of the energy and the subsidy required seem a high price to pay – even considering the strategic importance of have diversity in energy supply. So the government’s decision to reconsider the deal is not unwelcome.

There are also legitimate security concerns about giving China a stake in Britain’s energy supply – concerns that George Osborne ignored. That there was a political consensus – the deal has antecedents going back to the last Labour government – does not mean it was well judged. There were terrible deals done under PFI which were unopposed by the Tories at the time. This is the biggest public-private partnership in history, a pause to check the small print and that the sums add up given the history of financial shambles under Brown and Osborne seems prudent.

See also Hinkley Point C

Canadian “Hot” Lesbian Oil Advert Pulled

LESBIAN OIL

An advert for Canadian oil showing a steamy lesbian kiss was pulled after killjoys lashed out. The ad, fronted by the Canada Oil Sands Community Facebook page, featured a raunchy tryst with the caption “In Canada lesbians are considered hot! In Saudi Arabia if you’re a lesbian YOU DIE!”

canada oil sands community

While the page has removed the advert, it today uploaded a new one depicting two men being hanged, with the text:

“Did you know it’s against the law to be gay in Saudi Arabia? If you get caught being gay you die. Why is Canada importing oil from places like this when we have our own?”

Pro-fracking groups in Lancashire should listen and learn…

UK Taxpayers’ £245 Million Loan to Corruption-Hit Brazilian Oil Firm

PETROBRAS

Scandal-hit Brazilian oil company Petrobras received £250 million from the UK taxpayer last year, extending its credit line to over £1.1 billion. While loans to companies buying British goods is fairly standard practice, the government decided to extend Petrobras’ line of credit after it became embroiled in a huge corruption and bribery scandal that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. What’s worse, the state-owned company has had a plummeting credit rating in recent months, with Moody’s giving them a rating of B3 and the Wall Street Journal calling them “the World’s most indebted oil company”. What could go wrong?

H/T Greenpeace Energy Desk

DECC RIP

decc

So farewell, then, the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It’s merging with BIS into the new Greg Clark-led Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Hopefully that streamlining brings greater efficiency. Here are some of their greatest hits:

  • Paying £600 to promote just one job advert on LinkedIn – which nobody clicked on.
  • Running a photo contest about what climate change might impact in the average Brit’s “day-to-day life” – and choosing a photo of a dead zebra as the winner.
  • Shelling out £1.3 million in bonuses – including nearly £300,000 to already well paid top civil servants.
  • Spending £500 per day on printing – despite having run a “Think Before you Print” Campaign.

Take your hot air with you…

Germany’s Eco-Loons to Ban Non-Electric Cars

Would you rather

Following their disastrous and costly ban on nuclear power, Germany is doubling down on long-term anti-market greenery by mandating that all cars be emissions free by 2030. Rather than letting the market decide – as it has (mostly) with the vastly successful Tesla in the US – German lawmakers will force the switch with continued subsidies worth £3,160 per green vehicle. In 14 years time, you won’t be able to buy a proper Mercedes in Germany…

WATCH Boris v Salmond LIVE

Bennett Battle Bus’ Giant Carbon Footprint

BENNETT

Natalie Bennett told Britain to vote Remain to save the planet this morning. Standing in front of a 12.4 tonne BSE battle bus…

Guido’s data bods have been crunching the numbers. A very conservative estimate tracks the bus as having covered some 900 miles since April. With the six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz Tourino boasting just 14.1 miles per gallon, it has used at least 63.8 gallons of fuel – 290 litres – on its journey round the country. That’s roughly equivalent to two entire barrels of oil, or a carbon footprint of one tonne of carbon dioxide. Sure Nat’s bike saved a few litres, though…

Piers Corbyn Forecast “Tremendous Dry, Sunny June”

piers

Jeremy Corbyn’s big brother Piers is wrong about many things, but how good is he at his real job – forecasting the weather? A few days ago Piers predicted a “tremendous dry, warm and sunny flaming June”:

“We are forecasting a tremendous dry warm sunny ‘Flaming June’ for most of the month. The start will be dry, warm or hot, with sunny, blue skies. It will be more variable near the south and east coasts of England while Scotland will be very sunny. Some great weather is on the way.”

Tell that to commuters battling biblical weather on their way to work this week:

warning

When Guido bumped into Piers at the Brexit: The Movie party he warned us of storms coming mid-August. Time to get the sun cream out then…

H/T @tompeck

Earth is Greener!

greening

Carbon dioxide emissions from industrial society have driven a huge growth in trees and other plants across planet earth. Gaia is greening!

A peer reviewed study by a team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries, published in Nature, says that if the extra green leaves prompted by rising CO2 levels were laid in a carpet, it would cover the continent of North America.

Gaia has long argued that extra CO2 benefits plants and trees. Data from NASA satellites over the past 33 years shows significant greening of between 25% and 50% of the Earth’s vegetated land, which in turn is slowing the pace of climate change as the plants are drawing CO2 from the atmosphere. Gaia is healing!

Natalie Bennett’s Best Bits

The grass is always greener…

US Nuclear Power Station Took 43 Years to Finish

hinckley

As news breaks that the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point could cost an additional £3 billion, a smaller story from the US serves as a stark warning of the risks when building new plants.

Watts Bar nuclear power plant’s second reactor is scheduled to finally go into operation this summer.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Logging company Resolute’s CEO Richard Garneau suing Greenpeace

“A funny thing happened when Greenpeace and allies were forced to account for their claims in court. They started changing their tune. Their condemnations of our forestry practices “do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision,” as they concede in their latest legal filings. Their accusations against Resolute were instead “hyperbole,” “heated rhetoric,” and “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion” that should not be taken “literally” or expose them to any legal liability. These are sober admissions after years of irresponsible attacks.”

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