Jet Set Lifestyle of WWF Climate Campaigner

mark-lutes-jetset

Mark Lutes, pictured above taking a selfie of himself flying in business class luxury, is the Global Climate Policy Advisor for the World Wildlife Funds’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. As such he is set to be their lead representative at the upcoming COP22 conference in Marrakesh.

The WWF has been campaigning to stop people flying, arguing that video conferencing should replace the need to travel. WWF criticises governments for the amount of flying they do. Lutes has also been a vocal critic of Heathrow expansion. Yet analysis of his social media shows Lutes living it up with his own jet set lifestyle. He has recently made overseas trips to Canada, South Korea, Morocco, Zambia, South Africa, Italy, South Korea and France (twice). We calculate that he has flown some 121,000 miles – almost five times around the world – no Skype videolinks for him…

His Facebook is full of pictures of him attending worthy gatherings of environmental activists around the globe as well as enjoying luxury holidays. Totally green hypocrisy…

Zac to Stand

zac2

Guido sources confirm that Zac intends to be a candidate in the by-election he is triggering in protest at the decision to build a new runway at Heathrow.

Richmond is traditional LibDem territory and may be receptive to a Remain/LibDem by-election putsch. CCHQ is worried that a post-Brexit LibDem revival would put Richmond and neighbouring constituencies back in the hand of the LibDems. Could we see the return of 73 year-old Vince Cable?

Will the Conservatives even put up a candidate against Zac and split the right-of-centre vote?

Shameless Sadiq Breaks Another Election Pledge

sadiq-trees

Sadiq Khan has shamelessly abandoned his mayoral campaign pledge to plant two million trees by 2020, a promise designed to outflank the green credentials of Zac Goldsmith. Last week Guido revealed that no trees had been planted and there were no plans to start digging. Sadiq needed to plant 10,000 trees a week to make the target…

Assembly Member Tony Arbour questioned Khan’s environment deputy Shirley Rodrigues today who denied the two million target was a manifesto promise, claiming it “was not in his printed manifesto”. Yet the two million pledge was on his campaign website and widely publicised, here is Sadiq’s tweet from November last year:

Tory AM Tony Arbour said “Sadiq Khan constantly claims he wants to reduce emissions in London but it seems the largest amount of hot air was spouting from his mouth.”  The Mayor’s revised pledge is to “increase tree coverage by 5%”. There in black and white, another promise broken…

Saj Overrules Fracking Luddites

Anti-fracking-protests-010

Good news for the fracking revolution: Sajid Javid has overruled Lancashire county council and given the go ahead for fracking on the Fylde. Labour / Guardianistas have reacted predictably, claiming locals don’t want fracking and it’ll be disastrous for the area. The truth, according to a pan-European survey on attitudes towards shale gas, is that people in Lancashire are among the most pro-fracking in Europe. Worth remembering that Lancashire country council also ignored the advice of its own planning officers in order to side with lobbyists at Friends of the Earth, whose campaign was slammed by the advertising watchdog. This is a sensible decision by Saj, rolling back heavy-handed state intervention and helping to create private sector jobs…

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

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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.[…] Read the rest

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Charles Moore on the aid charity’s sex scandal…

“Oxfam was the Harvey Weinstein of aid – arrogant, bullying, conspicuous in its faults, yet utterly immune until the balance of fear mysteriously changed overnight.”

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