Solar Eclipsed as Subsides Slashed

Solar copy

Guido highlighted back in January that the government’s tapering of subsidies for renenwables could potentially see the death of subsidy junkies in five years. Solar looks to be the first to take the plunge…

The Guardian reports that the solar panels industry has collapsed in the wake of subsidy withdrawal. In fact, household solar power capacity installed in the past two months has undergone a 75% decrease, a lot more than was expected following the 65% cut in government incentives for householders to install panels. This is the renewable industry’s problem: It needs shed-loads of taxpayer cash to survive, and when the subsidies are taken away it goes to the wall…

Creagh: Vote Remain For Dolphins in the Thames

Creagh River

Mary Creagh has come up with a brilliant environmental justification for staying in the EU. Apparently we have Brussels to thank for “seals and even dolphins making regular appearances down river… where once it was dangerous to swim or swallow the water, it is now safe for humans and wildlife”. Righto…

Does Creagh’s argument that “the EU played a huge part in these environmental improvements” stack up? Well, the EU’s $100 billion-a-year Emissions Trade Scheme infamously bankrolled a scam allowing Chinese and Indian firms to generate a harmful greenhouse gas called HFC-23, then claim money from European taxpayers to destroy it. The Environmental Investigation Agency called it the “biggest environmental scandal in history”. Even if EU membership means we can drink from the Thames, not sure that makes up for the millions of taxpayer cash blown on a greenhouse gas scam…

EU Funded Tata Spin

save our steel

Despite the evidence that EU taxes and regulations contributed to the decline of the British steel industry, the Remain campaign are spinning hard that Brussels actually helped Tata Steel. A report by consultancy firm CE Delft was pushed by the Guardian this week, claiming Tata benefited overwhelmingly from European Emission Trading Schemes (ETS): “No other British company has benefited from the EU’s emissions trading scheme as much as Tata Steel”. 

Who funds CE Delft? The firm’s website lists clients including the European Commission and the European Parliament. Indeed 14% of their clients are EU institutions. He who pays the piper…

Obama Administration: Global Warming Is Racist

Obama Climate
Barack Obama’s eco-wonks have unveiled a bizarre report claiming that climate change is racist, particularly targeting “communities of color, immigrant groups, [and] Indigenous peoples”. The document, titled The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, was released to much fanfare by the Obama administration on Monday, and states:
“While all Americans are at risk [from climate change], some populations are disproportionately vulnerable, including those with low income, some communities of color, immigrant groups (including those with limited English proficiency), Indigenous peoples, children and pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with preexisting or chronic medical conditions.”
It goes onto absurdly claim that climate change represents a bigger public health challenge than Polio did, and that in the coming decades America could see an epidemic of heat stroke, respiratory failure, and even tropical maladies such as the West Nile virus. Perhaps some of the most outlandish climate scaremongering Guido’s heard so far this year.

Green Party’s Greatest PPB

Mini-Boris is classic.

UPDATE: In the comments a co-conspirator points out that it is a direct rip-off of Likud’s Netanyahu campaign commercial:

Al Gore Wants to Gag Climate Sceptics With Mafia Laws

gore-father

The climate lobby in the US is instigating a crackdown on dissenters, with several states looking at using the law to punish companies who stray from their view on global warming. Stood side by side with Al Gore, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that state officials intend to investigate whether fossil fuel conglomerates like ExxonMobil can be charged with fraud for doubting the extent of climate change. Schneiderman says:

“If there are companies, whether they’re utilities, whether they’re fossil fuel companies, committing fraud in an effort to maximize their short-term profits at the expense of the people we represent…we want to expose it and want to pursue them to the fullest extent of the law…The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”

How are they planning to prevent the First Amendment right to free speech from protecting climate-dissenting companies? By using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO, and made famous for bringing down top Mafia dons and other organized crime figures. Dissenting companies would be charged as having violated RICO by committing fraud, lumped in with mob bosses running protection rackets, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Which group sound like the ones running a protection racket to you?

EU Taxes and Regulations Killed British Steel Industry

save our steel

Dave is in Lanzarote, Sajid Javid is on an ill-timed jolly Down Under and Jeremy Corbyn wants parliament recalled to debate the dying British steel industry. While cheaper Chinese imports may have forced prices down, British steel prices have risen £30 per tonne since Christmas, with EU prices nearly £50 higher than Chinese in November. The EU’s 37 failed anti-dumping measures are just a sideshow to the real problem facing the industry: excessive EU green taxes and carbon caps.

By pledging to cut carbon emissions by “at least 40%” in 2030, Brussels has forced energy companies into a spate of investments and divestments, causing chaos within the industry and sending electricity prices into the stratosphere. In the fracking-friendly USA, electricity costs just 7 pence per kilowatt hour – down 2% from last year. In China the cost of coal power has fallen by 2 pence. In Britain the average price per kilowatt hour for electricity last year was 13.9 pence – over 50% higher. As Kate Hoey says:

“The EU’s regulations on energy production are killing our steel industry. It is impossible for the UK to compete with non-EU countries like the US, where electricity costs half the price, and Norway, where energy is 25 per cent of the UK price. They unlike us are free from dogmatic, ineffective rules on energy sources.”

Even if Osborne wants to intervene, his hands are tied in any bailout situation by strict EU government aid laws. The UK had to grovel to EU bureaucrats for permission to off-set the new higher energy costs for the steel industry. Labour voters and Remain-backing unions like the GMB should face facts – the EU won’t save their members and will stop the government from doing so…

Amber Rudd’s £1.3 Million Bonus Bill

DECC logo bonus bung

You’d think after a year of subsidy slicing, the Department for Energy and Climate Change would run a very tight ship. Not so…

New figures show Amber Rudd’s department blew a total of £1,299,729 on “Non-consolidated performance related payments”, aka bonuses, in 2014-15. A whopping £284,586 was earmarked for just 108 “Senior Civil Servants”, meaning these departmental mandarins hooked themselves a median average of £9,800, with some payouts going as high as an austerity-busting £14,700. This is despite an average salary of £109,490 per year. The average private sector bonus for UK workers last year was just £1,500…

Amber Warning: Rudd’s Russia Dud

Osborne ally Amber Rudd is increasingly used as a telly spokesman on energy and Europe – she should know her stuff since her brother is Remain spinmeister Roland. Though speaking to Justin Webb on the Today Programme, Amber did Remain no favours:

JW: “Why is Vladimir Putin still a problem for us if we leave the EU?”

AR: “Because Russia exports a lot of gas to the rest of Europe, we access our gas through Europe and by 2030-“

JW: “Through Norway, most of it”

AR: “Yes, well Norway is in Europe…”

JW: “But it’s outside the European Union”

AR: “But inside the internal energy market…”

The UK is 49.5% sufficient in natural gas with Norway supplying 55% of imported gas. Russia of course provides a nominal proportion of UK energy…

Rudd went on to claim Brexit would cause a “massive electric shock” and then weaponised the spectre of Fukushima:

“The thing about the gas market is you don’t know what shocks and what changes there can be to it. In Japan, after the Fukushima incident the LNG market for gas went through the roof, because all had to go to Japan. You don’t know what shocks there are…”

Remain weaponises a second human tragedy in as many days…

Tom Brakes Cover To Deliver Dodgy Excuse

Tom Brake Moron

Eco-hypocrite Tom Brake has finally proffered a explanation as to why he was caught with the lights on at his Sutton home during Earth Hour. This was despite having told his constituents to “turn off their lights or show their support for the future of this planet in any other way on the 19th at 8.30pm.” Speaking to the Sutton Guardian, Brake gave them this classic:

“I never said I was going to take part in Earth Hour.”

The glorious Sutton Guardian article goes on:

‘Mr Brake added he “wasn’t able to turn the lights off at this time,” but declined to elaborate.

He would not confirm whether he had been watching rugby during the switch-off, which coincided with England clinching the Six Nations grand slam.’

“Do as I say, not as I do…”

Tom Brakes His Own Earth Hour Pledge

Tom Brake Hypocrite

Yet another example of glaring eco-hypocrisy from Tom Brake. The LibDem MP spent the past few weeks loudly promoting Earth Hour, a green initiative where the whole world supposedly turns their lights off for an hour. Here’s what Brake was preaching in the run up:

“It is crucial that we work towards a sustainable future and make the environment a priority. I encourage residents of Carshalton and Wallington to turn off their lights or show their support for the future of this planet in any other way on the 19th at 8.30pm.”

Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that Brake’s enthusiasm for saving the planet extended to him actually turning his own lights out. A co-conspirator took the above shot of Brake’s pad at on Saturday evening – right in the middle of the rugby and during Earth Hour. Of course it could be that the lights are on but nobody’s home. Something many have said about Tom Brake…

Want Great Tasting Wine? The Secret Ingredient Is Climate Change

vdsgvsd

Back in November Gaia reported that climate change was great news for the production of bubbly in the Champagne region of France. The temperature increase there has reduced frost damage, resulting in bigger harvests and tastier, more alcoholic champagne. But what about those not fond of the fizz?

Good news! Boffins at NASA have undertaken some very important research into the link between climate change and wine quality, and it turns out that global warming is only serving to further improve the quality of French wine. The NASA study found climate change is shifting wine grape harvests earlier in France and Switzerland, leading to the increased production of better quality wines, typically associated with earlier harvests. Ben Cook, lead author and climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said:

“Wine grapes are one of the world’s most valuable horticultural crops and there is increasing evidence that climate change has caused earlier harvest days in this region in recent decades. Our research suggests that the climate drivers of these early harvests have changed.”

In other words: the hotter it gets, the better the wine tastes. If we’re all going to drown as sea levels rise, at least we can do it while sipping a bloody good vintage!

Mystery of ‘£5 Million’ Taxpayer-Funded Website That Ran For 3 Months

How much would you pay for this website about why we should all “back climate action”? £4,000? £40,000? Well, according to a data dump from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, ministers blew a staggering £4.9 million of taxpayer’s money on the beta site, which only ran for three months. Surely some mistake?

Curiously, a DECC source is at pains to tell Guido that the department’s own numbers are wrong. For some reason they won’t give an actual figure, though they say the real cost will be a fraction of what they declared. It can’t just be a simple typo though, because the data also states that DECC originally wanted to earmark £9.1 million for the site to “promote the government’s climate change narrative”. It would be a bad enough mistake to get the £4.9 million figure wrong, how did they come to the £9.1 million one as well?

UPDATE: DECC now say the actual figures are £9,116 and £4,900. “Extra 0’s added due to admin error.”

Tory Fury at Budget’s EU Stealth VAT

osborne EU

The EU-enforced tampon tax causing a cross-party rebellion isn’t the only example of Brussels stealth tax imposed in this Budget. Following a decision by the Court of Justice of the EU in June last year, the 20% VAT rate was also forced upon “energy saving materials”, previously taxed at just 5%. People who want to insulate their homes are being whacked by an EU tax hike. Worth reading John Redwood on this – it has gone down like a cup of cold sick with Tory backbenchers. 

Other areas covered by the EU’s barmy VAT rules include digital services like Netflix, now charged at the place of purchase. Not only this, British digital businesses selling products in EU member states are subject to local VAT rates, for example Croatian, Danish, and Swedish VAT rates of 25%, or even sky-high Hungarian VAT at 27%.

Osborne announced yesterday “We understand that tax affects behaviour. So let’s tax the things we want to reduce”By his own logic, the EU wants to reduce energy efficiency and online businesses…

Greens Oppose Life-Saving GM Mosquitos

gm-mosquito

A ruling by the Federal Drug Administration means that life saving genetically modified mosquitoes were a step closer to being used in Florida. Just as the zika virus carrying bugs look set to move north with the warm weather.

Step forward the eco-NIMBYs in the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition (FKEC), complaining that genetically modified mosquitoes are not safe, not wanted, and that Oxitec’s plans are simply marketing hype. This is despite the fact that genetically modified mosquitoes have undergone six years of trials and are backed by the WHO, and the House of Lords. Even the technical advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association described recent trials as “novel and potentially efficacious”. 

Even though FKEC has no evidence for their outrageous claims, that hasn’t stopped them publicising a 160,000 strong petition and launching a state-wide campaign to halt the trials. In January, the group hosted an anti-GM mosquito event, featuring “experts”. Adding academic clout to this panel was none other than anti-GMO darling Jeffrey Smith, previously famous for his scare-mongering claims over totally false links between GMOs and autism. 

Guido can see why they’re not worried – tin foil hats make great anti-mosquito devices…

 

Ecuador’s Next Top Model

Assange

Milan, Paris, New York, Quito. All global capitals of fashion. And now finally one of them is coming to London. Legendary PR Richard Hillgrove is planning on organising a fashion show on Julian Assange’s catwalk (otherwise referred to as the Ecuadorian embassy) to showcase the nation’s sartorial exports. The event will apparently form part of a week-long fashion week to promote the country’s textile industry, playing host to some of the South American nation’s premier designers and costumes. Luckily for Julian, Guido hears the pale-rapist-locked-in-a-south-American-embassy-look is SO in this season…

Even better for old Julian, we are told that the creative genius and tax optimiser Vivienne Westwoood will be turning up to advise Quito’s fashionistas. Rumours that Assange will be appearing in Zoolander 3 are unconfirmed…

Ed Davey Defends EDF Deal

Ed Davey’s worst ever Hinkley Point C deal, which will allow owners EDF to charge treble the current market rate for 35 years, was featured on the Today Programme this morning. The BBC failed to mention at any point before, during, or after Davey’s interview that he is now working for EDF’s lobbying firm, MHP. Davey spoke for three minutes defending his deal with EDF, and did not once think to mention his new role as a ‘strategic adviser at MHP to the energy sector’.

Davey claims the agreement was made with “the best available advice”:

“… the truth is, if you look at deals like this, which are over 60 years of generating, you don’t know sitting here today exactly what the value’s going to be, because you’d have to know the price of carbon, the prices of gases and things, in 20, 30, 40 years time – I’m not a clairvoyant, I’m not God.”

You do work for a firm that lobbies on behalf of EDF though…

DiCaprio Film’s 426,000 Kilogram Carbon Footprint

Private jet-setting Leonardo DiCaprio has finally won an Oscar, and used his speech to enlighten us once again about the perils of global warming:

“Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship with the natural world, a world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the Southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now… and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

Leo’s call for collective action must have been ignored by the makers of The Revenant. Shot 93% on location in Montana, Canada, and Argentina, the film required 438 members of its cast, crew, and production team to travel with them. An economy return flight from LAX to Edmonton, Alberta, leaves a carbon footprint of about 0.35 tonnes. When multiplied by the 438 on-set staff this equals 153 tonnes.

The carbon footprint for the Argentina leg comes in at a whopping 1.44 tonnes per return journey. Overall Guido’s stats bods estimate the Revenant’s total carbon footprint would be approximately 469.6 tonnes, or 426,000 kilograms. Oh, and the director also ordered an aerial bombardment of Canada’s Fortress Mountain to create an avalanche for one scene. Very environmentally friendly…

Green Party Official Backs One Child Policy

Guido has unearthed some footage that might upset the Green Party’s bid to reassure voters that they’re not a bunch of crypto-communist totalitarians. An old interview has emerged shows Sandy Irvine, the then chair of Newcastle Green party, coming out in support of China’s one child policy. That’s right, Irvine praised a policy that has resulted in forced abortions, compulsory sterilization and mass infanticide. Speaking to The Great Debate, the Green Party leader said:

“I will say something utterly outrageous, which I didn’t say in there, but I will bite the bullet: I support China’s one child policy. It’s horrid, it’s draconian, I wish it hadn’t to be, but the Chinese government themselves say that there would be an extra 400 million people if it wasn’t for that policy. You’ve got to ask yourself, would China be a better or worst place if all those children had been born… I deeply, deeply, deeply think it’s a horrible thing to have had to do, but perhaps the consequences, the alternative, would have been worse than that horrible thing.”

So, basically, the ends justify the means… 

Duncan Strikes Oil! £100,000-a-Year From Scandal-Hit Oil Firm

Duncan Oil

Alan Duncan has signed a lucrative £96,000-a-year deal with a controversial oil firm linked to dictators and war criminals. The Tory MP has been appointed non-executive chairman of Fujairah Refining, the jewel in the crown of global energy company Vitol. He will be paid £8,000-a-month for an annual commitment of 156 hours.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

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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