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. He’s struck oil!

Vitol might ring bells for some readers, it is a $300 billion energy trading company which runs oil exploration projects in corrupt, authoritarian countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Duncan will already know that, having made his money as an oil trader before he came to parliament. He’ll also know that Vitol has been mired in scandals over deals with Serbian war criminals and the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein. More recently the company faced allegations over its links to the dodgy Libyans and sanctions-busting dealings with the Iranian government.

Duncan says he consulted the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments before accepting the role. Kerching!

No Takers on Ex-Greenpeace President’s $100,000 Climate Bet

In the wake of December’s Paris climate agreement, environmental scientist and Greenpeace co-founder and President Dr Patrick Moore offered a stonker of a bet:

With a $100 billion climate fund backing 188 nations’ commitments to cut greenhouse gas levels – including a minimum 40% cut from the EU – this bet seems like a sure investment for eco-warriors with cash to burn.

But more than a month later, nobody has taken up Dr Moore’s offer. Do the climate lobby not have faith in the “world’s greatest diplomatic success” to have a flutter?

$100 Billion Climate Fund for Corrupt Dictatorships

Mugabe

December’s Paris Agreement heralded a massive $100 billion per year climate fund for third world nations, paid for in part out of the public purse. The fund nobly aims to help “particularly vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and African States.” So, who is after the cash?

States requesting financial aid include ruthless dictatorships such as Angola and Sudan, who want a whopping $12.88 billion. Sure every penny of that will be truthfully accounted for…

Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is also applying for the climate cash. The state run Zimbabwean Herald yesterday bemoaned that $100 billion is nowhere near enough, and that Zimbabwe alone needs $10 billion. Would pay for a few Learjets… 

Yeo Being Sued Again

tim-yeo

Our old friend Tim Yeo is back in the courts again fresh from his huge loss to the Sunday Times over a “cash-for-advocacy” storyShareholders of TMO Renewable, a collapsed green energy business chaired by Yeo, have served him with letters before action for misrepresentation and negligence. Lawyers see possible claims for breach of duty and “misfeasance”, which covers intentionally unlawful behaviour.

Yeo was paid £38,000 as chairman between March and October 2013, according to parliament’s register of members’ interests. Tim Yeo had long abused his parliamentary position to advance his green financial interests before long suffering local Tories had enough and deselected him. Good to see he is still controversial even in retirement… 

Happy As Larry: Sanders New Green Party Spokesperson

Capture

Bernie Sanders’ big brother has been unveiled as the Green Party’s new health spokesperson. 81 year-old Sanders got the gig as part of the party’s annual spokesperson refresh, and was keen to liken his brother to the party, saying “Bernie’s main platform is almost identical to the Green Party’s”. God help America…

Corbyn Brother’s Bizarre Response to Death of Man and 4 Year Old Son: “LOL”

Corbyn

Guido can’t quite get his head round this ‘joke’ from Jeremy Corbyn’s climate-sceptic big brother. Piers Corbyn has responded to a horrible story about a dad and his young son dying after falling through ice by writing: “TRAGIC #GlobalWarming kills! LOL”. Jezza is not the nuttiest member of the Corbyn family…

UPDATE: Piers is also promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories:

How Friends of the Earth Dodge Charity Regulations

friends

When members of the public donate to Friends of the Earth, they think they are giving money to a charity, not a limited company. Their leaflets neglect to mention that donations actually go to Friends of the Earth Limited, the political wing of the organisation, instead of the charitable trust. Why the distinction?

By directing donations to a limited company, FoE avoid being regulated by the Charities Commission. This means that if they distribute leaflets with false claims – such as the above porkie claiming the silica used in fracking fluid is carcinogenic – they escape censure. If the donations went to the charitable wing of FoE, the leaflet would breach regulations on charities fundraising by deception.

The Charities Commission admit this is confusing for the public and will look at their rules to address it:

“The structure of Friends of the Earth is not unique and other organisations work in this way with both a charity and a non-charitable campaigning body. We realise that this can cause confusion to the public and could pose a reputational risk to charity and we therefore propose to look further at this issue. Aside from this, we have no jurisdiction over Friends of the Earth Limited as a non- charitable body, but we have established that charitable funds are not being used to campaign against fracking and your Company.”

A nifty little loophole for charities to avoid regulation…

Pro-EU Scaremongers: Remain or the Birds Get It!

EU

In perhaps the most bizarre justification for staying in the EU yet, a group of academics and environmental officials have written to Environment Secretary Liz Truss arguing that Brexit would cause significant damage to the UK environment:

“Britain’s membership of the European Union has had a hugely positive effect on the quality of Britain’s beaches, our water and rivers, our air and many of our rarest birds, plants and animals and their habitats. Being part of the Union has enabled us to co-ordinate action and agree policies that have improved our quality of life, including the air we breathe, the seas we fish in, and have protected the wildlife which crosses national boundaries”.

It’s surprising to hear the EU is so beneficial to the environment considering the estimated 19,000 tonnes of CO2 that MEPs rack up each year nipping between Brussels and Strasbourg. And who knew the birds and the bees were so dependent on the EU? One wonders just how the wildlife of the UK survived before 1973…

Sturgeon’s Tax Bung For Big Oil

OILBEDAMNED

The SNP have long tied their hopes to the price of oil and, now it’s under $30 a barrel, Sturgeon is pushing for big oil tax breaks. As tax policy is made in Westminster, Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney has scheduled an “urgent meeting” with Osborne. This is despite the Chancellor announcing £1.7 billion pounds worth of tax breaks for oil and gas last year

The SNP suspended new coal bed methane and fracking sites in Scotland last year, killing off a growing industry in its infancy. Now they want Osborne to pay big oil for their mistake. Tax breaks for big business while eternally delaying fracking decisions – why don’t the SNP just go and join the Tories?

What Austerity? £6 Million Subsidy For Electric Supercars

Morgan

With one hand, Whitehall is taking away subsidies from the renewable energy industry. With the other, they are doling out a new £75 million government and industry grant to the electric car market. This handout includes £6 million for specialist car manufacturer Morgan to develop a “hybrid and electric powertrain” for a new sports car. ‘Austerity’ means subsidies for supercars…

The investment isn’t only for flash motors. The funding will also go towards developing eco-friendly white vans. At least that will keep the Shadow Defence Secretary happy…

Cheap Oil Derails Paris Climate Summit

cop21-paris

These are dark, dark days indeed for those profiting from green rackets. Guido wrote about how Government cuts to renewables funding were imperiling the subsidy reliant industry in the UK. The rapidly sliding oil price might just derail the Paris Climate Summit’s key aim to reduce emissions by scaling back reliance on fossil fuels.[…] 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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