DiCaprio’s Davos Hypocrisy

DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio has made an error of Titanic proportions by mouthing off at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Hollywood A-lister sternly warned the not so great and not so good that “our planet cannot be saved unless we leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong”. Noble sentiments indeed, intended to force business leaders to take a Revolutionary Road to a lower emissions planet…

He went on to rail at the “corporate greed” of “entities with a financial interest in preserving this destructive system”, admirably lambasting the Wolves of Wall Street. Of course he didn’t mention that he’s earned a cool $250 million in his career, greedily demanding $25 million for one film alone. Isn’t that more than a Blood Diamond is worth?

Unfortunately poor Leo seems to have something of a sweet tooth when it comes to plane travel, in particular private jets. Accordingly the actor regularly jets around the world, even managing to use the services of one of Sony’s jets six times in six weeksWell who can blame him – he wanted to get to The Beach at his private Shutter Island, so he hopped on the nearest available jet and Departed. Indeed Guido wonders how his colleagues in the film industry even keep up with globetrotting Leo – Catch Him If You Can, Scorcese.

This all came as quite a shock to Guido, who remembers him saying back in 2007 that he’d swapped the jetsetting for hybrid cars and solar panels. In the light of such staggering hypocrisy, some might say he’s The Great Twatsby…

Judge Rules McDonnell Irrelevant

McDonnell Trial

A judge has refused Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s attempt to give evidence at the trial of 13 climate protesters accused of blockading a Heathrow runway. Plane Stupid supporters are alleged to have cut a hole in a fence at the airport before chaining themselves to railings on the north runway in July 2015. They apparently even wore nappies so they didn’t have to break the strike to nip to the loo… 

McDonnell wanted to give evidence defending “the benefits of direct action”, yet District Judge Deborah Wright deemed what he had to say irrelevant:

“It (his witness statement) gives an opinion about the debate around the expansion of Heathrow and talks about the benefits of direct action, which he says may cause short term inconvenience. In order to allow his evidence to be given I have to be able to say that it is relevant. I am therefore not going to allow Mr McDonnell to give give evidence.”

That’s the same direct action advocate John McDonnell who previously endorsed spitting in your boss’ tea. What is it with Labour’s top two and defending alleged criminals in court?

Renewable Subsidy Junkies Dead in Five Years

Renewables

The Indy have published some analysis on the fate of the UK’s renewable energy industry following the announcement of cuts to subsidy junkies. The research predicts that despite 2015 being a record year for renewable energy production, the industry is set to “fall off a cliff” as a result of withdrawn subsidies. This trend will continue until after 2020, when “the new renewables infrastructure will collapse to almost nothing because of a lack of investment”.

irena

So it’s not the best time for the International Renewable Energy Agency to publish a report boasting that a global 36% renewable energy share is in reach, and will provide half the reduction in emissions required to hit the Paris summit targets. This is the renewable industry’s problem summed up. It needs shed-loads of taxpayer cash to survive, and when the subsidies are taken away it goes to the wall…

Meet Philip Dilley’s Eco-Friendly Replacement

Environment Agency

Guido is pleased to reveal that the Environment Agency has speedily found a replacement for its former Chairman, tanned jet-setter Sir Philip Dilley. As readers will be well aware, Dilley resigned from the £100,000-a-year post after the outrage that he was sunning himself in Barbados whilst some parts of the North were experiencing some of the worst flooding in 70 years. Dilley cited the expectation that he would have to be “available at short notice throughout the year” as his reason for stepping down. Guido is sure we can all sympathise, after all one wouldn’t want work to get in the way of luxury jaunts to sunnier climes…

His successor is one Emma Howard Boyd, former deputy Chairman of the agency. Unlike Sir Philip, who comes from an engineering background, Emma specialises in “corporate social responsibility”, and serves as a director as of a green investment vehicle, in addition to working in varying capacities for a number of environmental NGOs. One might argue such a CV isn’t the ideal one for someone tasked with the large-scale re-engineering of our flood defences…

One of the organisations Boyd works for is ShareAction, which works to “persuade major shareholders such as pension funds and fund managers to challenge companies about environmental, social and corporate governance issues”. Part of this remit also involves campaigning for “long-term planning and investment in tomorrow’s low carbon and resilient infrastructure”. Well at least carbon activist Emma presumably won’t be taking long-haul trips to the Carribean…

Hat-tip Bishop Hill

UPDATE: DeFRA sources emphasise that Emma Howard Boyd is not Sir Philip Dilley’s replacement; she is “interim Chair”, as deputy she was the buggins turn person to be interim while a permanent chairman is sought. Guido understands that she would need to review her other commitments before considering applying for the permanent role…

Arctic “Expert” Predicted Sea Ice Gone By Last Year

Arctic

Guido has unearthed a gem from the FT’s archive. Back in 2013 Peter Wadhams told the FT that Arctic sea ice would disappear in the summer of 2016 Wadhams, who is head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge, claimed that we would see “the Arctic death spital”, going on to state:

““It could even be this year or next year but not later than 2015 there won’t be any ice in the Arctic in the summer”.

Unfortunately for Peter, who describes himself as the leading authority on the Arctic sea ice, it didn’t disappear last summer, and is in fact in significantly better shape than when he made the prediction back in 2012. Last year the minimum Arctic sea ice extent was 4.41 million square kilometres, compared to 3.39 million square kilometres in 2012. How inconvenient…

Peter of course predicted in The Guardian that the collapse in sea ice would trigger a significant increase in global warming:

“As the sea ice retreats in summer the ocean warms up (to 7C in 2011) and this warms the seabed too. The continental shelves of the Arctic are composed of offshore permafrost, frozen sediment left over from the last ice age. As the water warms the permafrost melts and releases huge quantities of trapped methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas so this will give a big boost to global warming.”

Again such predictions were wide of the mark, with no such vast increases having occurred in global warming since. Yet again the science gets in the way of Wadham’s overblown predictions…

This isn’t the first time the Cambridge professor has made a particularly outlandish statement however, having previously claimed that three climate change scientists studying the ice caps were assassinated to prevent the their explosive research being revealed. Keep drinking the kool-aid professor. Maybe next year…

Guardian Goes Nuclear On Renewables “Denialists”

gsgs

The Guardian have decided to expand their admirably broad definition of what constitutes climate-change “denialism” to include those who doubt the viability of renewables sector for large scale energy production, instead preferring nuclear power. In an article released yesterday, Naomi Oreskes argues that a “new, strange form of denial that has appeared on the landscape of late, one that says that renewable sources can’t meet our energy needs”. Perhaps sensing the weakness in her argument she goes on to concede that some proponents of this new denialism are climate scientists themselves:

Oddly, some of these voices include climate scientists, who insist that we must now turn to wholesale expansion of nuclear power. Just this past week, as negotiators were closing in on the Paris agreement, four climate scientists held an off-site session insisting that the only way we can solve the coupled climate/energy problem is with a massive and immediate expansion of nuclear power. More than that, they are blaming environmentalists, suggesting that the opposition to nuclear power stands between all of us and a two-degree world.

Climate scientists just aren’t anti-industrial enough for The Guardian…

H/T mark_lynas

Green Light For Fracking In National Parks

frackingsite

Parliament has given the green light for fracking below national parks by a majority of 37 votes. The bill was passed by 298 votes to 261, and will allow fracking 1200 meters below national parks, areas of natural beauty and world heritage sites. The victory will be welcome for pro-fracking Climate Secretary Amber Rudd, coming after MPs previously pledged an “outright ban” on fracking in national parks in January. Should give the anti-fracking lobby something to think about…

Revealed: Brake’s Ties To “Toxic” Firm

brake photoshop

Readers who have been following Guido’s stories about the rotten borough of Sutton will be aware of the stink around LibDem MP Tom Brake. Ecolocal, the prominent environmental charity of which Brake is a trustee, was oddly silent about plans to build a 300,000 tonne a year incinerator in the borough. Their silence is even more bizarre given Brake has spoken out in the past condemning “Toxic” incinerators. Something just doesn’t add up…

Brake insists he does not have a relationship with Viridor, the company which landed the £1 billion incinerator contract:

So it must be pure coincidence that two of Brake’s most significant financial sponsors, John and Elaine Drage, have confirmed they are lifelong friends of the former Viridor CEO Colin Drummond. Cosy.

Not only that, Brake’s election agent and donor Elaine is godmother to one of the Viridor chief’s sons. Very cosy.

And who attended the £75-a-head fundraiser Brake held back in March? Only two senior Viridor officials.

Tom Brake says he doesn’t have a “relationship with Viridor”, he just takes money from their mates and invites them to his parties…

Why Caroline Lucas Quit

Following Guido’s scoop that Caroline Lucas has quit the Stop the War Coalition, her spokesman reveals it was their statement on the Paris attacks that was the final straw:

“Caroline was specifically troubled by some Stop the War Coalition statements after the Paris atrocities. Though the pieces were subsequently taken down she felt unable to associate herself with them. She was also concerned that some Syrian voices were not given an opportunity to speak at a recent meeting organised by the StWC in Parliament.”

This is the article in question, which was later removed from the Stop the War website. It was headlined: “Paris reaps whirlwind of western support for extremist violence in Middle East”. The victim-blaming piece added:

“Let’s be as clear as possible. The hellish world we live in today is the result of deliberate policies and actions undertaken by the United States and its allies over the past decades.”

You can read 14 other reasons why she might have wanted to quit here.

Stop the War might be too nutty for Caroline Lucas, though Diane Abbott is still a patron and Jeremy Corbyn is still speaking at their Christmas fundraiser. Labour have been outflanked on the right by the Greens…

Caroline Lucas Quits Stop the War

This morning Guido was alerted that Caroline Lucas’ name had been removed from the Stop the War Coalition’s website. She had been Stop the War’s vice-president and was seen as the acceptable face of the west-hating group. Guido put the call in to her spokesman, who initially refused to answer whether she had quit. It is now confirmed.

Her office say in a statement to Guido:

“Caroline stepped back from the Stop the War Coalition a few weeks ago. Her busy parliamentary and constituency schedule means that she doesn’t have time to fully engage with the role of a Patron and, in light of some recent StWC positions that she didn’t support, she felt standing down was the responsible thing to do. Like the Stop the War Coalition, Caroline is opposed to British bombing in Syria because it will neither keep Britain safe nor help bring about a lasting peace in Syria.”

Body blow for STW, which will now up the pressure on Corbyn to distance himself too…

Corbyn Bro’s Rival Climate Conference With Two UKIP MEPs

corb

Jeremy Corbyn has touched down at the Paris Climate Summit in Le Bourget to take part in a debate this evening. But what of Jezza’s big brother Piers? The notorious climate-sceptic has been speaking at the Paris Climate Challenge, billed as the “alternative climate conference” for climate sceptics, “challenging the ‘groupthink’ of COP21”:

fsdgdgd

He’s speaking alongside two UKIP MEPs…

Strange Sutton Silence a Brake From Tradition

brake

Down in the rotten borough of Sutton, the Tom Brake-linked environmental charity Ecolocal has been silent on plans to build a giant incinerator in the borough. Incinerator operators Viridor will be allowed to burn rubbish for 25 years with a taxpayer-funded contract worth £1 billion. Ecolocal is the premier environmental organisation in the borough, yet they were oddly silent. 

Well, Brake himself certainly hasn’t been silent, at least not about this specific incinerator. In 2001, the Carshalton MP railed against incinerators in the Guardian, highlighting the potential for corporations to misuse them for profit, and their negative effects on air quality:

“big incinerator plants are more attractive to investors than small-scale recycling projects…Unless the government starts to tackle the problem of rising waste levels, there will be a dramatic increase in the number of incinerators. My guess is that we will end up with 60 to 70 incinerators under existing government policy… We don’t know all the health implications that result from incineration, but the release of dioxins is clearly a serious problem. Toxic ash from incinerators has turned up in some weird and wonderful places, including on farms as compost-type material.”

Brake certainly wasn’t a fan of incinerators back in the day, so why has the eco charity of which he is a trustee been so quiet about a plan to build one the size of Big Ben in his own borough? Curious…

Piers Corbyn On Climate Change

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s big brother has been on This Week, where he wasted no time in laying into the theory of man-made climate change.

No comment from his little brother Jezza yet…

Brake-Linked Eco Firm Silent On Giant Incinerator

BRAKE LINKED

Readers will be well aware of the stench coming from the rotten borough of Sutton, where the LibDem council gave a £1 million discount to a company of which neighbouring MP Tom Brake is a trustee and unpaid director. Ecolocalan environmental charity based in the borough, won its £600,000 bid for the historic local Lodge building, despite the council’s own valuations estimating it to be worth £1.5-1.7 million. That’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Before Ecolocal was awarded the discount, the eco-charity was oddly quiet about controversial plans to build a 300,000 tonne a year incinerator in the borough. Incinerator operators Viridor will be allowed to burn rubbish for 25 years with a taxpayer-funded contract worth £1 billion. Ecolocal is the premier environmental organisation in the borough, yet they were strangely silent. Surely they would have something to say? 

The Brake-linked charity says its primary aim is to “help people move toward more pro-environmental behaviours”, yet had no comment about plans to build one of London’s largest waste incinerators inside their borough. Coincidentally they were then awarded a £1 million discount by the LibDem council, voted through by two of Brake’s own staff. Local councillor Nick Mattey says:

“Ecolocal would commit financial suicide if they criticised any element of the LibDem’s ‘environmental policy’. If the LibDems suggested that setting light to Battersea dogs home was green Ecolocal would stay mute.”

Curiouser and curiouser…

Paris Climate Summit’s Comedy Blunder

397881_351246728232fgd611_1087763100_n

The building hosting the Paris climate summit has been adorned with the UN logo. Unfortunately for the climate bods, it’s the mirror image of US network Comedy Central’s hallmark. Who said climate scientists don’t have a sense of humour?

No doubt there will be an aide getting an earful for the gaffe. Guido suggests they take a lie down on some of the Google style sofas provided in the press area…

srgg

Best of Day One at Paris Climate Summit

cimate

Proceedings got off to a shaky start at the Paris Climate Summit yesterday when protesters desecrated a memorial to terror victims, even going as far as throwing memorial candles at police. That really got on Guido’s wick…

Such deranged antics were small beer compared with the genuine wrong ‘uns who turned up today. Robert Mugabe kicked things off with an anti-capitalist rant expressing his “dismay” at the “miserly” developed countries that burden the developing world without “cleaning up the mess they themselves have created”. That put the iPhone-wielding, Starbucks-slurping protesters to shame…

That’s the same Mugabe whose agricultural reforms led to hyperinflation of 250 million percent. Please, tell us more about your plan for the environment…

morales

Then came Bolivia’s Evo Morales, who readers will remember has spoken recently of the need to eradicate the “capitalist system of death”:

“Mother Earth is getting close to the end and the capitalist system is partly responsible for that. Capitalism has fostered and introduced and driven forward over the past 200 years the most savage and destructive formula against our species….Today we have a unique and historic responsibility with Mother Earth. Let us express our concern with the dramatic effects of climate change that threaten Pachamama”

Pachamama is is a fertility goddess that embodies Mother Earth, long revered in Inca mythology and by the indigenous people of the Andes. Nice to see the summit give a platform to rational and scientific arguments…

Global Warming Vindicated As Oxford Temperatures Skyrocket

radcliffe-weather-station-a

Guido is sorry to report that one of the world’s oldest meteorological stations has become somewhat neglected as of late. The Radcliffe Meteorological Station in Oxford has provided data since 1767 and has historically formed part of the Central England Temperature Record, often cited as the longest instrumental record of temperature in the world“. 

Unfortunately it appears that the climate scientists of today don’t hold the station in such high esteem, having decided to plonk a ventilator for a heated tent a few yards away from the highly sensitive temperature recording devices. Oops…

The Oxford School of Geography and the Environment, which oversees the station, states on its website that the centre can boast an “almost unparalleled record unbroken since 1815″, and that it sees “no reason why the Station should not continue to provide valuable data for at least the next two hundred years”. Unless of course the Bullingdon need another heated tent to throw a soiree, in which case temperatures may rise…

Meet Corbyn’s Pals: Ziggy, Israel and Jay

Guido was intrigued to hear Corbyn mention Israel positively, asking a question from Ziggy, Israel and Jay in PMQs today. Having done a bit of digging, we can reveal that Jezza neglected to mention that they are environmental activists affiliated with Friends of The Earth.

General Boles had his own take…

 

UKIP’s Scathing Attack on “Ludicrous” Prince Charles

UKIP certainly ain’t holding back with their response to Prince Charles boring on about terrorism being caused by climate change. This is the statement put out by their spokesman tonight, describing the future king as “frankly ludicrous“:

“Prince Charles will likely fly once again by private jet to Paris and be picked up by a convoy of gas guzzling motorcars in order to preach about cutting carbon emissions. At the start of this year he and Camilla were hosted by the Saudi Royal Family to use his special relationship with the monarchy to promote British interests. Perhaps he will use those connections to encourage the oil rich Gulf states to help tackle the threat from Islamic extremism and play their part in helping refugees in the region. Links between terror cells in Saudi Arabia and Islamic State are well established, and it is documented that a vast amount of funding for extremism is also coming from inside Saudi Arabia. Rather than make frankly ludicrous comments about climate change leading to Middle Eastern conflict, he actually has the right connections to say and do something useful.”

They gotta point…

Labour Council Try to Evict Squatters Led By Corbyn’s Brother

CARSON

Readers will remember Piers Corbyn, Jeremy’s climate change-denying former Communist brother. What’s he up to these days? Lawyers for Labour-run Camden council have been called in to try to evict a group of dreadlocked hippie squatters from a council building, run by Piers.[…] 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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