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. Such plans look unlikely to come to fruition in an era of super cheap oil…

The price of Brent crude has now fallen to a 12 year low below $30 a barrel as a result of sanctions being lifted on Iran, adding to an already present glut in oil production from OPEC members and US shale drillers. In such a climate consumers might be expected to increase consumption, with even figures from the climate lobby admitting such. Richard Howard, the environment and energy wonk at Policy Exchange, concedes:

“All else being equal, economic theory would suggest that the falling price of oil and gas would lead to an increase in consumption of oil and gas, with people driving their cars further, and heating their homes more. This could increase, or slow down the fall, in greenhouse gas emissions”.

To add insult to injury such a low oil price will only further encourage Government’s to withdraw subsidies from renewable energy, an industry wholly dependent on them. Perhaps the only hope for the climate lobby is that the price of oil will bounce back, otherwise known as the Alex Salmond school of thought. Unfortunately for them, it looks like we could be in for a prolonged period of cheap oil. So it’s really not looking good for the anti-fossil fuels, pro-renewables crowd then…

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. […] 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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