Archive for the ‘government’ Category

imageOwen Patterson was, until last week, the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (UK). He lost his job in the reshuffle, apparently for a number of reasons, which will not be gone into here and now.

He has now written an article for the Telegraph newspaper. The GWPF to which Mr Paterson is to deliver the Annual Lecture, has produced a slightly abbreviated version Read Here. His article is directed, not at the Prime Minister and those within the Government that lobbied for his removal. The target is what he calls “The Green Blob”.

It is not very often that a Policy Maker expresses an opinion of their own, as they are bound by the rules of the Cabinet “Tent”. To express such strong opinion so soon is rarer still. It seems unlikely that Mr Paterson go quietly and even (pure speculation on my part) opens the possibility that he may eventually replace Nigel Lawson.

“You can judge a man by the quality of his enemies” said Oscar Wilde. They cannot resist gloating at his downfall. Friends of the Earth & George Monbiot, amongst many others were quick to react. While Greenpeace did not openly celebrate, a Press release earlier this year, shows how much they wanted to have him removed.



From the Guardian

Pipes and pylons operator says failure to invest more in local gas production would leave country 90% dependent on imports

The price of electricity could double over the next two decades, according to forecasts published on Thursday by the National Grid, the company responsible for keeping Britain’s lights on.

The current price of wholesale electricity is below £50 per megawatt hour but could soar to over £100 by 2035 under a “high case” example used in the Grid’s UK Future Energy Scenarios report.


Science minister replaced in UK cabinet reshuffle

Greg Clark, MP for Royal Tunbridge Wells, has been appointed minister for science and universities in the UK government’s latest cabinet reshuffle, following his predecessor David Willetts’ resignation.

Born in Middlesbrough, Clark studied economics at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and spent time working for a consultancy firm before entering politics. He was director of policy for the Conservatives for three successive party leaders: William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard, before being elected as an MP in 2005. In opposition he spent two years as the shadow secretary for energy and climate change.

Chemistry World, Royal Society of Chemistry

My bold.

Giggle at RSC bothering with Royal in Tunbridge Wells.


Drax powerstation, generating 7% of Britains needs, is being forced to convert to imported woodchips.

Drax powerstation, generating 7% of Britains needs.

(Reuters) – British power producer Drax won a legal case against the government on Monday as the High Court overruled a decision to drop one of the company’s coal-to-biomass conversion projects from a new renewable energy subsidy scheme.

The court decided the utility had fulfilled all of the key criteria set out by the government at the time of making its application to seek early investment contracts under the new scheme for two of its projects to convert coal units to biomass.



Following the EU court ruling that retention of phone email and internet use records for 18months is no longer required, a new law is to be rushed through within a week to force telco and ISP’s to keep old records and continue to retain citizens data. To try to head off criticism they are incorporating some measures to ‘reassure’ the population that the snooping powers won’t be abused.


The Daily Mail is having fun provided you can take the celebrity boobs and bottoms …


That’s right, exploding manhole covers. The Health and Safety Executive has warned pedestrians to be on the alert after a series of manhole cover explosions in London’s West End.


Guest post from Ed Hoskins MAarch (Cantab)  BDS (Lond).

The record of recent Man-made CO2 emissions:  1965 -2013

The following calculations and graphics are based on information on national CO2 emission levels worldwide published by BP[1]in June 2014 for the period from 1965 up until 2013.  The data is well corroborated by previous similar datasets published by the CDIAC, Guardian [2] and Google up until 2009 [3].  These notes and figures provide a short commentary on that CO2 emissions history.
The contrast between the developed and developing worlds is stark in terms of their history of CO2 emissions and the likely prognosis for their future CO2 output.


Figure 1

Since 1980 CO2 emissions from the developed world have shown virtually no increase, whereas the developing world has had a fourfold increase since 1980:  that increase is accelerating.


From Benny Peiser by email:

Europe’s Energy Security At Risk From Green & Russian Lobbies

Russian-bear-cartoonHow far will Russian President Vladimir Putin go to stop fracking in Europe? Tint his thinning hair an eco-friendly color? According to NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen, Russia’s myriad intelligence agencies are working directly with European environmental groups to fund anti-fracking campaigns. Putin is doing this to slow the spread of the U.S. shale revolution across the Atlantic so Russia can hold on to its monopoly of the European natural gas market. Europe’s energy insecurity – its dependence on Russian gas – has proven to be Putin’s favorite tool of geopolitical blackmail. Putin can continue to funnel rubles to Europe’s environmental activist groups and hope to slow the spread of the shale revolution. But Russian dominance of the European gas market is on borrowed time. –William F. Shughart II, Forbes, 4 July 2014


Oh noes! H/T to Oldbrew for spotting this GWPF story culled from the Times:


Don’t forget to visit and buy something

Date: 04/07/14 Peter Jones, The Times

Alex Salmond’s hopes that the economy of an independent Scotland could rely on expanding renewable energy generation have been crippled by a European Court of Justice ruling.

The court has said that no government must pay subsidies to renewable generators in another country. The ruling removes any legal foundation for the first minister’s claim that the rest of Britain would continue to pay a subsidy — more than £500 million a year — to Scottish renewable generators for their green energy.

Pro-Union sources said that the ruling could mean higher energy bills after a “yes” vote. It also leaves the future of the industry, if there is a “yes” vote, resting on the hope of a negotiated agreement between the Scottish and British governments, which Westminster has said is unlikely.


Updated by co-mod, see end

H/T to Marc Facer for this from Australia:

The Federal Government says it “is happy” to lock in a legal requirement that power companies pass on savings arising from the abolition of the carbon tax.
The move, which would satisfy the only condition laid down by the Palmer United Party for its crucial support to the repeal bill, follows talks between PUP leader Clive Palmer and Prime Minister Tony Abbott this morning.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has told Parliament it will add to the Government’s efforts to monitor power pricing through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“The ACCC will be on the job but we are happy to take the considerations of members of this House and to go even further and to enshrine in legislation guarantees over and above what we already have, so prices will be lower than they would otherwise have been,” he said.

Late yesterday Mr Palmer revealed his party’s position that it would vote with the Coalition in the Senate to repeal the carbon pricing scheme, but only if lower power prices were locked in.

This is a followup to a post about the issue of sovereignty and Britain’s membership of the EU I put up a while back. These are weighty issues the public needs to consider. Needless to say, the BBC won’t be promoting in depth debate about the matter, so it’s up to bloggers and journalists to do the job. Actually, not many journo’s seem to want to raise their heads above the parapet either. I know it’s dull stuff, but please read and think about this. It’s up to us to let the political class know we don’t take kindly to having our liberties, fought for since Magna Carta, signed away to an unelected foreign commissariat which subjects us to summary extradition through European arrest warrants, dictates how we (dis)organise flood defences, and forces us to put the ‘human rights’ of criminals before those of their victims.


Was Ted Heath committing treason when he signed Britain into the EU?

Was Britain Taken Into The EU Illegally?
by Vernon Coleman – 2011

Many constitutional experts believe that Britain isn’t actually a member of the European Union since our apparent entry was in violation of British law and was, therefore invalid.

In enacting the European Communities Bill through an ordinary vote in the House of Commons, Ted Heath’s Government breached the constitutional convention which requires a prior consultation of the people (either by a general election or a referendum) on any measure involving constitutional change. The general election or referendum must take place before any related parliamentary debate. (Britain has no straightforward written constitution. But, the signing of the Common Market entrance documents was, without a doubt, a breach of the spirit of our constitution.)


There is a new cross party committee on the Arctic, to report in March 2015

Ron Oxburgh is a member of this new House of Lords committee in the Arctic.

Yes, that Ron Oxburgh.


His interests declaration makes interesting reading.


Climate-sceptical German political party AfD has been trying to get a seat at the ECR EU-reform grouping table in order to gain domestic influence. But much as it would benefit David Cameron in numerical terms to welcome them in, Frau Merkel says ‘Nein!’, and Cameron needs Merkel onside to get a less federalist leaning EU president elected. Doubling his discomfort, if AfD is excluded, they will probably align with UKIP, increasing the likelihood of Nigel Farage’s grouping gaining enough support for a front-row seat in the European Parliament. This from The Irish Times:

ecr-euWith David Cameron in Sweden to haggle with other European Union leaders over Jean-Claude Juncker’s fate, his Tory MEPs face another difficult choice in Brussels.

After final talks today, they decide tomorrow whether or not to accept Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) as Euro-critical allies in the new European parliament.

Welcoming the seven German MEPs would be a shot in the arm to the Tory’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) grouping, making it the third largest in the new parliament and giving a strong voice to the Tory Eurocritical reform agenda.

But they also know that opening the door to the AfD, which polled 7 per cent on May 25th in Germany, would unleash the wrath of Angela Merkel.

Cold shoulder

For two weeks, the German leader has been urging Tory leader Cameron to show the AfD the cold shoulder. She worries that having the AfD in an established political grouping would give them greater credibility and visibility as rivals to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) ahead of state elections later in the summer.


With the AfD rising in the polls, the German leader is facing growing pressure from inside her party to present a clear political strategy to challenge – rather than ignore – the AfD threat.

Read the rest here

lagardeReaders of this blog will be familiar with the antics of Christine Lagarde, the IMF chief who told us we’d all be “roasted toasted, fried and grilled” by global warming. She’s been in a bit of hot water herself in the recent past, being hauled before the beak in connection with a 270 million euro taxpayer swindle which favoured Bernard Tapie, a wheeler-dealer pal of ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy. A letter from Lagarde to Sarkozy indicates how cozy the european elite are.

Anyhow, it seems Angela Merkel doesn’t worry about such things, as she has been making some background moves to sound out the possibility of elevating the teflon coated Lagarde to the EU presidency. Perhaps she sees the idea of taking Ms Lagarde off the IMF cashier’s desk and installing her in Rumpy’s big leather chair in Brussels as a neat way of gaining more control over European finance and simultaneously obtaining a channel through which she can influence France’s revolting right wing.

Whatever the motivations, it is becoming ever clearer that the EU elite is circling the wagons and entrenching for a last stand against the vast horde of European citizens who clearly want an end to the federalist aspect of the misbegotten project.

From Euractiv:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked France whether it would be willing to put forward International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde as president of the European Commission, two French sources briefed on the exchanges said.


From EUrActiv:


A big challenge for the next European Commission will be to disconnect its evidence gathering processes from the “political imperative” that’s driving policy proposals, according to Anne Glover, the EU’s chief scientific advisor.

Speaking before the EU elections last week, Glover reflected upon her role, which was introduced by the outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

Glover was appointed in December 2011 to provide the President of the EU Executive with first-class independent scientific advice. A trained biologist who holds a chair in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen, she previously served a as chief scientific advisor for Scotland (2006-2011).

More than two years into her job, she seems to have learned a great deal about the internal working of the EU’s flagship institution.

And her assessment of what goes on inside the Commission’s walls is not rosy.

josh-cheers_nigel_scrIt’s been a gruelling campaign season. As well as standing for council in my own Leeds ward of Guiseley and Rawdon, I’ve been working hard to support the campaigns of our Yorkshire MEP candidates since my own election as vice chair of my local UKIP branch. By and large it has paid off. Last night we took three MEP seats at the Yorkshire and Humberside Euro election count in Leeds town hall. In the local election I garnered 20% of the vote from a standing start, finishing five points behind Labour and 15 points behind the winning Tory candidate in a ward which didn’t have a UKIP candidate at either of the last two elections.

The feedback I got on the doorstep was very encouraging. There is good awareness of the issues, and a lot of people ‘get it’ with what UKIP is saying concerning the lack of accountability and control. The LibLabCon media slurs did have some impact though, and as one of my activists and I were putting up roadside signboards last week a father who was jogging past with his young son remarked; “Oh look, the racist party is out tonight’. It’s not nice to be on the receiving end of such comments. Unfair especially as UKIP enjoys more support from the ethnic minorities than the Conservative and LibDem parties put together.
Our branch fielded a full rack of 17 candidates in 17 wards on our side of the city, coming second in nine of them. In Farnley & Wortley, we came within 300 votes of winning against the Greens. Elsewhere we took a lot of votes from the main parties too. This is a great achievement and a good bounce on the springboard in the run-up to the General Election in 2015. We hope to get our first UKIP councillors into the chamber at Leeds next year.


CCS process [image credit: European Commission]

CCS process [image credit: European Commission]

It’s well known that there’s big money to be made peddling unproven claims that the world’s climate is under threat from man’s activities, and the BBC seems keen to publicise such things.

The latest idea to join the queue at the ‘climate change trough’ is to charge countries for burying their ‘surplus’ CO2 under the North Sea. It’s a variation of the carbon capture and storage plans that seem to be going nowhere fast.


From the Economist

Inside the sausage factory

“THE less people know about how laws and sausages are made, the better they sleep at night.” That comment, attributed to Bismarck, could equally apply to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC’s reports, published every six or seven years, are immense undertakings. Each depends on the unpaid work of hundreds of scientists and runs to thousands of pages. But most of the controversy is generated at the last minute, when the authors (scientists and academics) meet government officials to produce a summary of 30 or so pages. Consider the recent report, published in Berlin on April 13th, on efforts to rein in greenhouse-gas emissions.

The process was described by one participant as “exceptionally frustrating” and by another “one of the most extraordinary experiences of my academic life”. It works as follows. The authors write a draft summary. Each sentence of the draft is projected onto a big screen in a giant hall. Officials then propose changes to the text; authors decide whether the changes are justified according to the full thousand-page report. Eventually a consensus is supposed to be reached, the sentence is approved or rejected, the chairman bangs a gavel and moves on to the next sentence.


Shale gas or snail gas for the UK?

Posted: April 25, 2014 by oldbrew in Energy, Geology, government, Politics

Shale gas geology

Shale gas geology

Dr Benny Peiser reports on the tortuous processes facing shale gas explorers in the UK.

‘In Texas, it takes seven days to get a permission for hydraulic fracturing of shale. In Britain, the wait has been going on for a whopping seven years’

While we might not want a seven day approval period on a fairly crowded island, seven years seems a bit ludicrous.
No wonder some drilling firms have given up on the idea.

Government inertia may be rattled by the Ukraine crisis, as Dr Peiser suggests.
But will anything change apart from the rhetoric?

Another binge of overpriced, over-hyped and underwhelming power projects is about to be launched on hapless UK energy consumers. Part-time power generation rules.


‘The eight projects will all receive one of the government’s Contracts for Difference (CfDs), which effectively guarantee prices for renewable energy suppliers.’

‘These could cost up to £1bn each year in subsidies.’

Somehow these subsidies will cost bill payers ‘only’ 2% extra on their bills, claims Energy Secretary Ed Davey. The only other source of subsidy is the taxpayer, so you lose either way if you’re in the UK.

One small bit of relief though: ‘electricity producer Drax said it had started legal proceedings against the government over a decision not to support the conversion of one of its coal-burning units to biomass under the scheme.’

A chunk of forest somewhere in the States has been spared the axe, for now at least.