DECC is dead: Its ghost now haunts the Business, Energy and Industry Dept

Posted: July 15, 2016 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Statement from Greg Clark following his appointment as the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.

Who is Greg Clark?

He’s been MP of the safe Conservative seat of Tunbridge Wells since 2005.

Clark was appointed to the front bench in a minor reshuffle in November 2006 by David Cameron, becoming Shadow Minister for Charities, Voluntary Bodies and Social Enterprise. Shortly after his appointment he made headlines by saying the Conservative party needed to pay less attention to the social thinking of Winston Churchill, and more to that of columnist on The Guardian, Polly Toynbee.[5]

In 2007, Clark campaigned to save Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital.[11] In October 2008, Clark was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet, shadowing the new government position of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Minister of State for Decentralisation
Clark was appointed a Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government from May 2010, with responsibility for overseeing decentralisation, a key policy of the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition. In this role he called for the churches and other faith communities to send him their ideas for new social innovations for all,[12] and made a major speech on “turning government upside down” jointly to the think tanks CentreForum and Policy Exchange. He was accused of hypocrisy, having staunchly opposed house-building while in opposition, while threatening to impose it as a government minister.[13]

However, since announcing the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) he has been praised by heritage NGOs and Simon Jenkins of the National Trust.[citation needed]

From July 2011, he was responsible for cities policy since July 2011 as Minister for Cities.[14] In this role he tried to promote the urban economies of the North, West and Midlands.[15][third-party source needed]

In November 2015, in his capacity of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Clark called in the decision making power in the appeal against the Lancashire County Council’s decision regarding a shale gas fracking application made by Cuadrilla Resources.[citation needed]

Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In a cabinet reshuffle in September 2012, Clark was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury, while retaining the ministerial brief responsible for cities policy.[16]

Minister for Universities, Science and Cities
On 15 July 2014 Clark was appointed to the role of Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, replacing David Willetts who was generally praised for his service in the post.[4][17] The new portfolio combined the universities and science brief held by Willetts with the cities policy already handled by Clark.[18]

His appointment was met with concerns about securing future funding for universities[19] and questions over his public support for homoeopathic treatments.[17]

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Clark returned to the Department of Communities and Local Government as Secretary of State on 11 May 2015, appointed in David Cameron’s first cabinet reshuffle following the 2015 general election.[20]

UPDATE #1 Some Hansard extracts:

Orders of the Day — Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill — Order for Second Reading read. (11 Nov 2005)

Greg Clark: I am keen to see this and the other Bill to be presented today progress. As we have had some long speeches today, I merely want to record my support for the Bill. I hope that we can move to the Front-Bench speeches and make some progress.

Written Answers — Trade and Industry: Nuclear Power (20 Dec 2005)

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what pricing arrangements pertain to electricity produced from nuclear power stations, with particular reference to arrangements made under the non-fossil fuel obligation.

Public Bill Committee: Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill: Clause 1 – Purposes (25 Jan 2006)

Greg Clark: The hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) and I serve together on the Select Committee on Public Accounts. The removal of the clause would also remove the Treasury from the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee in terms of the execution of the policy. From time to time, that Committee finds an effective way of making sure that the Government deliver on their promises.

Orders of the Day — Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill: New Clause 1 — Local Authorities: duty to consider measures to alleviate climate change and fuel poverty (10 Mar 2006)

Greg Clark: Does not the Bill meet precisely the objection that the Minister raises? Clause 1(2) requires: “the relevant persons and bodies shall have regard to . . . the desirability of alleviating fuel poverty”. If my hon. Friend is right and such measures would increase the cost of fuel, that is precisely something that needs to be taken into account by the relevant persons, so that subsection deals…

Orders of the Day: Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill (12 May 2006)

Greg Clark: My information is that it cost in the order of £15,000. However, one of the features of new technology is that once it goes into mass production, prices fall very rapidly. If it is that price today, I would expect that next year it will be much less, and so on. As my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) said, technology, particularly innovation in technology, can make…

Interesting debate

Business of the House: Department of Energy and Climate Change (16 Oct 2008)

Greg Clark: I warmly welcome the right hon. Gentleman’s statement, and welcome him personally—along with his ministerial colleagues—to the Front Bench. I also welcome him to the Dispatch Box, where he appears for the first time in his new post. The Secretary of State is widely regarded as one of the most personable, thoughtful and respected members of the Government. Our debates have always…Does he accept that his predecessors have been paying lip service to carbon capture and storage without decisive action? Will he commit himself to our policy of funding at least three CCS demonstration projects, so that Britain can lead the world in this vital technology? …We have been called here today for the Secretary of State to announce a new target, but does he share his predecessor’s view that the Government are unlikely to meet their 2010 target of a 20 per cent. cut in emissions, despite three successive manifesto pledges? We support his acceptance of the Committee on Climate Change‘s target of 80 per cent.—we have always said that we should be guided by the science on that—but, as he knows, eight years ago 60 per cent. was considered to be the right target. Does he agree that the committee should keep the target under constant review, and that if the advice changes, so must the target?

UPDATE #2 Jo Johnson MP, Boris’ brother is to join the dept. leading on Universities and science.

UPDATE #3 Nick Hurd joins the department as a junior minister. He set up the Small Business Network to advise the Conservative Party on business policy. More recently, he worked as Chief of Staff to Tim Yeo MP, who at the time was Shadow Secretary of State for Environment and Transport, and in the Conservative Research Department.
He was Chairman of the Climate Change sub-group of the Conservative Party’s Quality of Life policy review commission, 2006–2008. He has also served as a member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee (EAC). Hurd came top in the Private Member’s Bill ballot in November 2006, and introduced the Sustainable Communities Bill into the House of Commons. This achieved its third reading in June 2007 and after being passed by the House of Lords, the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 received Royal Assent in October 2007.[2]

Meanwhile:

The number of excess winter deaths has risen from 24,200 in 2011/12 to 43,900 in 2014/15.

Britain has one of the worst records – among developed countries, for excess winter deaths – people dying because of lack of heating, neglect or poor health

Despite the link with cold weather, countries such as Sweden, Finland and Iceland are better at looking after their elderly.

Article in the Mirror

Comments
  1. tchannon says:

    You got there first with a post, seems an ouch story for the greebles, poor things.

    This still isn’t deconstruct the massive damage.

  2. A C Osborn says:

    He sounds like the sort of gullible person who beleives in AGW and “renewables”.

  3. AlecM says:

    His lurve of Homeopathy will make him highly susceptible to other quack cures.

    Now Greg, I’ve got this great idea about solving the energy crisis. What you do is to close down all major industries, and a significant proportion of retail outlets when the wind doesn’t blow.

  4. Fast says:

    According to BNN if Trump and Pence get elected Mr.Clark will certainly be “thrilled” by all the so called green house gases blowing into Britain.

    “Republican Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate cheered the U.S. energy industry and dismayed green advocates, with both sides citing Pence’s support for coal mining and defiance of President Barack Obama’s climate-change agenda.
    Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has called climate change a hoax and promised to gut U.S. environmental regulations in order to help the ailing oil and coal sectors. A Trump-Pence ticket will quash any expectation that the New York businessman might soften that stance heading into the Nov. 8 election.
    “Governor Pence has been a vocal opponent of the administration’s Clean Power Plan,” said Laura Sheehan, spokeswoman for the Washington-based lobby group American Council on Clean Coal Electricity.
    “We would hope to see a continuation,” she said.

  5. Paul Vaughan says:

    Je me souviens…

    =
    Bill Illis
    July 14, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    It would be a good study should the oceans around Antarctica actually be warming but since there is no data showing this but only data showing cooling/stable temps or warming from 1972 to 1985 and cooling/stable temps after that, one would have to assume it is models or adjustments again.

    Models and adjustments showing warming would certianly NOT be for the very first time since the whole science seems to be based on it being done in EVERY single study ever – it is all they are about really. Just another FAKE like they all are – these people are highly paid PhDs which really pisses me off.
    =

    Important Update:

    Months ago I reported that the recently adjusted sunspot number record fails basic diagnostics.

    I’ve now completed a deeper round of diagnostics and I outright suspect underhanded treachery. I’m convinced that that group has decided to engineer a narrative and abuse authority at any cost defending it. I have zero trust (absolute zero trust) in those treacherously coordinating such underhanded construction. I advise extreme caution with an aim to disarm and defuse the potently dangerous combination of intelligence and deception.

    – –

    Such are the roots from which today’s reforms stem.

  6. tallbloke says:

    May has sacked Letwin, so maybe this is pour encourager les autres who still harbour tax sucking designs…

  7. Paul Vaughan says:

    =
    […] Bank of England Governor Mark Carney […]
    […]
    One example he cited is the development of a green bond market in China that current estimates suggest will be worth US$500 billion a year. It’s a market Beijing is keen to open up, he said.
    […]
    The former Bank of Canada governor noted that the number of extreme climate events has risen threefold in the last few decades while the cost of claims paid out as a result has risen fivefold.

    Still, he said, part of the issue facing regulators relates to the different views on the seriousness of the threat posed by global warming and the ways governments are addressing the problem.

    “We want to be neutral, create the information set out there, so that all of those views can be expressed in a market that is an efficient market,” he said.
    […]
    “Climate policy is real”
    […]
    […] [Canadian] Environment Minister Catherine McKenna […]
    “What it is is pricing pollution. We need to be doing this,” McKenna said. “It doesn’t discriminate: It just says you will pay less if you pollute less.”
    =
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/companies-need-to-come-clean-about-climate-change-risk-mark-carney-says-1.2987976

    .

    Pretending natural climate change and pollution are one-and-the-same-thing isn’t helping and Carney — like Jo Nova — categorically does not understand China.

    .

    =
    The four-year-old program, however, is authorized to operate only until 2020 and faces a litany of challenges, including a lawsuit questioning its legality, poor sales of credits, and lukewarm support among Democratic state legislators to extend it.
    […]
    A state appeals court is considering a challenge from the California Chamber of Commerce contending the pollution-credit program is an illegal tax, not a fee.

    Environmental groups say the lawsuit and overall uncertainty about the survival of the program are undermining the market for pollution credits. A May auction saw companies buy only one-tenth of the available credits, leaving the state billions of dollars short in projected revenue from the sales.
    =
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/california-seeks-to-extend-landmark-climate-change-effort-1.2984604

  8. gallopingcamel says:

    It was a great surprise when my countrymen, the Great British Sheeple, decided to reject tyranny by bureaucrat.

    However, BREXIT will mean nothing if the UK maintains elitist policies that make no sense. Thus I am impressed to find DECC on the chopping block. Let’s hope that means a rational energy policy that will make electricity more affordable could happen.

    How about an immigration policy that only accepts people who have skills that are in short supply? Many years ago New Zealand rejected my immigration petition on the grounds that they had no need for electrical engineers or physicists. If I was a bricklayer they would have paid my air fare. That is the kind of immigration policy that makes sense. Let’s hope the UK will open its borders only to people who have needed skills, who can document their good character and who want to assimilate.

    How about reducing corporate taxes to 10% or less? Then the UK would match the industrial growth rate of Bulgaria or the Republic of Ireland. Such a measure could make the unemployment rate in the UK the lowest in Europe.

    Get creative! You don’t have to be Euro lemmings any more.

  9. Paul Vaughan says:

    Dead Simple Motivation:


    Is Carney beyond May’s reach?
    I ask this question very seriously.

    In his “planning” (based on literal fantasies that fail the very simplest elementary residual diagnostics) I see formidable threat to western security and global stability more generally.

    Here I put forth a serious challenge to all sensible, responsible parties:

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/suggestions-19/comment-page-1/#comment-118365 (July 18, 2016 at 9:00 am)

    To the best of my knowledge this is the first time the ENSO roots of the bidecadal oscillation (BDO) have been revealed publicly. It’s a rather important occasion. May it motivate…

    Sincerely

  10. Paul Vaughan says:

    Contextual Note:

    California is the only place in the West (as in the western world (not only as in western US)) with spatiotemporal grounds for strategically denying this:

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/suggestions-19/comment-page-1/#comment-117869 (June 27, 2016 at 7:57 am)

    The rest of us in the western world are spatiotemporally out-of-phase and to be blunt we’re approaching a natural juncture at which we’ll have to look out for our own survival. As we realign geopolitically to harmonize with uncompromising nature, a parting of ways May be on the horizon… (We should be prepared for the possibility…)

  11. tallbloke says:

    Hi Paul. Your plot is very interesting

    I think this strengthens the idea that ENSO and the longer term oceanic cycles are intimately connected with solar variability, and Lunar cyclic changes in tides on multi-decadal timescales. We must communicate these findings to decision makers. The question is how we get their attention. I’ll be putting up a post about the conference in London in September we’re putting together soon.

  12. Paul Vaughan says:

    TB wrote:
    “We must communicate these findings to decision makers.”

    May I suggest you choose wisely — on the Pareto Principle — who to reach…

    Who decides or influences who’s the governor of the Bank of England (pursuing policy likely to benefit only California while hurting the Rest of the West)?

    There’s lot’s more to illustrate. My perception changed radically with FRI (Fire Ring Index). I now regard volcanoes and ENSO as a spatiotemporally coupled geophysical unit.

    The BDO illustration is a breakthrough. It’s classic insight. It has the following property: extreme simplicity.

    You don’t have to get through to everyone. May I suggest you choose wisely.

    Excellent work with Brexit TB. Congratulations on a job well done.

  13. Carbon Panties (thanks to Geoff for that!) have an article with quotes from Greg Clark when he was shadow energy and climate secretary.

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/decc-folded-into-new-department-headed-by-greg-clark

    They seem to be trying to put a brave face on the situation, though they do say that the exclusion of the c word from the department title is a cause for concern. It must be worrying times for them. Their article has zero comments, but yours and ours have lots.

  14. A C Osborn says:

    The incentive for Carney can be seen here
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/16/bank-of-england-governor-mark-carney-climate-is-a-7-trillion-opportunity/

    $7Trillion, that is $1000 for every person on earth, this is what Goldman Sachs and Co have been working towards.

  15. tallbloke says:

    Paul V; Thanks. It was hard work but it all paid off. Seismicity seems to correlate with surface temperature in this paper Ned Nikolov just alerted me to:

    https://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/the-correlation-of-seismic-activity-and-recent-global-warming-2157-7617-1000345.pdf

  16. ivan says:

    With the passing of DECC can we expect the end of the EU inspired ‘smart meter’ debacle, or do the not so civil servants hope to continue it?

  17. Paul Vaughan says:

    TB, earthquakes are spatiotemporally coupled to ENSO:
    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/historical.php/
    I’m always amazed at how people try to skip the spatial dimensions, as if geometry is geophysically irrelevant.

    .

    As for Carney’s $7 trillion…

    The number is sure to be much, much higher with attention to natural climate variations. The strategy (in effect even if not in conscious intention) appears to be to bait people into planning for something that is associated with NO climate EOFs. Others can profit from their mistakes since on average they’ll be going wrong most of the time.

    The problem of course is that this strategy banks on perpetually undermining stability. Such a cavalier attitude towards global stability is strictly inappropriate.

    My observation has been that obsessive planners are instinctively compelled to plot and plan even when it’s impossible. From some deep instincts they are compelled to construct a vision and narrative no matter what. They engineer administrative illusion to attract and seduce naive followers.

    There will never be a way to stop that kind of natural, instinctively-compulsive behavior. It’s in their nature. The ones who are good salespeople will convince others that they are right no matter their track record. It’s a confidence trick (often an unconscious one) and it works best when they themselves believe (which is usually the case).

    It’s futile (absolutely futile) trying to convince them their approach is wrong.

    So the question arises:
    In the interest of global stability, who has the power and authority to make banking leadership changes?

    Again: The problem is that the strategy (consciously or not) banks on perpetually undermining stability …and such a cavalier attitude towards global stability is inappropriate.

  18. tallbloke says:

    On November 26, 2012, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced the appointment of Carney to be Governor of the Bank of England. Carney succeeded Sir Mervyn King on July 1, 2013. He is the first non-Briton to be appointed to the role since the Bank was established in 1694.

    So, the Chancellor announced Carney’s appointment, but who made the appointment?

    The Bank of England, established in 1694, is a corporation wholly owned by the UK government. Parliament, through legislation, has given the Bank substantial powers to pursue its mission to promote the good of the people by maintaining monetary and financial stability. It is therefore vital that the Bank is well-governed and accountable to both Parliament and the public.

    The Bank demonstrates its accountability to Parliament principally through the House of Commons Treasury Committee, before which the Governors, Executive Directors and external MPC and FPC members regularly appear.

    The Bank is overseen by a unitary board of directors, known as Court. Court is responsible for the management of the Bank’s business – setting and monitoring the Bank’s corporate strategy and taking key decisions on resourcing and appointments. Court delegates the day-to-day management of the Bank to the Governor and through him to other members of the executive. Members of Court are appointed by the Crown. One of the non-executives is designated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to chair Court.

  19. gallopingcamel says:

    British politics is suddenly exciting! Who could have imagined that Boris Johnson would become Foreign Secretary?

    In the last three presidential elections in the USA I voted for Boris Johnson as a “Write In” candidate. My wife voted for Salvador Uribe, two time president of Colombia.

    We were protesting the fact that neither “Major Party” candidate for president was promising to do anything that we cared about.

    In this election we will both be voting for Donald Trump because he wants to:
    1. Stop the deficit spending (remember Maggie Thatcher?)
    2. Return the control of K-12 eduction to the local community.
    3. Secure our borders.
    4. Support our police.

    Finally a candidate who “Gets It”.

    Hopefully you Brits are fed up with elitists who have been operating the UK for their own benefit by applying the “Reverse Robin Hood Principle” that robs the poor to benefit the rich.

  20. Paul Vaughan says:

    I would describe today’s climate as primed.

    A lot of things are aligned in domino chains right now and the risk of unintended consequences is high so moves that promote stability are looking tempting.

    I suggest US & China trade missile defense in Korea for the South China Sea. If those 2 top players can’t be sensible enough to make this practical trade I would raise the odds of conflict between NATO & Russia. I suspect any “misunderstanding” between China & US in the South China Sea will have more serious consequences for Europe & Russia than anyone else.

    We’re going to need less naive leaders than Carney.

    I have archived illustrations of the BDO in arctic oscillation interannual frequency from many years ago that I never released. It May be time to dig them out…

    I suggest we all look for creative ways to trade naivety for stability …with a due sense of urgency. (I’m thinking about dreamy naivety in banking leadership at a time when we can’t afford to be without grounded stability.)

    I also have some solar wind illustrations (in connection with volcanic aerosols and the Chandler Wobble) on deck. They are tantalizing.

  21. tallbloke says:

  22. roger says:

    http://www.thegwpf.com/philippines-wont-honor-paris-agreement/
    The president of the Philippines succinctly and without reservation, consigns the Paris agreement to the dustbin of history, hereinafter to be known as the CAGW tipping point.

  23. tchannon says:

    gallopingcamel,

    Today’s The Times reports on the first meeting of the EU foreign ministers attended by Boris. Seems he has done it, turned at least some of them.🙂

    Reported for example that after a 1 minute silence he spoke in good French. I read it as unexpected and the words appreciated.

    Seems his being a character is going down well.

  24. gallopingcamel says:

    @tchannon,
    Thanks for that snippet. Boris is full of surprises! The antidote to drab gray bureaucracy.

    Now I am hoping that you Brits will re-discover the creative genius that made Britain…….Great.

  25. Paul Vaughan says:

    TB wrote:
    “I think this strengthens the idea that ENSO and the longer term oceanic cycles are intimately connected with solar variability, and Lunar cyclic changes in tides on multi-decadal timescales.”

    The occasion has caused me to develop a new cyclic volatility estimation method and refine an old hierarchical cycle length method to go past a wall I hit 5 or 6 years ago. (Suddenly so easy. Feels like divine spark.)

    The ENSO BDO isn’t lunar. The period is in between J-S & Hale.

    The AO (arctic oscillation) interannual frequency BDO is looking lunar and that’s a very useful clue about QBO aliasing. (I’ll explain sometime down the road after I do a bunch of diagnostics to double-check all the intuition that’s flooding in with these developments.)

    I’m pleased that yet another occasion came up to mix discovery & exploration with methodological evolution.

    I never used to care about the politics but I do now. Mixing the joy of exploration and methodological development with the corruption-fighting ( justice ! ) is satisfying in some way.

    I’ll share more when I can on Suggestions.

    Final Thought:

    There were some loose ends from Brexit. I hope you guys will find a way to show Carney the door or at least teach him to show DUE appreciation and respect TO NATURE if he’s to be allowed to stay on.

    Cheers.

  26. Paul Vaughan says:

    draconic confirmation

  27. tallbloke says:

  28. Clive Hoskin says:

    Slightly off topic,but still relevant.If Trump get to be POTUS,”Climate Change”is dead.And with that in mind ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGRo1mH2_8w )Don’t believe everything the MSM tell you.

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