Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Wyoming coal trains [image credit: energycatalyzer3.com/

Wyoming coal trains [image credit: energycatalyzer3.com]


The ‘fight against global warming’, as reported by AFP/Fox News below, is more like shadow boxing but the impact on the real US economy from the enforced shutting down of coal-fired power stations could be significant.

President Barack Obama will impose steeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants across the country than previously expected, senior administration officials said Sunday, in what the president called the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming.

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Green Deal to be No Deal, says DECC

Posted: July 23, 2015 by oldbrew in government, Politics
Tags:

Green dud [credit: Green Deal guide]

Green dud [credit: Green Deal guide]


The ill-fated scheme to lend money to UK homeowners for ‘green’ upgrades at interest rates higher than banks offer, has somehow not worked out, as the BBC reports:

The UK government has announced it is to cease funding for the Green Deal, spelling the end for its flagship energy household efficiency programme. The scheme offers cashbacks and incentives on such things as double-glazing, insulation and boilers.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change said it took the decision to protect taxpayers, citing low take-up and concerns about industry standards. Labour said ministers’ approach to energy efficiency had been a “failure”.

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MPs warn over easing purdah rules for EU referendum

Posted: July 22, 2015 by oldbrew in Politics
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Level playing field needed  [image credit: Martin Rose/Getty Images]

Level playing field needed
[image credit: Martin Rose/Getty Images]


Any chance of pre-vote fair play in the run-up to the UK’s referendum on EU membership? Not much it seems, unless the rules change.

Plans to loosen rules restricting Government activity in the run up to the EU referendum have been condemned by MPs, who warned that it would “cast a shadow of doubt” over the poll. [Guernsey Press reports]

An in/out vote on the UK’s membership of the EU has been promised by the end of 2017.

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Nigel Lawson’s three wishes

Posted: July 20, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

Nigel Lawson the former Chancellor has been interviewed with the broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 20th July 2015 at 21:30 BST

Interviewer was according to a web page someone named Peter Hennessy.

At the end Lawson gave three wishes (I’m going from memory)

  1. Sort out the bankers, particularly the separation of merchant banking from high street banking
  2. Repeal the Climate Change Act
  3. Get out of the EU.

The broadcast might be available for some. Best I can do after 30 minutes of searching the BBC web site is a web page with a hash code so it might break http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b062jsmv

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Climate talks 'flagging' ?[image credit: The Clinic]

Climate talks ‘flagging’ ?[image credit: The Clinic]


Usual story – rich and poor countries fighting about money. Things are so bad, they need a pre-conference conference to try and figure out what they’re going to say and do at the real conference, apart from wave ‘projections’ and ‘scenarios’ at each other. Or – anyone fancy a trip to Paris in July?

Foreign and environment ministers and other high-level officials from 45 countries are set to gather in Paris Monday seeking to re-energise climate talks mired in technical details and political squabbling, reports Yahoo News.

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Hmm… times of Chinese curses

The Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that Graham Stringer and the Rt Hon Peter Lilley have joined the GWPF’s Board of Trustees.

Graham Stringer is a Labour MP. He was the leader of Manchester City Council and the Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office under Tony Blair.

Peter Lilley is a Conservative MP. He was Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Secretary of State for Social Security in the Cabinets of Margaret Thatcher and John Mayor. He was appointed by David Cameron to the Number 10 Policy Board with responsibility for Foreign Affairs, Europe, Defence and International Development.

A few day ago

Peter Lilley & Graham Stringer Vote Against Climate Committee’s IPCC Report

Date: 28/07/14
Peter Lilley MP and Graham Stringer MP

Peter Lilley and Graham Stringer voted against the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee’s report on the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Report because “we believe the role of the Select Committee is to hold public institutions critically to account not to act as their cheer leaders”.
– See more at: http://www.thegwpf.com/peter-lilley-graham-stringer-vote-against-climate-committees-ipcc-report/#sthash.kPwXjCR4.dpuf

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[credit: green lantern electric]

[credit: green lantern electric]


StollmeyerEU reports on a sighting of the EU’s energy ‘master plan’, due to be unveiled next week (July 15th):

The new framework is to deliver 3 market arrangements:

‘To move towards an interconnected EU-wide electricity market providing clear price signals for new investments and facilitating the further development of renewables;
To promote regional cooperation and coordination on energy policies, new generation, support schemes to renewables and interconnections;
To provide a truly European dimension to security of supply.’

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oldbrew:

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The US President seems to be doing a Lord Nelson, turning a blind eye

Originally posted on Real Science:

President Obama says that global warming is the biggest problem Earth has ever faced, based on the opinion of about three or four flaming morons he considers to be the world’s top scientists. He also says he doesn’t have time to debate the “Flat Earth Society” – which by his definition would include this guy.

In 2008, Dr. Ivar Giaever joined over 70 Nobel Science Laureates in endorsing Barack Obama for president, but seven years later the Nobel Prize winner now stands against the president on global warming.

“I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Giaever, who won the Nobel for physics in 1973, told an audience at the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting earlier this month.

Giaever ridiculed Obama for stating that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” The physicist called it a “ridiculous statement” and that Obama “gets…

View original 257 more words

Greek voters reject terms

Posted: July 5, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

The game play continues

Greek voters overwhelmingly reject bailout terms

With 70 percent of votes counted, results show Greeks rejecting terms of international bailout by 61 to 39 percent.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/07/early-results-shows-campaign-leads-greek-vote-150705162957783.html

Assuming this is correct some realities come closer.

Greece is in a mess, has been in a mess for many years. Small country, lots of regional problems. In my view the lenders who are complaining were grown up, knew the real situation and ignored it.

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Paris climate conference - get ready for this

Paris climate conference – get ready for this


Scottish Sceptic has an amusing piece about the forthcoming climate charade in Paris, which looks like being as full of hot air as it is empty of credible substance:

There’s a boringly familiar pattern to these climate talks in Paris. The rhetoric is all about making deals, but the reality is that everyone is backpedalling furiously behind the scenes trying the darnest to prevent any serious deal getting made. But what is different this time is that if anything the parties are being far more open in their desire not to come to any deal this time than all the previous clown fests from Jokenhagen onward.

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US coal train [credit: Wikipedia]

US coal train [credit: Wikipedia]

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to degrade the country’s coal industry into oblivion with ruinous regulations has run into a legal roadblock, reports the SPPI Blog:

The EPA proposal to impose a de facto ban on new coal-fired power plants received more than two million comments from the public – but it looks like it was just one five-page comment from the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) that sent EPA scrambling back to the drawing board. The draft rule mandated the use of so-called carbon capture and storage, a technology that would inject carbon dioxide underground but which has so far proved to be little more than a white elephant experiment.

To mandate this technology, the law required the EPA to prove it was “adequately demonstrated” and “commercially available.” Thanks to E&E Legal, they failed.

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Battsby: Farage-Oh

Posted: May 17, 2015 by tallbloke in Politics
Tags: ,

Guest post from Battsby

I have harboured a mistrust of the European Union and of politicians in general since long before 1975. I saw union power cripple industries; wildcat strikes, flying pickets, one-out/all-out and often on a whim. Two minutes-worth of tea break, efficiency drives, mechanisation and more; any excuse it seemed, back in the sixties and seventies and the all-powerful shop steward would snap his mighty fingers and the crack would be heard across the land. But in one thing the unions and I were agreed; there was something rotten about Project Europe.

Then after Wilson’s victory in 1974 on a promise to hold the first referendum in our history I saw the way in which the two sides, pro and con, handled the debate. Despite the overwhelming feeling in the country that we lost something of ourselves when Ted Heath signed us up, the big money of the ‘in’ campaign bombarded us with the slick propaganda of fear. We were already in, they said, and it’s fine. To leave before we gave it a chance would make us look ridiculous. As a declining world power our voice could only be heard as part of something bigger. If we weren’t inside the Common Market we would be outside all markets. It stank. And as a result of that stink the British pinched their noses and voted against their heart.

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Nigel_Farage_MEP-sLast Thursday, UKIP gained nearly four million votes at the UK general election. This was a little less than half what the 100+ year old Labour party achieved, and a little more than a third of what the victorious Conservative party achieved. UKIP also overtook the Liberal Democrats to firmly establish itself as the third force in UK politics, despite the infamous ‘first past the post’ voting system giving UKIP only one parliamentary seat to represent its nearly 4,000,000 voters.

The party leader, Nigel Farage, narrowly lost in the contest for the Thanet South constituency. Having previously said it wouldn’t be tenable to remain as leader if he wasn’t able to lead the parliamentary party from within the house of commons, he offered his resignation. However, it turned out that the UKIP parliamentary party consisted of a single MP, Douglas Carswell, and Doug stated that he didn’t want to stand in a leadership election, as he had his constituents and family to take care of.

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amber-ruddWho is Amber Rudd? I hear you ask. Wikipedia tells us about her (lack of) expertise in energy policy and climate science:

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in history, she joined J.P. Morgan & Co., working in both London and New York. She then worked in venture capital in London, raising funds for small businesses. After working as a financial journalist, she founded specialist Executive Search and Human Resources consultancy Lawnstone Ltd,[2]with clients in Financial services and in Business media.[3] She also recruited the extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Great. What  else?

Rudd has been an active campaigner whilst in Parliament, standing up for women’s issues. She is Vice Chair of the APPG on Female Genital Mutilation, which has been campaigning against FGM and calling for tougher penalties and confidence to begin prosecutions in the UK. She has championed the cause of sex equality as Chairman of the APPG for Sex Equality,[5] which recently published a report on women in work. Rudd Chaired a cross party inquiry into “Unplanned Pregnancies” which called for statutory sex and relationships education in all secondary schools[6] She has called for a higher proportion of women in the Cabinet[7]

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roosevelt-quote It’s hard to be objective about the outcome of the elections, having been in the thick of the battle. This post is more about my personal experiences of the campaign and reflections on the aftermath. I joined UKIP because it is the only party with a sane energy policy, and as an engineer with a degree in the history and philosophy of science, I’m only too aware of the danger to our country’s economic and social well being of the insane energy policy pursued by successive Labour and Conservative governments. Although the main parties avoided the energy question during the election campaign, I believe it to be the most important issue underlying UK politics. (more…)

UK 2015 election aftermath

Posted: May 8, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

Tim writes, posting an article on politics on someone else’s blog, especially when they are running for office, is delicate.

What I know so far

  • Cameron continues as prime minister, has visited HRH Queen Elizabeth about forming a government
  • Ed Milliband has resigned as leader of the Labour party
  • Nick Clegg has resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrat party
  • Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP
  • The Conservative majority is slender
  • Scottish SDP managed a bloodbath in Scotland taking all but three seats, a massive swing includes seats which were held by the Labour Party for over 80 years.
  • The Green Party are reduced to one MP
  • UKIP are reduced to one MP
  • UKIP received a large increase in their share of the vote, this not translating into seats, is one of the oddities of the UK, not unusual.
  • Welsh and Irish MPs continue. Sien Fien will continue to abstain from attending Westminster.
  • Tattersall lost in the Pudsey parliamentary election, coming in a distant third but nevertheless a good result for a first attempt and in the face of the two dominant UK parties. Breaking in is very hard.

The results for local mainly county based or city/town based elections will appear over the next few days. England does not have a regional parliament. These will bring a different slant on the result.

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Ed Davey is gone

Posted: May 8, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

<b>[edit] From comments, thank you for getting the result, expect Roger will be along later

marchesarosa says:

Pudsey General Election

Con hold with a 8.8% majority, 72% turnout

candidates………………..votes…………..%

Con Stuart Andrew……23,637……….46.4%
Lab Jamie Hanley…….19,136……….37.6%
UKIP Roger Tattersall..4,689…………..9.2%
Ryk Downes……………..1,926…………..3.8%
Claire Allen……………….1,539…………..3.0%

Well done, Roger! A good effort.</b>

[/edit]

Cabinet minster, Energy Secretary Ed Davey

Kingston & Surbiton

2015 Result: Con gain from Lib Dem

http://news.sky.com/election/constituency/342/kingston-and-surbiton

Move of -15%, a vote down, not a swing.

At the point of writing it looks as though the Conservative party will hold a slim majority. Mostly as expected.

If a devil goes, who will be next in the post?

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online-pollsThe polls open at 7am tomorrow for voters to cast their ballot in the 2015 general election. The insurgent UK Independence Party (UKIP) has turned this election into the most unpredictable contest in decades. Their standing in the polls is uncertain and methodologies are disputed, with ratings ranging from 10 to 18% among the trad pollsters, and as much as 53% in high volume online polls.

Clearly, UKIP supporters are very active online, the party’s Facebook page has more likes than all but the Conservatives, who spend big bucks to buy bucketloads of approval monthly. Leader Nigel Farage has 224,000 twitter followers. This online activity is partly due to the attacks on, and exclusion of UKIP from the mainstream media. Kippers have found their natural medium, where news and views can be formulated by anyone and exchanged in quickfire fashion. It’s what Douglas Carswell refers to as iDemocracy.

This has had a beneficial effect on UKIP, not solely in terms of visibility, but also in terms of shaping policy direction. Memes rapidly emerge, and good ideas are noted by the party’s leadership for inclusion into policy discussion. This makes the party internally meritocratic; ordinary party members can be heard by senior party officials.

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oldbrew:

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Are the Austrians going to press ahead with this as a favour to anti-nuclear Germany, expecting some reward?

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/04/countdown-begins-for-hinkley-nuclear-power-challenge-as-decision-published.html

PEI report:

The European Commission’s decision on Hinkley Point was published in the Official Journal on Tuesday, and there now commences a two month period whereby potential objections from Austria, Luxembourg and other entities can be recorded. If the decision is contested it may prove a fatal blow to the UK’s nuclear power ambitions due to the lengthy delays that would entail.
Dr Dorte Fouquet, Partner, BBH Brussels who has been advising Vienna on the matter of their objection to Britain’s flagship nuclear power project on the basis of State Aid contravention, told an audience at Platts Power Summit in central
London today that if Vienna presses on with its challenge it could set back construction of the Hinkley Point C project for around eight years based on average case statistics.
She added that were it to go unchallenged “this decision would be practically the end…

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Texas House votes to ban fracking bans

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics
Tags:

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer / Wikipedia]

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer/Wikipedia]


From the US State synonymous with oil: legislation to limit the power of ‘nimbyism’ in developing – or not – natural energy resources.

Texas has moved a step closer to pre-empting cities and counties from banning fracking. On April 17, by a vote of 122-18, the Texas House passed House Bill 40 recognizing the Texas Railroad Commission’s long-held authority to regulate oil and gas exploration and production, including hydraulic fracking, in the state.

The bill was a reaction to the Denton, Texas’ fracking ban. Denton’s ban, approved by city voters in November, was the first ever attempt by a Texas city to assert local power to ban oil and gas production. If HB 40 ultimately becomes law, the bill would ban any ordinance that prohibits an oil and gas operation. A companion bill awaits action in the Texas Senate.

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