Cost of My2050 tool becomes clear

Regular readers may remember this post back in March about Chris ‘Luhne’ Huhne’s launch of  the 2050 Pathways Debate.  To recap, this is what Huhne announced to Parliament about the latest strand of climate change propaganda directed at indoctrinating youngsters:

The 2050 Pathways Debate: having an energy-literate conversation about the UK’s options to 2050.’ Leading climate and energy experts will use the 2050 pathways calculator to present their personal view of how the UK can reduce its emissions by at least 80% by 2050, ahead of the online debate being opened to the wider public.

This blog submitted a couple of FOI requests to try and scratch the surface of the labyrinth of public money channels to understand how much has been spent on the My2050 website and where that money has come from.  Having had a quick look through some of the information on available websites it became clear two government departments and other organisations that provide ‘co-funding’ had a hand in the production of the My2050 site, so the following two requests were made:

Dear Department of Energy and Climate Change,

Please will you supply me with full details of:

1. The total cost of building, producing, maintaining and hosting
the My2050 website and tool

2. The sum total paid by DECC to Sciencewise-ERC and Delib in
relation to the production of the My2050 website and tool

3. The sum total of funding given to DECC from Sciencewise-ERC
through the co-funding arrangement


Dear Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,

Please will you supply me with full details of:

1. The sum total of funding provided by BIS to Sciencewise-ERC in
2009 and 2010

2. Details of all BIS staff seconded to Sciencewise-ERC (non
steering group) for any duration during 2009 and 2010 and the
nature of the work they did

3. The sum total of funding given to other Government departments
from Sciencewise-ERC through the co-funding arrangement

4. The sum total charged to the Department for Energy and Climate
Change for work on the My2050 website and tool

While AM has been in hibernation, the responses have arrived.  We will look at the response from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) first.

So, in short the cost of the My2050 propaganda site to the taxpayer is £53,000 (excl VAT).  However, as question 3 shows, the cost of producing the ‘engagement’ activity surrounding My2050 is much higher, with £144,961 more (incl VAT) being pumped into DECC from Sciencewise-ERC.

Some people may think that is not so bad, after all that extra money has come from elsewhere rather than the public money allocated to DECC.  That is until you understand that Sciencewise-ERC is funded entirely by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). So what we have is a way of increasing the amount of money spent on climate change propaganda without it having been handed directly to DECC in the normal departmental funding arrangement.  A lot more money is spent on climate change than gets paid directly to the department responsible for pretending it can do a damn thing about it.

So that is why this blog submitted a separate FOI request to BIS.  The response from BIS is interesting for more than the sum it reveals is forked over to Sciencewise-ERC…

Question 4’s response is the most curious.  If you look above at the DECC response you see Sciencewise-ERC apparently devoted £13,000 of taxpayers’ money into the My2050 website and tool.  However BIS, while confirming the total grant funding of £144,961 that DECC mentions, seem to be at odds over the amount devoted to the website and tool.  The £13,000 DECC says it received specifically for the website and tool does not match the £17,625 BIS says was handed over for it.  But then, when it’s someone else’s money little things like accounting for its use don’t matter.

Is it any wonder the public pays so much to maintain the wheels of government when so much effort goes into adminstering this interdepartmental financial merry-go-round?  The waste, not only in terms of propaganda, but in terms of financing it through a complicated network of transactions that resemble something like money laundering, is staggering. And we foot the bill for politicians and their friends serving their own interests.

7 Responses to “Cost of My2050 tool becomes clear”

  1. 1 Martin Brumby 10/04/2011 at 11:00 am

    And the VALUE of the My2005 tool?

    The square root of bugger all.

    The mandarins on BIS and DECC should have the cost of this rancid tripe taken from their bulging, index-linked pension pot.

  2. 2 Climate Change Con...... 10/04/2011 at 12:35 pm

    Chris Huhne, the man with 7 homes, ought to listen to this video, by the world’s leading Climate Scientist,Professor Richard Lindzen :

  3. 3 Climate Change Con...... 10/04/2011 at 12:39 pm

    Professor Richard Lindzen :

  4. 4 Climate Change Con....... 10/04/2011 at 12:48 pm

    Professor Richard Lindzen on the carbon tax :

    Chris Smith speaks to Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who says the carbon tax will be a heavy tax with no benefit.

  5. 5 AJC 10/04/2011 at 2:36 pm

    “And the VALUE of the My2005 tool?

    The square root of bugger all.”

    The VALUE of the tool is probably negative.

    This is becoming complex!

  6. 6 right_writes 11/04/2011 at 6:52 am

    Their sleight of hand didn’t catch you out AM…

    They arrest people in street markets for setting up these “find the lady” type scams.

    Never-the-less, maybe Mr. Plod should be informed, even if they don’t do anything, except maybe hit a passer-by while they stand guard.

  7. 7 Neil 12/04/2011 at 6:59 am

    Excellent work AM!
    A breath of fresh air in this corrupt world.

    Thank you :-)

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