Posts Tagged 'Dept of Energy and Climate Change'

The poor value wind turbines deliver in return for the subsidy

When Christopher Booker isn’t ploughing a lonely furrow exposing the disturbing secret behaviour of the courts as they put children into care or take them to be put up for adoption; he is making the weather on the wind turbines – and specifically this week reminding us of how the weather reduces their already poor performance to even more rotten levels.

Yet even though the facts Booker has presented are accepted by DECC – meaning their projections for wind power generation are being significantly overstated – DECC is continuing to use their incorrect and inflated numbers to justify the proliferation of wind turbines at vast expense to taxpayers, in return for even less energy than the fraction of capacity they already deliver.

Whose cash cows?

And so it continues.  The BBC has been given an advance copy of Ed Davey’s forthcoming speech to Energy UK:

Gas and electricity customers are “not just cash cows” to be “squeezed” to create bigger profits for shareholders, Energy Secretary Ed Davey will say.

In a speech later, the Liberal Democrat minister will call on the industry to “open up your books” to show how it is trying to minimise tariffs.

But it’s OK with Thick Ed that gas and electricity customers are ‘squeezed’ with visible and hidden government taxes and levies – being used as cash cows to enrich corporations and land owners with rental fees and grossly inflated feed-in tariffs for the most inefficient and unreliable energy generation available… wind turbines.

Perhaps it is time Davey and the Common Purpose-loving, human-hating drones at DECC opened up their books to show us how much is really taken by government, through energy bills and general taxation, as they pursue the Agenda 21 inspired strategy to force down energy consumption as part of the campaign to achieve a warped version of ‘sustainability’.

Yet this man will have the nerve to utter these words:

You deliver an essential public service, so your industry must serve the public – and the public must have trust in what you do.

And what of government?  When will government serve the public? When will we ever have trust in what government does?  Ed Davey and his fellow troughers should get their own bloody house in order before engaging in this ‘nothing to do with us guv’ nonsense and telling others what to do.

Is this what the UK government is pinning its energy generation hopes on?

For those who do not watch the American TV series ‘Revolution’ on Sky, the image above won’t mean much (*see bottom of this post for a brief explanation – no spoiler).  But those who do will understand this dismissal of the UK government’s increasingly unhinged energy policy and wishful thinking for keeping the lights on.

In an ICM survey of more than 2,000 people carried out in the UK for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 64% of respondents said they were worried about the prospect of power cuts, and 93 percent said they are concerned about higher gas and electricity bills.  Their concerns are entirely justified.

But what is both striking and disturbing is the language used by a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change when asked to comments on the findings.  They are reported as saying:

The U.K. energy system is, by international standards, extremely resilient.  We are confident that the reforms we’re introducing, the cross-party support they enjoy, and the interest we’re seeing in the market, will mean the lights stay on for the long term.

The official response of the responsible government department only claims they are ‘confident’ the lights will stay on, not that ‘the lights will stay on’.  That should set alarm bells ringing – assuming there is sufficient power for them.

As for being resilient by international standards, perhaps when compared to Tanzania and Nepal it is today.  But thanks to the insane environmentalist-driven policy agenda being pursued by the government, which is shutting down reliable energy generating capacity and only replacing it with vague ambitions, hopes, platitudes and unreliable wind turbines, in years to come there will be less of a distinction.

There is also a reference in the Bloomberg story to government plans for new generators and grid upgrades, which leads us into a whole other dimension, the flaws about which have been rehearsed elsewhere in months gone by.  But in the context of the current focus the issues and possible solutions are worthy of revisiting, which we will do here later.

* I won’t spoil the plot for those who might decide to buy the Revolution box set in the future, but the plot line is that in a single event, all electrical power across the world has been turned off, but mysteriously when in close proximity to one of the pendants the any item with electrical circuitry works again.

Something vexes thee, Phil?

From the Climategate 2.0 emails, it is astonishing how hung up Phil Jones (I refuse to use his title, he makes a mockery of that) is on an apparent catch all excuse not to provide information in response to FOI requests.

His get out clause of describing perfectly reasonable FOI requests as vexatious, and seeking justification for applying the ‘vexatious’ tag to other requests clearly demonstrate anti scientific practice.  Some people would draw the conclusion that Jones and his ilk had something to hide (other than a decline), but we already know that is the case.  Worried that his ‘findings’ would be deconstructed under review and scrutiny, Jones and others in his circle simply decided to withhold data and method.

When public money is used to generate ‘findings’ that have huge ramifications for public policy, those findings must be open and accessible to all and tested rigorously, else they must be ignored by government. But as we have seen, government (Department for Energy and Climate Change) is in on this with the spiteful little weasel and his UEA and Penn State chums, pressing the scientists to deliver what the politicians want to hear so they can impose regulations and taxes on us to fit their wider agenda.

That is what is truly vexatious.

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.

Move along taxpayer, nothing to see here

A few weeks ago this blog was preparing a post about the Committee on Climate Change and fired off a FOI request for details of funding and Committee member remuneration (more on that further down).  But after consideration it seemed the post would not provide a great deal of value and it was not published.

So it was with interest that a scan through Thursday’s Parliamentary Written Answers from Ministers turned up a reply to a question about the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that offers the opportunity for a worthwhile post.  It was Craig Whittaker MP who asked:

…the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has made an assessment of the diversity of the range of scientific opinion on climate change that is represented on the Committee on Climate Change.

The reply was the kind of non-answer one would expect from the closed minds of those who are engaged in furthering vested interests, which singularly failed to address the point.  Surprise surprise, it is the Met Office’s protector-in-chief Greg Barker who is continuing the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) effort to shield the climate change true believers from proper accountability:

The Climate Change Act 2008 sets out a list of desirable expertise (including climate science, and other branches of environmental science), which is intended to broadly mirror the range of factors which the CCC is required to take into account in considering its advice. Taking this into account the membership of the CCC is kept under regular review with specific attention given to whether their work programme calls for additional expertise at either board level or by consulting outside when required.

I believe the current membership of the CCC contains a good mix of the relevant expertise (including scientific), and creates a committee which is focused and dynamic.

Whittaker had clearly asked about an assessment of CCC membership on the basis of the diversity of scientific opinion.  Barker’s mealy mouthed answer confirmed the composition of the CCC is based upon having a united outlook commensurate with climate change orthodoxy and the only mix being one of expertise rather than opinion.

This is the problem.  The government is not interested in scientific balance or considering viewpoints and evidence that run contrary to the so called consensus.  How can we ever have hope that new evidence or substantial doubt about the climate change creed will be looked at impartially when all the existing structures, such as the CCC, have been built on the premise that the science is settled and the debate is over?

What makes this situation all the more galling is that our tax pounds are used to fund the CCC and pay its members to maintain the status quo irrespective of anything that contradicts their beliefs.  All the members of the CCC are committed climate change advocates and have vested interests in furthering the policy agenda they themselves inform.  When you look at the CCC members you can see that science is the last thing on the mind of the government.

Take for instance the Chairman of the CCC, Adair Turner, now known grandly as Lord Turner of Ecchinswell. His biography on the CCC website describes him thus:

Lord Turner of Ecchinswell is the Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and Chair of the Financial Services Authority. He has previously been Chair at the Low Pay Commission, Chair at the Pension Commission, and Director-general Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Curiously, despite History being part of his degree, there is no mention of his previous role as a Trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who of course are infamous for their involvement in Amazongate. Turner also leaves out his role as a member of the International Climate Change Taskforce. He is doing rather well out of climate change for an Economist who also lectures part time at Bob Ward’s Gadaffi School of Economics (LSE).  Of course, any allegation of bias would be grossly unfair…

Or we could take the Chief Executive of the CCC, David Kennedy:

David Kennedy is the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change. Previously he worked on energy strategy at the World Bank, and design of infrastructure investment projects at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics.

So we have the two most powerful members of an ‘independent’ committee on a scientific subject and not one molecule of scientific experience between them.

The LSE links continue with Dr Samuel Fankhauser, Principal Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics and a Director at Vivid Economics (yes, another economist). He is a former Deputy Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, but now he works with Bob ‘Mad Dog’ Ward, a specialist in hectoring, ranting and misinforming while failing to refute the points made by climate realists.

Continuing the LSE linkage (albeit loosely) the CCC also has as a member the Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change’s sibling organisation at Imperial College, Professor Sir Brian Hoskins.  Not only is Hoskins a Grantham man, he is also Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

Significance? Reading is one of the Met Office’s partner universities tackling ‘the problems of climate change’ and trying to ‘understand the impact of extreme weather’. Hoskins is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, who of course are infamous for having been forced by a number of scientists to admit the science of climate change is far from settled, before being forced to correct their false statements about the length of time CO2 stays in the atmosphere.

So what is the butcher’s bill for taxpaying public?  That FOI request I referred to earlier lays it bare… Just click to enlarge the following.

First we have the funding from DECC:

Then there is other public funding given to the CCC:

Then we see how much the CCC members are getting for presenting their ‘ideas’ and wheezes for tackling CO2 even though there is no evidence it has caused any of the warming that records suggest has taken place:

It’s always nice to see our money going to such a worthwhile organisation that serves its own our interests… Move along now. Nothing to see here.

Guest post by Martin Brumby

Chris Buff Huhne: “The Expert

So Buff Huhne announces the launch of “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. Perhaps he has convinced himself that he is “energy-literate”?

It is interesting that when he introduced the Electricity Market Reforms Consultation to the House of Commons on 16 December 2010, Huhne stated:

The challenges and the opportunities are huge. Put simply, we face growing demand, shrinking supply and ambitious emissions reductions targets: demand for electricity could double by 2050 as we decarbonise the economy; 30% of our electricity must come from renewables by 2020—up from 7% today—to meet our contribution to the European Union’s renewable energy target; and in the next 10 years, a quarter of our existing power plants will need to be replaced, as nuclear and coal plants reach the end of their lives.

Of course The Luhnatic wants the 2020 target to be 30% (and the 2050 target to be 100%) – without Nuclear.  See the Lib Dims’ Election manifesto.  But it is interesting how he deliberately misleads the house of Commons in his statement. I refer to his phrase “up from 7% today”. Really?  Does this stand up to scrutiny?

Now Buff Huhne must be aware that the proportions of different electricity generation are (if you know where to find them) available on the web. This gives the amount of electricity fed into the grid half hour by half hour and figures for the last three months is available to download. At the time I’m writing this, Coal is producing around 41% of the total, gas 37%, nuclear 16% and so on. All the 3000+ wind turbines in the UK are managing just 0.7% – or a tenth of Buff Huhne’s figure.

(Click to enlarge)

So which is nearer the truth, 7%, 0.7%, or what?

It turns out that for 33 half-hour periods in the whole of 2010, the total of Big Wind and Hydro (which actually works, of course) managed 7% or more. Let’s be generous and assume he’s rounding up the figures. So 78 half-hour periods exceeded 6.5%, making 39 hours out of a total 8760 hours in the year. The figures are just fractionally better in you add in Pumped Storage, but to count PS as “renewable” means you can’t pump using fossil fuel electricity.

(Click to enlarge)

So Buff Huhne’s 7% claim isn’t just a bit hyped up. It is flat wrong.

Saying 7% of our electricty comes from renewables is about as accurate as my saying I spent all my time during 2010 having coitus. In both cases just wishful thinking I’m afraid. But we are the ones getting shafted by the Luhnatic and his “experts”.

Update: Please note an important correction I need to make here. It is detailed in this comment.  Apologies for the error.

Is the My2050 team a bit touchy?

A very curious development following yesterday’s blog post about the My2050 Pathways tool launched by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Having posted the piece I submitted two Freedom of Information requests to find out more about the costs to the taxpayer of this website and tool, using my pseudonym.  The FOI system I use allows people to send messages that arrive in the email inbox for my account and by midnight I had received two emails from people involved in My2050.

The first one reads:

I was looking for the URL to “My 2050” when I found your interesting request for information – apologies for “virtually butting in”.  I was part of the expert group hosted by IMechE to help DECC produce this tool – and it may or may not help you to know that as well as DECC direct costs, there are a lot of people who have given their time free to make sure the tool is good.  I doubt anyone has recorded the value of that contribution. You can estimate part of it – one all-day workshop with ~20 senior industry & academia people.  Anyway, I hope that’s useful.

The second one reads:

I was creative director of the DECC My2050 person. As a curious person I was curious to know why you were curious about the budget (having seen your freedom of information request while checking out how the project was doing online today). Can I put in a freedom of information request for the reasons for your freedom of information request? ;) I am not being narky at all, just genuinely curious (and I’ve no idea if I am supposed to tell you the answers to how much our bit cost – I’ll leave that to DECC as it was their money).

The two emails struck me as a touch defensive. I replied to the first email thanking the writer for the background and adding the following explanation:

I have no doubt there are some very decent and committed people who have been engaged on the project, but for me there are a number of questions about the default position vis a vis CO2 and the cost to the public of pushing this position despite an increasing body of evidence that the science is far from settled.

The first writer replied thus:  ‘Sorry, I didn’t realise. That explains your question.’ and politely wished me luck.  But I’m curious as to how they just stumbled across the FOI request as a simple Google search doesn’t take a reader to it, at least in the first few pages of results I could be bothered to look at.

As for the second email, I’ve not yet replied and I’m wondering quite how to respond to the question. Feel free to offer any suggestions in the comments…

 DECC My2050 person. As a curious
     person I was curious to know why you were curious about the budget
     (having seen your freedom of information request while checking out
     how the project was doing online today). Can I put in a freedom of
     information request for the reasons for your freedom of information
     request? ;) I am not being narky at all, just genuinely curious
     (and I've no idea if I am supposed to tell you the answers to how
     much our bit cost - I'll leave that to DECC as it was their money).

The war on CO2, updated 2050 Pathways Analysis launched

The propaganda onslaught continues apace today with the launch of ‘The 2050 Pathways Debate: having an energy-literate conversation about the UK’s options to 2050’ by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Chris ‘Luhnatic’ Huhne published a written statement in the Commons yesterday announcing the launch of this online event:

‘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.

The obvious problem here is the starting point.  It has been decided that human caused CO2 emissions – a mere 5% of total CO2 emissions globally – is changing our climate.  There is no evidence, there is no proof, just a theory.  But rather than focus on further scientific investigation in the face of a rapidly growing counter consensus that questions the premise of CO2 induced climate change, huge sums of our money are pumped into tackling what looks more and more like a non existant problem using propaganda such as the My2050 site. As always, the target of choice are the young and impressionable:

This user-friendly version of the analysis is aimed at a youth audience and we plan to engage schools and colleges in using it to raise awareness of the issues.

The more you repeat the mantra, the more likely they will accept what they are told as fact without question. Without evidence or proof this propaganda constitutes a fraud being perpetrated against the public. It is a form of brainwashing building upon the appeal to authority of scientists whose flawed and corrupted methods have been exposed but remain unmolested by government, and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) whose reputation lies in tatters after a string of errors and known distortions.

What we are seeing is a shameless effort to take advantage of many youngsters only getting their knowledge from school.  By not encouraging them to think, challenge and question and instead providing them with a false starting point on this subject, our politicians are betraying at least a generation and corrupting their education.  This should be an international scandal, but who is making a stand?

Why DECC is running interference for the Met Office

Two days ago this blog published a post arguing that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is engaged a disgraceful manipulation of information about the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, for which the only possible purpose is to protect the Met Office from scrutiny for the fundamental failings in its seasonal forecasting.

While it will not be news to those who are well informed, the Met Office itself has kindly provided a clear ‘follow the money’ rationale for DECC’s spin and distortion in its Ministerial answers to questions from MPs about the winter forecast.  The rationale can be found in a Met Office news story about the wholly unsubstantiated claim by Dr Pardeep Pall at Oxford University that CO2 emissions contributed to the floods in Worcester in the autumn of 2000:

Developing the science
The Met Office Hadley Centre has been commissioned by DECC, Defra and DfID to work with international partners as part of the Attribution of Climate-related Events Group. The group is developing the science of attribution of extreme weather that will be needed to provide regular and scientifically robust assessments of how the odds of these phenomena are changing.

This demonstrates there is DECC credibility, money and resource at stake. It would explain why DECC is throwing a protective shield around the Met Office, rather than serving the public interest and addressing the failings of the department.  It all boils down to vested self interest.  Further, it shows the public cannot have confidence in government departments because their own narrow interests do not match our own.

This is a scandal. Or at least it would be if anyone was watching and the media had the integrity to report it.


>> The whole saga in posts from its beginning in December 2010 <<


DECC deliberately misleading MPs over Met Office forecast

Following on from this post about recent Parliamentary answers on the subject of the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, the very next day saw the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) at it again:

Nuance is one thing.  But constructing answers that distort the forecast advice from the Met Office is something else altogether. To say the information being shared in the answer by Gregory Barker on behalf of DECC is selective is an understatement.  The Parliamentary written answer supplied to Peter Lilley on 10th February deliberately excludes information the Met Office included in the forecast and thus distorts the context.

Let us just remind ourselves of the advice from the Cabinet Office to the rest of Whitehall, approved by the Met Office.  Note the elements of the forecast that have been omitted by DECC:

This is a disgraceful manipulation of the information, for which the only possible purpose is to protect the Met Office from scrutiny for the fundamental failings in its seasonal forecasting.  The Met Office did not forecast an extremely cold early winter.  While saying there was a 70% chance of an average or colder winter, it caveated this by saying there was a 60% chance of an average or warmer winter.

The summary clearly states there was ‘a slightly increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season’ – something DECC refuses to concede in its answers to MPs.  When a department is allowed to get away with deception of this type it is undermining the parliamentary process and perpetrating a fraud against the public.  It is outrageous.

Departmental vested interest in helping Met Office?

In reviewing recent Parliamentary answers on the subject of the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, one discovers a very different tone and approach when comparing responses from different departments.

One the one hand we have answers from the Cabinet Office – to whom the forecast was provided and with whom the Met Office were in direct communication to ascertain and agree the accuracy of the briefing that was to be issued to government departments.  On the other hand we have answers from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which merely received the forecast from the Cabinet Office, but which shares the Met Office’s quasi-religious belief in the field of man made global warming.

Compare and contrast (click to enlarge screenshots):

13th January 2011 – Cabinet Office

20th January 2011 – DECC

27th January 2011 – Cabinet Office

27th January 2011 – DECC

Now, colour me sceptical, but given the significant difference in the tone of the answers and the demonstrable exaggeration of the forecast by the Department for Energy and Climate Change by excluding caveat information (such as the words ‘slightly increased risk’) , is this evidence of vested interests at work at DECC and an attempt to hold the line for the Met Office from inside Whitehall?

Also, one wonders what the Secretary of State for Defence (the MoD being the parent department of the Met Office) would think if he realised he and his officials were retailing a deception engineered by Met Office Chief Executive, John Hirst.  On 17th January 2011, former SAS troop commander and now a Minister at the MoD, Andrew Robathan, submitted this answer to a question about the infamous temperature probability map:

As this blog’s Freedom of Information request turned up, a recommendation was tabled by Hirst to rename the temperature probability forecasts and locate them in a different part of the department’s website in order to manage the presentation of these longer range forecasts.  The Minutes of the Met Office Board meeting on 26 January 2010 make it very clear.

What seems probable is that the government has the Met Office’s back, because the Met Office is producing computer models and warmist narrative that fits in with the government’s climate change policies.  As such, it seems for now that no amount of evidence and no number of Parliamentary questions, such as these and this are going to see the Met Office’s executive held to account for the department’s manifest failings.

Met Office and BBC – Winter 2010-11

The Met Office, the BBC, that winter forecast and how it and related stories involving the protagonists developed during the period: (in chronological order, oldest first. Check back as this post is updated as new related stories emerge).

Met Office accuracy review

Met Office: memory or honesty deficiency?

That Met Office global long range probability map

Met Office severe weather warning ignored in Northern Ireland

What supercomputers do Bastardi and Corbyn use?

Bastardi and Corbyn reply

BBC spins that Met Office got winter right, just kept it secret from public

Why issue them in the first place?

Met Office continues to hide inconvenient facts

Far from being the warmest year on record

Met Office spins itself deeper into the hole

Met Office: smokescreen, confusion or conspiracy?

What is Roger Harrabin doing?

BBC weather man tries to clear Met Office but digs deeper hole

Can the BBC’s ‘Weather Test’ project be impartial?

BBC’s biased reporting of Global Warming

Government vs Met Office forecast row heats up

That Met Office cold winter forecast revealed

NationalGrid – Not one of Met Office’s ‘intelligent’ customers?

Peter Sissons on the BBC’s climate change propaganda

BBC’s Richard Black resorts to spin and deception

There’s spin and there’s Met Office spin

The Met Office winter forecast lie is finally nailed

Met Office: ‘Not us, it was Harrabin’. But…

Harrabin the Untrustworthy

Met Office document shows it only renamed its seasonal forecasts

Met Office claim that public did not want seasonal forecasts is a sham

Roger Harrabin plays watch the birdie on WUWT

Government was concerned about mixed forecasts from Met Office

Departmental vested interest in helping Met Office?

Is the Met Office becoming irrelevant?

Is Met Office trying to hide inconvenient temperature records?

DECC deliberately misleading MPs over Met Office forecast

Why DECC is running interference for the Met Office

Last updated: 17th Feb 2011 @ 11:00am


Energy policy folly comes back to the fore

With a big hat tip to Bishop Hill…  Some common sense observations about this government’s lhuhnacy when it comes to renewable energy generation from John Constable at Standpoint., who gives it to us straight when he says ‘Renewables Won’t Keep the Lights On’.  The money quote is this:

Britain is obtaining only a fraction of its electricity from renewable sources, just under 7 per cent in 2009-2010 [a dubious claim – AM]. The wholesale price of that quantity of electricity would be approximately £1bn, but the Renewables Obligation, a complex subsidy paid to generators but drawn indirectly from bills, adds a further £1.4bn, more than doubling the cost to the British consumer.

In its first three months, from July to September 2010, the Feed-in Tariff for microgeneration (guaranteed prices to support, among other things, solar photovoltaics [PV] and wind turbines up to a capacity of five megawatt) has produced roughly 0.005 per cent of UK annual demand, at a cost of £2.6m. This generous support has encouraged the construction of an installed capacity of microgenerators totalling 59 MW. To put that in perspective, peak load in Britain on a cold winter’s afternoon is nearly 59,000 MW.

It is a huge sum of our money for a tiny return.  Now compare this hideously expensive and wholly unreliable wind power reality with the detached thinking of Chris Huhne, who declared that ‘The lights are not going to go out on my watch’. He is probably right, not for the reasons one would think, but because the damage caused now will come back to bite us once he’s been consigned to the history books. The Barclay Brother Beano piece where this was reported by Lil’ Lou focused on the cost and completely ignored the logistics. For that we have to turn to the tireless Christopher Booker who demonstrates how Huhne’s renewables folly will actually undermine our energy generation capability. So where does this leave us? Back to Standpoint:

In private, the best-informed analysts now agree that Britain’s environmental policies have put the country on track to have the world’s most expensive electricity. This is mainly because our competitors are almost certain to choose cheaper routes to emissions reductions, such as natural gas, or to shun emissions reductions altogether.

And it leaves us without the energy generation capability needed in a modern industrialised nation – particularly one led by idiots who think thousands of megawatts of electricity required for this ludicrously timed bit of spin will just ‘be there’ ready when we need it.

Where does this folly originate? Unsurprisingly it comes from the leader of those Lib Dem opportunists, who denies there is a looming energy gap at all and that we just need to be more green. No, really. He actually believes this stuff. While safely away from the levers of power with their 18% or so in opinion polls it was easy to laugh off such naive stupidity. But now Clegg is sitting on Cameron’s knee and Huhne has been let loose at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, this insanity is being realised and unless it is stopped we are going to pay a huge amount in more ways than one.

Renewable energy burns our money

Whether directly or indirectly, the EU driven Renewables Obligation is going to cost business – and by extension all consumers – a huge amount of money.  Badly thought out, unjustifiable and spawning any number of scams, this scheme will see certain corporations make a fortune from what amount to cap and trade, while others struggle to survive with the burden of additional costs.

The Renewables Obligation is a bureaucratic ‘solution’ to ‘climate change’ that will achieve precisely nothing in respect of the environment yet requires us to burn less fossil fuels and burn our money instead. The issue of costs arose in the House of Commons yesterday and the impact of this Brussels directive is starting to dawn on people:

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the average cost to (a) small, (b) medium and (c) large manufacturing enterprises of obtaining 15 per cent. of their energy consumption from renewable sources. [21267]

Gregory Barker: The Secretary of State has published estimates of the average electricity bill impacts for medium-sized(1) non-domestic energy users of energy and climate change policies, including those policies necessary for reaching the 15% renewable energy target.

The introduction of Feed-in tariffs for small-scale electricity is estimated to increase average bills for this group by £24,000 in 2020 and extending the RO to meet the target is estimated to increase bills by £150,000 in 2020, a combined impact of 17% (source DECC (2010) “Estimated Impacts of Energy and Climate Change Police on Energy Prices and Bills”, available at:

These estimates do not take account of the potential offsetting impact from wholesale prices pushing down wholesale electricity prices, which previous modelling by Redpoint for DECC suggested could be of the order of £6/MWh on average over the period 2010-20. They also do not take account of other energy and climate change policy changes announced in the spending review 2010.

No separate assessment has been made of the bill impacts in the manufacturing sector, or of relating to small or large enterprises.

The spending review 2010 announced that the Renewable Heat Incentive would be funded through general taxation, so it will not impact on consumer gas bills.

    (1) Size is defined here in terms of level of energy use.

ASA rejects complaints about alarmist CO2 advert

If you live in the UK you will probably be familiar with the Act on CO2 ‘Bedtime Story’ advertising campaign that featured a father reading his daughter a story in which bunnies were tearful about global warming and mass floods caused puppies and kittens to drown.

Nearly 1000 complaints were received by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and its final adjudication on the matter has been written.  The adjudication can be viewed at The Guardian although it has been hidden on scribd by the person who uploaded it to the internet (hat tip: An Englishman’s Castle).

Only one of the ten different groups of complaints has been upheld, a trivial matter that does nothing to prevent this propaganda continuing to be broadcast.  The ASA has refused to uphold the other complaints because it has accepted as fact everything the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said in the response it submitted.

But the real issue here is that DECC – and by definition the government – has relied squarely on information from the discredited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to justify the alarmist, exaggerated and plain misleading claims made in the advert.  The most important part of the DECC response that is likely to have swung the ASA is this (click to enlarge):

So what we have is an IPCC organisation whose competence has been called into question and that peddles claims unsupported by evidence or peer review, being used as a crutch by the UK government to justify an advert littered with visual deceptions and verbal falsehoods.  The public is ill served by such a mendacious approach and the credibility of the ASA will now be damaged as a result too.  Everything this government touches results in the destruction of something.  This is just the latest example.

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