The EU “gets it” but does nothing about it

At the European Council last week worried Heads of State and government for the first time highlighted dear energy as a major impediemnt to growth and jobs in the EU. One cheer for that.

It is perhaps appropriate as we reach for warmer clothing in this wintry May that the EU’s leading politicians fall out of love with global warming theory.

It is difficult to know how they had missed the damage done by dear energy for so long. After all, they and their predecessors had merrily signed up for directive after directive, policy after policy, designed to make EU energy the dearest on the planet. What did they expect from their renewables requirements, their big plant directive, their carbon taxes and the rest? Surely they knew when they did this it would mean our energy came out a lot dearer than the US, Japan, China and the others? Some of us had been warning them for a long time that making our energy so dear did not save the planet, it just sent the industry from us to cheaper places.

Apparently someone circulated at the summit a chart showing that EU energy prices are now 37% higher than the US and 20% higher than Japan. That means we wont be making much steel, glass, ceramics and other items in furnaces and kilns in Europe. Nor is it easy for any automated factory, given the high energy costs modern equipment impose.

The problem is they are finding it difficult to turn the supertanker back from China to Europe. The rest of the summit conclusions gave more of the same energy policies based around carbon control, renewables and dearer energy prices to enforce energy saving.

All the politicians were able to do was to put into the summit conclusions the requirement that the Commissioners undertake a study of why the EU has dear energy and what can be done about it, to be completed by the end of 2013. Then the leaders will get a policy discussion in february 2014. No cheer for that. It just means more delay. Meanwhile granny feels cold and cannot afford the heating in May, and businesses decide to set up energy using factories well outside the EU.

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147 Comments

  1. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    “..more of the same energy policies based around carbon control, renewables and dearer energy prices to enforce energy saving.”

    In other words, to continue down the route to a European Command Economy, controlled by the unelected, unaccountable Brussels bureaucracy. A few hundred thousand more unnecessary deaths from fuel poverty across Europe will be considered as a price worth paying for ever closer union.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      @Kevin: Oh how I agree with your comment.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      How many death in countries such as Germany and Sweden have been caused by fuel poverty? If it’s less per capita than the UK then this indicates that the problem isn’t expensive energy but that the UK is doing something wrong.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        I have pensioner neighbours who move into their kitchen diner for the winter as they can’t afford to heat all of their home. In the meantime China continues to build large numbers of power stations that dwarfs all the CO2 we produce. We can’t get off the planet. 0.034% is the Earths CO2 in the atmosphere.
        Lets have some more carbon trading, passenger fuel duty, windmills that don’t work for the green religion driving our manufacturing abroad. You couldn’t make it up.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Since you failed to provide any evidence that this problems extends to other EU countries it’s clear that this problem is due to UK law, rather than EU law.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Interesting to know how many are on a knife edge of running out of gas and hence electricity leading to civil unrest too.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        They are burning so many cars in Sweden now that no-one has an excuse for being cold.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    It is no longer a surprise to see eminent politicians get it completely wrong. After all, most of them have very little experience of life. Most of them have never, for example, walked through a city centre at night or met people socially who earn little or no money and who are deeply angry.
    This is nothing new. Appeasement. Windmills for electricity. Iraq. Uncritical immigration leading to atrocities in the street. Closing down nuclear power when we were once world leaders. The debt……..
    Meanwhile, when I tell foreign friends that in a couple of years the lights will go out all over Europe, they laugh and call me a scaremonger.
    We shall see.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Do “eminent politicians” even want or try to get it right, or do they just ride the prevailing tides and religions of the time.

      • zorro
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        I can’t think of a better way to effectively de-industrialise the West…..It even looks sort of planned…. 🙂

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          Actually, I am quite sad as it’s another £25pcm on my fuel direct debit, and miserable weather to watch the cricket.

          zorro

          • zorro
            Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            Maybe I should write a letter to Cameron…..perhaps the effort might keep me warm and avoid some extra cost? No, I shall put on my jumper – far more effective and less of a waste of time.

            zorro

        • Timaction
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          The politically aware know what the problems are (Green energy religion, mass migration with free health, education, housing, benefits, EU, unemployment due to influx from EU taking starter jobs at lower wages from our young) but our politicians ARENT listening. Cameron is all talk and NO action. Why doesn’t he borrow and tax and give another £12 billion from poor people here to rich people in the 3rd world!!

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Are many politicians/bureaucrats merely acting in the interest of their paid “consultancies” from the “fake green” (largely tax payer funded) industries? Merely declaring the interest is clearly not sufficient protection for the taxpayer.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        How many are in the pockets of the oil and nuclear industry which is taxpayer funded in every way in that case then?
        That’s OK though isn’t it?

        • Mark
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          The oil industry is a massive source of taxes, providing close to 10% of all government tax revenue. Add it up: North Sea taxes, corporation tax paid on other activities, employment taxes, fuel duties, VAT. What funding does government give to oil companies exactly?

          • Bazman
            Posted May 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            Here is start for you in a right wing bible.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/04/25/the-surprising-reason-that-oil-subsidies-persist-even-liberals-love-them/

            Read further and stop having right wing fantasises.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Yes Baz when you actually read it you get a details of a report written by “an environmental activist” who has a definition of subsidy that is “any government action that lowers the cost of fossil fuel energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers.”
            So just about everything can be called a subsidy.
            This rubbish fools no one

          • Mark
            Posted May 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps it is you who should do the reading?

            The article points out that “subsidies” to the oil industry are simply cases where taxes are not applied. It is the equivalent of claiming that because we don’t pay VAT on food, it gets a subsidy. Examples include lower rates of duty applied to diesel supplies to farms and railways, provisions for depreciation of capital that apply to every business that recognise that capital investment is a cost every bit as much as labour or raw materials. Then there is the truly bizarre case of calling winter fuel allowance payments to pensioners a subsidy to the oil industry.

            The word “Subsidy” has been corrupted from its normal use in a bid to disguise the massive subsides that have been PAID (and paid is the operative word) to wind farms and the like.

            Ram it.

          • Bazman
            Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            The idea that tax avoidance of tax by large corporations whilst making massive profits from the customer in that country not being a subsidy is laughable. The country is subsidising their profits in a world of permanently high oil prices. Why should we subsidise them when even expensive to drillwells are very profitable? To give them more profit for less drilling? They also get military and diplomatic support, do not pay as much as they should for damage to the environment and health. The list goes on of support not avalible to other industries. You will be telling us next that nuclear is in fact private enterprise.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      @Mike. You forgot the gay marriage nonsense. Otherwise, 5 out of 5

    • Bazman
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Uncritical immigration leading to atrocities in the street? The culprit was born in South London and can can hardly blame the parents for a crime like that Mike.

  3. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Energy costs do hold back , but we certainly can not be a part of other smog ridden Countries ethos of anything which burns and produces energy is OK. There are certain moral imperatives which are not collectively and overtly stated, yet need to maintained; and from that standpoint we must keep trying to improve.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      This is a very dangerous remark.
      Human beings need light in winter, food on the table and means of transport. modern states need occupations for the voters and also we need records to be kept.
      Without these children grow up uneducated, the streets are not policed, leaving the wicked in full control, meanwhile ordinary people are forced into beggary and rioting.

      Are you really suggesting that this is a good thing?

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Smog is smog – it has nothing to do with Carbon Dioxide the harmless, transparent, naturally occurring, essential, food for plants and trees.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Smog is a mixture of smoke and fog. Given that most of the smoke is caused by burning coal where there’s high levels of smoke there’s high levels of carbon dioxide.

        Also carbon dioxide isn’t harmless as an atmosphere that’s 5% CO2 is fatal to humans.

        • Richard1
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Good thing its only 0.04% then

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          @uanime5

          We are are 0.04% CO2 so I would not worry to much. Anyway without co2 we would all starve, and more Oxygen would cause endless fires too.

          • uanime5
            Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Given that plants can respire and produce CO2 it’s unlikely that they would ever run out of CO2. Remember plants can only use photosynthesis in the presence of sun light.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      @Margaret: Either I have already consumed too much Falling Down Water or you were less than clear. Perhaps some additional punctuation would have assisted me?

      Nevertheless, I didn’t fully understand your comment…

  4. Brian Taylor
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    The UK has the highest targets for CO2 reduction and renewable energy production plus thanks to George Osbourne the highest price for Carbon Tax.
    Germany is using cheap coal helped by the collapse of the price of Carbon Credits.
    We could stop all this by repealing the 2008 Climate Change Act but very few even talk about this and the cost of renewables!

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      They cannot do the right thing and abolish the 2008 Climate Change Act, just because they have so much credibility riding on it, so they just continue over the cliff. Like Major and his idiotic ERM.

      • oldtimer
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        That is, I believe, a large part of the problem. They have impaled themselves on a hook and do not want to be seen getting off the hook. It must be done slowly – hopefully so that the electorate does not notice them unhooking themselves from disastrous, misguided policies. Students of the political process will be on the look out for the many variants of the smoke and mirrors activities favoured by the political class as they seek cover while they modify their policies.

        Yet there remain some who believe in the virtues of the hair shirt, for example a return to rationing (of food as well as energy), for its own sake and, no doubt, for their perception of moral wellbeing.

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          Indeed many greens, basically, just want to get rid of people because they hate them.

    • stred
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Although the recent decision to halve the EU limits, making efficient coal stations impossible in the UK, is a home grown own goal, the EU has scored a continent wide own goal by doubling ethanol addition to petrol. This is about to be raised from 5 to 10%. Even at 5% it causes problems for older cars as it absorbs water and causes corrosion and rubber deterioration. Our 19 yearold low mileage car is running rough and the petrol line is leaking. We will now have to use the more expensive super petrol which contains none . Ethanol is also around 30% less energy rich than petrol and results in lower mpg. re Wiki.

      This has been done despite the advice of the European Environment Agency’s own Scientific Committee. A letter on the EEA website dated 15 Sept 2011 warns that the environmental accounting used to discount all CO2 from Ethanol is false. In particular, page 8 list as high risk of false accounting from use of corn on existing agricultural land and burning trees and replanting. In this case no CO2 is saved or worse. The UK is doing both. The reasons are complicated and are because land used for corn production is taken out of use for food, which is then grown elsewhere. Energy is also used in the production and transport processes. Page 10 of the letter gives reasons.

      Despite the advice of the scientists the European use and large scale production from American corn is going ahead. It is very big business in the USA and soya production has reduced. Reading any of the biomass industry websites it is difficult to believe there had been any disagreement. However, the productivity of ethanol from corn is described as astonishingly low in the book Sustainable Energy on the DECC website.

      • stred
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        This is my second try about this . Thanks for passing my effort moderated 3 days ago and passed along with other interesting pieces. I could not see any possibility of liability in any of them. Please moderate this message.

        • nicol sinclair
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          @Stred: IMHO, no need to moderate either of your messages that make (too much) sense.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        I suspect ethanol is being used because it’s cheaper than petrol.

        • Dan H.
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          It is actually possible to produce ethanol rather cheaply, using a cunning bacterial process as opposed to a conventional one using yeasts. Years ago I interviewed with a rather strange chemicals company, sort of a biotech version of an Internet start-up, who were trying to do just that.

          The problem is, ethanol is a poison. If you set up a bacterial ferment process to make ethanol off, say, waste sugarbeet pulp, then the process will run to about 2% ethanol and stall right there as the culture dies. The solution is to run the entire fermenter vessel at greatly reduced pressure, stirring furiously, so that the ethanol evaporates off as it is made to be collected in a refrigerated collecting coil to the side of the tank.

          Sounds simple, but nobody’s managed to make this run at industrial scale in a big enough unit to scale the costs down far enough to make a profit (especially as using transgenic bacteria tailored to the input feedstock is verboten).

          Maybe, just maybe someone’ll manage it this time round.

          • stred
            Posted May 25, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

            The problem is that at present Ethanol is mainly fro US corn kernels, which is about the most inefficient costly way to put it in European tanks- apart from the damage to engines.

          • stred
            Posted May 27, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            Craig Venter was on Al Jaz this morning giving a very interesting interview with David Frost. He accepts GW and has a number of projects in the business. One is to produce oil from algae, which is similar to the bacteria method in that large scale production would be set up in hot sunny places to use solar energy. However, he said it was difficult to get the algae to get fat and produce the goods. He joked that theyeven thought of putting them in front of the telly.He thought it would be decades before this could be made to work.

        • stred
          Posted May 25, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          You think extracting corn kernels in the US, extracting alchohol then processing and tranporting it to the EU will be cheaper that petrol? There may be reduction in future cost as a British company is building import and chemical plant in Norway to import US shale gas, from which it is possible to produce fuel. However, thiis will just convert one carbon fuel into another. Possibly it will be banned as it is not from biomass.

        • Mark
          Posted May 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Ethanol is much more costly as a fuel because it offers much lower mpg. This comparison shows that ethanol results in a fuel bill that’s about 25% more when using E85 (74% ethanol) compared with normal gasoline:

          http://theenergycollective.com/mark-green/224656/ethanol-gasoline-cost-gap

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Is Germany using power plants that produce low levels of CO2? If so then how can European law be preventing the UK from building such plants?

      • stred
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Because the new British energy act sets CO2 production levels per unit of stuff burned at about half the EU level, which allows Germany to comply. This was put on this blog by one of the contributors who knows what he is talking about and was very clear.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    John

    They live in their own dream World.

    The problem for the rest of us, is that they expect US to pay for it, and also pay for THEM to be insulated from its harsh realities, whilst we also have the nightmares.

    • zorro
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      They do, of course, live in their own world with no real connection with modern life……Of course, Cameron knows a few ‘Smiths’ songs and I do sometimes picture him doing a Morrissey swinging his gladioli and saying ‘What difference does it make’…….

      zorro

    • Bob
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      @AJ
      ” they expect US to pay for it, and also pay for THEM to be insulated from its harsh realities”

      It’s not the politicians fault, they’re just doing what comes naturally.

      The blame lies with the voters who are unable to learn from experience.

      What’s that saying about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Alan ,

      “and also pay for THEM to be insulated from its harsh realities”

      Yes that is the most annoying thing and their lack of skin in the game also explains their indifference to the effect their decisions have on the plebs .

      To devise pensions for themselves with benefits levels guaranteed by the masses and then devise a rubbish scheme like NEST for the masses is beyond insulting .

      If the smart people in Whitehall they had to come up with a pensions scheme which they would be enrolled into and anyone else including private sector and self employed could join I reckon they could and the result would be stunningly good .

      That is the only way we will ever get decent secondary pensions for all .

    • P O Pensioner
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Alan Jutson – I agree with you. We know who to blame for costly legislation in the UK and can as an electorate use the threat of the ballot box to change things albeit rather slowly. But the faceless unelected EU people who make these laws don’t have to worry about such unimportant detail and just march on with their own agenda.

      The UK and Germany still pay in more, I believe, to the EU budget than they get out. Whereas all the rest are either neutral or thereabouts or receive EU handouts. Germany has used the devalued Euro to sell its manufactured goods around the World. If they still had the DM it would probably be currently valued upwards against the major World currencies making it more difficult to compete. Germany and the UK together could stop all this high energy taxation now if they had the will to do it but Germany still suffers from WW2 guilt.

  6. lifelogic
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    They have attached themselves to the global warming exaggeration religion and cannot now detach themselves from this group think insanity without looking rather stupid, the BBC has done the same having pushed it at the public for so long they now need to find an escape, but without admitting their role in the absurd lies, exaggerations and propaganda. Push hugely through the school syllabus and tax books too.

    Rather like Major and his ERM (which has still not apologised for), the disastrous EURO and absurd over regulation/taxation of everything, the huge state sector and the mad expenditure on mainly pointless & absurd governments “projects”. Projects and subsidy that has littered the country and the EU with pointless PV panels and toy wind turbines.

    From the telegraph yesterday “Households could save up to £1,200 each if only Britain built more wind farms and nuclear power stations, David Cameron’s independent energy advisers suggested today.” Well nuclear perhaps, but wind is about double the price of gas, there would be virtually none without the silly tax payer subsidies and market rigging. These people are just bonkers, where are the sensible engineers and economists? One assumes they link nuclear and wind in this way to confuse and avoid admitting what a disaster intermittent wind has been. Nuclear yes, wind is a total waste of money, other than in exceptional cases, lets see how it does without the absurd subsidies.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10074226/Green-energy-could-save-Britain-up-to-100-billion-says-Government-climate-advisers.html

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Pushed by text books not tax books I meant!

      Absurdly, over complex, tax rules and tax books waste so much of my time nowadays that I must have them lodged on the brain at the moment.

      • Bob
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        @lifelogic
        “over complex, tax rules”

        But I thought Mr Osborne was going to simplify the tax rules?

        • nicol sinclair
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          @Bob: Dream on…

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          I thought he was going to give us a £1M threshold for Inheritance Tax too.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        This, as I clearly have a moral duty to minimise my tax liability and thus prevent Cameron/Osborne from wasting it on quack energy, damaging wars, HS2, loans to the PIGIS, the EU and such a bloated inefficient state sector.

        • nicol sinclair
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          @LL: Hear hear. But, no one’s listening.

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Life Logic: Thanks for the clarification. I was about to comment…

    • Peter Davies
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Wind was never going to work at macro level because you CANT store the energy produced – it doesn’t take a degree from Oxford or Cambridge to know that.

      It works at micro level on a farm or small holding because you can charge a shed full of batteries.

      So nuclear and gas with some fracking are the only real options right now.

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        @Peter Davies: ABSOLUTELY. But try telling that to the insomniacs/ thickos in Parliament.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Actually you can store energy. One way to do this is to pump water to a high point. When you need this energy you have this water fall to a low point, turning a turbine as it falls (hydroelectric power).

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Yes you can store electrical energy in many ways but it is very expensive and wasteful of the energy. Using a reservoir is perhaps the cheapest but usually still prohibitive in cost.

        • stred
          Posted May 25, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Uni. At present we have pumped storage providing 30GWh, We need 1200. Possibly this could be expanded to 100 to 400 GWh by building everywhere possible with great difficulty. The solution is apparently to use electric car batteries, assuming we all have them and charge them when the wind is blowing. See DECC book Sustainable Energy p190-194.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        There are alas not Cambridge Engineers just Oxford PPE’s and high priests of the quack green religion. Peter Lilley seems to be one of the very few with any sense.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Well nuclear perhaps, but wind is about double the price of gas, there would be virtually none without the silly tax payer subsidies and market rigging.

      Well it’s clear you just made this up. The costs of gas power plants are the building of this plant, the constant supply of gas that needs to be extracted, and people to work in this power plant. By contrast wind just requires the cost of building the turbine. So long term wind is cheaper than gas.

      • David Price
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Peter Davies’ comment is backed up by a 2012 report from ATI in the US which calculated the true cost of wind power as triple the cost of natural gas-fired generation and 40-50% higher than new nuclear or coal-fired generation.

        Hint: you have to add the cost of conventional power to back-up the lack of wind, the inefficiencies wind imposes on those facilities and the cost of longer distance transmission since windy places are typically not close to the greatest points of consumption.

        It is clear Mr Davies is not the one just making stuff up.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        So why do they need such large subsidy?

      • Mark
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        No, he didn’t make it up. Onshore wind gets a subsidy of 1 ROC per MWh produced, and offshore wind gets 2 ROCs. Each ROC is worth about £40. Weighting that over the balance of offshore and onshore production in 2012, it’s worth £55/MWh, which is rather more than the ~£45/MWh average price realised for power from gas and coal plants.

        You can verify the comparison by looking at company annual reports.

  7. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    27 countries, including yours, discussed on issues in which they all have a veto. As such a strong opponent of QMV (qualified majority voting), this is what you get. It cannot be blamed on the EU as such.
    E.g. in the crowded Netherlands, there is still research to be carried out about the risks of cracking to obtain shale gas. Earthquakes due to gas exploration have become more prevalent over here. Rushing ahead with shale gas is not something for areas with such a high population density.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Peter,
      Your beloved EU can do no wrong in your eyes. Of course it can be blamed; just because a veto was not used by politicians, who are too craven to look after the interests of the people of their own countries whom they are meant to represent, doesn’t mean that the ruling body is not responsible.

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        @Brian: For ‘too craven’ (which may well be true) read ‘thick’ – as in stoopid!

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        As the UK has a veto they could have vetoed any action they didn’t agree with, so the failure of the UK to get the deal they wanted is the fault of the UK not the EU.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I am old enough to remember the very tail end of the industrial revolution.
      As a boy, my knees and ankles were always mired in thick black grime. Our chests were quite often racked with terrible coughs. Smog is now a historical thing: then it was real: smelly, the colour of pea soup and it made you cough.
      If you want to live, though, you have to be a man and face up to polluting the planet. Otherwise, only the rich, the bureaucrats and the people who dish out the goodies survive; the rest have Hobbes’ choice.

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        @Mike: Whilst I do not argue with your sentiments, I believe that ” the rest have Hobbes choice’ should read Hobson’s Choice?

    • Richard1
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      There are thousands of data points to look at test the risk of fracking over many years in the US. There is no evidence at all of the earthquakes or water contamination which the green left has been promulgating. The delay and obfuscation on this issue in European countries has nothing to do with evidence and everything to do with green scare-mongering.

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1: “everything to do with green scare-mongering” and perhaps: money?

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Under US law fracking companies are exempt from legislation that prevents water pollution. So it’s no surprise that in the US they’ve never been charged with water pollution.

        • Richard1
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          A distortion. There has not been any water pollution.

  8. Boudicca
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    At least we know we won’t have to switch off the lights.

    Thanks to the utter, mind-blowing stupidity of the EU – and the complete and utter uselessness of our own MPs – they’ll go out all on their own.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      @Boudicca: Oh, so true, how true…

  9. JimF
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    The problem is – even if we were to take this into our own hands in the UK would we have sufficiently knowledgeable politicians within the scientific and economic arena to make any difference?

  10. Ben Kelly
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I hope no one on here actually opposes the ultimate aim of moving towards cleaner energy which seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable goal.

    As ever once the left get involved targets and punitive taxes (raised to squander on other pet projects of course) are the only considered methods.

    It can not be beyond the wit of legislators to encourage moves towards cleaner energy by making renewables more competitive without hitting the end user in the pocket. I always found it incomprehensible when USA and now China and India would not lumber their industry with these costs why we could not introduce equalising tariffs. That way the new forms of energy may have reached competitive mass and further research been encouraged.

    This unilateral self flagellation (going further than EU dictates) is smugly self-destructive. A phrase which I believe if one looks up in dictionary one will see a picture of Messrs Harman, Clegg, Milliband, Balls, Cameron, Osborne and Huhne.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      CO2 is clean, naturally present, harmless and indeed needed for plant, crop and tree growth.

      I assume that is why they call it a “carbon tax” not a “carbon dioxide tax” as carbon is black and dirty.

      I suspect a high proportion of the population now think, perhaps due to the BBC and schools, that C02 is poison and evil pollution if asked. Not a vital food for plants and trees.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        An atmosphere that’s 5% CO2 is fatal to humans. Your attempts to claim that CO2 is harmless will not change what has been scientifically proven.

        Also just because plants need CO2 doesn’t mean that constantly increasing CO2 levels are good for plants or any other living thing.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Good gases and bad gases? What are you talking about? More simplistic nonsense. I suppose an oxygen enriched atmosphere is good on this basis? It is not good. Not good at all. Nice fresh pure oxygen bad? Never! Industrial Oxygen a few years ago did not have an odour. It now does. Have a think why?
        Argon a heavy gas cannot react with anything. Nothing absolutely inert. Helium a very light gas, likewise. Both very dangerous. CO2 in massive but small concentrations in the atmosphere good? Oh really?

    • Bryan
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      China is a poor example – their increase in carbon emissions year on year is greater than the total UK carbon output. In other words, if the UK became a zero carbon output nation today then the beneficial impact of this would be negated in one year by China alone. Such facts are ignored by the ‘green’ brigade and politicians who shoud know better.

      What we are doing in the UK is a costly waste of money with no lasting environmental benefit but with great ongoing damage to industry. The sooner politicians get real and reverse these energy policies the sooner the better for our economic wellbeing.

    • Bob
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      @Ben Kelly
      “This unilateral self flagellation (going further than EU dictates) is smugly self-destructive. A phrase which I believe if one looks up in dictionary one will see a picture of Messrs Harman, Clegg, Milliband, Balls, Cameron, Osborne and Huhne.”

      You missed out Ed Davey.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      @ Ben Kelly: “I hope no one on here actually opposes the ultimate aim of moving towards cleaner energy which seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable goal.”

      (No No No) Clean energy is a will-o-the-wisp as long as China keeps commissioning coal-fired generating stations at the present rate. We will suffer from black/brown outs whilst the Chinese forge ahead (literally) at the expense of both our health and our efficiency. Brussels & the Limp Dems – (get lost?ed). Yes, I know. JR will moderate me. So be it.

      • Ben Kelly
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        @Nicol
        Just because the Chinese won’t play ball doesn’t stop clean energy being a worthy aim. If we could reach decent economies of scale or research an economic alternative we could drive change while making money. At present all expertise and profits are externally sourced.

        In the interim there should not be punitive taxes but we could attempt protectionist tariffs to offset the competitive advantage the polluting Chinese enjoy.

        • Mark
          Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          Unfortunately it won’t stop the Chinese from doing as they please – nor would it make our exports more competitive. There is no getting round the fact that if we choose to produce energy in expensive ways we have to pay the cost of that, and industry will go elsewhere. Moreover, the result is higher global emissions than if we had adopted a sensible policy in the first place. A study in Denmark showed that each tonne of CO2 saved in Denmark resulted in 1.3 tonnes of extra production globally, while similar work for the UK suggests at least 1.1 tonnes globally per tonne “saved”.

  11. Electro-Kevin
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    This is another reason why I cannot bring myself to vote Tory again. For fear of lending my unwitting support for more of the same.

    Make all pro-EU candidates wear an EU badge and display the EU flag on their campaign literature.

    A true supporter of the EU should be proud to do so – and if not then why not ?

    • Peter Davies
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Now thats a good idea. Given that political parties can now put 2 badges on campaign literature all candidates to put their own party emblem next to a blue one with flags or another one with flags and a cross through it so people can see where they really stand and vote accordingly

  12. RAY ADAMS
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Careful John . Your Leader loves the EU and is deeply committed to it . Why are you backing him ? We need politicians who put country before Party .

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      RAY–Amen to that, especially when the Party has changed out of all recognition. There is no room for sentiment doggedly residing in a mere name, especially when the name (Conservative? Don’t make me laugh) is now meaningless and purely historical at best. The Conservative Party has inanely walked away from itself, and loyalty to it at the expense of what one believes best for the country is therefore no longer mandatory.

      • P O Pensioner
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is moving the Conservative Party to the middle ground. Blair also moved the Labour Party to the middle ground. Milliband appears to be moving Labour back to the left. Is this perhaps what Cameron is banking on and that he can pick up the middle vote and the traditional Conservative vote because we have nowhere else to go? Don’t bet on it!

  13. Jon
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Will they ever join up the dots. Regulation has moved heavy industry to largely unregulated countries. Just like our own financial advice area, over regulation has moved it to unregulated advice paid for by the regulator (by forced payments from regulated firms) and taxpayer.

  14. frank salmon
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    John
    The attack on business began in 1997, and it has not gone away.
    Labour’s policies have become Conservative policy on tax, regulation, energy, litigation, transport, housing and the rest..

    All hail monopoly culture. They will save us – the same monopolies that send our jobs abroad and don’t pay taxes, the same monopolies that screw our savings and raid our pensions.

    There’s a mighty judgement coming…..

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Strange how so many of us could see where this manic global warming mania would lead, except the majority of politicians in the three UK main parliamentary parties and of course the EU. Too many of our MPs are content and happy being given their instructions from Brussels, regardless of the consequences on those whose interests they are supposed to represent. We should have MPs who wish to govern this country not merely carry out the instructions from an anti-democratic foreign organisation.

  16. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    But nothing will ever change with our current political system. We need cheap, renewable energy. We are an island surrounded by water and tides. We need to invest the money to develop cheap, renewable, reliable energy.

    But no government will do this while all they are obsessed with is spin, polls and (constantly, 27/7, every waking moment) the ‘next election’.

    How much time each day does David Cameron spend thinking about the essential components of our society – food, energy, infrastructure and business (employment)? How much time does he spend thinking about how to ‘turn things around’ to win the ‘next election’?

    Our first past the post electoral system has simply produced power changing hands between two sclerotic parties who are interested in one thing and one thing only – being in power.

  17. Sue Jameson
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Dare I suggest that this impediment to growth alone is enough for us to Invoke Article 50? While we are members of the EU, bound in it’s “non-free trade” protectorate and high energy prices, we will not recover our economy. We need to get back to setting our own rules for free trade, corporation tax and energy prices if we are ever to get back on our feet again. Merkel & Schultz have both made it abundantly clear they will avoid having to change the Lisbon Treaty at all costs. They know very well, many countries would want a referendum including the French, Italians, Spanish and the Dutch. The UK is not their only worry (even though we get the blame for it all, as usual).

    We don’t have the power to get rid of Cameron, which in itself doesn’t say alot for our democracy, but you MP’s do. Who does he think he is insisting he will not waiver from his planned referendum (on condition he gets elected, which he won’t)? Somebody needs to remind him, he’s not a President, he is only a Prime Minister, probably the worse one the Conservatives have ever had.

  18. Javelin
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Utterly useless. Too many cooks getting paid by taxes of hardworking people. Why should we have a strategic part of our country run by the EU. It is simply beggere belief that we have weighed our country down with this red tape.

  19. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Although he wasn’t addressing the issues of shale gas, climate change or tax avoidance, maybe some guidance can be found in Mr Draghi’s words in London yesterday:
    “Europe needs a more European UK as much as the UK needs a more British Europe.”
    His words are usually balanced and considered and tend to carry some weight.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      In this case his words are balanced and meaningless.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      ‘Europe’ i.e. the EU is a Customs Union that hides behind an external tariff wall, admittedly a lot lower than Jean Monet’s original lunatic tariff of 70%, thanks to the intitiative of America and Britain. Mr Barosso, tear down this wall.

  20. Atlas
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    John,

    Like many others, you have noticed that weather has its ups and its downs. One of the main reasons that Meteorologists decided to use 30 year averages is because of this variability. The authors of pre Global Warming textbooks would have considered the ranting of a few years ago about how “our children would never see snow again” to be just plain unscientific on the basis of just a few years observations.

    Reply Indeed – I often report that one year’s cold weather is just “weather”. How do you explain the Medieval warm period?

    • Atlas
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      …Explain the Mediaeval Warm Period… – to be honest I wish I could. I also wish I could explain the Little Ice Age (c 1600 – 1800 AD) as well!

      can assure that I can wave an awful lot of Chaos Theory, Physics and even Astronomy around – but there are too many variables in this problem for any particular explanation to be convincing.

      However I think the fact that there is an actual historical record of those times which amply demonstrates persistent weather patterns is good news. Such evidence can be used to check the claims of those who say they have viable climate computer models. The real clincher test for any climate model is to ask whether it can predict the rapid end of a glacial phase in the cycle of Ice Ages that we are currently in the midst of. If it cannot do that (where the temperature swings were large) then the smaller scale changes claimed for our near future are not really credible.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Given the world has already exceeded the temperature rises during the Medieval warm period and now has temperature levels not seem for 200 million years I’d have to say that what caused the Medieval warm period is unlikely to be cause the current problems.

      • David Price
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        You are making stuff up .. as always. Your statement conflicts with actual data from Vostok ice cores as has been pointed out to you before.

        What evidence do you have that the factors contributing to the Medieval Warm Period don’t apply now?

      • Richard1
        Posted May 26, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Check your sources again. It is nonsense that we now have the highest temperatures for 200m years

  21. Richard1
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Dropping the green religion is an open goal for the Conservative Party for the next election. How wide do the goalposts have to be?! With 3000 or so wind turbines blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of voters, and wind contribution to electricity generation often not significantly different from 0%, and with scientists increasingly questioning the forecast rate of warming, its time to start basing policy on evidence. Cut green subsidies and get going with shale gas.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Based on the evidence over 98% of scientists have confirmed that climate change is man made. So your claim that scientist are “increasingly questioning the forecast rate of warming” is nothing more than a reflection of your own beliefs.

      • David Price
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        You aren’t offering evidence.

        If you are relying on the report by John Cook in Australia, who is not a climate scientist by the way, you had best find some real evidence double quick. For a start the “97%” refers to authors of paper abstracts selected in the survey, not of all scientists.

        That report has been comprehensively refuted and debunked since it was posted in his blog.

        Search for Cook’s fallacy.

      • Mark
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        But they are. Even the BBC says so. Lots of new excuses are coming out for why we aren’t going to see the temperature rises that the climate models were predicting in the IPCC’s AR4 review.

        The science is very unsettled. They don’t understand the effects of aerosols, or the processes of cloud formation as they affect climate: their models have been shown to be wrong.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and all they have to do is stop subsidising them and they die over night.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        So would nuclear and if the oil complies too if we stopped subsidising them by the amount of pollution and damage they cause to the environment. They do not cause any and receive any subsidy in your simplistic fantasy world?

      • uanime5
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Oil and gas industries would also die without their subsidies.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps your most ridiculous comment to date Uni.
          The oil and gas industries produce Governments fortunes in tax revenues all over the world and have done for decades.

  22. Malcuk
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    John,
    a few years ago the Telegraph had the costs of electricty for big users noted for three countries, and noted for low, medium and high costs (summer, winter type usage) The UK cost was around £130 per MWh, Germany was around £80 and France was £40.

    At the time I supplied the paper mills here, and some in Europe. While we were closing ours other countries kept theirs open as they were profitable. In 40 years we have gone from 350 mills to around 48 now. We have some newer mills (Kings Lynn for expample) but they struggle to compete with prices from outside the EU, and from within mainland Europe.

    I now see the REACH chemical directive reaking the same havoc on our chemical induestry. Innovation and production has/is moving away from the stupidity of the EU.

    And I see our main political leaders heaping more of this tosh upon us, and so another million jobs with be sent east.

    (Note – we can send waste paper all the way to China, recycle it whilst loosing 30% of the mass in the process. Then make new paper and ship it all the back to the UK. They do so at costs below our “break even rate”) And our politicians are oblivous…

  23. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Bizarre they should have an inquiry into why the EU has high energy prices – it implies they think that is a bad thing – while their policies such as carbon trading have the specific single goal of raising prices. Still, I expect the outcome of this inquiry has already been written and will be “Price fixing by energy companies”.

  24. forthurst
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    “That means we wont be making much steel, glass, ceramics and other items in furnaces and kilns in Europe.”

    …or alluminium or any other process based upon electrolysis which of itself consumes 3% of world electrical energy.

    “Nor is it easy for any automated factory, given the high energy costs modern equipment impose.”

    Approximately 45% of world electrical energy consumption is to power electric motors; in industry, the corresponding figure is 70%; lighting consumes 19% and electronic 10% (and rising).

    Of course, incandescent lamps are notoriously inefficient, but whilst most non-domestic lighting has not used them since long before the EU’s obsession with saving the planet anyhow, and manufacturers have developed LED lighting entirely without prescription from bureaucrats, there is no evidence that people would not have upgraded their lighting as with their TVs etc without meddling from Brussels.

    The problem that we face is that Brussels, by its obsession with saving the planet by proscriptive means, foisting windmills on the landscape and voltaic cells onto rooftops, is inhibiting the growth and productivity of industry in Europe which historically was solely responsible for the innovations of the industrial revolution.
    If one asked a typical politician (not JR) with his proudly proclaimed innumeracy, and corresponding ignorance of physical science, what role he anticipated for microcomputers in substantially increasing the electrical efficiency of a large swathe of appliances, he would look blank; for that reason he needs to stop putting windmills on his rooftops and keep his nose out of matters which are intellectually beyond him. He simply needs to focus on inventing more reasons for multiculturalising us and causing conflict in the ME; both of which simply require congenital nastiness rather than intellectual strength.

  25. waramess
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    “….we wont be making much steel, glass, ceramics and other items in furnaces and kilns…” If this were the only problem we would not have much of a problem however expensive energy hits the economy in general making the cost of producing everything higher.

    I suppose the answer from our dead brained politicians will be more devaluation in an attempt to aid exports which will of course make energy even more expensive.

    The economy contains so many unintended consequences just waiting to manifest themselves that nobody will be able to control the collapse when it happens. Quite shortly, I suspect.

  26. Normandee
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    You talk as if making any sense has ever been a justification for the rush for power and enrichment that has been at the heart of this miscarried project, as with all socialist projects it is stumbling because it is running out of other people’s money, I know that’s not an original comment but it is none the less accurate.

  27. English Pensioner
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Politicians are great at committees of inquiry, postponing action until some more facts are available, etc., and rarely take urgent action on those things that actually need it. (But the do take action on non-urgent matters such as gay marriage)
    We need action on our electricity supplies now, before we start to have blackouts, but our politicians have preferred to believe some professor of climate change who said that we were not going to have any more cold winters and that our children would never know what snow is.
    Progressive businesses on the other hand, will see it coming and move their businesses out of this country to somewhere that doesn’t tax carbon and they can have reliable power supplies, as well as less regulation. That’s really great for getting us out of the recession!

  28. con
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Instead of back bench revolts about gay marriage and EU referenda, why not a back bench revolt about energy prices and our stupid energy policies.

    But does Cameron really believe we should be following this commercially suicidal policy? My worry is that he does.

    The EU response to this lunacy will be the usual one of more of the same.

    The EU is a joke and so are all the so called elites that are imposing this brain dead dogma.

    • Mark
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      That’s a very good idea. The Energy Bill currently going through Parliament is designed to cement high costs on consumers via the CFD mechanism and the capacity mechanism, while enshrining the worst aspects of subsidy to uneconomic projects. The Lib Dems should be told they can’t have their bill.

      At the very least, amendments designed to speed up the development of our own shale gas should be bolted on.

  29. Chris
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the regular (free) newsletter from Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is not, as it suggests promoting the global warming argument, but examining the science, the evidence, the claims, the policies and the latest articles associated with this topic.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/
    http://www.thegwpf.org/subscribe-newsletter/

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Your attempts to claim that a climate change denier’s website is actually interested in science isn’t fooling anyone.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Benny Peiser’s cause never was based on scientific principles. It rests, instead, on a bedrock of right-wing, libertarian politics.
        You be da judge.
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/07/robin-mckie-benny-peiser-climate

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          This was an interesting exchange of e-mails Baz, which I enjoyed reading, but they do little more than repeating the arguments of the two sides.
          The main point for me, is not if the planet is warming and not even what or who is responsible, but what can really be done to reverse this trend.
          Could anyone group manage to get a total binding world agreement to control and reduce CO2 for a few decades and then for ever more manipulate the temperature on this planet by continually adjusting the world levels of CO2?
          Do you see it happening?
          I certainly don’t

  30. Graham Hamblin
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Remember the whole thing was set up in the first place, allegedly, to control the production of iron and steel. Did some then seek to control industrial production in member EU states for their own advantage using rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and the AGW scare and then believe their own propaganda?

    Oceans cover 75% of the Earth’s surface and are one of the major sinks for carbon dioxide but AGW advocates have put the cart in front of the horse. Ice core data shows that temperature rises have preceded those in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, in other words it may not be carbon dioxide that is forcing temperature?

    Could solar activity be a factor? Russian scientists have recently postulated that by 2040 lower solar activity may bring us another mini Ice Age which will last for around 200 years.

    If true would you want to rely on the CAP to feed us all? Feeding us all will be more a problem than a bit of warming?

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Ice core data shows that temperature rises have preceded those in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, in other words it may not be carbon dioxide that is forcing temperature?

      Ice core data has never shown that. You just made it up because you don’t want to admit that high CO2 levels have been proven to raise the global temperatures.

      Could solar activity be a factor? Russian scientists have recently postulated that by 2040 lower solar activity may bring us another mini Ice Age which will last for around 200 years.

      Another lie and a poor one at that. The sun has an 11 year cycle and it has been proven that this cycle has little to no influence on the century long temperature increase.

      I suspect that you didn’t provide any evidence to back up your claims about the Russian scientists because you made this claim up as well.

      • David Price
        Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        “Ice core data has never shown that. You just made it up because you don’t want to admit that high CO2 levels have been proven to raise the global temperatures.”

        But ice core data has shown it – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ice-core-data-help-solve suggests a correlation is shown by ice cores but it is not proven which causes which.

        “Could solar activity be a factor? Russian scientists have recently postulated that by 2040 lower solar activity may bring us another mini Ice Age which will last for around 200 years.

        “Another lie and a poor one at that. The sun has an 11 year cycle and it has been proven that this cycle has little to no influence on the century long temperature increase.”

        There are multiple solar activity cycles of 11, 90 and 200 years and it is the latter that concerns the Russian scientists according to the Voice of Russia article – http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_04_22/Cooling-in-the-Arctic-what-to-expect/

        Who are you accusing of lying – the Russian scientists for offering a theory, the Voice of Russia for reporting it or Mr Hamblin for blogging it? I think you are jolly brave to make such accusations of someone you don’t know but can I suggest you apologise for your wrongful accusation of lying.

      • Mark
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

        Can we please have an end to the unsubstantiated claims that fly in the face of the facts?

        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11659-climate-myths-ice-cores-show-co2-increases-lag-behind-temperature-rises-disproving-the-link-to-global-warming.html

        Once again we have “unexplained factors” that are assumed, but the ice core evidence is entirely clear and undisputed.

        Etc

      • Graham Hamblin
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        I made nothing up and when you are meters deep in ice in 2040 I will be dead and gone.

        If you want evidence take a look at John Dalys site in Tasmania.

      • stred
        Posted May 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Ice core data has shown that warming preceded increase in CO2 by around 800 years and when warming ended, carried on for another 800. With methane it is more like 70 years but still warming precedes. Even the warmists admit this but say it does not matter as the manmade increase will amplify the warming. Have you looked at the graphs the wrong way round? Time present is on the left and the time to the past goes to the right on most charts.

  31. Rods
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    The UK has the feel of a declining country that along with the EU are heading long term for third world status, unless things change. This shows itself in many ways with an ever increasing tax burden and national debts where the Government is trying to keep going a lifestyle, in the public sector, we cannot afford, record numbers using food banks through necessity and ever increasing energy prices and fuel poverty.

    We have falling real wages and actual declining wages in the private sector. Where Gordon Brown raided pensions to the tune of £5bn per year, which changed the UK from the best to one of the worst funded private pensions systems in Europe. So the solution is to now coerce people to save, which is counter-cyclic in our current economic depression, again squeezing private industry and making people poorer with actual take home wages.

    There has been much discussion in the MSM about inflation measures recently, but what I think would be an eye opener would be an Essentials Price Inflation (EPI) measure, where we all need as an absolute minimum a roof over our heads, food, water and energy to function as human beings, plus pay our taxes. These are all areas of high inflation that disproportionately affect the poor where they spend a much greater proportion of their income on these items. I suspect that annual inflation in most of these areas is 5 to 10%. As somebody famously stated when talking about general inflation measure you can’t eat a CD or DVD.

    A country’s prosperity is very much in the hands of our politicians that we entrust to do the best for us as the electorate. As it is Government their regulations and policies that have got us into this situation of decline, with many very happy to propose and continue with the same policies that have got us where we are today. As one of our representatives in government, what are you and other like minded politicians going to do to get us out of this situation? Unless you can get policies adopted to pull us out of the current depression then the brutal reality is that you are part of the problem and not what I hope you will be, part of the solution!

    As things stand the 21st century is going to belong to Asia and the other BRIC countries. The new west is going to be the rich east and the new north the industrialised south. Personally, I think with the current political structures the terminal decline of Western Europe is inevitable and the jury is out on the US. Will it become a dynamic industrial powerhouse again or follow Europe, as a me too, high tax socialist state?

  32. uanime5
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    What did they expect from their renewables requirements, their big plant directive, their carbon taxes and the rest? Surely they knew when they did this it would mean our energy came out a lot dearer than the US, Japan, China and the others?

    It will only make EU’s energy more expensive if US, Japan, and China also don’t take similar action. Given how high levels of pollution aren’t desirable in any country sooner or later all these countries will engage in similar legislation.

    It will also only make EU energy more expensive if the only alternatives cost more money. For example if energy generation method A produces high levels of pollution but costs as much as energy generation method B, but method B has lower levels of pollution then switching from A to B will not increase energy costs.

    Some of us had been warning them for a long time that making our energy so dear did not save the planet, it just sent the industry from us to cheaper places.

    How much industry has left Germany because of their expensive energy? How much has returned to the USA because of cheap energy? Strange how in debates about how cheap energy is good for manufacturing these figures are never mentioned.

    Apparently someone circulated at the summit a chart showing that EU energy prices are now 37% higher than the US and 20% higher than Japan.

    Could this be due to taxes that national Governments have put on the energy?

    Could this be due to the USA and Japan having cheap natural resources that lower their energy costs in a way that the EU cannot lower their costs?

    Could this be due to the lack of competition in the EU’s energy market or a failure of the private sector?

    In conclusion the price difference could have occurred for a number of reasons.

    That means we wont be making much steel, glass, ceramics and other items in furnaces and kilns in Europe.

    How much are these industries even worth? Do they employee a lot of people or will they increase GDP by a significant amount?

    Given that the UK no longer makes textiles because we can’t compete with the low labour costs from countries such as China perhaps we should invest in low energy industries rather than high energy ones.

    Nor is it easy for any automated factory, given the high energy costs modern equipment impose.

    Perhaps we should use the type of factories used in Germany to make cars. They don’t seem to have been shut down due to high energy prices.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      In other news the Government is trying to replace legal aid with a flat fee regardless of whether the person pleads guilty or whether there is a trial. Expect a long line of expensive appeals and compensation claims if the Government tries to sell justice to the lowest bidder.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-legal-aid-cuts-are-just-the-beginning-of-a-move-towards-a-fully-privatised-criminal-justice-system-8629433.html

    • Mark
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

      Just for example, BMW has operations in 25 countries, 24 of which are not Germany. They have established plants in China, South Africa and the USA, and are expanding outside the EU because EU markets are moribund.

    • stred
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Ford in Dagenham have decided to move to Turkey, despite the fact that the factory has 3 wind turbines. It is the carbon tax and the fact that the UK is deliberately making energy expensive by pricing up non carbon and taxing carbon. Two of the designers of this scheme have resigned to go elsewhere. This could no possibly have anything to do with the fact that the industry is about to put in tenders to put it into operation.

  33. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    And of course the Winter Fuel allowance to keep granny tolerably warm costs taxpayers more than it needs to. Lower energy prices would lower the allowance needed.

    The reality is that the only counter available to Europe is to slap import duties on the manufactures of countries using dirty energy. It wouldn’t work. Europe is in a minority and the result would be that the BRICS countries would seize control of the WTO.

    Try something different. Control world population growth to zero and let countries make their own energy decisions. As they get richer, they will value clean energy more.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      BRICS are 5 countries, the EU is composed of 27 countries. So how will BRICS seize control of the WTO when they are in a minority?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 26, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Given the WTO has 159 members and 25 observer governments and votes are on a democratic majority basis Uni, the U doesn’t have the power you claim.

  34. Mark
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    The UK “really only had six hours’ worth of gas left in storage as a buffer”, Rob Hastings, director of energy and infrastructure at the Crown Estate told the Financial Times.

    Are we doing anything about it?

    Get cracking, get fracking.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Is anybody slowing down fracking R&D in the UK? I do hope that government isn’t.

  35. Mark
    Posted May 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    A sanitised look at smart meter hacking:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22608085

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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