Owen Paterson’s global warming speech

I read Owen’s speech and attended the dinner to discuss how we should carry work forward on new measures to give us cheaper energy in the UK.

He made some important points in his remarks. He did not doubt the science of greenhouse gases, but did ask why climate models have failed to predict recent temperature trends. He did not even propose that governments should ignore the impact of energy production on the environment. Instead he illustrated how EU/UK policy is neither delivering cheap energy nor getting carbon dioxide emissions down in the way the dash for gas in the USA is doing.

I am glad he has now decided to speak out. Some criticise him for not doing so when in government, and for voting for numerous EU measures which this coalition has been required to put through under the current terms of our membership of the EU. I do not share this view. I think we Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics do need representation in the cabinet and have to accept that to stay in a cabinet of a member state of the EU you do have to make compromises whilst arguing against the worse abuses of public policy as you see them.

I know from private conversations with Owen when he was a Minister that it was always difficult for him because he fought battles from within that needed fighting. The story of Owen’s tenure of the Environment office is the story of EU domination of parts of our government and the need for change in that relationship. We cannot now have a European Commissioner who is a long standing public Eurosceptic, and it is difficult to have an Energy or Environment Secretary who disagrees with the fundamentals of EU belief and policy in these important areas. That is why we either need a new relationship or need to leave the EU.

When the history of the EU comes to be written, after it has broken up, I suspect the disastrous energy policy will rank second after the economic and social damage wrought by the ERM/Euro to the jobs and living standards of western Europe. I stressed at the dinner my consistent belief that we need to have a policy based on competition and the drive for cheaper energy. The current policy is stripping much industry out of the EU, as aluminium, steel., ceramics, glass and other heavy energy using industries go elsewhere. It is also a cruel policy for people on low incomes, who have to spend a disproportionate part of their money on keeping warm and fuelling domestic appliances.
When the UK joined the EEC against the wishes of some of us we were told that it was about creating greater prosperity for all. It turns out to be a wealth and income destruction machine for many, especially for  those who have signed up to the Euro, and bad news for the many who now have to face such high energy bills.


  1. Lifelogic
    October 20, 2014

    Indeed even if you accept the CO2 warming (which is clearly an exaggeration) the duff solutions of electric cars, wind, bio fuels clearly will not work even to reduce C02 in any meaningful way.

    We are just destroying industry and growth and exporting them and the co2 to more sensible countries. A breakthrough in Nuclear is what is needed long terms.

    I am all in favour of sensible R&D but rolling out lunacy all over the places, with huge government/tax payer grants and a distorted market is bonkers. The BIO fuel at DRAX is perhaps the more mad of all.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 20, 2014

      He should also clearly question the models as they are quite clearly wrong. This as they clearly cannot predict the weather in 100 year time it is an impossible task. They do not even have most of the input data such as volcanoes, meteor impacts, the suns output, genetic changes in flora genetics, human population, nuclear/fusion developments, geo engineering, the complexity of the many feedback mechanisms …….. and the models clearly did not even predict the recent levelling off for 16 years anyway.

      Above all they should question the funding mechanisms which give us such a huge green religion bias at the BBC, Universities, Research organisations …… Then having convinced the public (who are largely totally ignorant of the science) of the looming “catastrophe” all the political parties have to join in the religion. Like Cameron with his idiotic toy windmill in windless Notting Hill. It all ends up as a moronic group think religion fake science.

      We should abolish the mad climate change act and all the daft green grants. Use cheap fossil fuels as available and put much of the vast money saved into R&D for better Nuclear and other clean generation methods, When they actually work (& work economically) roll them out – but not before. The rest of the money saved could be used to sort real problems we have with us now – such as providing clean water, malaria, basic heath care, infectious diseases…… problems where we have real available solutions and can do much good.

      The weather next month depends on the weather this month and so on. If you cannot predict it this month (any they cannot) then how can you do so in 100 years time without even knowing many of the unknowable inputs?

      Weather is a largely chaotic system and we cannot reliably even know the suns output for the next 100 years anyway. The past is not always a reliable guide to the future.

      Worth reading “sustainable energy without the hot air” a free book that that explains well the numbers and problems of the “green” largely “non solutions”.

      A break through in new nuclear is the solution long term if we need one or geo engineering.


    2. Lifelogic
      October 20, 2014

      Why on earth would anyone appoint Ed Davey (a PPE graduate) infected by the green religion to be Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change or indeed to anything – Put someone sensible and numerate in like Peter Lilley now.

      1. cosmic
        October 20, 2014

        Because Davey is an enthusiastic supporter of the government’s and the opposition’s energy policy, as was Huhne.

        I can’t see any point in putting a minister in charge who’s fundamentally opposed to the policy. The correct approach is to change the policy for a more realistic one and put an able minister in charge who’s enthusiastic about the new policy.

        1. Gary
          October 20, 2014

          insolvent govt, insolvent banks, what’s the problem with carbon taxes and carbon derivatives trading ?

          follow the money

  2. Alan
    October 20, 2014

    At the moment it seems to be the UK which is breaking up, rather than the EU.

    The only “break up” of the EU that looks likely is the UK leaving, and that seems likely to strengthen the EU rather than weaken it.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 20, 2014

      At some point disaffection with your own country starts to shade into disloyalty, and then beyond that into outright treachery even if not technically treason.

    2. Vera
      October 21, 2014

      Nonsense. If we remain in the EU, we are finished as a nation, as is their intention. If we remain in we will be forced to join the Euro, that mickey mouse currency which is causing so many problems for those countries in it. There are no up-sides to remaining in, except perhaps for those who have their eye on a career in Brussels, usually politicians who have failed elsewhere. If we manage to leave the EU, and they will do everything to keep us in, it is very likely the EU will collapse. They will be short of our contribution and will need to get it elsewhere. Meanwhile they have 7 countries lining up to join, Turkey, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia – are any of them likely to be contributors? Turkey has a population of over 90 million, most of whom are Muslim. Is being in the EU still looking an attractive proposition?

  3. Bryan
    October 20, 2014

    The sad thing, perhaps disgrace, is that Mr Cameron bowed to pressure from somewhere and fired Mr Paterson.

  4. alan jutson
    October 20, 2014

    If our Government energy policy was thinking differently and at odds with the rest of the EU, I fail to see why we could not have a representative who had like thoughts, spoke out, argued the case, and voted against such.

    The truth is John, our own Government was on side with all of this very expensive Green Nonsense, went along with it all, and is perhaps only now just starting to wake up to the real cost.

    I am all for collective responsibility, but at least our representatives and Government should argue the case honestly.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 20, 2014

      Because the EU Commissioners are expected to serve the EU not their respective home countries, and have to take an oath to that effect, and the UK government agreed that the EU Parliament should be granted the power to vet the proposed Commissioners and MEPs can potentially exercise a veto over the appointment of any one of the candidates on any grounds they choose.

      I’m quite sure that Cameron has been advised that if he suggests the wrong kind of person to become a Commissioner then that person may not be appointed:

      a) The governments of other member states could object, and that person could be blocked by qualified majority voting; if he got over that hurdle then

      b) The President-designate, now Juncker, could object and refuse to have that person as a member of the Commission; and if he got over that second hurdle then

      c) MEPs could object, and make it clear that they would veto the whole Commission if it included that person.

      Obstacle a) having been there from the start with the 1957 Treaty of Rome to set up the EEC, but with each member state having a veto on the appointments to the Commission until the Nice Treaty changed it to qualified majority voting; while obstacle b) had come in previously with the Amsterdam Treaty; while obstacle c) was introduced by the “Game set and match for Britain” Maastricht Treaty which Cameron’s Tory predecessor Major agreed and got approved by Parliament with the support of almost all the Tory MPs at the time, apart from a small number of rebels who had to be dealt with by making the vote in the Commons a confidence vote, essentially threatening them with an immediate general election.

    2. Vera
      October 21, 2014

      Alan, this is because Cameron is pro-EU. He wants to remain in and follows their instructions. Which is why he is losing Tory voters fast. Everything he has done and said about a referendum is only in response to the UKIP threat and he has no intention of actually allowing the UK to leave the EU. He said on Spanish radio that even if the referendum results in a vote to leave, he will still do all he can to keep us in – this is not democracy!

  5. Ian wragg
    October 20, 2014

    Your final paragraph sums it up nicely but still your boss goes ahead bankrupting the country with nonsense windmills and solar panels. I do hope indeed when history is written the clowns responsible will be punished.
    Now we have lost Didcot B after scrapping A station. Rank vandalism. But what can we expect when we are ruled by idiots.

  6. Gary
    October 20, 2014

    there are two things that don’t make sense in your argument.

    1. much of this so-called climate science originated in this country

    2. EU countries burn coal, it is we who don’t.

    1. stred
      October 20, 2014

      JR does refer to EU/UK policy and Mr Paterson thinks the UK targets should be repealed. The UK’s Green ‘experts’, ministers and industry are as fanatical as German Greens. It takes 7 pages of Google before finding much contrary information about the huge success of the Drax operation. All the contractors bull and media claims are repeated over and over in a well managed Google grabbing operation. Meanwhile, the Germans are busy doing the opposite, and did someone tell us they had bough the valuable bits from Didcot A at scrap value.

    2. cosmic
      October 20, 2014

      Much of the CAGW scare did arise in the UK.

      A lot of UK politicians thought they were going to lead the world by showing a moral example and it was going to lead to a new kind of economy with green jobs and a fortune being made in carbon trading.

      Now they’ve got to admit they were wrong. There doesn’t appear to be much of a problem, and in any case, the rest of the world doesn’t care and certainly isn’t following our example. Support for the idea is dropping away fast and we are some of the few suckers left flogging a dead horse, much to our detriment.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 20, 2014

        Thatcher kicked it off at the time she was battling with the coal miners.

  7. Richard1
    October 20, 2014

    A common sense energy policy is low hanging political fruit as the costs of the EU-Miliband mandated green crap begin to take a real toll, and as it becomes clearer to people that the climate models on which these policies are based have not made accurate – or even close to accurate – forecasts of the climate.

    1. stred
      October 20, 2014

      DECC had a lovely picture of Mr Milliband smiling proudly on the cover of the biofuel PR publication when he had approved it as minister and they were hailing the triumph. It has recently been taken down. Someone should dig out a paper copy and bring it out at election time with information about the cost per kWh then and the newly agreed inflation linked figure.

      1. Vera
        October 21, 2014

        Stred, yes a gift for UKIP.

  8. APL
    October 20, 2014

    “but did ask why climate models have failed to predict recent temperature trends.”

    Because AGW fixates on the earth’s atmosphere and ignores the primary driver of atmospheric conditions, the Sun.

    JR: “The story of Owen’s tenure of the Environment office is the story of EU domination of parts of our government and the need for change in that relationship.”

    Good to hear it admitted at last, the European Union may not sell well on the doorstep, but that is largely because it acts through UK agencies, thus it has plausible deny-ability.

    How about a first step, Identifying the Climate Change act as a destroyer of jobs in the UK, identifying the man who steered it through Parliament, and interrogating him as to why he did that when the CCAs requirements are far in excess of anything mandated by the European Union.

    Why don’t the Tories make some political capital?

    Perhaps it’s because it’s too cosy a cartel and they wouldn’t like to do anything to upset the ‘turn and turn about’ on the government benches?

  9. Jeremy Shiers
    October 20, 2014

    What is the science of greenhouse gases?

    Climate scientists obsess about infrared radiation but ignore convection.

    Perhaps this is why their models don’t work.

    And clouds, and the sun

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    October 20, 2014

    JR: “I think we Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics do need representation in the cabinet and have to accept that to stay in a cabinet of a member state of the EU you do have to make compromises”
    That sounds just like the same argument about membership of the EU regularly put forward by EUphiles. Unfortunately, the outcome of this representation in Westminster is that such cabinet ministers are overruled and forced to go along with policies with which they disagree. They achieve very little, if anything at all, concerning the EU or ‘climate change’ policy. They are effectively neutered and silenced by the Prime Minister whilst allowing him to pretend that their presence illustrates a degree of Euroscepticism.

    1. Sebastian Weetabix
      October 21, 2014

      Indeed. I don’t recall Mrs Thatcher compromising all that much.

  11. oldtimer
    October 20, 2014

    It was a significant speech from a former minister but the Green Blob, as he describes it, will do its best to ignore and suppress what he said. The Green Blob is deeply embedded in the Establsihment which runs the UK, overseen by the EU. It is butressed by powerful legislation in the form of the Climate Change Act and the Energy Act. It is backed by at least ten tears of taxpayer funded brainwashing of every one from school children to OAPs. It is reinforced daily by the BBC. And as far as I can tell, Mr Cameron is a fully paid up member of the Green Blob. Nothing much will change any time soon, short of a political earthquake.

  12. agricola
    October 20, 2014

    Owen Patterson’s experience in Government is only a symptom of the great malaise, the slow acting ebola of politics in the UK. The electorate have noticed it, so over many years their participation in elections has declined. Those that vote know that MPs have little power to change anything.

    Democracy in the UK has had a vasectomy. Parliament no longer governs. The whole process has been sub-contracted to various unelected and unaccountable bodies such as the EU., the Civil Service, 1000 plus quangoes, the ECHR via a compliant judiciary, big business interests via the CBI, and their channel of propaganda the BBC. Even ministers have been tied off from the process of governing. Witness Owen Patterson’s invidious position as being responsible for the environment while the Environment Agency had an agenda to return our landscape to that of the Middle Ages.

    This is why a discerning electorate see little difference between Cameron, Clegg, and Milliband. They know that any detectable differences are only there for electoral purposes and cannot be fulfilled because of all the unaccountable unelected bodies above, who have their own agenda.

    Do not show surprise that UKIP offer the solution that appeals to our disenfranchised electorate. You and your colleagues say that the Conservatives are the only ones offering a referendum on membership of the EU, you are not. The Conservatives are offering an alphabet soup of tweaks and changes to stay in, the detail of which will only emerge in 2017 and which it will be impossible to make a judgement about. UKIP on the other hand offer a referendum on what the EU is now. You say this is a false offer because they will never achieve power in 2015. You and your 100 colleagues may be very happy to have them in coalition to give us an open honest referendum of in or out.

    This is why in 2015 I will vote Conservative for one of those 100 colleagues currently in Parliament and hope that UKIP give the other placemen of all parties an absolute drubbing.

    1. David Price
      October 21, 2014

      UKIP has not offered any democratic solutions to the EU or the matter of an English Parliament, quite the opposite. All they do is mouth whatever platitudes they think will entice a vote and are in the comfortable position that they won’t have to deliver on them. They have had 20 years of experience in this practice of non-delivery as MEPs.

      Until they describe in detail how they expect to execute a democratic exit from the EU and what plans and mitigation they have for the aftermath they have no offer on exiting the EU. UKIP does not offer a solution to anything really unless they can describe in detail how they will unwind the transfer of authority and power to the civil service and quangos you describe.

      At this stage they are no different from the other three parties except they have never delivered on any policy, they have disenfranchised the electorate in the EP though.

    2. Vera
      October 21, 2014

      Why not vote UKIP? It’s very likely the Tories won’t get back into power in 2015. The electoral boundaries are against them and many of their voters have decamped to UKIP.

  13. Alan Wheatley
    October 20, 2014

    I am delighted to see a recognition that the EU WILL break up, something I have been predicting for a long time.

    What is unknown is how and when this will happen.

  14. Alan Wheatley
    October 20, 2014

    I would welcome a statement from the Government on ability of the UK to meet the emissions targets it has imposed upon itself in the light of the rapid population increase since those targets were set. With a national target, the more of us there are in the nation the bigger the impact on each one of us.

  15. Atlas
    October 20, 2014

    Do any MPs have a sufficiently strong hard-science background to form their own independent opinion of Global Warming? I thought there were two – but I may be mistaken.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 20, 2014

      Endless lawyers, green religion loons, PR people and Oxford PPE types when what we need is far more sensible people like Cambridge (and other good) engineers, medics, mathematicians and physicists.

  16. Mactheknife
    October 20, 2014

    As one who works in the energy industry and follows the “science” carefully I think much of what he said makes sense but some not.

    I wont cover the whole arguement of AGW and the nature of the alarmist nonsense but lets start with the basic fact. There is no such thing as a climate scientist – shock horror ! It is a multidisciplinary field with inputs from a wide range of sciences (although some would not be regarded as science).

    The climate is a chaotic system which is little understood, and there is absolutely no computer model which can replicate the randomly occuring interactions. Over the last 20 years we have had the opportunity to observe and measure what is happening to land, sea and tropospheric temperatures and a whole host of other “indicators”. The fundamental result is as there has been no statistically significant warming for the last 18 years – this is known as ‘the pause’. Do not believe the spin on sea ice, ocean heat or acidity etc, its basically a push back by the green blob as they recognise they and their models cannot explain the pause.

    We have of course the IPCC reports, the latest being AR5. In fairness they did roll back some of their wilder predictions, but with the likes of Greenpeace and other Green NGO’s involved it was never going to be unbiased. The problem really occurs when the report is condensed as the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) where this is done primarily by civil servants and green NGO’s. The science is then twisted and spun to meet governmental policy, rather than governmental policy reflecting the science.

    Its an utterly bizzare situation and with Ed Davey at DECC this is exactly what we are seeing from our own government. Patterson was a moderating voice but really did not speak out when in office. Thats a real shame and maybe even a little cowardly.

    The real issue is that whilst we have set ourselves silly CO2 reduction targets, Germany is planning to build 20+ new coal fired power stations. We dilly dally with inefficient wind and solar, while sat on top of millions of tonnes of coal and billions of cubic feet of shale gas which we are prevented from accessing due to government inaction and EU prevarication.

    We are perilously close to our demand outstripping supply and the lights going out. Industry is closing due to the high energy costs, whilst the US enjoys energy at a price we can only dream of.

    It would have been better for us if Patterson had spoken out sooner.

  17. Ex-expat Colin
    October 20, 2014

    “We cannot now have a European Commissioner who is a long standing public Eurosceptic, and it is difficult to have an Energy or Environment Secretary who disagrees with the fundamentals of EU belief and policy in these important areas. That is why we either need a new relationship or need to leave the EU”

    I suppose you sack/demote the dissenters, of which a business might have to think long and hard about. As opposed to a tax payer funded organisation which simply abuses its “boss”.

    Why did UK put the Climate Change Act into Law? Climate does change so what can laws do about that. The processes within climate variability are not well understood which makes a complete mockery of any law(s) related.

    Think we might need laws to stop power stations degrading/catching fire. Oh, some are already there related to safety.

    I quite like solar panels…for my shed. Still expensive though along with CFL/LED lighting. All about money isn’t it?

  18. Shieldsman
    October 20, 2014

    I too read Paterson’s GWPF lecture and Christopher Booker’s many columns on this subject, and I hope many more people will do so.
    Is Parliament fit for purpose? How did the Climate Change Act get on the statute book without due scrutiny. Only one MP – Peter Lilly did any research on the viability and cost of implementing the act,
    463 MP’s voted for the bill, the green lobbyists led them by the nose.
    Byrony Worthington must have been pleased at how successful Friends of the Earth and cohorts had been.
    When Paterson started started raising questions, the green lobby started sqawking.
    At least Bryony is open about the limitations of the Climate Change Act. “There is nothing in the act which tells you how to get to the (2050) target”.
    Is this the disclaimer now being put forward for the CCA disaster by Government?
    Ed Davey – ‘the Science is settled’, ‘Windfarms are good value for money’ – no comment
    The DECC in order to fulfil the CCA emissions target has to manipulate the Privately owned Electricity Generators into building thousands of wind turbines and new nuclear plant.
    It’s rather like PFI, you use Consumers money to guarantee a price per GWh to the plant owner.
    Funny, Davey having thrown money at the windfarm builders, is now proposing as a back-up to guarantee a unit price to fossil fuel plants. The Capacity Market.
    The old State owned CEGB, GRID and Area Boards was basically run by Engineers.
    Today’s Electrical Supply system is run by accountants and PPE’s.
    So when are you going to lead the Repeal of the Climate Change Act?

  19. dennisambler
    October 20, 2014

    “He did not doubt the science of greenhouse gases, but did ask why climate models have failed to predict recent temperature trends.”

    They failed because the “science” of greenhouse gases is laboratory based and extrapolated to the atmosphere. CO2 does not “trap” heat in the atmosphere, it absorbs energy and re-radiates it in all directions, including into space. The sun warms the oceans, the oceans warm the atmosphere, the contribution of CO2 re-radiated energy is minimal. Water vapour is by far the greatest “greenhouse gas” but it cannot be successfully modelled and they have never worked out the impact of clouds.

  20. A different Simon
    October 20, 2014

    Surely the greater tragedy is that Mr Fallon was removed for energy .

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    October 20, 2014

    Why have you chosen not to publish my earlier contribution?

  22. Peter Stroud
    October 20, 2014

    Owen Paterson took exactly the right line. He played the warmists at their own game by accepting the need to reduce CO2 emissions (still no really convincing empirical evidence to support the dogma) then showing how it might be sensibly achieved. I hope in future he will help the fight to leave the EU. Cameron might regret the day he sent Paterson to the back benches.

  23. fedupsouthener
    October 20, 2014

    Well, living in Scotland where most of us are now surrounded by useless wind farms this issue is very important to me. JR, you must keep up the pressure on the government together with other ministers such as Chris Heaton Harris to get something changed. Only today I have learned of another wind farm for East Ayrshire consisting of 27 gigantic turbines and in an area which is saturated already with wind turbines. The view from the M77 from Kilmarnock to Glasgow is truly horrific and many other areas including scenic areas in S Ayrshire are becoming blighted too. Many people in homes nearby are either being brought out (if you are lucky enough to have a large developer) or are abandoning their homes. This situation just cannot be justified. I, with a friend started up the first national anti wind farm group in Scotland and we held a conference where Sir Iain Macleod, a recognised Scottish Engineer, spoke and said what a bad policy the current government is following was. He highlighted all the costs and risks to the economy of the UK together with the risks of serious power shortages. He has spoken first hand in Holyrood about this but to date nobody is listening to him and others such as Sir Donald Millar, ex director of the Scottish Grid. We really have to get something changed before we lose any more industry and more ordinary hard working people get stuck in the fuel debt/poverty situation. Owen Paterson is a hero in my book together with people like yourself who can see the folly in our energy policy. We would be better off with UKIP in a coalition rather than having to put up with the likes of Ed Davey and Clegg.

  24. A different Simon
    October 20, 2014

    Mr Redwood ,

    Please could you obtain assurances from the PM and Mr Davey that any reductions in wholesale and ultimately retail prices will be passed on to the consumer and not offset by an increase in green taxes ?

  25. Margaret Brandreth-J
    October 20, 2014

    We need to keep green and pursue a Pascal like wager stating that if we do not address the issue we may spoil the planet and ultimately we would be as dead as the dinosaurs.If we do thus preventing a rapid warming, and by that action do not witness the displeasure of flooding , warming ,consequently reducing salinity and freezing ,then we will never actually know what the impact would have been like.

    What we need to do is self invest in green.

    1. Vera
      October 21, 2014

      Greens will not be happy until they have taken us back to the Middle Ages. The world was warming and cooling long before the Industrial Revolution and will continue to do so, it is in it’s nature. The whole Global Warming thing is a complete scam and any intelligent person realises this.

  26. Lindsay McDougall
    October 20, 2014

    Following on from this, now that Lord Hill has been accepted as EC Commissioner for regulation, has he the power to debunk the previous orthodoxy, or is he obliged to ‘go native’?

    October 20, 2014

    There are wind farms in Communist Belorus which are in accordance with international agreements. There has been city-central heating systems ( all the city’s heat generated by a central boiler ) way back in the 1970s in East European communist countries which we were told decades later were a new and revolutionary concept formulated in Holland…so economical and so Green. I read some Open University material saying the very thing minus the details about big bad communists states actually getting there first… years in advance.

    American Republican Think Tanks a few years ago developed a “revolutionary idea” in conformity with the Capitalism so often trumpeted by our American cousins of everyone paying just one rate of tax…failing to mention that the capitalist revolutions in Eastern Europe had demolished that very system of taxation..run by the communists.

    What I am saying is that Climate Change, Environmentalism, Green issues and indeed logical forms of taxation should not as seems to have happened fall into Right and Left camps.
    Karl Marx and Lenin as far as I am aware do not mention even in passing that Wind Farms had nothing to lose but their chains and that the cutting down of trees in the Amazon Rain Forest was a wicked capitalist-imperialist venture to destroy Mother Earth.
    No-one nowadays seems to understand that many rainforests are as self contained as bottle gardens and their net production of carbon dioxide and indeed oxygen is effectively zero.
    If one could travel upwards on the extremely dangerous method of transport suggested by our political leaders..a bicycle.. we would have pedalled out of breathable air after 2 to 3 miles. This has nothing to do with free enterprise, capitalist individualism nor the renegade Kautsky.

    Many in UKIP automatically adopted their party’s notion of Wind Farms and Environmental issues being unworthy and expensive preferring fracking. Well the jury is still out on Green issues..which ones apply and which do not ,and is still out on the damage to our water supplies with fracking.

    I may say of fracking that if one calculated the price of production per barrel of oil and measured-gas, then firstly many endeavours in the US were grossly uneconomic when oil stood at $100 never mind its now $20 reduction. And it will only last ten years after which there will be diminishing returns even from North Dakota.

    Politics is the art of the possible. For UKIP ..they are a one-trick pony. Their anti-environmentalism is unresearched: their alternatives uncosted: Their right wing-edness is even in phraseology at times a copycat version of American Republicanism. They fail to understand that Left and Right in the American political landscape does not exactly mean the same thing as here.

    We should formulate policies which are workable for England. Generally English people do not like massive windmills in their back gardens nor nuclear facilities nor a coal slag heap. Go figure!

  28. petermartin2001
    October 21, 2014

    James Hansen has been in charge of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies since 1981, and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University in New York City. He was one of the main figures to bring governmental and popular attention to the problem of global warming, and has been arrested several times as an activist around climate issues. He supports nuclear energy as a means to fight global warming.


  29. Mark
    October 22, 2014

    I was very pleased to see Paterson point out that the claims of climate “scientists” were not being borne out in reality, and that he discussed the atrocious economics of our present energy policy and its consequences.

    I was disappointed that of his proposed remedies only producing gas from fracking is really proven elsewhere in the world. CHP is only economic in colder climates, where the heat has a reliable market for much of the year, and small scale nuclear is commercially unproven, and with present technologies, something of a security risk. The Navy doesn’t mind too much what the cost of a reactor is in a Trident submarine, but consumers want cheaper power. The cost of making our power consumption intermittent almost certainly outweighs the savings for things like fridges.

    The message should have been that instead of subsidising large scale roll-out of expensive renewables and expensive nuclear, money should be spent on research to make our future supplies viable, and production in the shorter term concentrated on our existing fossil fuel and nuclear portfolio. The news of Lockheed’s alleged breakthrough in fusion research is perhaps one avenue for the future.

    In the mean time, the accelerated programme of closure for coal fired capacity and the rigging of the market to make CCGT unprofitable while wind and solar are heavily subsidised now leaves us with a significant risk of blackouts – or at least industrial shutdown – this winter, while the Chinese, whose per capita emissions now exceed the EU’s keep the coal fires burning to power their economy.

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