A response to the Parliamentary Early Day Motion on climate change

The UK has been one of biggest cutters of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Since 1990 UK carbon emissions are down by 43% compared to a target of 40%. The UK met its first carbon budget in 2008-12 and outperformed targets in the second budget 2013-17. All looks good for outperforming again in the current budget up to 2022. In contrast Germany was only trying to get 40% below 1990 by 2020 but is a long way off hitting that target, last seen only 27% below. German carbon output is more than twice the UK’s. China and the USA are the two largest worldwide contributors.
If we look at carbon dioxide per head the USA at 15.7 , Germany at 9.7, China at 7.7, Russia at 12.3 and the EU average at 7.0 are all well above the UK at 5.7. This is a global issue which needs global policies. The UK is active in pressing for international targets and agreements. It makes little sense for one country to cut back if others do not, and even less sense if a country like the UK cuts back on its own use of energy for production and transport, only to import items that are energy intensive from elsewhere. It is bad for UK jobs and the balance of payments if we uniquely have dear energy that prices industry out of the UK.
The UK government claims to be the greenest ever, and has put a lot of effort into technological alternatives to encourage fuel saving and substitution. The EDM does not recognise any of this. It does ask the government to make more money available for a “green deal”. I would need to know how much is being sought and how it is proposed it should be spent. I am always happy to support initiatives to promote fuel saving and would be willing to look at further good suggestions. We need to avoid initiatives that do not make overall net reductions, or destroy jobs and create fuel poverty.
As the EDM says, the good news is we all have access to technology which means we can make a difference ourselves. Ultimately it is about how we all live our own lives. I have taken action to curb draughts and heat loss at home. I try to buy locally sourced food as it makes little sense to bring in food from the continent by ferry or airfreight when we can grow it nearby. I have improved my heating controls and heat my home to lower average temperatures by flexing the temperature to my use of the rooms. I have proposed removing VAT on all green products once we are out of the EU and allowed to do so, as I want better draught excluders, insulation materials and control systems to be cheaper and more accessible.
The public is keen to see cleaner air by setting higher standards on particulates and smoke, and to pursue commonsense policies to promote better insulation, greater fuel efficiency and fewer food miles. It is also important for individuals to choose to limit family size if they care about the demands on planetary resources. The UK rightly does not favour any government controls on such matters in the way China did for many years. Governments can help create a climate where people self impose sensible limits on population growth in the interests of sustainability and limiting demands on resources, and can control migration levels.

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  1. Nigl
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Yes. I see they now include a silly virtue signalling actress. Let them protest in China where it is really needed and see how far they get. How much of our bloated foreign aid budget is spent on providing solar energy to the poorer nations or replanting forests when they have been decimated by logging?

    • William1995
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      These people would not dare protest in China. Their self-indulgent comparison to the suffragettes is laughable. The Tiananmen Square protestors and famous Tank Man photograph are more deserving of such accolades – they protested real oppression, much like the suffragettes and perhaps even more so.

      Suffragette comparisons should go to those doing things like campaigning for women’s rights in Middle Eastern Islamic Countries and communities, for freedom in socialist states such as Venezuela, and for and end to state corruption in the African continent. Not to a group of Marxists gluing themselves to working people’s property, littering the streets with plastic bottles and wasting police time.

      • Julie Dyson
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Absolutely spot on, William. It’s the sheer hypocrisy of these people that grates with me, as pointed out by such as order-order.com over the past week or so. And as for the actress flying a few thousand miles to join the protest for a greener planet… well, words fail me.

        I agree with our host the UK has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in this regard. On top of official initiatives, many of us do our best in our own small way, but as always the nation’s poorest suffer the most in terms of fuel poverty. A clean Brexit and the freedom to remove VAT on domestic fuel (currently set by EU rules) would be a definite step in the right direction.

        • bigneil
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          I’ve always thought that electricity used during the “Economy 7 ” hours should NOT be subject to VAT – NOR a charge by the companies to be on it. This would entice people to move electricity usage to night time and help to equalise the day/night demand from the power stations (the difference being something which the power companies themselves have complained about ). Of course it hasn’t happened – all down to grabbing as much money as possible. Wait until a few million electric cars are plugged into the grid at any one time during the day.

        • Fuddy Duddy
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          If that actress decided not to fly would that have stopped that plane from flying?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps not on this occasion, but the number of aircraft that fly clearly responds to overall demand and she is part of that demand. At some point you need another plane to fly. So that argument does not really wash. Any passenger might have been the tipping passenger that causes the airlines to decide to run another aircraft, especially first class passengers who pay so much more.

          • NickC
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Fuddy Duddy, The plane is only scheduled because there is a demand. Stop the demand and that stops the flying.

          • libertarian
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Fuddy Duddy

            If ALL the people who claim they care about AGW actually didn’t fly , drive cars, breath out etc then there would indeed be less planes, cars, people. I would have thought that was pretty obvious, but then hypocrisy seems to not dawn on most virtue signallers

          • Julie Dyson
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            “If that actress decided not to fly would that have stopped that plane from flying?”

            So if the entire plane had been full of people coming to join the protest, would that have made it more or less hypocritical?

          • Fuddy Duddy
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            Many planes ‘cos of the demand – yes of course – that’s why population decrease is the only answer! Then flying et al will not be a problem – so simple.

      • Hope
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        JR, I suppose Hammond could help by banning cars or fining VW and other German car manufacturers involved in vehicle emission scandal instead of punishing U.K. Consumers.

        Good article by James Delingpole in Nreitbart.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          I wonder if Hammond has considered taxing the very air we breathe?

          He has taxed so many things so much, he must be running out of ideas. But where on earth will he find all the money to give to the EU if he doesn’t come up with ever more inventive ways to tax us and bolster the coffers?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            That is the plan with the carbon tax (in effect a tax on energy and this every single thing anyone does).

      • rose
        Posted April 22, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Suffragettes held up the suffrage for women because of their alienating antics. It was Lloyd George’s back bench Conservative coalition partners who finally passed the measure, fearing the men returning from the war would vote communist. Women over thirty with property would balance them by voting Conservative. (The Liberals didn’t like the Suffragettes, not just because of their bad behaviour but because they were mostly Conservative too.)

    • eeyore
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Always easy and pleasant to tell others what to do. Never so nice to have to do it yourself.

      Regardless of the merits of climate change science, campaigning about it seems to attract an especially bossy and priggish type. I think they were badly brought up.

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink


        “Always easy and pleasant to tell others what to do. Never so nice to have to do it yourself.”

        Very true sentiment eeyore.

        However, I believe it more appropriate if directed at government rather than the people.

        China and India with their combined population of about 2 billion are the ones polluting the planet, not the UK and it’s mere 60 million.

        It’s all a con trick anyway, designed to get more money out of us, and water down consumables.

        Climate alarmists…….best friends of consumerism and the nanny state. They should start with the real culprits by going to China to demonstrate.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Just how have actors become so powerful ???

      How can a man who play acts at being a doctor become infinitely more powerful than a real one ???

      I boycott any production with these hypocrites in them.

    • GilesB
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Why do we import flowers from Holland grown in gas heated greenhouses? Instead of flowers from Kenya using sunshine? And then send foreign aid to Kenya?

      Oh, well we do that to protect the non-competitive farmers in Holland inside their environmentally destructive protectionist EU bubble

    • Richard
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      31,487 American Scientists signed a petition supporting a Summary of Peer-Reviewed Research in 2008, concluding that: “Human use of coal, oil, and natural gas has not harmfully warmed the Earth, and the extrapolation of current trends shows that it will not do so in the foreseeable future. The CO2 produced does, however, accelerate the growth rates of plants and also permits plants to grow in drier regions.” http://www.petitionproject.org/review_article.php

      This may explain why “Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, an environmental group based in Berlin. Many of the plants are in China, but by capacity, roughly a fifth of these new coal power stations are in other countries. Overall, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries”

      whereas taking advantage of the higher CO2, “China has announced plans to plant new forests in 2018 that will cover at least 6.6 million hectares, an area roughly the size of Ireland.”

  2. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    One idea would be to reduce the price of insulation and solar panels by eliminating VAT on them. Oh, but we can’t do that can we because the EU won’t allow it.

    • David Price
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      The bigger impact was from EU trade controls with a 65% duty imposed on imported Chinese panels to protect German manufacturers. These apparently ended late last year though removal of VAT on panels and any energy reduction/replacement product and service would be welcome

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      I thought there was a reduced rate of 5% for energy saving improvements?

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        5% WOW !!……worth getting out of bed for, eh.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Well 5% is better than 20% and there is 0% on new build houses.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Why blame the EU for a decision which was actually voted for by national governments, including a Conservative government in the UK?

      The UK Conservative government could have vetoed the decision. They chose not to knowing the implications.

      • NickC
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Peter Parsons, But the EU is responsible. Your totalitarian EU sets the rules of VAT, and there isn’t a darned thing you can do about it.

  3. Mark B
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The insanity continues. To think that a gas that just makes up 0.03% of our atmosphere is some how a danger and, to ignore history that proves that the Earth has had more CO2 with no catastrophic effects is truly staggering.

    The Climate Change SCAM, for that is what it is, is a means to redistribute wealth. It is a Communist like construct that is sinister in its application. It creates a false narrative that plays on the heart strings. “The Earth is dying and we are killing it !” They cry. So the only solution is to make people poorer.

    Population control will be imposed. It won’t be as brutal or as direct but, if you want more than one child that extra school place is going to cost you. And if you really want to control WORLD population growth I think one should start in Africa, where the population is said to explode.

    I am all for creating a better LOCAL environment. Better air, water and surroundings. Sadly this will not happen if we keep importing vast numbers of people who tend to have large families.

    Finally. My wish us to be rid of the Climate Change Act so that we can have a sensible energy policy and not rely on STOR when the wind isn’t blowing 😉

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Mark B
      Utterly wonderful comment!!

      • Hope
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Spain authorities banned political parties from debating mass immigration! EU dictum from UN migration pact.

        Freedom speech being oppressively stopped her by increments. Equality, hate crime blurb all thought police innovations. Sugar tax, junk food ban, Snooper charter to allow public sector bodies looking at your computer.

        • Iago
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

          Just before the Spanish general election! The eloquence and clarity of the leaders of the Spanish Vox party is or was breathtaking. Would that we had such eloquence and courage here.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      Great post Mark

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      My theory is that the ‘climate change’ cause has been created in order to give the world’s population a believable reason to spend money on developing alternative energy sources, ie other than fossil fuels. This does make sense, since all fossil fuels will eventually run out, and we need more and more energy.
      I can think of no greater reason to think this true than that of the foremost proponent of the ’cause’ is a rather dull ex-politician, with no scientific credentials, who claimed to have invented the internet.

    • J Bush
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Totally agree.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Plus 1

    • BOF
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      And add my name to that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      The best way to control the population is to improve health care, education and lift living standards of the poorest, then these people tend to choose to have fewer children. Unless that is they are part of certain religious groups who ban birth control or believe that having as many children as possible is part of their belief systems.

      If government really believed if this climate alarmism they would surely ban pet dogs cats and other animals and meat eating before trying to eliminating more people. But they do not really believe in it.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        ‘The best way to control the population is to improve health care, education and lift living standards of the poorest, then these people tend to choose to have fewer children.’

        I largely agree with that LL, but we must beware the religious edicts from elders of certain faiths who wish the Earth to be populated by people over which they have total control, and where women are little more that baby-making machines lorded over by their husbands with little or no rights of their own.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink


      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        I think beef is an interesting case. USA has efficient farming practices (growth implants, antibiotics etc) and so slaughter at about half the age of that in S.America, so allowing smaller inventory (i.e. fewer cows). S.America is expanding beef and although age of slaughter is reducing it is still much above USA. Given the natural cost advantage in S.America compared with much of USA (less if any winter feed) then expansion of the industry is probably going to occur in the less efficient countries. Unfortunately the efficient practices of the USA are frowned upon by other parts of the world (to which inefficient EU practices have contributed). Meat is going to be demanded in vast populations as countries develop and more people escape poverty. I think the eco-worriers should push for efficient farming practices.

        In the case of cereal crops there is some indication that as CO2 levels increase yields will increase. The effect of CO2 more than offsetting wetter winters and drier summers as predicted in many areas.

      • Mark
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        If they really believed in climate alarmism there would be a massive programme of building of nuclear power stations – at least 20 Hinkley Points just to supply current electricity demand. Make it 80 to decarbonise the economy.

        • Fuddy Duddy
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Of course you wouldn’t need so many power stations and a lot of other things if the population was much , much smaller. And pollution wouldn’t be a headache either. Needs long term real thinking by MPs so forget about it.

          • NickC
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            Fuddy Duddy, So you’re in favour of cutting immigration to zero?

        • Julian Flood
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Not Hinkley style EPRs. RR has the know how to build Small Modular Reactors which can be largely built in factories and shipped to the site by barge, railway or even road for final assembly.

          That gives us at least a hundred years of carbon free energy.

          It doesn’t meet with EU approval because the Germans would rather rely on cheap Russian gas. I wonder how that will turn out. (my predictive text suggested ‘off’ instead of ‘out’ which is uncannily correct.


    • mark leigh
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Yup – nailed it.

    • Mark Millward
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Yup, spot on!

    • Steve
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      “The Earth is dying and we are killing it !” They cry. So the only solution is to make people poorer. ”

      I’ve a better idea:

      Force the manufacturing sector to build things to last.

      Make ripping the public off a criminal offence punishable by harsh custodial sentences.

      Force the car industry to properly rustproof cars.

      Ban planned obsolescence.

      Define by law that ‘lifetime guarantees’ shall mean the average human lifespan.

      Ban consumerism i.e. throw away culture, which will reduce plastic pollution and cost to local authorities.

      Oh but wait…..we can’t have big business obscene profits even minutely reduced, oh no we mustn’t upset them.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink


        Sorry but this is the kind of idiot thinking that we always see. Do you really lack a basic understanding of how things work? Force people to do things? How do you do that? If they did build unreplacable cars how much do you think it would cost you to buy one? Why would you want to drive a car built with 1940’s technology in 2019?

        • Steve
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink


          No I do not lack understanding of how things work, you obviously do.

          You also appear ignorant of how the car industry operates, or, you deem it acceptable to be ripped off.

          I can assure you the cost to manufacturers of properly rust proofing cars is sustainable. Stainless underbody fasteners and wax impregnation of sills would be a good start.

          “Why would you want to drive a car built with 1940’s technology in 2019?”

          Cos it’s nice to do so, and I could keep it going for the rest of my life. It’d also be tax exempt.

          “Force people to do things? How do you do that?”

          By force.

          It may have escaped your attention but your government and it’s EU bosses have been doing this to you for years.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Having worked in manufacturing engineering for decades you need to realise that mechanical things dont last for ever.
            Nothing mechanical or electrical will last a human lifetime with regular or near constant use.
            Engines expire, motors wear out, bearings seize,, springs crack,, steel will rust eventually, aluminium weakens over time, castings crack, rubber seals perish.etc
            We have come a long way in levels of quality, longevity, reliability, passenger safety and crash protection since 1940.
            None of those old vehicles you would force me to use would meet today’s emmission rules and would be illegal to put on any world market.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Mark B – 100% agree, but the African population explosion won’t be staying in Africa. Remember the EU wants freedom of Movement, for anyone who even CLAIMS to be European. The Barcelona Agreement says anyone from North Africa and the Middle east can just walk in and use/get everything worked for/built/ paid taxes towards by us – – and TM has signed the UN Migration pact so ANYONE can walk in. There will be only ONE outcome. Those already here have clearly shown their intentions, yet are STILL let in, knowing they’ll probably NEVER be deported, no matter what horrendous crime they commit. UK – the planet’s NEXT 3rd World country.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink


        “. The Barcelona Agreement says anyone from North Africa and the Middle east can just walk in and use/get everything worked for/built/ paid taxes towards by us – ”

        Where does it say that? And why are all these African would be immigrants in Calais not allowed in?

        • NickC
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, It doesn’t say that. It’s just the effect it has.

          The UN states that refugees should stay in the first safe country they get to. That is not the UK for Africans.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


            ” That is not the UK for Africans.”

            And that is why they are stuck in Calais. So how does that tally with your claim that Africans can just walk into this country and claim benefits etc?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      It is a Trojan horse for communism.

      I don’t disagree that the environment is a worry but as our host says…

    • PeterM
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      And to think that a gas making about 1% of the volume of the atmosphere is responsible for whole hydrological cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, ice caps and glaciers, and most of the weather)? How such a “trace” gas can have such an effect? BTW, that’s water vapour, H2O.

      • PeterM
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        So how comes that CO2 with a 0.04% concentration per volume (400 ppmv) has that much impact. Well that is not a volume effect but a radiative effect. A relatively similar story to that of the CFCs (freons) with voluminous concentration in ppbv (parts per billion) and despite such tiny quantities they were destroying the ozone layer through photochemical effects.
        Oh yes, Mark B, a little bit more complex than what you might think.

        • Addanc Monster
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          You could also try looking at the temperature proxy provided by the Greenland ice core; this suggests that the temperature has been relatively stable for the last 10,000 years of this inter-glacial period; there is also hint that the CO2 levels lag temperature; I believe this is also backed-up by sediment studies.

          For gradual climate change look-up Milankovitch cycles; blips in the climate record try volcanism and extraterrestrial impact (e.g. start of the Younger Dryas).

          In summary catastrophic man made global warning is a load of bs.

        • Jagman84
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          The rise in CO2 levels lag behind the rise in temperature. That’s why the CO2 levels continue to increase, despite temperature levels having plateaued for a considerable time. However, as other contributors have correctly stated, it’s really about redistribution of wealth. Extensively from the poor to the extremely rich. A status that many politicians are eager to attain.

    • Ian Pennell
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      @ Mark B.

      Entirely agree with those sentiments. If you Google “Adapt 2030” or look at the “Ice Age now” website you will find plenty of indications that, rather than warming up due to rising CO2 levels in the next twenty years the Earth will cool off slightly despite CO2 levels increasing the greenhouse effect (not as much as hyped by some). This is because the Sun will enter a “Maunder Minimum” type cool and quiet spell last observed during the Little Ice Age when the Sun’s output dropped by 0.5%.

      Of course, we should all be concerned about the environment and pollution but the truth is Conservative MPs like our esteemed host here should be identifying these climatic realities to tear apart those who would wish to tax and regulate the energy industry. Green subsidies are paid by businesses and households and they tend to push the economy in a Stagflationary direction!

      By all means there should be big fines for major PLCs that pollute the countryside- but some of the revenues raised could be used to reduce other taxes so that responsible companies are not penalised.

      • NickC
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Ian Pennell, Very well said.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we need JR Mogg I cannot see him introducing population control!

    • Edwardm
      Posted April 24, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Agree entirely.
      The climate change lobby uses contrived modelling to give what ever forecasts it desires. It is largely a falsehood. Sensitivity to CO2 is very low.
      Climate naturally changes (causes are not known) and we’ve had more ice ages on the last few million years than warm periods. Some of the warm periods were warmer than at present and even since the end of the last ice age temperature has varied and we’ve had centuries that are warmer or cooler than the present. None of it man-made.
      Those in government are now making bad energy policy decisions.
      Wind power is variable, so we have to build back-up available on-demand – so we are paying for two lots of infrastructure, and (apart from pumped storage) quick power-up electricity generation is less efficient than running continuous plant.
      We should be building British designed nuclear power stations (like we used to) and have kept the old coal power stations running until replacements were built.
      We also are putting in another interconnector from France to import electricity – why not generate it in the UK ?

  4. Stred
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    The ignorance of the protesters who tell others how to think is beyond belief. They think that extinction will occur soon when CO2 concentration has been over 1000ppm in the past and ice ages occur regularly with ice sheets a mile thick. They say that sea level is rising fast when it has been rising for a yhousand years and is now at 3mm pa. There is far more danger of war because of overpopulation than from water shortages or temperatures. The extra CO2 is causing greater food production. The problem is that we will not have enough gas to power the electricity generation when renewables are unavailable for 65% of the time and that fossil fuel will become too expensive before we have enough nuclear for heating, transport and electricity.
    And, bye the way, the 5% renewable electricity from burning American trees is only counted because thr EU says do. It isn’t.

  5. Ian wragg
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Anyone demonstrating who is on benefits should have them stopped immediately.

    • jerry
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Why, or did you mean just JSA type benefits?!

      Even then as long as they can prove they have been actively seeking work…

    • Al
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Given the rather impressive actual income level that many of these protestors seem to be on, a more effective method of dealing with them may be for the police to take names and details.

      Then the government could launch a class action suit (as they would all be considered accomplices) on behalf of those inconvenienced, injured, or who lost income due to the protest, and distribute the resulting damages to those people on lower incomes who work or commute through the areas affected. There may not be enough to cover all the losses, but it would be nice to see some consequences for the protestors for once.

      • jerry
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        @AI; Interesting concept, bankrupt the protesters so that they, or at least their dependants, become even more of a financial burden upon the rest of the tax paying public!

        Perhaps a better way to combat this sort of protest is to make the MSM (especial the BBC, Ch4 and Sky News) call them out for what they really are, pure and simple anarchists who are simply using environmental concerns for their own political ends. If their wish really was to reduce CO2 & NOx emissions why then target the all electric London Underground system (that could easily become carbon neutral).

  6. Everhopeful
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    So govt is distressed about pollution?
    Then make a start by banning fireworks!! Completely.
    They are highly polluting,dangerous,distressing and harmful to wildlife.
    Govt. has ignored huge anti-firework petitions.
    Are some pollutions more equal than others??

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      And BBQs.
      And idling engines…just sitting there at the roadside making a racket and pumping out goodness knows what straight into my house.

      • jerry
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        CO2 = plant food…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          A harmless odourless gas breathed out by people and animals that is essential to life and is tree and plant food that is greening the planet.

          That is why they call it ‘Carbon’ Pollution rather than CO2 pollution as Carbon is black and dirty.

          • jerry
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

            @LL; Indeed, funny how none of these Climate experts ever comments about why the grass and hedgerows are always so much greener next to busy roads, all other factors being equal…

        • Everhopeful
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Totally understand. CO2 most vital.
          My point being.
          Govt obviously only taking orders from EU re “climate change”.
          Never legislates against things that actually annoy and make lives worse.

          • jerry
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            @Everhopeful; You have that the wrong way around.

            It was the Conservative govt under Thatcher who started this “Climate change” nonsense, as an excuse to close down coal fired power stations or convert them to burn natural gas/oil, no doubt to remove the risk that befell Heath in 1974.

            Indeed, a classic example of unintended consequence when policy is made on the hoof or out of spite!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            I think Thatcher actually fell for climate alarmism and believed it. She was misled.

          • jerry
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            @LL; You mean a bit like how Angela Merkel has been ‘misled’ about nuclear energy?! Hard to believe when both came from scientific backgrounds.

        • A.Sedgwick
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

          2000 diesel good, 2015 diesel bad.

          2008 CO2 bad, 2030 CO2 good?

          • Mark
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            2015 diesels are much better than 2000 ones, despite the difference between lab tests and real world operation. The standards being imposed now are not designed with real health issues in mind, but with the intention of banning our use of practical vehicles. Indeed, aside from some city locations where pollution has been aggravated by traffic jam causing measures, there is very little health risk posed by vehicle NOx emissions.

            The NAEI shows car NOx emissions grew from 374 kt in 1970 to a peak of 853 kt in 1990 (which therefore should have been associated with lots of deaths if we believe the nonsense from the “scientific” studies). It was back to the 1970 level in 2001, and in 2016 (latest data) was down to 146 kt – the lowest in the history back to 1970, and a reduction of 83% from the peak. Yet we are now suddenly being told this is a problem?

          • Mark
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            I should add that the overall NOx figures show a peak of 3,246kt in 1973, with reductions below 3,000kt since 1990 mainly on the back of power station switching from coal to gas, down to 893kt in 2016, so cars are responsible for just 16% of the total, which is down 72.5% from the peak.

          • Stred
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

            And yet the mayor of London and Kings College talk about a public health crisis. There must be some other agenda. The lowering of pollution limits comes from the UN. It is pollution from stoves inside houses without flues that is causing very high pollution and excess deaths and nothing id done about this.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Indeed but this is not about logic, reason or science it is a new virtue signalling religion. Governments, the BBC, the school syllabuses, charities and multinational organisations have convinces some people main young ones with (who usually have little or no real understanding of the real science) that they are saving the world. Rather like Gordon Brown or those idiotic MPs. Almost all of whom voted for Miliband’s moronic climate change act or agreed to sign the Paris agreement.

    The real evidence suggest that the World is not actually that sensitive to atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the many negative feedbacks will limit any runaway effects. CO2 is only one of millions of factors that control temperatures.

    I see that Dame Emma Thompson (an English graduate) flies 5400 miles to support the action – plus back again too one assumes. Did she fly economy (or perhaps did she double her environmental impact by flying first class just to have more comfort for a few hours)?

    If the world’s governments were really serious about aviation CO2 they would surely ban anything other than economy seats in efficient large and very full planes. Certainly no private jets or business or first class. They would also ban bonfire night and firework displays, they certainly would not ship in bio fuels for the USA, they would ban meat eating. They would ground Prince Charles types with his £1 million PA personal travel cost PA. If the environment group were serious they would not fly to climate summits in exotic location but do them on line. They certainly would not be wasting money and energy on HS2.

    I alway do my bit by always flying economy, wearing warm and fairly old clothes and spending less than 1% of Prince Charles’s annual expenditure on my families travel.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Also I do my bit by running a smallish old petrol car rather than forcing manufacturers to consume loads of energy building a new one.

      Matt Ridley had another excellent article in the Spectator a while back.

      Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy (to the nearest 1% anyway) We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear
      Matt Ridley

      • graham1946
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        I too have a 15 year old car which I have had for many years and was preparing not to visit London relatives because of ULEZ, but I was amazed that when I put my car reg details into the ULEZ website, it actually said that it complies with emissions targets and is not subject to the charge. No doubt that will change in due course as the Mayor will want to milk more tax money out of us for no reason other than he has no idea how to get more tax. If your car does not comply, you can still go into London and spend all day polluting the air as long as you pay. What’s the sense in that?

        Therefore there is no need for all the poseurs who buy new cars all the time just to have a shiny new tin box on the drive for the neighbours to see to do so – old ones will do the job if they are maintained correctly.

        • Jagman84
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          The ULEZ is the area originally covered by the congestion charge. It discriminates against diesel vehicles as the bogeyman tag that has been attached to them has to be reinforced. At £12.50 at shot, it’s also a nice little earner for Citizen Khan to spend on his favoured groups.

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Ian wragg

        Agreed. Their aim is to cost us more for less.

        You’ll also find they’re remain supporters.

        Give the work shy buggers good blast with the water cannon, then take the taxpayer’s money off them.

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink


        “Also I do my bit by running a smallish old petrol car rather than forcing manufacturers to consume loads of energy building a new one.”

        Actually I do the opposite.

        I Run an old diesel van, and an old Jaguar with a nice big engine.

        I never turn my engine off when stuck in traffic, why should government reduce the life of my starter motor and battery ?

        I don’t live in a smoke free area, so during the winter I burn house coal.

        I supplement gas consumption by using paraffin or BBQ, or during the winter I’ll cook on the range using wood.

        I do these things deliberately in personal protest to green crap and Euro – ism.

      • bigneil
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        LL, I too run a smallish old petrol car, but for a different reason. I can’t afford something newer after having been taxed to hell for years so the govt can throw it away in Foreign Aid and also unskilled, non-English speaking, unemployable new arrivals want a free house, free cash, free NHS, free schooling etc – and get it all – -for getting here illegally and doing NOTHING.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      The only technology currently available which has the slightest chance of providing energy at the scale needed without CO2 emissions is nuclear (maybe hydropower where it’s possible). But greens oppose nuclear. The latest IEA report had ‘geothermal etc’ (ie inc wind and solar) at c. 1%. Shale gas offers about 1/2 the emissions of coal and a good reduction on oil. But greens oppose that too.

      I’d have thought sensible policies would be: get shale gas moving, build a new generation of small nuclear reactors (not absurdly expensive ones like Hinckley point); invest in R&D in technologies like nuclear fusion and hope some mud sticks to the wall; maybe introduce a carbon tax to replace eg stamp duty, NI, inheritance tax etc. Those would be actual sensible steps.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        If you introduce a new tax they will never abolish the old ones!

        • Matt Ryan
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          True, but a carbon tax as proposed by the Stern review at least has the effect of changing the *next* investment cycle. There is absolutely no point in trashing existing investments – not only because of the fiscal loss but because we’ve already used the resources for them.

          Anything that artificially brings forwards spend is stupid. Doubly so when it’s not even based on settled science (despite what Auntie tells us).

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I believe ITV has a clip of E Thompson being asked the question, ‘Did you fly economy?’ Her reply was ‘Oh good lord no’. Her fight from LA to London had a carbon footprint of 3 tonnes of CO2 , at least a third of what the average British person uses in a year. A case of do as I say not as I do.

      It would be a suitable punishment for all these Eco Loons who have been arrested to be sentenced to living a year on a zero carbon foot print, the very thing they advocate. I have a feeling they would be very quickly getting Human Rights lawyers claiming that is a cruel punishment, and contravening their human rights.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Indeed – she cares so much about “climate change” that she could not even bring herself to sit in economy for a few hours in order to save half of the C02 emissions of her flight.

        Also it seems she was so thick that she never even thought that this might not look too good! It did not even occur to her it seems. Or perhaps she does not give a damn about Co2 emission and just thought a bit more media exposure was good for her income?

        Perhaps she can explain which?

    • Fuddy Duddy
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      LL your list of what govts should do is only necessary because of massive population and would not be worth even thinking about if the world’s population were 1 billion perhaps. The fundamental polluter is the human being – if they could be taxed out of ‘use’ then problems solved. Get Hammond on to it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      I run a 900 cc petrol car and use public transport. I live in a 40 year old house and keep the heating down, I eat an austerity – allotment/angler – diet (and have never felt better.) I rarely travel by plane.

      I am not going to be lectured by the likes of Emma Thompson.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        And why is Emma Thompson so important anyway ? Her only skill is being able to walk and talk without banging into furniture.

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    They are reporting in the Brussels Times that electric cars emit higher CO2 levels than diesel. It comes from a German report. Who would have thought it?!!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I would have thought it and indeed most competent engineers or physicists would. They do however have the advantage that in cities they ship some pollution from the city to the power station.

      The reasons are they are inifficient are:- they waste energy at the power station about 50%+ of it as heat, in the transmission lines to the car, in voltage conversion and in charging the battery, in voltage conversion again and discharging the battery, some is even wasted just while the battery is doing nothing (like a small leak in a petrol tank), much energy used in making the very expensive batteries and new cars and recycling them too (the batteries do not last long). Perhaps another 50% of the remaining 50%. Then you have the energy used in installing all those charge points and the energy the passengers use drinking coffee or eating while they wait 4 hours waiting for them to recharge. Walking and public transport is often rather energy inefficient too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        Rapid recharging of batteries (which is often needed due to the poor range of electric cars) is also far more wasteful of energy than slow recharging. It can be very wasteful of energy indeed. If only our schools taught more real physics and maths instead of global warming propaganda. Up to 25% can easily be lost in rapid charging. Like pouring 25% of you petrol down the drain. And twice that was already wasted at the power station.

        • graham1946
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          I heard an automotive engineer on the radio the other day saying that the new batteries are not currently recyclable, but plans are afoot to simply store them up when replaced until someone comes up with a use for them. I am not qualified to know about this, but if true, then this is just another can kicking exercise which will be left to future generations to deal with, rather like the old nuclear power stations. Another fine mess in the making for short term gain.

          • Fed up with the bull
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

            Graham. Yes, get the problem of plastic solved and then we have wind turbine blades and batteries. Great stuff. Who thinks this all up?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            Well you can use them to extract the Lithum, Cobalt and Nickel and re-use it.

          • Steve
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink


            Good points Graham.

            Use of Lithium always struck me as being a bit dodgy, it’s an element of finite source, so unless they can recycle it effectively then some day it’ll deplete. We’ll then be stuck with the problem of disposal, it’s one of the heavier metal elements and while I don’t know what it turns into, you can be sure the stuff will be nasty.

            I do sometimes wonder though is lithium being forced upon us because somebody has the monopoly on it’s mining ?

            Same reason we’re forced to have catalytic converters – because a certain company has monopoly on the world’s supply of platinum. They actually couldn’t give a stuff about pollution, it’s all about gargantuan profit, and achieving it by lobbying the highly corrupt EU.

          • PeterM
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

            Steve, “Li is one of the heavier metal elements”, check your Mendeleev table!

          • David Price
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            @Graham1946 – EVs are a very demanding application of batteries with the temperature range cars experience, discharge rates required to drive the motors and take charges in an acceptable time. Manufacturers currently warranty EV units for a reasonable capacity for 8 years which is longer than the average car is on the road. Replacement is possible, eg around 8k USD (£6K) for a Leaf 40kWh unit.

            Returned units would then be used in less demanding applications such as home/grid/site power storage so the full life time is likely to be in the order of 20 years or so.

        • David Price
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          Instead of emoting perhaps you could cite your homework – batteryuniversity.com is quite good.

          Modern battery systems manage the charging level to avoid wasting power and damaging the battery. With most batteries you can fast charge up to 50% – 70% charge depending on chemistry and battery system before the charging power is reduced. The has been done for years on laptops, it’s called step charging.

          Most EVs will charge to 80% on rapid charge in 40-60 minutes depending on the capacity, not 4 hours.

          As to wastage, EVs are far more efficient than diesel or petrol in energy delivery efficiency and in 7 months I have only every rapid charged from apublic charger once to test I could do it. Every other time I have charged from my home charge powered from a solar array on the roof, so no power station, generation or transmission losses are involved. A survey by CleanTechnica in 2017 showed that in Europe around 40% of non Tesla EV/PHEV owners had solar panels so there will likely be significant use of solar to charge vehicles.

          • Steve
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            Peter M

            “Steve, “Li is one of the heavier metal elements”, check your Mendeleev table!”

            Reply; Reactive alkali metal – group 1 period 2. It’s there, I suggest you check it !

          • PeterM
            Posted April 22, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            Steve, you need to learn how to read Mendeleev’s table:
            Lithium, atomic mass 3 is the lightest of those, Na is 11, K is 19, Rb is 37, Cs is 55, Fr is 87.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic… You seem to advocate that nobody in the world should move, no cars, planes, not even walking. Is that a footwear cost, or us breathing harder?
        A windup, surely?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          Not at all the CO2 devil gas religion is greatly exaggerated. I mere make the point that many of the “solutions” the green loons and the BBC promote. HS trains, electric cars, buses, wind, solar, walking do not really save any (or any significant) C02 anyway. Even if you a believer in the religion the solutions they advocate do not work.

          • David Price
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            @LL – A solar powered electric train which can carry 100 people has been commissioned in Brian Bay, Australia and the approach is viable in many areas of the world. There is an Electric ferry in Norway.

            So these things do work albeit in initially constrained situations and the applications are increasing, regardless of whether they save CO2 or not.

            Where exactly so you think your precious diesel, petrol and gas come from?

        • Steve
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          Respectfully, Lifelogic makes a valid point, in my opinion.

          The fact is that the laws of nature cannot be cheated, and it is known that energy cannot be created, only changed from one form to another. Therefore you don’t get something for nothing, and as the conversion itself requires energy…….there will be inevitable losses.

          Only nuclear comes close to the ideal.

          As for electric cars, well, simple really; the batteries have a finite lifespan, and the manufacturers will make damn sure replacement costs more than the cost of a new car – bet your life on it. Moreover, they know electric cars are cheap for them to make, hence massive increase of profit.

          It also means a big boost for the credit industry, because the masses will have to take out credit to buy the damn things.

          More control over us, more money extracted from us – a big con trick and highly dangerous in terms of the credit people will be forced to take out.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            As Richard Feynman put it:-

            Richard Feynman’s famous conclusion to his report on the shuttle Challenger accident, which arose again in the Columbia accident, is “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

            Alas reality rarely does!

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink


        The only way electric cars will be of any use is if they’re gas turbine – electric.

        Gast turbines will run on bio fuel quite happily, and they’re clean.

        Alternatively big business could invest in, and develop, HHO technology (hydrogen from water)….but that would mean upsetting oil companies and fuel retailer cartels.

    • David Price
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Interesting what a bit of context adds … from the article;

      “When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix – in which coal still plays an important role – are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.”

      So, not EV use in general but very dependent on the source of energy to charge them.

      • Stred
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        This is the reason for changing the attack on diesels and petrol cars to the minimal effect on lifespan of NO2 and the greatly reduced limits. They had to rig the change to electric vehicles because it’s the agenda

  9. Old Albion
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    The biggest driver of excess Co2 is deforestation. It is responsible for at least one third. But instead of putting pressure on the nations carrying out this destruction, we leave them to it and transfer the blame to the developed world.
    While we are taxed into C02 reduction, forced toward irregular wind based energy, compelled to buy expensive electric vehicles etc. South America and much of Asia carry on with their damaging behaviour with no restriction.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Old Albion,

      Yes some have associated 10% of emissions to deforestation, but at the same time world tree coverage is increasing (Nature last year).

      • cornishstu
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Indeed as the CO2 levels increase the planet is greening up, known as the CO2 fertilisation effect

    • graham1946
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      You need to ask why deforestation occurs. A lot of it is to provide palm oil for western manufacturers to put into cheap foods, beef production and fuel for burning. Most palm oil is not sustainably sourced (despite what some big manufacturers claim) and the supply chain so diverse, no-one really knows where it comes from. The WWF says that about 50 percent of wood cut down is for burning, making charcoal etc. We don’t need any of that, but the nations doing it are not generally industrialised so we’d need to provide them with something else to do maybe. Just telling them to stop is not going to cut it. Clear cutting is worst of all (cutting and burning simply to provide short term agriculture then moving on when the land becomes barren). You are correct. Deforestation very damaging, but the green loons won’t criticize it.

      • Mark
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Highly developed UK is having forests destroyed to power Drax power station. It is also importing palm oil for use as a “green”blending component in motor fuels.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Indeed the Bio fuel importation is lunacy however you look at it. Other then for fiddling the figures on levels of “renewables” in the UK.

      • Fuddy Duddy
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        You don’t deforest , plant palm oil, etc., etc. if you can’t sell it. Who buys it – a massive population – it all comes down to that every time. Why do we need fish farms, antibiotics in animals, synthetic food etc.? Make user friendly policies to tackle population and implement them and all will be better.

        If it could be done by tomorrow then all could keep on using their dirty diesel, pollute and consume as much liked with no problems with the biosphere.

        • graham1946
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          Not quite. Demand is created by big firms trying to cut costs and improve profits. I don’t know anyone who buys just palm oil (though I have seen it in supermarket ‘World Foods’ section so someone does). But most people buy cakes, biscuits, bread etc as well as ready meals all of which contain it. They could use vegetable oil, but it is more expensive and takes more land to produce. They prefer to get the third world to produce it at rock bottom prices and mess up the environment in the process.

      • Stred
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        In Brazil, the forest is cleared in order to grow soya beans, mainly for vegetarians, who then pollute the planet with methane.

        • PeterM
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          Soya beans for vegetarians? For cattle more likely.

  10. Adam
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Prevention avoids a need for cure. Reproduction is the key determinant. Controlling family size reduces excess. Each excessive birth avoided saves a lifetime of consumption. Condoms are more efficient insulators than draught excluders. Don’t try this near a window.

    Even so, Nature sorts itself out. If the planet is the hottest it has been for 1000 years, it is cooler than it was then.

    • PeterM
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      And anyway as James Lovelock would have said “Gaia will happily go on after humankind will have obliterated itself”. So no prob’ whatsoever.

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Dr Richard North is an anorak who for many years has run a blog (I am now excluded myself for using the forbidden word: Boris Johnson!) on Brexit. It is called eureferendum.com
    He is a very abrasive man indeed who can be most unpleasant.
    Having said all that he is the go-to person for information about Brexit.

    Today he has written an astoundingly good article on VAT and how it will affect the Irish border.
    My question therefore is this: after a hard Brexit, would UK VAT be abolished?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Oh taxes are never abolished. Income tax was originally introduced as a temporary measure wasn’t it ? Have not read the piece but how would the UK abolishing VAT help if EU keeps VAT?

    • APL
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Mike Stallard: “My question therefore is this: after a hard Brexit, would UK VAT be abolished?”

      VAT should be abolished. It is the most corrupt inefficient means of collecting revenue. Perhaps we could replace it with tariffs on imported goods – BMWs, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits a snip at – £43,000 a bottle. etc,.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Expenditure taxes are one of the best forms of taxation, though I agree VAT is a stupid and regressive approach.

    • Tory in Cumbria
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Mike, problem is, he writes the same article every single day. “I am the great Dr Richard North, I know everything and everyone else is (stupid? ed)”. It’s pretty boring, tbh.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      VAT was originally conceived as a way to pay EU fees. However the govt then found out it can raise vast amounts of money without trouble and blame the EU. It currently rakes in north of 100 billion a year, against the 13 billion we pay the EU. What do you think is going to happen? Zero, nada.

    • Steve
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard

      I’ve yet to see a government that obliged itself to remove a tax.

      Likewise, I’ve yet to see a government that reversed the wrong doings of the previous, despite election promises.

      Blair for example promised to undo all the privatisations of Margaret Thatcher’s era, Did he ? …….did he hell. In fact it’s reckoned he sold off more than Mrs Thatcher did.

      Shysters, jumped up barrow boys and lying con merchants the lot of ’em.

  12. RichardM
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    The very ignorant comments on here illustrate that it cannot be left to individuals. The notion that it is a scam to redistribute wealth possibly one of the most idiotic comment.
    We have fact denialists from Trump downwards. The UK is not on target to meet its legally binding carbon emissions cuts. China is. This is the fault of this Tory government, many of whom are also denialists.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      “it cannot be left to individuals”.

      Right Comrade !

    • Stred
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      The USA and UK have reducer CO2 (not carbon) emissions by far greater % than Germany by changing from coal generation to gas with a small % of renewable. Germany has gone for a higher % of renewable, cancelled nuclear and been forced to build lignite generation in order to keep its industry going. Industry is subsidised with lower electricity prices, while domestic prices are very high.
      Where is the ignorance? Presumably, RM favours the German method of producing more CO2 whilst putting energy prices up.

    • James1
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      What’s the truth? Is it a scam? Is it a hoax? If it is, it truly is “the most expensive mistake in the history of Homo sapiens?” Perhaps the first clue is that we are told by climate alarmists that the science is ‘settled’ and cannot be challenged. Not a good start. Science is never settled, and should always be challenged. Perhaps a second clue is the predicted ‘tipping points’. The problem is that this has now been going on for decades. The warnings that we have just a limited amount of time to save the world from catastrophe have varied from months/years/decades/centuries. Perhaps the third clue is that we are told that the temperature of the earth can be measured to fractions of a degree. There is much, much more, but I’ll rest my case.

    • mark leigh
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Or, Richard, it may be you that is wrong?

      • RichardM
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Mark leigh Or maybe scientists paid by oil are wrong rather than 10000+ scientists ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Abolish the idiotic laws that makes these idiotic targets legally binding! It leads to damaging lunacies like importing vast amounts of wood to burn!

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Not necessarily…..my wood only comes from local windfall, + discarded palettes etc.

        Off grid heating and cooking, it’s the way to go and of course you can stick two fingers to greedy energy suppliers.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I hear the smog in Bejing looks lovely this time if year ?

      Happy Easter.


    • Edward2
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Like most greens RichardM you deny the facts.
      The UK is on target to meet reductions set out by the Climate Change Act
      Since 1990 there has been a 43% reduction in carbon emissions.
      A remarkable achievement considering the biggest increase in population in our history since that time.

    • Mark
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      China has no legally binding emissions cuts. Chinese emissions continue to grow. In most recent years, that growth has exceeded the UK’s entire output.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley is an excellent book and his website covering some of these areas. In the book has this quote:-

    On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?” ― Thomas Babington Macaulay. Read more quotes from Thomas Babington Macaulay.

    What principle indeed? The principle I assume that there is much money to be made by frightening people with a fiery hell or similar and selling then an expensive ‘solution’. As most religions have found.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, I am not telling people what to believe. I’m only trying to portray what Traditional Christianity teaches (what I say is exactly what people such as Jane Austen, Edmund Burke, Samuel Johnson and other God-fearing Traditional Christians would have believed too) – as I believe you misrepresent religion in some profound way here.


      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        ‘The clouds methought did open up and show riches ready to drop upon me that when I wak’d I cried to dream again’
        – William Shakespeare (The Tempest)

        (The best evocation of Heaven I’ve come across in literature – perhaps the disciples thought something similar standing beside Christ on Mount Tabor for The Transfiguration – with The Transfiguration foreshadowing The Resurrection – and Easter Sunday)

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    The protestors who are in London at the moment are a millenarian cult – there have been many of them before and will be more in the future. Just like all the others eventually they will fade away or normalise into a less extreme establishment organisation. For the moment the likes of John McDonnell are happy to associate themselves with them as a vehicle to implement their own Marxist policies under their eco-banner. In the real world some carbon reduction policies will be implemented and some money will be spent on adapting to new circumstances.

  15. J Bush
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    The climate has been changing for a millennia and the amount of change caused by man is negligible compared to what nature can do. One volcanic eruption can cause more ‘damage’ to the environment and man has no control over this. Ask any real Geologist.

    As mentioned earlier, it is nothing but a money making scam.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      ” One volcanic eruption “? – Good God – don’t give them ideas for ANOTHER tax.

      • J Bush
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Oops sorry

    • RichardM
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      J Bush A cursory google finds forbes.com quoting scientists who say Volcanism contributes 0.645 billion tons of CO2 per year – compared to humanity’s 29 billion tons per year.
      Have you seen the graphs of atmospheric CO2 for the last 800,000 years ? Have we seen volcanic activity in the last 150 odd years causing levels to double to 400pm from previous 200ppm peaks ?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Are you claiming all the increase in CO2 is due to man RichardM?
        Over 95% is naturally occurring.

        In the 1990s we were warned of a tipping point being reached and that post 2000 would see big increases in the rate of temperature rises.
        Several degrees they said.
        Nearly 20 years later they are counting in tenths of a degree.
        This confounds the current sensitivity of CO2 levels to temperature rises used in the computer models used by the scientists involved.
        Instead of adjusting these models they have just said the rate of increase will happen, but now it will happen in another decade or two.

      • Jagman84
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        If we get much below 200 ppm of CO2, photosynthesis begins to break down and every living creature on the planet is put at danger. That’s why we call your sort, eco-loons. You have absolutely no idea of the science and parrot a pre-prepared script that has already been comprehensively debunked. It is the usual tactic of repeating lies enough times so that it become a truth.

  16. agricola
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    While I do not dissent from all you say i will come at it from a different angle.

    The great and the good marched to Aldermarston and the scruffy fence clingers encamped at RAF Greenham Common. Neither had the slightest effect on Nuclear Disarmament , but undoubtedly cost the civil purse a fortune. Economic collapse in Russia and the fact that the USA and UK stood resolute, firm and strong through NATO brough about a reduction in Nuclear Weapons. CND only had small satisfaction in their self indulgence. The reality is that since, Nuclear Weapons may have reduced in number ,but have become technically more effective in terms of accuracy and their destructive power.

    Climate Change is missused. For billions of years the Sun has been the driver of Climate Change. It has not changed today just because a gathering on Westminster Bridge would like to shift the blame. Other influences are volcanic eruptions, tectonic plate clashes and the shifting of land masses on Earth. Ask yourself what the UK climate was when coal was laid down, sub tropical I believe. Check out the Ice Ages. If these Bridge Dwellers think that man can compete with the Sun they are absurdly deluded.

    What we should all be fighting as individuals, corporations and government is Environmental Change. Victorian Government got rid of the Big Stink. Government got rid of Smog in the sixties and has less convincingly eased us towards a less emmitive life style. All of which I am happy with. However our and the World seas are still full of the most enormous level of none degradable substances. Despite the laudable efforts of David Attenborough the Tiger , Rhino and Elephant populations are decimated for profit, not to mention the wildlife we lose in logging hard timber. The Japanese feel free to slaughter Whales. All of which are within known technology and World Government to bring not only a halt to but to throw into reverse.

    I only question the use of Electricity to drive almost everything if you leave yourself strategically vulnerable by only using limited means to produce it. The technology to make it and drive fossil fuel vehicles exists to make them environmentally acceptable. Here I blame our government for not pressing technical advance but instead thinking that goals can be achieved just by legislating. Too many lawyers in government. Here is a business opportunity that could become a real driver for commercial success post Brexit. Here too is an opportunity to reduce the burden On the NHS by removing known causes of disease.

    Meanwhile we have the sons and daughters of the Greenham Common fence clingers telling us all to live in a Yurt society. Ask yourselves how it is they can afford to be on the bridge during the working week. They look fit enough for work, if a bit scruffy. After arrest I would be looking at where their sustenance came from and halting it in most claimant cases. Then there is the cost of policing their useless gesture both in money and on those members of the public being stabbed through a lack of police prescence elsewhere. Add to this the cost of the disruption of the productive members of society earning the taxes to fund this demo for want of a better word. I would put them to work, street, estuary, and canal cleaning where the results of their concienses would be visible.

    Sorry it’s so long, but as your approach discovered it is not a simple subject.

  17. APL
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    JR: “The UK has been one of biggest cutters of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Since 1990 UK carbon emissions are down by 43% compared to a target of 40%.”

    Hey! I’ve a good idea.

    Lets deprive the base of the food chain with 40% of its own food supply. Yea, that’s a great idea. Get right in there at the foundation of all living things on the planet, attack plants that depend on photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates (Oxygen happening to be a handy by product ) and feed all the mammals right to the top.

    What a brilliant idea!! Step forward all SJWs and Global Warming Eco warriors to go with out food first.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Indeed. I now want to see severe personal sacrifice from all of these people.

      Emma Thompson in particular needs to reduce her wealth and consumption to my modest levels before she can start lecturing me about it.

      She really is taking the piss if she thinks otherwise, dungarees or not.

      In the meantime a protest by Paratroopers goes unreported by the BBC.

  18. rick hamilton
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    These ‘climate change emergency’ whiners don’t seem to have noticed that there are no electric power systems for heavy trucks, container ships or aircraft anywhere in sight yet.

    No doubt the BBC will be beside themselves with joy when the amateurs who run our energy policy convert our naval vessels prematurely, and HMS Queen Elizabeth is drifting helplessly in the Atlantic.with a flat battery. Another British failure – headline news !

    It won’t happen of course. But we should be asking – why are our new aircraft carriers not nuclear powered when we are perfectly capable of building nuclear subs ourselves ? And which country were their diesel engines sourced from?

    • APL
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      rick hamilton: “These ‘climate change emergency’ whiners don’t seem to have noticed that there are no electric power systems for heavy trucks, container ships or aircraft anywhere in sight yet.”

      Point of order, there are Diesel electric systems. The internal combustion engine provides immediate local energy or the generator that powers the electric drive motors.

      But the other thing the whiners don’t know, due to ignorance, is that while electricity may come out of an electric socket, it still has to be generated and delivered to that socket. It’s usually generated by combustion of Natural Gas, or Fuel Oil or Coal. All of which produce Carbon Dioxide as a byproduct. So, it’s untrue and incorrect to claim that electric motive power is ‘cleaner’.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        No. The real point of all this is to produce a new form of motive power which is unaffordable to the masses.

        They want us riding bicycles and eating lentils.

        Why ?

        Well they’ll tell us it’s for our own good but it’s really because they HATE us.

      • anon
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Norway and Iceland have short haul ferries which are battery with a diesel engine backup. If the charge was insufficient or other failure.

        Increasingly, electricity will be produced by renewables. Economics is driving this, particularly in the best locations, it is cheaper than coal and gas.

        Nuclear is hugely expensive and renewables even offshore wind is cheaper.

        Yes in the short term, in place, nuclear ,gas, coal may be useful as a transition fuel but they will soon get priced out. Particularly as the plants age.

        Read up on, cost curves, heat pumps, and large storage solutions.

        Many other pollutants are output during the chain of use of nuclear and fossil fuels. Renewables seem the least bad option in the medium & longer term.

        I suspect no matter how cheap electric became it would still be expensive, governments need money and like control.

        Try web searching. electric ships & clean tech.

        • APL
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          anon: “Norway and Iceland have short haul ferries which are battery with a diesel engine backup. If the charge was insufficient or other failure.”

          Where does the battery get it’s charge from?

          And, by the way, the energy density of a battery is pound for pound much less than hydrocarbons. Thus you are dragging a lot of unnecessary dead weight around in the form of heavy battery casings.

          Same for Teslas, much more efficient to use a fuel tank.

          • anon
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Battery is powered by grid link. Each countries grid mix is different. Iceland has abundant geothermal and i think charges overnight and partially between journeys.

            Weight is less of an issue for ships. Particularly if momentum is kept steady.

            Power to weight is improving in all engines.Energy density is improving.

            The weight of a Tesla is not much different from a SUV or cars it competes with.

            My point is look at the improvements and project forwards to plan conservatively.

        • Stred
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

          Hinkley Point cost MWh £89.50. Other nukes less
          Offshore wind current cost £145.
          No offshore wind company has committed to build the lower cost wind farms.
          Turbines last less than 20 years. Nukes last 60.

          • anon
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            Hinkley base is 92.50 mwh

            I disagree with your stats, which appear to be for older operating plant (smaller turbines).

            Nuclear builds are a future bet. They never complete on time and frequently,blow the budget, it is many years away to production.

            Current offshsore wind cfd for delivery in
            2021-22 is £74.75 mwh
            2022-23 is £57.50 mwh

            Current wholesale price £50 mwh

            New Turbines being tested are upto 12MW and have 63% capacity factor.

            I doubt nukes last 60 years.(They may take 10 years to build it! safely.)
            I suspect the marginal cost to keep them running will exceed the cost of other future technologies.

            I dont know how log turbines will last.

            However its more likely they will be re-placed or re-powered with larger more efficient ones, because it is economic to do so. So its more flexible and cheaper.

            We do need to thinks about storage tech, hydro, liquid air, large GWH storage.
            Again battery tech is outcompeting gas peaker plants.

            We should not close viable plant until the grid managers are comfortable with reserves. We should mothball them and maybe bring some to readiness based on weather forecasts. eg. a cold winter.

            We should not be fixed in our approach and should consider bending and working with nature and tech for the nest solution.

            I feel nuclear fission is not economical over the next 25-50 years.Without a breakthrough. In which case we re-examine.

            Many other err security safety issues concern tme about nuclear plants. Give me gas or coal but not nuclear unless its in space.

        • Mark
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          A big container ship uses about 360MWh per day during its 60 day voyage from China to Europe. That’s about 3 of Musk’s big battery complexes as installed in South Australia, or 180 of them to complete the voyage. With a cost of $60m apiece that is $10.8bn per ship for the battery. The charging system would need to be exceptionally beefy and therefore costly to avoid protracted port stays that would make the very expensive ship even more expensive to operate. If we allow 3 days in port then recharge needs to be at 300MW for each ship, which would mean ports would need their own power stations. They could not rely on wind or solar.

    • Stred
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      The carriers are sitting ducks and, if sunk, would present a danger and very difficult recovery if there was a reactor on board. They must have done a risk assessment

      • rick hamilton
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        The US Navy doesn’t seem to have any such concerns.

        • Stred
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          Because the USA has other ships to protect them.

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink


        If carriers were to be getting sunk, their reactors recovery would be the least of your worries.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      I suspect the long term solution for aircraft and ships will end up eventually being manufactured chemical fuels made using nuclear energy perhaps from nuclear fusion reactors. Probably using CO2, water and energy to manufacture hydro carbons. But we should use the natural ones first.

      Battery storage for aircraft and ships is not realistic unless we get some massive fall in battery costs and weights and a massive jump in capacity which is rather unlikely given the physics.

      • rick hamilton
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        The most promising solution is hydrogen powered fuel cells with electric motors, which are already on the market in cars. In Tokyo there are fuel cell buses and the 2020 Olympic village will be entirely hydrogen powered, to showcase their technology.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps, but the hydrogen storage is not that simple or cheap to make safe on aircraft.

  19. APL
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    JR: “The public is keen to see cleaner air by setting higher standards on particulates and smoke, and to pursue commonsense policies to promote better insulation, greater fuel efficiency and fewer food miles. It is also important for individuals to choose to limit family size if they care about the demands on planetary resources. ”

    So, now a supposed Tory steps into the family planning business. Next step, ‘One child per family’, mandated by the state. Huh! that has a familiar ring to it.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      APL.. does that mean you see nothing amiss with producing more than 2 children per couple, indeed in all the countries of the world?

      • APL
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Fred h: “does that mean you see nothing amiss with producing more than 2 children per couple, indeed in all the countries of the world?”

        It means I see nothing amiss with parents deciding themselves how many children they wish to rear.

        The rest of the world is currently producing more than two children per couple, had have been since forever. That’s why in 1974 there were 4 billion people on the planet and today there are over 7 billion.

        By comparison, the United Kingdom’s population in 1974 was a little over 56 million, and today it is 66 million. So our population in the UK has grown by ten million over the last forty five years.

        According to Wiki, 7.5 million ( @ 2011 census ) of that increase was due to foreign born immigration.

        So without immigration, the UK population has been relatively stable.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed so. Note how Sir John, a Conservative ultra loylaist shifts to the political Left with his party. Pretends to be at odds but never challenges robustly.

      I’m not sure if State control of wages was his first, but population control now? Perhaps we should keep a closer eye on this. Control of the property ownership? Single people must not have big houses? Rent and tenancy controls? Who knows?

      Reply What nonsense. I made clear I do not support population control by the state! If you are very concerned about our imp-0act on the planet then you should want to keep your family size down was the point I was making.

      • Steve
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink


        That does seem a little unfair, and inaccurate.

        • The Prangwizard
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          We shall see.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure that’s necessarily what JR had in mind, at least that isn’t my interpretation of it.

      Large families of the size my dad was born into a hundred years ago (13 kids), would seem unusual and conspicuous today, but some backwards religious groups still advocate such a policy. And if each of their ilk did the same, by the climatologists metric, the world would soon find itself in an unsustainable position.

  20. Ian Wilson
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Climate has been warming for 350 years, starting before Thomas Newcomen’s engine wheezed into life. Climate goes through natural cycles – it was warmer 1,000 years ago when the Vikings farmed in Greenland. I don’t think there were many SUVs then.
    Strong scientific evidence points to CO2 being a minor, perhaps insignificant influence on climate. What the rising levels of CO2 are doing is increasing food output, helping to feed the 6 million extra mouths we are adding every month.
    Earlier contributors are right in calling for repeal of the disastrous climate Change Act.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      I agree Ian, yet this seems not to see the light of day. Just like the Hurricane of 1703 that hit central and southern England long before the industrial revolution.

      As for CO2, climatologists such as Piers Corbyn tell us the rise in global temperature has more to do with solar cycles and the way the sun gives off solar radiation, and that CO2 levels FOLLOW a rise in temperature, they don’t precede it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Piers Corbyn is indeed rather brighter than his brother!

  21. Dorothy Johnston
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why we are told to have smaller families but then import people because we need them for various reasons. Where’s the logic?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Good point Dorothy. Perhaps babies and small children have a massive carbon footprint, so it’s best not to grow our own. And of course, this once great nation that gave the industrial revolution to the world, cannot train our own people to do our own jobs.

  22. They Work for Us?
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Mark B’s post should resonate with anyone that can see past the virtue signalling and the “man is evil / original sin aspects of the green scam religion” and apply common sense.
    The new religion is highly undemocratic and imposes a tyranny by minority. We have not agreed to decarbonisation and all its costs and inconveniences, it is being imposed on us, the silent majority by the neo liberal blob and as previously stated we are not even major sinners in the virtue signalling carbon stakes. Decarbonisation should be the subject of a referendum after a full and fair campaign presenting both sides.
    If Government has collapsed and we cannot rely on the law to promptly protect our freedom of movement to travel to work then you risk the public doing it themselves.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Yes. We have a mob who are on the side of the establishment. Masses of airtime and little condemnation.

      Scant evidence that these people believe in their cause sacrificially – they just want to force it on others, not themselves.

      Brexit gets disrespected … with the greatest of respect, of course. Can’t we see the message from this ?

      Ballot box doesn’t work.

      Disorder works.

  23. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Young people have to protest about something John, its part of growing up, the truth and facts of course are an inconvenience to the arguments, so they just ignore them.

    The problem is of course that many protesting students never grow up (Mr Corbyn a prime example) and they learn to twist the facts and truth with the help of the media to try and support their cause.

    Far too many people cannot be bothered to check facts, and so a movement is born for a short while. It will pass in time, but damage can be done in the meantime by politicians who are taken in by such, and who then introduce draconian laws and regulations, which then harms the very business and enterprise, which pays for it all.

    • Steve
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Water cannon and a clip around the ear when they get home should sort it.

  24. Jon Davies
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The UK has made good progress on carbon reduction, but this has primarily come from a switch to renewables for electricity generation with little progress recently on reductions in domestic heating and transport. It is unlikely that we will hit our longer-term commitments without some firm action by government.

    Three things I would ask you to support are:
    1. Ensure that a national scheme for paying householders who export their excess electricity to the grid is introduced at the earliest opportunity. Sadly, Claire Perry at BEIS managed to blunder the recent revisions to the solar FIT scheme; pulling the plug on new solar installations getting any export payments whatsoever with massive energy companies now effectively being provided energy for free from homeowners investing in solar panels as from 1 April 2019. One must question the competence of a department that pulls the plug on a scheme without already having its replacement in place.

    2. Support the removal of 20% VAT on the purchase of storage batteries for home use. If these are installed in a new build house, then they attract no VAT but if a homeowner wants to do their bit by storing cheap rate electricity then its 20%. This could save money as the government currently pays £100 million a year to stop generators from generating wind electricity when it is not needed.

    3. Ensure that the Future Homes standard is supported. The Chancellor mentioned it in his Spring Statement, and this could lead to having far more energy efficient houses being built, which would reduce our balance of payments and would help with fuel poverty. George Osborne killed the previous scheme, Zero Carbon Homes, in 2015 which I feel was a big mistake. Switching to a better standard could reduce gas usage by upwards of 58%. See https://great-home.co.uk/why-gas-boilers-could-be-banned-in-new-homes-by-2025/ for details of the calculations on energy savings for new homes, based on the report earlier this year from the Committee on Climate Change (the CCC).

    The Chancellor has also suggested that gas boilers be banned from 2025 in new homes. I feel this is a big mistake as there are other technical solutions, such as moving to a 20% or even 100% hydrogen in the gas grid, which could offer greater benefits and should be considered more seriously.

    • Mark
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Here is why your suggestions should be ignored:

      1. Prof David MacKay, late Chief Government Scientific Advisor, was quite clear in his final interview that investment in solar in the UK is a mistake. It provides no power when we most need it in a cold dark winter rush hour. It causes problems in the rest of the grid because of the rapid changes in output near dawn and dusk, and the peak output on midsummer sunny days. It produces at only around 11% of capacity on average. Locally, over-voltages can damage consumer appliances.

      2. A 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall costs £9-11,000 on an installed basis – or perhaps over £800/kWh. We have the Dinorwig pumped storage site in NW Wales which can store about 9GWh, or 666,667 Powerwalls’ worth. It cost £425m in the early 1980s. The equivalent Powerwalls would cost £6.7bn every 10 years. 9GWh is about 1% of UK consumption on a winter’s day. There is no case for subsidising high cost storage.

      In any event, the main reason for constraint payments to wind farms is the lack of grid capacity to deliver the power generated in Scotland and offshore Northern England to consumers in Southern England when the wind is blowing strongly. The new £1bn Westernlink HVDC undersea link from Hunterston on the Clyde to Deeside has already failed 4 times since it was commissioned (late), most recently on 6th April this year. As yet, there is no case for storage – and nor is there likely to be unless storage can be as cheap as Dinorwig or cheaper.

      3. Huhne’s zero carbon homes idea was canned because it added substantial cost to newbuild homes that far exceeded any economic payback of potential energy savings, while also imposing design features that would make them very unattractive to buyers. We must get away from poor green economics: if you look at the projected energy saving on Grenfell Tower for its exterior insulation project, the payback period was over 200 years.

      I agree that banning gas boilers is a bad idea. However, hydrogen is not the solution. The cheapest way to make it by a considerable margin is to steam reform methane gas, which produces CO2 and consumes energy. You end up with higher emissions than if you had just burned the methane in your boiler to start with. That is before considering the safety hazards – hydrogen burns with a colourless flame, requires completely different burners, has a high risk of forming explosive mixtures when it leaks, is difficult to store and pipe because it permeates and weakens most materials, and has only a third of the energy density of methane per mol, implying a need for three times as much storage and pipeline capacity.

  25. Sakara Gold
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    This is an excellent post, considering that he level of CO2 in the global atmosphere is the highest it’s been for a million years. You and the government could do more at government level to speed up the introduction of EV’s which would have multiple benefits for the UK. To do so we need much more cheap renewable and baseload nuclear energy

    My proposal is for the UK to develop and build our own fleet of replacement nuclear power plants, based on our own old AGR design. Even today we have companies in the UK who have the expertise to do so – we do not need Chinese nuclear technology. Unfortunately the Labour energy minister Viscount Lord Stansgate (aka Tony Benn) wrote our nuclear industry off back in the seventies when all we needed to do was order one every two years.

    So long as the protests remain nonviolent and police officers are not hurt, good luck to them. They have much to do with the exuberance and enthusiasm of youth.

    • Stred
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      It takes many years to get approval for nukes. At present we could choose Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian large designs which are being built in many countries at lower cost. But May and Clarke chose the only design in the world which has been difficult and very expensive to build, with very long construction delays. Edf still can’t get their one in France to work. It may have been chosen because it’s the European Pressurised Reactor.
      But it’s still a lot less expensive than offshore windfarms being built now per MWh.

  26. Caterpillar
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Govt currently subsidises children. Govt does not reward those who choose to not have children or to only have one child. Society tends to treat those who have not had children as selfish.

    Although it is easy to say the “UK rightly does not favour any government controls”, it might become inevitable if the message is not more clearly sent. Perhaps a target maximum population, a royal family that leads by example, a tax rather than subsidy, clear publication of birth rate league tables by faith/non-faith, do not allow faith based schools to teach “distinctive perspectives” on RSE, passing an RSE exam should go alongside maths, vision and publicise the future of a different age pyramid and how the country will work…

  27. Yorkie
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Can’t find any reference to it on Google except an electronics firm nor by searching “News”nor “EU ” nor ” Climate Change” nor in any of the comments thus far
    Perhaps “Early Day Motion”?
    This is a first for me.

    • PeterM
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Early day motion #2177 on Parliament.uk

  28. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It’s important to separate things into their appropriate categories -Taking care of our world, being economical with energy is all beneficial and helps us personally, but the oppressive carbon tax does nothing to help anybody but the likes of (named green campaigner ed) who have made vast fortunes from such schemes.
    The carbon reductions managed by the UK are insignificant to the amount that India and China are allowed to get away, showing once again that this is about politics, not saving the world. The UN then insists that industrialized nations compensate 3rd world countries for alleged damage from climate change – or to give it the proper socialist term: Wealth transfer.
    The global establishment is powerful and very effective in so many ways – Climate change is just one way they are making less of us and draining our wealth.

  29. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I would like to know how the carbon footprint of a person in say Nigeria compares with someone in the UK. My guess is that it is much lower.
    This would make a good case on its own to stopping immigration from Sub-Saharan Africa.
    For the sake of the planet, we need to allow people to leave the UK and reduce population by steady emigration.

    • PeterM
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      One of the most up-to-date databases for that is the CIA World Factbook. One gets the latest population count (under “Population”) and the production of CO2 or CO2eq (under Energy, one of the figures in a rather long list).

    • Andy
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Are you going to emigrate too?

  30. Bob
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Radio 4 this morning reported a campaign to remove VAT on house plants to help the environment and improve mental health, but a govt spokesperson said this was not possible under EU rules. As expected, the BBC failed to point out that leaving the EU would solve that problem.

    The BBC turns a blind eye to the benefits of leaving while playing up any project fear stories no matter how absurd.

    Under a ukip govt the BBC Licence Fee would be abolished.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Ofcom are currently conducting a “review of BBC news and current affairs” following innumerable complaints of bias (although they put it much more politely than that) and expect to publish their findings later this year. Conveniently late for Leavers, of course — it’s not belated revenge we want, it’s action now.

      Many want more immediate and direct action. If you google “bbc petition” you will find some 87,000 or so signatures demanding exactly this — at 100k the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

      We don’t expect Parliament to be able to act swiftly. We do expect such a debate to raise the profile of this very important issue, and for the BBC to take note and act accordingly and more appropriately, as befits the BBC Charter.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink


        I have a number of former BBC broadcasters ready and willing to give testimony to a House of Commons committee who will state publically and categorically how badly the BBC is run. We deserve better and indeed demand better for the fee we are forced to pay. He has the emails, Damian Collins just has to say the word.

        A level playing-field would be quite an achievement. The BBC have given the entire industry a bad name. They must be held to account.

      • Mark
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        The government are hiding behind OFCOM, where key appointments make it unlikely that they will be any more effective than was the BBC Trust in reining in BBC bias.

      • agricola
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:31 am | Permalink

        I would not anticipate the BBC acting in other than it’s perceived political interests. They are the Guardian on air.

        The only way of dealing with this carbunckle is to sell off news and current affaires. They can then sink or swim in the real world of news dissemination.

        It would be a lesson to the remainder of the BBC not to divert into the purely political. That is unless they wish to do it satirically. What a mine of opportunity is out there daily to be lampooned and cut down to size. The bubble is long overdue to be pricked. Is it PC at the BBC that prevents it or have our writers lost their sense of the ironic. A day in the life of a congenital protester, the machinations of stand the truth on it’s head politicians, industrial conspiracy to rig the market, not to overlook the machinations of our senior civil service in their duplicitous route to a “K”.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      If UKIP promised to abolish the BBC instead, they’d probably run away with any election! They’d get my vote!

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        @ Tad Davison

        You would be pretty foolish to vote for a Party unlikely to ever gain a majority (even a handful of seats). So you would be wasting your vote on a party you might otherwise not vote for just ebcause you dislike the BBC. There is plenty of choice on cable, you do not have to watch it. The interesting part is that the BBC (unlike the bubble media) give plenty of attention to people who are clearly not in the camp that you detest. I’ve had the pleasure of most of the prominent ERG members participate in BBC talkshows, as well as equally eccentric politicians who believe in Marx as well as Santa Claus.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Please don’t presume to tell me who I should and should not vote for. That is a matter between my conscience and the ballot box. I vote for a party that comes closest to what I believe, not necessarily the mostly likely party to win.

          I have to pay for the BBC whether I like the content or not, and personally, I do not. It is politically weighted and unbecoming of its lofty self-given status of ‘most trusted broadcaster’. Given the insults you level at the ERG, might you also work for the BBC in some capacity? You certainly talk like one from the discredited neo-liberal left!

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink


          No vote is wasted, they all count.

          If you vote you are certainly entitled to complain.

          Fail to vote and you must accept what comes because you voiced no opinion when asked to do so.


      • anon
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        BBC should be made a subscription model based on choice.

        A 4 billion tax cut every year.

        If you want some votes, its a bullseye.

        Its a big part of the failures in our democracy, as evidenced by the cabal currently squatting in parliament under false pretence.

        Its like FPTP in a 2 party both EUstate, once your in its good.

        Once the BBC is subscription and we are in full control of laws & our rogue parliament.We might actually be able to call ourselves democratic again.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:19 pm | Permalink


      “Radio 4 this morning reported a campaign to remove VAT on house plants to help the environment and improve mental health, but a govt spokesperson said this was not possible under EU rules. As expected, the BBC failed to point out that leaving the EU would solve that problem.”

      You expect the BBC to advise leaving the EU because of VAT on house plants?

      • Bob
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Don’t be silly Margaret, it’s just one example of the BBC omitting to mention a pertinent fact to suit their pro EU agenda. They constantly look for negative Brexit stories and omit the positives.

  31. Original Richard
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Over population is of far more serious concern than simply CO2 emissions as it consumes the Earth’s resources as well as creating more man made CO2.

    Over population is largely caused by the UN and western charities who have quadrupled the populations of poor African countries since the 1970s and who now believe the solution is to import these over populations into Europe via the UN Global Compact on Migration, recently signed by Mrs. May.

    • Andy
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      By ‘quadrupled the populations of poor African countries’ you mean they have worked hard to stop children dying.

      Are you genuinely arguing that children not dying is a bad thing?

      • agricola
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        If you watch television charity advertising it is the generous Brit and Medecin sans Frontiere who, through giving the means to clean water, medical aid, and starvation aid are permitting many Africans to live longer. Their governments are little more than parasitic robber barons.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      @ Original Richard

      Maybe that UN approach will lead to less population growth (but higher economic and human capital growth). Anyway, if it does not work, why not try a bit of demographic engineering. Two choices: reduce fertility or increase mortality. Take your pick..

  32. Dominic
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    You have to admire the ability of these infantile and youthful scammers to get themselves noticed which does suggest they’re aligned with Labour otherwise they’d never get a slot on Sky news or some other useless news conduit

    Politicians will always bend to the will of those who make the most noise simply to either neutralise and pacify them (The May way) or extract political capital from them (The Labour way). Both are parasitic in their behaviour

    Of course, it is the silent taxpayer who will pick up the bill for the spineless capitulation to activism being currently exhibited.

    And the solution to the ludicrously and deliberately fear-inciting (failed in that one) ’emergency’ is simple, fewer people on the planet. That aim will never be achieved simply because it requires absolute imposition, removal of freedoms, the destruction of people and the most appalling consequences thereafter.

    Humanity is the problem. There are too many of us. Thomas Malthus was right but his reasoning was wrong. He predicted human catastrophe as a result of our inability to produce enough food at a sufficient rate to match population growth. He didn’t account for man’s ability to achieve startling scientific advances across all areas.

    I believe there will be some form of Malthusian correction and it may well involve loss of life but its cause won’t be food related, it will be a political trigger

    The modern political class is a danger to our cherished freedoms and our liberties. This political movement is simply another Marxist strategy to implement subtle control of how we live our lives. Gramsci and his ilk have delivered the strategic framework for this petty little dictators and we will all suffer if they manage to achieve half of what they intend

  33. Martin
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The GWPF web site has an article entitled ‘No more Electricity for Germany’:

    ‘The Wall Street Journal describes Germany’s phase-out of coal and nuclear power simply as “the stupidest energy policy in the world”. Although stupid environmental policy is routine, the paper continues, Germany still stands out clearly from this nonsense. While China’s coal consumption is rising, things are going downhill here.

    In a few years the last coal-fired and nuclear power plants are to be taken off the grid and shut down. Nobody knows where the electricity will come from. One thing is certain: wind and sun won’t do it. …’

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      @ Martin

      Show me a reliable source where that German policy can be found. Besides, the WSJ conveniently ignores natural gas which will be plentiful during the enxt 30 years at least. But, from Russia not via LNG imports from the US.

  34. Newmania
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The problem with capitalism and the environment is “external costs”. If , for example, I operate an iron foundry and dump the waste on the local river ( as was commonly the case ). My product will not include, in its price , the long term cost of pollution, let us say.
    It can quickly be seen that no one player can unilaterally improve practice which is why the state, as the expression of our common needs, has to set the rules for the market . Similarly the State requires mine owners not to end children into dark dangerous sub marine death traps as was also commonly the case prior to the emergence of organised Labour.
    Regulation will be contested by those whose duty it is to seek profit , often reasonably, the state is not neutral or outside the general drive for power but it is obvious that our best interests are often served by common rules that each of us might individually wish to break .

    With the market being an increasingly global and international phenomena evading regulation is easy for capital , which can switch production to weak links . The European Union is , in part an attempt to create a governable International Capitalism whereby the ability of the market to create wealth is subject to social regulation
    It is precisely to evade these rules that John Redwood wishes this country to be free of International obligations , in fact without deregulation of all kinds there would be ltitle point in leaving the U( this is why he hates the customs union)
    We can see then that whatever distractions may be pulled out of hats the inevitable result of Brexit is a lowering of environmental standards and a worsening of the prospects for the world being able to act with enlightened self interest on external costs .

    The rest of it is just ” say any old thing” stuff not dissimilar to that produced by Creationists

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink


      The whole of the EU relies on Far East production.

      An outsource and abrogation of responsibility. That’s why kids no longer go down pits, but we have welfare and modern slavery abuses imported via the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Complete nonsense from NM as usual
      We have the highest environmental and health and safety and employment protections in the UK because of our industrial history brought in by various governments in the past and lobbied for by a powerful trade union movement.
      The EU has just copied our lead and has been applying our laws onto other European nations.
      What government would get elected with manifestos promising to repeal employment protections for every voter?

  35. Yorkie
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    There are certain debates given official adulthood by the Establishment
    Unfortunately an increasing number of them are illegitimate and cannot reach adulthood.

    Climate Change in the terms of “We will all die in 40 years” is one.
    Trump “in conspiracy with Russia to get elected” is another

    It is sad indeed for me to hear high IQ people with much, tomes, of University qualifications painstakingly discussing the Ridiculous.

    One example, About 1967 . My schoolmates and I mentioned to the Head of Science, well qualified, that apples have malic acid and sugar, the two proclaimed bad things for teeth.
    He said “Oh but they are not the same as normal acids and sugars”
    We thought ,you see, that a wedge of such a material as apple between the teeth, there for days in reality, could be a problem.

    It is only relatively recently that the dentistry experts have indicated “YES, it is a problem” It didn’t stop high IQ and qualified dentists from keeping posters on their institution walls “Eat apples, it is good for your teeth”
    I could cite more examples.

    Hysteria, I put it down to. Pure hysteria.Also ideological “thinking”.
    IQ, Intelligence, academic training and qualifications count for nothing nowadays.

    In early 1970s, I read ecologists and most certainly they had a point, in a town with raw sewage in its river. Went to Bridlington with raw sewage on its beaches, thousands of adults and children, some of very high intelligence having days-out.

    I have witnessed personally colleagues showing the most severe hysteria. Psychology books only ever gave one-off examples of Joe Six-Pack receiving treatment for such, though Joe, only had one of their maladies.

    I wish I could go and live in the most Far-Right Trump US State which has a zero-tolerance of drugs and does not have a presence of those with the Liberal Pathogen which Mark Dice jokes about on his online sites. It’s no joke, pathogen or not.
    Increasingly my wish is escape that pathogen which is downing people even in parliament in droves.
    They have illogical thought by conclusion though their “workings-out” have some merit, usually very flowery, pretty, “educated”

    JR. You seem alone in your writings and utterances to be immune and I write this in a sense that is beyond political discourse.
    There is something wrong with human minds.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      ”There is something wrong with human minds….” Yes. They are being overloaded. And only the strong survive.
      Just another example of ”survival of the fittest”…..

      • Yorkie
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 1:25 am | Permalink

        Actually, now I come to think of it, I’ve not heard or read a scientist give an explanation for the phenomenon I described. I was in their heads I guess.
        Well, it can be explained scientifically by breaking up the visuals into momentary photo-like still shots in frames of momentary experience of the visual and an ongoing adjustment frame by frame with the added anticipatory factor keyed in, so to speak. Though scientists would describe it using big words in accordance with Modern English.
        But it is the Cheetah, perhaps, or indeed the figurative Man as driver
        who would either have a piece of bio- software to accomplish it in memory-space, or need to buy it at a computer shop which, only came into existence AFTER Nature had made the Cheetah and Man….and without fore-knowledge, I guess, that the advanced software would after thousands of years find a use.

        No God questions please and Design theories. I have enough with Shakespeare, he is my god. I read him but imperfectly. I need a download!And a beer!

  36. BR
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Governments don’t need to impose limits, they influence behaviour by how they address child benefit etc. Removing the benefit for the 3rd child onwards is correct. Other measures to reduce the incentive for large families are also needed, as is the need to control immigration. This is especially true when we propose to import a worker who then has the right to bring a family with them – often a large extended family. This is clearly counter to our national long-term interests.

    Cleaner air, in terms of NOX etc, great. That will reduce disease etc. But before you jump on the bandwagon of crowing about CO2 reduction, I suggest you take a proper look at the ‘science’ on climate change. It is far from proven that (a) there is a long-term effect (b) that it is not due to astronomical factors beyond out control, such as the long-term orbital changes of the planets that result in ice-age cycles measured in tens of thousands of years and (c) that human emissions are having a significant effect.

    Most science in this area looks at cause-and-effect observations, failing to address the fact that correlation is not causation.

    Where the science is really poor, at the most basic level, is when so-called scientists forget the absolute basics that we all learned in early physics lessons such as Archimedes’ Principle. We are told that melting sea ice will cause rising sea levels ignoring the basic principle that a submerged body displaces its volume, whereas a floating body displaces its weight.

    Most of our ice is floating (such as in the Arctic) and the weight of water is the same whether it is in frozen or liquid form. Therefore it will have no impact on sea level since the displacement will be the same.

    We have two areas of ice on rock: the Antarctic and the Greenland ice cap. For unknown reasons, the Antarctic ice is increasing in size since measurements began in 2013 – for a simple fact-check, look at Wikipedia. Also, it is not entirely clear that it is actually ‘on rock’ – even a tiny gap would mean that is is floating in Archimedes’ Principle terms.

    So – please do your best to have the government look into this properly – establish the scientific facts. That means understanding the PROCESS not simply arguing based on observation of correlation of effects. On that basis, we might currently believe that lung cancer is caused by yellowing of the teeth rather than knowing that the correlation is true, but the underlying cause is smoking.

    • BR
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      I would love to know why my comments are always ‘awaiting moderation’.

      Time I didn’t bother with this site I think. Apart from anything else… its host seems to be more of a powerless bystander in the running of his country, so why bother?

  37. Dominic
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    My one question.

    Is …… Labour and their octopus organisation involved in this political cause? If they are and I suspect they are their intention is to appeal to the youth vote and if possible get the voting age reduced to 16. The aim is to politicise young people and turn them into Labour voters

    Labour are constantly trying to manipulate the mindset of people. The aim is to stoke a negative emotional response to the idea of private capital, profit and individualism and create a positive emotional response to the bogus idea of collectivism (or totalitarianism as we all know it to be). Collectivism or some form of it affords huge power to the political centre and can be used to oppress multitudes

    The Tories have no idea how to respond. They are clueless, backward and hopeless.

    The first step in undermining the collectivist aims of Labour is to abolish the opt-in system in the public sector. This is financing mechanism Labour used to finance their activities. The taxpayer is inadvertently financing the collectivist cause. Cameron threatened to abolish it but bottled it

    Abolish all political activity by public sector employees

    Strip all legislation from the statute that makes reference to gender, ethnicity and sexuality

    New laws to protect freedom of speech across all areas.

    Abolish the 30 year rule on sensitive documents

    Formulate a strategy targeting the very idea of social class (sheep herding), society and socialist thought and equate it to political oppression and destruction of freedoms

  38. Norman
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Have you ever wondered how plants know how to send their roots downwards, and their shoots upwards? Or how a climbing plant like a runner bean knows how to twist in only one direction (clockwise, in this instance). Or how the ovum from one plant knows how to receive only pollen of its own kind, to make a seed? And how blood and chlorophyll contain such similar molecules – the one, haemoglobin with an iron atom , the other with a magnesium atom at their centre? The one transporting oxygen around the body; the other absorbing carbon dioxide, and fixing it to make carbohydrates for food?
    “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding…” Job 38:1-4

  39. Yorkie
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Ah! The Pollen Bomb as termed by Sky News is another sequel to its Polar Vortex and Snowmageddon which, is very Normanish and Oxfordish in showing they don’t call the latter Snowmagdalenon, is upon us.
    We used to call it Spring, when things naturally pollinate causing hayfever: sniffles. Yes it’s that time of year known since Adam ( no not Adam Smith if any Corbynistas are reading this looking for an Extreme Far-right-wing Nazi ) but another Adam who they have obviously not read about judging from their evil antics.
    Amazingly said as fact, the media has it that 13 million people suffer from it. It looks like Evolution did not do its job in the Survival of the Fittest and Adaptation to boot.
    It’s now left to Tolkienesque trees to wipe out the Orcs who predominantly are in Local Authority Middle Class higher ranks and their immune systems are already proven as weak in that they have an innate allergy to work. It could be the Eve of their last roam and moan experience.

  40. margaret howard
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink


    Is the reason we have a lower carbon footprint than, say Germany because our industry is geared towards the financial and service sector rather than manufacturing? We don’t on the whole produce much what the world needs like machinery etc which all produces carbon.
    So would you agree that these comparisons are rather misleading and even pointless?

    Reply The EU system of national targets does have exactly that problem, so I am glad you at last have found an EU approach to disagree with. Even allowing for a different industrial balance , however, Germany is more carbon intensive thanks to use of lignite. The UK surely should get carbon policy benefits from having a structure of business that is less carbon dependent than Germany? If we went over to carbon accounting based on consumption patterns then there would be no incentive on producers to rein in their use of carbon burning.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink


      You also maintain:

      “I have proposed removing VAT on all green products once we are out of the EU and allowed to do so”

      But according to EU directives:

      “The European Union value added tax is a value added tax on goods and services within the European Union. EU member states are each required to adopt a value added tax that complies with the EU VAT code. Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states, ranging from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary”

      In other words there is nothing to stop us from lowering or adjusting VAT now whilst still EU members?

      Reply We cannot remove it. The minmum rate required is high

    • L Jones
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think Ms Howard will understand that, Sir John.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      We were on course to have a far lower carbon footprint than we do now. Our governments didn’t want it and conducted policy against the clear will of the British public… which brought us to Brexit.

  41. Rien Huizer
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    You are right that the UK does not have to make a huge effort (ssuming nuclear power stations will be replaced maybe). O ne reason that The Netherlands scores far above the UK (ie more CO2 emissions) is that the bulk of oil refining for western Europe is in Rotterdam and Antwerp (in Belgium of course, but Belgium relies heavily on nuclear and imports), has a large steelworks (Tata Steel) and has two modern very large German (effectively German owned) coal fired power generation complexes on the German border that sell much of their power to the German grid (that grid largely owned by a Dutch gvt owned network utility). I am boring you here with trivia that simply show that country-level policy is meaningless when countries are very small and factors highly mobile.

    However, the environment is a phenomenal political tool and no amount of rationalism will convince those young zealots that the the future of the planet hardly depends on their efforts and that denying oneself the luxury of a modern lifestyle (without too much excess but why give up the private jet for a good cause if cause and effect cannot be linked?) may appeal to the descendants of Puritanical Calvinism. Politics.

    However if the Conservative Party wants to restock membership to say 300K levels (the bare minimum to remain relevant I guess) and avoid ending up with the debris of populist nationalism after Brexit has gone away as an issue it has a fantastic shot at capturing the younger generation (with applause from certain members of the Royal Family) if it can develop a conservation “conservation” oriented environmental policy. Environment denial is pointless and only leads to applause from people who will not leave anyway.

  42. mancunius
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    “It is also important for individuals to choose to limit family size.”

    A hundred years ago Marie Stopes said precisely the same: these days she is praised by feminists for her ‘selfless work among the poor’. But her motive for encouraging birth-control and abortion among the teeming slums of North London was what was then termed ‘eugenic’: i.e. an ideological fear that the poor (and their subset, the criminal classes) were overbreeding and degenerating the race. It was supported by other elitists such as Houston Chamberlain, and taken up enthusiastically in the 1930s by the German government.

    Interesting that the motives alter, but the coercive attempts remain the same.

    Nobody, except an obsessed ideologue, is going to refrain from having children with the person they love because of ‘climate change’. Calling for ‘individual effort’ is a Trojan horse – it never stops there, and state propaganda is always followed by coercion.

    We need to decide – do we want personal freedom, or do we want socialism?

    • Fuddy Duddy
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      If population levels get out of hand and allowed to increase to a level where controls (over food, travel, energy use etc.) are needed you won’t have any personal freedom. That pertains even today in many areas.

      • mancunius
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Not in Britain. The UK’s birth rate is still below its replacement rate – even after decades of immigration and high immigrant birthrates.
        And you won’t have much luck ordering China to reinstate its one-child policy.

        • Fuddy Duddy
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          It’s already out of hand in the UK. Because of our massive population the energy, land, food production, housing, health needs etc., etc. are detrimental to the biosphere and a sane way of life.

          IMO there are 50 million too many people in the UK and without that number even then we would still be more populated than many 1st world countries.

          Don’t whine and ask, ‘how would you get rid of them?’ That’s not my point.

          • mancunius
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            Your ‘point’ – irrelevant as it is – is also spurious, as on your own admission you’ve just made up the figure of 50 million people who ‘in your opinion’ are surprlus to requirements, and that you’d like to get rid of from the UK alone.

            Far simpler for you to seek out a country less inconveniently cluttered with pesky human beings, and emigrate there. You wouldn’t regret it – and nor would we.

  43. Andy
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Indeed it does not make much sense for one country to tackle this global problem.

    But wait – there’s an issue with this.

    How can you come up with legally binding international agreements without giving up sovereignty?

    And we all know Brexiteers / climate change deniers (they tend to be the same people) want all of their own sovereignty.

    Your position of supporting internationally agreed rules when you object to internationally agreed rules is highly illogical.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      You again totally fail to understand the difference between a nation agreeing a course of action with other nations and having a supranational organisation imposing a law on a nation.

    • RichardM
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Exactly Andy.
      Trump has pull the US out of the global Paris agreement, describing the move as “a reassertion of America’s sovereignty”.
      This is our destiny. Ruination by fake sovereignty bullshit.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        He gets rightly fed up with nations who want America to give them many billions to spend whilst at the same time they openly criticise him and the people of America.
        The Paris Agreement was a failure with China in particular allowed to carry on increasing its use of coal and being allowed to self audit its progress.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      ”They tend to be the same people”.
      Gosh, Andy, your ignorance is certainly breathtaking. How silly can you get? Try again…. surprise us.

  44. DaveM
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    With the extensive coverage of the unwashed protesting over climate change, why has the BBC failed to mention the bikers’ protest last week and the thousands who marched up the Mall today? Is this government-sponsored blackout? If so, maybe someone should educate the fools on the merits of social media.

  45. ian
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Innovation and new ideas and is the way to go, more country trying new things and what is best for them with what they have.

    After Brexit and the 12 billion comebacks, i like the gov to add 6 billion pounds to it and share it out to all MPs in England of about 32 million per MP to spend in their areas, now it, not big amount of money but MP can grow the money with grants from councils, gov, charities, lotto, fairs and be able to leverage by 15% for loan for some projects a good MP might double that and redirect the money to where it is needed in their area, like doctors or housing, hospital equipment, potholes whatever ie new care home or help for a care home from the lawyer and accountant to stay open.

    If the MPs wages gross at 78,000 no tax and they can earn more if they grow the fund from 32 million to 64 million wages go to 156,000 tax-free and all people working under the MP tax-free so the money goes further and with discounts from builders and companies will go a lot further still.

    I like the competition for being an MP increased with full reporting to the public to what they have done themselves and how the money spent and what they got for the money

  46. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Indeed Britain is making huge efforts to combat rising CO2 levels, but if one has a scientific and open mind (rather than going with consensus) there is a good deal of evidence that some of the scariest projections about runaway global warming, and of tipping- points being passed (i.e. mass release of strong greenhouse gas methane from melting tundra- again leading to runaway global warming) are overblown. You might, Sir wish to look at some of these sources that indicate we are not going to face massive global warming any time soon! Some of the articles are very interesting
    (I would recommend John L. Casey’s “Dark Winter”, -our immediate concern won’t be global warming but a run of harsh winters in the North in the next 20 years if his prognosis proves correct!)

    There is evidence that the Sun is going to enter a quiet, cooler phase with very few sunspots. This is similar to the so- called Maunder Minimum of the 17th Century that occurred during the coldest phase of the Little Ice Age and this could lead to a 1.0C fall in global temperatures other things being equal. This could easily counterract the effects of CO2 levels increasing by another 150 ppm by volume. If indeed this is so, it means that governments across the World have over thirty years to look at other measures that could be deployed on a grand scale to counterract the effect of rising CO2 emissions.

    In the meantime, Conservative MPs in a (nominally) Conservative Government should not be arguing for higher taxes and green subsidies which make energy expensive to produce and sell. High energy costs are -in turn- imposed on households and businesses and this results both in slower growth and higher inflation.

    There is a very good case for slashing green subsidies and using the savings to both cut taxes and invest in a new generation of nuclear power stations. This will help the economy and guarantee Britain’s energy security going forwards.

    Ian Pennell

    • PeterM
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Indeed (daily) observations of the 10.7 cm radio flux from the Sun have been shown over at least three decades to be very well correlated with the number of sun spots, the far-UV (<150 nm) solar irradiance and the Total Solar Irradiance. So we can expect to enter soon (or to have very recently entered) cycle 25 of the solar cycle. Keeping in mind that over a full cycle the TSI fluctuates by 0.2 % around its value of 1365 Wm^-2, that’s about a 2.7 Wm^-2 external forcing to be considered as a potential impact on climate. Interestingly enough, the same observations of the solar activity have shown a somewhat decreasing correlation with global temperature, meaning what seems to indicate a stronger impact of other forcings (greenhouse gases? changes in ocean circulation linked to decreasing high latitude ice shelves?) than that of the solar cycle. Puzzling, isn’t it?

  47. Polly
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    How could they possibly know what was in the proposed ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ the day before it was released to ministers ?

    Do you think it could have been leaked, and, if so, why to them ?

    It seems surprising really, doesn’t it ?

  48. ferdinand
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    CO 2 is not a problem. It is only 0.04% of the atmosphere. We need as much as we can get if we are to feed the expanding world population. Not only that but it cannot cause dangerous global warming however much we produce because the heating effect is logarithmic. After 200ppm the heating effect of CO2 has virtually disappeared. The trouble is most MPs do not have a clue about how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. I asked very well known and intelligent Conservative MP what the CO2 content was and he replied that he didn’t know but guessed at abound 60% !. How on earth can the dreadful government policy towards energy be based on such ignorance ?

    • PeterM
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Absorption by CO2 is in a logarithmic regime (behaves logarithmically) around wavelengths at 4.3 micrometers and 15 micrometers where the centers of these very strong bands are saturated. But this absorption is not saturated at the sides (wings) of these strong bands (a square-root regime). At 9.4 and 10.4 micrometers the absorption is linear. Problem is the absorption by water vapor in this part of the infrared spectrum is minimum, so linear effect of CO2 is maximum (minimum overlap CO2-H2O).

      • ferdinand
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Yes I agree but telling disinterested people such facts tends to put them off completely

        • PeterM
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          Not so sure: a lot of contributors on this blog have very strong views on climate change based on little more than the last thing they read on their favorite website/newspaper, which very rarely reports basic scientific facts. So they tend to repeat not what scientists might be saying (and that includes the uncertainties and associated error bars) but what some journalists (or politicos) might have understood from second- or third-hand conversation/reading.
          In the present story “which comes first, temperature or CO2 concentration increase”, how many would be able to define properly the state of the Earth’s surface in those times?

  49. Epigenes
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide is not the thermostat that controls temperature or climate. The problem with almost all politicians is that they know no science whatsoever and listen to charlatans that tell lies to scam money from taxpayers.

    There is no empirical evidence whatsoever that CO2 is relevant. The hypotheses that it is comes from maths modelers and politicians. A mathematical model is simply some person’s or group’s opinion. Even they know their models are false and build in positive feedback to give the desired answers. This is politics. No science is involved.

  50. John Archer
    Posted April 23, 2019 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    The overwhelming majority of politicians are scientifically illiterate and this illiteracy is even greater when it comes to STEM. Yet they are ultimately the ones who get to decide, via subsequent policy, on the truth or otherwise of the half-baked hypothesis of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) being brought about by man’s industrialised output of CO₂ based on the output of Mickey-Mouse climate models conjured up by third-rate* practitioners of the interdisciplinary hodgepodge known as climate science.

    Meanwhile these politicos are more than happy to call this junkthink climate change.

    Clearly they don’t even know that the climate has always been changing. In particular, over the last 2+ billion years, the Earth has experienced at least 5 ice ages. And none of these have had anything to do with man, let alone him being the cause.


    * These people couldn’t make it in a pure discipline so if they manage to remain in academe they necessarily end up in these low-grade fields.

    FWIW, until about 15 years ago I had no reason to regard climate science as anything other than a respectable endeavour, albeit one that I had little interest in because of its non-fundamental nature and the general suck-it-and-see ugliness that such things ultimately entail. I even thought the doubters were a little nutty. That all changed when I was prompted to look at the evidence and methods used by those promoting this junk.

  • 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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