Saturday, July 16, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Sceptic Boris Johnson Is Britain’s New Foreign Secretary

British Government Abolishes Department Of Energy And Climate Change

In this newsletter:

1) Climate Sceptic Boris Johnson Is Britain’s New Foreign Secretary
Global Warming Policy Forum, 14 July 2016

2) British Government Abolishes Department Of Energy And Climate Change
reNews, 14 July 2016

3) Peiser & Mahoney: Let’s Scrap DECC
City A.M. Thursday 27 August 2015

4) Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s Right-Hand Man, On UK Climate Policy
Global Warming Policy Forum, 14 July 2016

5) Britain’s New Prime Minister: A Climate Policy Sceptic?
Climate Scepticism, 11 July 2016

6) Britain’s New Prime Minister Drives A Stake Through The Heart Of The Green Vampire
Breitbart London, 14 July 2016

Full details:

1) Climate Sceptic Boris Johnson Is Britain’s New Foreign Secretary
Global Warming Policy Forum, 14 July 2016

Former London mayor Boris Johnson was appointed as foreign minister by Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday. Johnson was a leading figure in the victorious “Leave” campaign in the EU referendum last month and is well-known climate sceptic.

Boris Johnson: The False Weather Prophets
Fools who believed that the global warming soothsayers really meant what they said or that they had a clue what the weather would be in the next 10 years.

[...] For more than 20 years now, we have been told that this country was going to get hotter and hotter and hotter, and that global warming was going to change our climate in a fundamental way. Do you remember that? We were told that Britain was going to have short, wet winters and long, roasting summers. It was going to be like 1976 all over again, with streakers at Lord’s and your Mr Whippy melting before you could even lick it, and Hyde Park scorched into a mini Kalahari.

They said we were never going to have snow again, and that we should prepare for southern England to turn gradually into a Mediterranean world. There were going to be olive groves in the Weald of Kent, and the whole place was going to be so generally broiling in summer that no one would be able to move between noon and 4pm, after which people would come out to play boules and sip pastis, to the whine of a mandolin, in the dusty square that had once been a village green.

That’s what they said: the BBC, and all the respectable meteorologists – and I reckon there were tens of thousands of people who took these prophecies entirely seriously. Omigod, they said to themselves, we are all going to fry…

I hope I don’t need to tell you that we have not experienced a Mediterranean climate – not since they started to tell us to expect it. On the contrary, we have had some pretty long and miserable winters – including the last one, in which I saw snow settle in London on four separate occasions – and our summer is at risk of becoming a bit of a farce.
Boris Johnson: Are We Facing Global Cooling?
Something is up with our winter weather. Could it be the Sun is having a slow patch. Of course it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini ice age. But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind.

“The Sun is god!” cried JMW Turner as he died, and plenty of other people have thought there was much in his analysis. The Aztecs agreed, and so did the pharaohs of Egypt. We are an arrogant lot these days, and we tend to underestimate the importance of our governor and creator.

We forget that we were once just a clod of cooled-down solar dust; we forget that without the Sun there would have been no photosynthesis, no hydrocarbons — and that it was the great celestial orb that effectively called life into being on Earth. In so far as we are able to heat our homes or turn on our computers or drive to work it is thanks to the unlocking of energy from the Sun.

As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands — when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

I say all this because I am sitting here staring through the window at the flowerpot and the bashed-up barbecue, and I am starting to think this series of winters is not a coincidence. The snow on the flowerpot, since I have been staring, has got about an inch thicker. The barbecue is all but invisible. By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don’t remember from my childhood: snow that comes one day, and then sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more.

I remember snow that used to come and settle for just long enough for a single decent snowball fight before turning to slush; I don’t remember winters like this. Two days ago I was cycling through Trafalgar Square and saw icicles on the traffic lights; and though I am sure plenty of readers will say I am just unobservant, I don’t think I have seen that before. I am all for theories about climate change, and would not for a moment dispute the wisdom or good intentions of the vast majority of scientists.

But I am also an empiricist; and I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it “warming” is obviously to strain the language. 

2) British Government Abolishes Department Of Energy And Climate Change
reNews, 14 July 2016

DECC has been abolished and UK energy policy is be transferred to a new ministry called the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The department will be headed by Greg Clark, formerly Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government…

It is understood that DECC will vacate its offices at 3 Whitehall Place and a new department for exiting the European Union will move in.

DECC could not be reached for comment.

Full story

3) Peiser & Mahoney: Let’s Scrap DECC
City A.M. Thursday 27 August 2015
Benny Peiser and Daniel Mahoney

It’s the right climate to scrap the Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is small compared to other government departments, with a gross annual expenditure of just £5.7bn.

However, as the government grapples with how to continue to drive down its deficit, abolishing this arm of the state should be a key priority: it would both provide vital savings and encourage a new emphasis on cost-effective policy-making.

The abolition of DECC would not be difficult to achieve. Energy policy could be transferred to the Department for Business and climate policy moved to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Indeed, in practice, many of DECC’s current responsibilities could be shifted relatively simply. For example, Nuclear Decommissioning – which accounted for 59 per cent of gross expenditure at DECC last year – could be moved to DEFRA with ease.

[...] Green activists claim that abolishing the department would send out the wrong “signal” in advance of the UN Climate Conference in Paris later this year. However, this PR approach is not in the interests of the consumer.

Moving energy policy to the Department for Business would give ministers a fresh impetus to ensure that costs for consumers and businesses are driven down, not pushed further up.

When it comes to necessary savings across Whitehall, the abolition of DECC would be easy pickings. Unlike other cuts across government, splitting up the department would have absolutely no material impact on the public.

Moreover, the current political climate is favourable for such action. With green opposition deeply divided and ineffective, it is an ideal opportunity for the government to abolish this unnecessary arm of the state without much fuss (although, in practice, it is likely to happen after the Paris conference).

Full post

4) Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s Right-Hand Man, On UK Climate Policy
Global Warming Policy Forum, 14 July 2016

Nick Timothy is Theresa May’s right hand man and a key adviser. In April he wrote a hard-hitting attack on Britain’s “unilateral and monstrous act of self-harm – or rather, the act of harm inflicted upon industrial Britain by Parliament – that was the Climate Change Act.”

Nick Timothy on Britain’s steel crisis and the Climate Change Act

[…] It is a bad habit of mine to shout at politicians being interviewed on the radio in the mornings, but last Tuesday – the day Tata Steel was due to decide the future of the Port Talbot steel plant – I read a column that enraged me.  In his Financial Times column, Janan Ganesh argued that the people who lose out from globalisation, those who are forced out of work or find their wages undercut, should simply be ignored by the Government.  “Rich democracies may have to live with a caucus of permanently aggrieved voters amounting to a quarter or a third of the whole,” he argued.  “A seething minority is still a minority.”

Writing off a third of our entire population might seem extreme, but it is typical of the political and media classes who know little of life beyond the Circle Line, the Underground route that marks the boundaries of London’s wealthy centre. These elitists propound a philosophy of international liberalism that benefits the wealthy but often undermines the prosperity of many of their fellow citizens.  They can be found in each of the major political parties, the top ranks of the civil service and, of course, in the comment pages of the Financial Times. […]

Either way, our passivity in response to China’s trade policy is not the inevitable result of globalisation but a deliberate decision taken by the Government. And the same can be said about Britain’s lack of a long-term industrial strategy. Given that ministers say that steel is a “strategically important sector”, it is striking that there is no strategy in place to promote and protect it.  Thanks to Government policy, big infrastructure projects use not British steel, but foreign imports.  Thanks to the Climate Change Act – legislation not imposed on Britain by uncontrollable forces but introduced by Labour and supported by all political parties – wholesale electricity prices for British industry are twice those paid by their EU competitors.

One might argue that steel is not a strategically-important industry for Britain and it does not merit special support. But that is not what ministers say. And it does not explain the unilateral and monstrous act of self-harm – or rather, the act of harm inflicted upon industrial Britain by Parliament – that was the Climate Change Act....

5) Britain’s New Prime Minister: A Climate Policy Sceptic?
Climate Scepticism, 11 July 2016
Paul Matthews

Theresa May is Britain’s new Prime Minister who took over from David Cameron yesterday.

A lot of nonsense is being talked about the need for a general election, from people with short memories who’ve forgotten that both Gordon Brown and John Major became PM without an election, and who’ve also forgotten that we now have fixed term parliaments, so the PM can’t just call an election.

So what are Theresa May’s views on climate change, climate policy and the environment?

The Independent declares that “she is not a green” and quotes her as saying in her speech today that

“I want to see an energy policy that emphasises the reliability of supply and lower costs for users.”

Her voting record can be seen at the TheyWorkForYou website, which reports that she:

* Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change
* Generally voted for lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles
* Has never voted on financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
* Generally voted against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas

Looking in detail at her voting on climate policy reveals that in the last year she has

* Voted against setting a decarbonisation target for the UK
* Voted against requiring a strategy for carbon capture and storage
* Voted to apply the Climate Change Levy tax to electricity generated from renewables

All this must be worrying news for climate policy advocates.

6) Britain’s New Prime Minister Drives A Stake Through The Heart Of The Green Vampire
Breitbart London, 14 July 2016
James Delingpole

Official: Britain no longer has “the greenest government ever.” 

Incoming Prime Minister Theresa May has driven a stake through the heart of her predecessor David Cameron’s fluffy, faux-Conservative project by scrapping the Department of Energy And Climate Change (DECC).

Established in 2008, DECC was a hangover from the Gordon Brown era of woeful misgovernance. Its first Secretary of State was future failed Labour leader candidate Ed Miliband whose only significant political achievement also happened to be one of the most expensive and pointless in British parliamentary history: the drafting of the truly disastrous Climate Change Act.

Under the terms of the Climate Change Act – written by a green activist from Friends of the Earth called Bryony Worthington; endorsed by Cameron’s Conservative opposition and rejected by only five MPs – Britain is legally committed to more stringent “decarbonisation” targets than any other country in the world, at an annual cost of around £19 billion a year.

Miliband’s successors, under the awful Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition government were even worse. For some bizarre reason probably not unconnected with utter fecklessness, green delusion and a fatuous desire to virtue signal, Prime Minister Cameron decided to hand over the keys to DECC to his Lib Dem Coalition partners. […]

It’s not yet clear how much of DECC’s £5.7 billion budget will be saved now that it is being absorbed into the Business department BIS.

Here is what the Global Warming Policy Forum‘s Benny Peiser suggested it might save when he campaigned for its closure last year:

Furthermore, many unnecessary green expenditure items could be phased out altogether. Spending in areas such as Renewable Heat, Carbon Capture and Storage and on the Committee on Climate Change should all be scrapped.

Merging DECC into other government departments would bring the UK in line with other developed nations too. Australia recently abolished its Climate Commission, transferring its essential functions to the Environment Department.

Were the UK to introduce similar efficiencies along with the removal of wasteful spending, the Exchequer could save £380m by 2020-21, according to analysis by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

It’s true that the most significant benefit its closure will bring lies not so much in saved costs as in the likelihood of reduced regulation. In Britain, as in the rest of the world, green taxes and regulations have added a significant burden to economic growth, as well as having a distorting effect on energy markets.

This is good news. Very good news.

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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