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Tuesday
Jul292014

Show Me The Money

 Owen Patterson, what a fine upstanding man, now he’s out of government he can finally tell the truth.

That is of course, the truth according to the richest, most influential lobby group the human race has ever been confronted with.

They work together, they have a bottomless pit of funds and of course, they are aggressive because they have an enormous amount to lose.

Am I talking about the vicious communist cabal of green environmentalist Clarkson baiting bully girls who claim to know everything and who gave the recently sacked ‘Environment’ Minister such a hard time?

Am I talking about, to quote Mr Paterson, the “mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape.”

No, I’m not.

I’m talking about the multi-billion, multi-national hydrocarbon industry who quietly pump gargantuan funds through our political system through lobbying and lavish expense accounts to support ‘charities’ like Lord Nigel Lawson’s laughable ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation.’

Well, laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly well funded and powerful and has the inside track to the powers that be and is clearly having a great deal of success.

Who gave Paterson a very lucrative speaking gig the moment he got the boot from the Cameron Cabinet, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, quelle surprise.

Restoring balance and trust to the climate debate. Doesn't that make you feel safe and reassured.

Nothing new really, Paterson has been their best spokesman for the entire time he was in the cabinet.

Just a quick side-note. Lawson and his henchmen will not reveal where the funding for this ‘charity’ comes from. In fact it’s so well dodgy that their charitable status has recently been withdrawn

So let’s just step back from the heated debate for a moment, not get emotional about it and have a look at the two groups opposing each other on this jolly old energy matrix - climate change debate.

On one side you have the world's, indeed the wealthiest corporations in all human history. Forget Apple and Google, the really big money is still in fossils.

These are the chaps who extract hydrocarbons, ship, refine them and sell them.

They make massive profits for themselves and their many and varied shareholders including many of us with pensions.

They support the civilised world as we know it, their work, and I’m not being funny, their work is vital.

We are all utterly reliant on the job they do.

If they didn’t extract oil we wouldn’t have computers, phones, cars, medicines, roads and millions of other things because they not only make petrol, diesel and aviation fuel, they also produce plastics, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers.

They also produce all the world’s hydrogen for ‘clean’ hydrogen fuel cell cars but that’s another issue.

So that’s one side, I think we can all agree, no matter what our opinion or outlook, these corporations are likely to be keen to maintain the status quo, make sure they can still operate and make money and are capable and prepared to spend big to undermine any negative influence on their activities.

On the other side you have a ragbag of pressure groups, governmental organisations, university departments, very small energy companies, opinion formers and local activists.

Now, I read through that list and I’m not seeing big money.

I’m not seeing powerful executives with massive off shore bank accounts and the ability to bully, bribe, cajole, threaten and pester world leaders.

I’m seeing a bloke with a sign outside a coal burning power plant, a woman with a sign outside an oil company headquarters.

I’m seeing students shouting about drilling for oil in the arctic, or local people challenging the fracking companies, the tar sands projects, the more and more drastic efforts the hydrocarbon industry are having to use to keep the oil flowing.

So when Owen Paterson, his paymaster Nige Lawson and their sweaty cabal of loud mouth right wing nut bags tell you things like ‘renewable energy just isn’t viable,’ I merely want to suggest that we should consider whos beneftting from this successful doubt sowing campaign.

Say it enough times, as Fox News understands in the USA, say it enough times and people will believe you.

Show me the Money. Show me the Money!

 

 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (6)

Sorry Robert..you sort of lost moral credibility when you just sat there and let Jerry Seinfeld steal your show.

August 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave Loftus

"renewable energy isn't viable" lol.

If fossil fuel products were actually priced with the environmental impact included on the bill, I suspect an independent observer (not that we have one), would say much the same about fossil fuels!!

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPete Richardson

Robert,

That vipers nest of commies, the International Energy Agency calculated earlier this year that mankind must invest $44 trillion in wind / solar / energy efficiency by 2050 to prevent us from going over the climate cliff edge (i.e keep global warming below 2 °C).

But look at the huge cost? I hear Owen Patterson and his fossil fuel-loving chums at the GWPF splutter over their Daily Telegraph.

Well, aside from the little matter of saving mankind from Armageddon, that investment in clean energy will produce an even more humongous $115 trillion fuel saving. So whilst the rest mankind tots up the net gain - all $71 trillion of it! - the GWPF can look on at the ruins of their beloved fossil fuel industry.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229691.900-delays-on-climate-change-have-cost-us-8-trillion.html#.U_mmyWNAInJ

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Ferguson

Companies like Alevo, Ambri, Tesla and Abengoa are really helping make 50% renewable energy practical and cheap. I don't think it is a surprise that money mixes with politics in the USA but I think most people would be surprised just how much money is being spent to help coal, gas and oil burning and how delusional Americans can be when sufficiently distracted. Douglas Adams explained this well. America does some natural communicators, talented leaders and two of my best ever bosses but they do have much blinkered short-term foolishness driven by short-term financials to fight against.

Australia is also suffering long-term energy delusions currently and whilst it is a wonderful country, no one has claimed that Queenslanders or Australians are as smart as they are generous so I hope your daughter meets the smarter locals out there. Brisbane does have the best climate of anywhere that I've ever lived and the number of solar panels was growing suddenly until a change of politicians ended the renewables support - in part because the Australian state governments are also some of the biggest owners of fossil fuel plants and already higher grid charges were naturally reducing Australians' prodgious electricity consumption. Australian federal government deficit has actually ballooned 5 times over during the end of the mining boom so Australia has made its own energy pincer and Tony Abbotts' own apparent delusions might just be helping his friends and not sincere delusions :-) I just hope that Australians stop supporting primary exports at all costs so they can have their old Aussie dollar back and so get their old jobs back and their old house prices back and their government can stop pretending that they don't care about the global environment.

By the way, I always took your car show fully charged as just entertainment but your Mitsubishi PHEV review was actually really informative for me so thanks for both fun and information. Personally, I'm in Vietnam and Thailand currently hoping to help a big sugar cane company make better beer (fermentation technology) and biofuels

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Parsons

View from the left - Jame Heartfield, ex Guardian contributor, Marxist professor.


Putting the hippies on the payroll

Green Capitalism: Manufacturing Scarcity in an Age of Abundance, by James Heartfield


"In other words, green capitalism is not a passing fad adopted by a few corporate bosses, too spineless to stand up to the hippies; it expresses an essential feature of the social system. As Heartfield reminds us, the origins of modern environmentalism lie in the 1970s when the elite industrialists of the Club of Rome commissioned The Limits to Growth report. As the long post-war boom ended, arguing that the world was running out of resources was another way of saying that there was nothing left to redistribute, and that trade unions must settle for lower wages (p27). (Needless to say, the Club of Rome’s predictions about the exhaustion of natural resources were all confounded [p13]).


####


In 1997 the Club of Rome collaborated with Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute to launch a new report "Factor Four" that promised to "halve resource use" while doubling wealth. The message was that you could get rich saving the planet. A privileged few did indeed double their wealth; but for the rest it was just a case of halving resources.

Immodestly, Lovins made his own California energy scheme the main example of savings in "Factor Four". His well-paid advice to the State of California was that it was a big mistake to adopt a system that rewarded increased electricity output with increased profits. Such a system would naturally tend to boost output. Instead, rewards for cutting energy use were needed. Rather than getting paid for additional megawatts the utility companies should be rewarded for saving power use: negawatts. The impact of Lovins' model on energy generation in California was decisive. "Around 1980, Pacific Gas and Electricity Company was planning to build some 10-20 power stations", according to Lovins.

But by 1992, PG&E was planning to build no more power stations, and in 1993, it permanently dissolved its engineering and construction division. Instead as its 1992 Annual Report pronounced, it planned to get at least three quarters of its new power needs in the 1990s from more efficient use by its customers.[4]


Of course the PG&E was not getting three quarters of its new power needs from anywhere: it had just reduced its output. But manufacturing energy scarcity did indeed grow somebody's cash wealth: Enron's. With these artificial caps on energy production the generating companies could start to hike up the charges to utility companies, including PG&E, now unable to meet its own customers' demands. Those energy companies were owned by Enron. Chief Executive Kenneth Lay turned Enron from a company that made its money generating power into one that made its money trading finance. Whatever else it was doing, there was no denying that Enron was cutting back its own CO2 emissions and getting rich doing it. One company memo stated that the Kyoto treaty "would do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative".[5]

Amory Lovins' negawatt revolution in California was Enron's wet dream. Having shut down its own generation capacity, PG&E was at the mercy of Enron's market manipulation. Buying surplus electricity on the open market PG&E was royally fleeced, losing US$12 billion. Utility bills rose by nine times between May 2000 and May 2001. Enron took advantage of the restricted market and cut electricity to California. They even invented reasons to take power plants offline while California was blacked out. Enron officials joked that they were stealing one million dollars a day from California.[6] The PG&E that Lovins held up as a model went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the State of California.

November 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Naomi Klein claims to believe in AGW, however.

The whole affair, according to Klein, underlines a painful truth behind the “catastrophic failure” of some environmental organisations to combat the fossil-fuel industries responsible for soaring greenhouse gas emissions. “Large parts of the movement aren’t actually fighting those interests – they have merged with them,” she writes, pointing to green groups that have accepted fossil-fuel industry donations or partnerships and invited industry executives on to their boards. It is no coincidence, suggests Klein, that several environmental organisations have also championed climate policies that are the least burdensome to the energy industry, including generously designed carbon markets and the use of natural gas as a bridge to a cleaner energy system.


Naomi Klein has seen the enemy and it's the Greens.


Well, I think there is a very deep denialism in the environmental movement among the Big Green groups. And to be very honest with you, I think it’s been more damaging than the right-wing denialism in terms of how much ground we’ve lost. Because it has steered us in directions that have yielded very poor results. I think if we look at the track record of Kyoto, of the UN Clean Development Mechanism, the European Union’s emissions trading scheme – we now have close to a decade that we can measure these schemes against, and it’s disastrous.

Not only are emissions up, but you have no end of scams to point to, which gives fodder to the right. The right took on cap-and-trade by saying it’s going to bankrupt us, it’s handouts to corporations, and, by the way, it’s not going to work. <B>And they were right on all counts </B>. Not in the bankrupting part, but they were right that this was a massive corporate giveaway, and they were right that it wasn’t going to bring us anywhere near what scientists were saying we needed to do lower emissions.

November 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

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