Man made Global Warming. Anthropogenic Global Warming. Climate Change. I won’t go into the arguments of that proposition but it is undeniably the main driver behind the recent incredible rush for renewables. The AGW supporting Climate Scientists have convinced governments worldwide that we need to generate low carbon energy to reduce our CO2 emissions.
Nuclear power is one possible solution but after years of dreadful public relations, accidents & cover-ups the public has become wary of nuclear power and so governments, having swallowed the AGW argument and anxious to remain in power, have grabbed the wind power stations solution with both hands.
It has been explained to them that wind power is quick to get off the ground and so after years of dithering and not building new nuclear capacity they see it as a god-send. Not only is it quick to get on-stream but the power stations are placed on top of hills, so they are very visible evidence of the Government “doing something” and it is seen by Joe public as being a “Green” solution.
I have explained on the blog over the last few months that wind is far from being “green”. Every single MW of capacity provided by wind has to be backed up by other forms of production because quite simply the wind won’t play ball; it won’t blow all the time you need it. Wind is also an incredibly expensive form of energy and so we subsidise it with higher energy bills.
Well then: All this rush to wind power doesn’t make sense, surely?
It does if you read the article written last week by Jason Lewis, who, interestingly is the Investigations Editor at the Daily Telegraph. Many thanks to my next-door neighbour for pointing this out to me. I have transcribed it below:
“A LOBBY GROUP that pushes the case that global warming is a real threat is being funded by the taxpayer and assisted by the BBC. The little-known, not-for-profit firm works behind the scenes at international conferences to further its aims.
One of its key supporters headed the official investigation into the so-called "Climategate emails", producing a report that cleared experts of deliberately attempting to skew scientific results to confirm that global warming was a real threat.
Another scientific expert linked to the group came forward to praise a second independent investigation into the Climategate affair which also exonerated researchers.
Set up with the backing of Tony Blair, then the prime minister, and run by a group of British MPs and peers, the organisation, Globe International, started life as an all-party group based in the House of Commons. It is now run as an international climate change lobbying group,flying its supporters and experts club class to international summits to push its agenda. Last year, it said, it spent about £500,000 flying supporters to these meetings.
It has also spent at least £75,000 on travel for prominent British politicians, including for its former presidents Elliot Morley, the ex-Labour environment minister now facing jail for expenses fraud, and Stephen Byers, the former Labour cabinet minister who was suspended from the Commons after he was filmed describing himself as a "cab for hire" when offering to lobby his parliamentary contacts for cash.
Now Globe is planning a mass lobby of the United Nations Rio 2012 summit in Brazil, where world leaders will discuss climate change, by holding a World Summit of Legislators in the city to coincide with the event.
Next week the group's current president Lord Deben, the former Tory cabinet minister John Gummer, is due to launch a major report on climate change policy alongside Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary. Globe has also recently held behind-closed-doors meetings with William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and other Coalition ministers.
Last year two prominent experts linked to Globe were drawn into the controversy over emails leaked from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit.
Lord Oxburgh*, the organisation's director, was called in to head an internal inquiry into the leaked emails which included one infamous message referring to a "trick" to "hide the decline" in global temperatures.”
[*Lord Oxburgh is also chairman of Falck Renewables, a manufacturer of windfarms and the UK subsidiary of The Falck Group, a Milan-based manufacturer. A sister company of Oxburgh‘s Falck Renewables, Actelios, is publicly traded and had suffered serious falls in its stock price during the period of Climategate. A.S.]
“The peer's investigation cleared the scientists of malpractice. But critics claimed the report was a whitewash. Lord Oxburgh did not declare his involvement with Globe in the House of Lords register of interests before he began his investigation.
Meanwhile, Bob Ward, from the Grantham Institute, which works alongside Globe, praised a second inquiry by Muir Russell, a former civil servant, which also cleared the climate researchers. He said it had "lifted the cloud of suspicion" and demonstrated that "the integrity of climate science is intact".
Globe International's work is paid for with donations from multi-millionaire backers and through partnerships with other environmental groups. It confirmed last night that it received direct funding from the Department of Energy and the Department of International Development (DfID), including a grant of £91,240 provided by DfID since the Coalition came to power.
More cash from DfID is filtered through the Complus Alliance, a "sustainable development communications alliance" of broadcasters based in Costa Rica which is also supported by the BBC World Service Trust, the corporation's independent charity.
Complus, which was awarded DfID cash last year and in 2006, says it has an "ongoing relationship with Globe" helping it run "shadow negotiation" teams at international summits of world leaders. A spokeswoman for Complus said: "The BBC is a founding member not a funding member. They can make in-kind contributions, like organising events, supporting logistics, sharing content."
Last night a DfID spokesman confirmed the department had given Complus £250,000 in total to provide research, advocacy and communications work on the impact of climate change.
The BBC trust's money is drawn from the £15.2 million-a-year it gets from the Foreign Office and DFID and £800,000 from licence payers. The BBC charity failed to respond to questions about its relationship with the project.
The Zoological Society of London, the world famous charity behind London Zoo, also provides Globe with scientific advice. Globe said it paid ZSL for its expertise.
Last night Globe's general secretary Adam Matthews said: "Globe is not a lobbying organisation. It is an international group of legislators. It was set up by the legislators themselves. We facilitate them coming together to discuss environmental issues. Our members have multiple views - some quite sceptical on some aspects of the climate change debate. "We are funded by the World Bank, the EU, international parliaments and governments, including the UK government. The Coalition Government contributes to our work through DfID."
Globe International, registered as a not-for-profit firm under the name The Global Legislators Organisation Ltd, makes minimal disclosures about its finances to Companies House. Last year it declared a £500,000 loss, but still managed to fly key supporters to summits and international conferences.
The MP Barry Gardiner, its vice president and former Labour biodiversity minister, attended at least four international conferences on Globe's behalf. Mr Gardiner's daughter is a member of Globe's full time staff.
It also paid nearly £3,000 to fly Gregory Barker, now the Coalition Climate Change Minister, to Washington.
Lord Hunt, the former head of the Met Office, and Lord Jay, the former head of the Diplomatic Service, both declared club class travel to summits paid for by the organisation. Lord Hunt, father of Tristan Hunt, the historian, television presenter and Labour MP, also lists Mr Matthews, Globe's secretary general, as a member of his House of Lords staff.
Mr Matthews was once Mr Gardiner's researcher in the House of Commons. His chief adviser, Gauri Kiik, is listed as being on the House of Lord's staff of Lord Jay.
Lord Deben declares his work for Globe as a "non-financial interest" to the House of Lords. He is also yet to declare any foreign travel funded by the organisation, although Globe confirmed last night that it had contributed to his travel and accommodation costs in the role. Lord Deben also runs an environmental consultancy company, Sandcroft International, which declared a turnover of almost £2 million in its last accounts. He is also chairman of Forewind, which has won the rights to build a wind farm off the Yorkshire coast.
Among Globe's principal backers are a charity set up by the Swedish multi-millionaire Niklas Zennstrom, founder of the phone service Skype, and the British-born wealth fund manager Jeremy Grantham, whose clients include Dick Cheney and John Kerry. Mr Grantham bankrolls the Grantham Institute at the LSE, which works alongside Globe. He believes "weather instability" is the world's biggest "investment problem" and his $107 billion fund pushes alternative assets including a massive portfolio of forestry.
Globe's staff includes Dr Sam Fankhauser, its chief economist and an "independent adviser" to the Government on climate change who is a member of the Government's committee on climate change; and Terry Townshend, director of policy development, whose wife Libby was on the British team at the UN summit in Copenhagen.”