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Owen Paterson's speech on abandoning climate change targets – full text

15 October 2014

8:00 PM

15 October 2014

8:00 PM

Tonight former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson gave the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s annual lecture. Here’s how he said we should go about ‘Keeping the Lights On’:

I would like to thank Lord Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation for inviting me to deliver the annual lecture – an important event in the calendar.

As a member of the Cabinet for four years I supported Coalition energy policy. However I have become increasingly aware from my own constituency and from widespread travel around the UK of intense public dissatisfaction with heavily subsidized renewable technologies in particular onshore wind.

I have used the last three months since leaving the Cabinet to learn more about the consequences of this policy. And what I have unearthed is alarming.

Our current policy will cost £1,300bn up to 2050. It fails to meet the very emissions targets it is designed to meet. And it fails to provide the UK’s energy requirements.

I will argue that current energy policy is a slave to flawed climate action. It neither reduces emissions sufficiently nor provides the energy we need as a country.

I call for a robust, common sense energy policy that would encourage the market to choose affordable technologies to reduce emissions, and give four examples:

  • promotion of indigenous shale gas
  • large scale localised Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
  • small modular nuclear reactors
  • rational demand management

The vital importance of affordable energy

But first, let us consider what is at stake. We now live in an almost totally computer-dependent world. Without secure power the whole of our modern civilisation collapses: banking, air traffic control, smart phones, refrigerated food, life-saving surgery, entertainment, education, industry and transport.

We are lucky to live in a country where energy has been affordable and reliable.

Yet we cannot take this for granted.

While most public discussion is driven by the immediacy of the looming 2020 EU renewables target; policy is actually dominated by the EU’s long-term 2050 target.

The 2050 target is for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent relative to 1990 levels. The target has been outlined by the European Commission. But it is only the UK that has made it legally binding through the Climate Change Act – a piece of legislation that I and virtually every other MP voted for.

The 2050 target of cutting emissions by 80 percent, requires the almost complete decarbonisation of the electricity supply in 36 years.

In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, and the lights would eventually go out. Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.

We must act now.

The purpose of my address today is to set out how.

The 2050 Target – what it means in practice

By 2050, the aim is to produce virtually all of our electricity with “zero carbon” emissions.
Yet at the moment over 60 percent of our electricity is produced by carbon-based fossil fuel – mainly gas and coal. And the emissions of this “carbon” portion have to be removed almost completely.

Yet cutting carbon out of electricity production isn’t enough. Heating, transport and industry also use carbon based fuels.

In fact, to hit the 80 percent reduction target, we will have to abolish natural gas in most of our homes. No more cooking or central heating using gas. Our homes must become all-electric.

Much of the fuel used for transport will have to be abolished too. 65 percent of private cars will have to be electric.

This is a point that is little understood. The 2050 target commits us to a huge expansion of electricity generation capacity, requiring vast investment.

The EU’s suggested route to meet this target – and how it doesn’t work

So where does such a supply of zero-carbon electricity come from? The European Commission offers several possibilities, but its particular enthusiasm is for renewable energy, under what it calls its “High RES” (Renewable Energy Sources) scenario. In this scenario, most of the electricity comes from wind power.

This is regrettably entirely unrealistic.

The investment costs of generation alone are prohibitive. They are admitted by the EU to be staggering. The High RES scenario alone would require a cumulative investment, between the years 2011 and 2050, of €3.2 trillion.

Even if you could find such sums from investors, they will require a return and a large premium to de-risk a very hazardous investment. The margins will be astonishing. As Peter Atherton of Liberum argues, the public will not readily accept profits that large for the energy companies.

But if investment is tricky, we only need to consider the scale of construction.

Wind capacity in the EU 27 must rise from 83 GW in 2010 to 984 GW in 2050. It means an increase from 42,000 wind turbines across Europe, to nearly 500,000 wind turbines. This would require a vast acreage of wind turbines that would wall-to-wall carpet Northern Ireland, Wales, Belgium, Holland and Portugal combined.

There, at the heart of the Commission’s “high RES” decarbonisation policy, is the fatal flaw. At any practical level, it cannot be achieved. It simply will not happen. Yet, as far as EU policy goes, it is the most promising option, on which considerable development resource has been expended.

UK’s plans to meet the targets are no better

Knowing this to be unrealistic, no other country in the European Union apart from the UK has made the 2050 target legally binding.

So having signed up to it, how does the UK hope to deliver all this carbon neutral electricity? The target is, in theory, technology-neutral. The Coalition Government acknowledges shortcomings in wind by making only “significant use” of the UK’s wind resources while taking into account ecological and social sensitivities of wind.

But if wind doesn’t make up the bulk of zero-carbon electricity supply, then that would mean building new nuclear at the rate of 1.2GW a year for the next 36 years. Put simply, that’s a new Hinkley Point every three years.

In addition UK policy requires building Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) plants which take CO2 emissions from gas and coal and buries them in the ground. But these are fuelled by gas or coal at the rate of 1.5GW a year. While nascent, this technology is known to cut efficiency by a third and treble capital cost.

So the British nuclear-led option is no more realistic than the Commission “high RES” scenario or any other of the decarbonisation options. There is simply no plausible scenario by which the British government can conceivably meet its 80 percent emission cut by 2050.

And yet, despite this doomed policy, we provide subsidies for renewables of around £3 billion a year – and rising fast. This is a significant cost burden on our citizens.

In fact it amazes me that our last three energy secretaries, Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey, have merrily presided over the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham: the coerced increase of electricity bills for people on low incomes to pay huge subsidies to wealthy landowners and rich investors.

Furthermore the cost is rising, not falling. DECC wrongly assumed that the price of gas would only rise. Four years ago the Energy Secretary confidently argued that renewables would be cheaper than gas by 2020. But this was based on a DECC forecast that gas prices would double.

Instead gas prices have fallen. DECC has revised downwards its forecasts of 2020 gas prices to roughly what they were in 2011 – just 60p a therm. Wind power just isn’t competitive with gas. But the drop in gas prices raises the costs of renewable subsidies, already ‘capped’ at £7.6 billion in 2020, by 20 percent. This is unaffordable.

Climate science

Before I go on to outline an alternative, let me say a few words about climate science and the urgency of emissions reduction.

I readily accept the main points of the greenhouse theory. Other things being equal, carbon dioxide emissions will produce some warming. The question always has been: how much? On that there is considerable uncertainty.

For, I also accept the unambiguous failure of the atmosphere to warm anything like as fast as predicted by the vast majority of climate models over the past 35 years, when measured by both satellites and surface thermometers. And indeed the failure of the atmosphere to warm at all over the past 18 years – according to some sources. Many policymakers have still to catch up with the facts.
I also note that the forecast effects of climate change have been consistently and widely exaggerated thus far.

The stopping of the Gulf Stream, the worsening of hurricanes, the retreat of Antarctic sea ice, the increase of malaria, the claim by UNEP that we would see 50m climate refugees before now – these were all predictions that proved wrong.

For example the Aldabra Banded Snail which one of the Royal Society’s journals pronounced extinct in 2007 has recently reappeared, yet the editors are still refusing to retract the original paper.

It is exactly this sort of episode that risks inflicting real harm on the reputation and academic integrity of the science.

Despite all this, I remain open-minded to the possibility that climate change may one day turn dangerous. So, it would be good to cut emissions, as long as we do not cause great suffering now for those on low incomes, or damage today’s environment.

The inadequacies of renewable energy to meet demand


Let me briefly go through all the renewable energy options and set out why they cannot supply the zero-carbon electricity needed to keep the lights on in 2050.

Onshore wind is already at maximum capacity as far as available subsidy is concerned. Ed Davey recently confirmed, if current approval trends in the planning system continue, the UK is likely to have 15.25 GW of onshore wind by 2020. This is higher than the upper limit of 13 GW intended by DECC.

This confirms what the Renewable Energy Foundation has been pointing out for some time – that DECC is struggling to control this subsidy drunk industry. Planning approval for renewables overall, including onshore wind, needs to come to a halt or massively over-run the subsidy limits set by the Treasury’s Levy Control Framework.

However, this paltry supply of onshore wind, nowhere near enough to hit the 2050 target, has devastated landscapes, blighted views, divided communities, killed eagles, carpeted the countryside and the very wilderness that the “green blob” claims to love, with new access tracks cut deep into peat, boosted production of carbon-intensive cement, and driven up fuel poverty, while richly rewarding landowners.

Offshore wind is proving a failure. Its gigantic costs, requiring more than double the subsidy of onshore wind, are failing to come down as expected, operators are demanding higher prices, and its reliability is disappointing, so projects are being cancelled as too risky in spite of the huge subsidies intended to make them attractive. There is a reason we are the world leader in this technology – no other country is quite so foolish as to plough so much public money into it.

Hydro is maxed out. There is no opportunity to increase its contribution in this country significantly; the public does not want any more flooded valleys. Small-scale in-stream hydro might work for niche applications – isolated Highland communities for example – but the plausible potential for extra hydro is an irrelevance for the heavy lifting needed to support UK demand for zero-carbon electricity.

Tidal and wave power despite interesting small-scale experiments is still too expensive and impractical. Neither the astronomical prices on offer from the government, nor huge research and development subsidies have lured any commercial investors to step into the water. Even if the engineering problems could be overcome, tidal and wave power, like wind, will not always be there when you need it.

Solar power may one day be a real contributor to global energy in low latitudes and at high altitudes, and in certain niches. But it is a non-starter as a significant supplier to the UK grid today and will remain so for as long as our skies are cloudy and our winter nights long. Delivering only 10 percent of capacity, it’s an expensive red herring for this country and today’s solar farms are a futile eye-sore, and a waste of land that could be better used for other activities.

Biomass is not zero carbon. It generates more CO2 per unit of energy even than coal. Even DECC admits that importing wood pellets from North America to turn into hugely expensive electricity here makes no sense if only because a good proportion of those pellets are coming from whole trees.

The fact that trees can regrow is of little relevance: they take decades to replace the carbon released in their combustion, and then they are supposed to be cut down again. If you want to fix carbon by planting trees, then plant trees! Don’t cut them down as well. We are spending ten times as much to cut down North American forests as we are to stop the cutting down of tropical forests.

Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of the renewable heat incentive (RHI) funds are going to biomass. That is to say, we are paying people to stop using gas and burn wood instead. Wood produces twice as much carbon dioxide than gas.

Waste to energy is the one renewable technology we should be investing more in. It is a missed opportunity. We don’t do enough anaerobic digestion of sewage; we should be using AD plants to convert into energy more of the annual 15 million tonnes of food waste. But this can only ever provide a small part of the power we need.

So these technologies do not provide enough power. But they also don’t cut the emissions. And if you’ll bear with me I want to explain why.

Emissions reduction in practice

We know that Britain’s dash for wind, though immensely costly, regressive and damaging to the environment, has had very little impact on emissions.

DECC assumes that every MWh of wind replaces a MWh of conventionally generated power. But we know and they know that this is probably wrong at present, and is all but certain to be wrong in the future, when wind capacities are planned to be much higher.

According to an Irish study, because wind cannot always supply electricity when it is needed, backup from gas and coal power plants are required. When the carbon footprint of wind is added to that of the backup energy generators the impact on the environment is actually greater.

System costs incurred by the grid in managing the electricity system, especially given the remoteness of many wind farms, make it worse still. And a wind-dominated system affects the investment decisions other generators make.

So the huge investment we have made in wind power, with all the horrendous impacts on our most precious landscapes, have not saved much in the way of carbon dioxide emissions so far. What savings, if any, have been bought at the most astonishing cost per tonne?

Four possibilities – achieving emissions targets, supplying energy

So what is achievable? If we are to get out of the straight jacket of current policy, what can be done? I want to explore four technologies which, combined, would both reduce emissions and keep the supply of power on.

The shale gas opportunity

In contrast to Britain’s dash for wind, America’s dash for shale gas has had a huge impact on emissions.

Thanks largely to the displacement of coal-fired generation by cheap gas, US emissions in power generation are down to the level they were in the 1990s and in per capita terms to levels last seen in the 1960s. Gas has on average half the emissions of coal.

It has cut US gas prices to one-third of European prices, which means that we risk losing many jobs in chemical and manufacturing industries to our transatlantic competitors. We are sitting on one of the richest shale deposits in the world. Just 10 percent of the Bowland shale gas resource alone could supply all our gas needs for decades and transform the North West economy.

The environmental impact of shale would be far less than wind. For the same output of energy, a wind farm requires many more truck movements, takes up hundreds of times as much land and kills far more birds and bats. Above all, shale gas does not require regressive subsidy. In fact, it would bring energy prices down.

Not only does shale gas have half the emissions of coal; it could increase energy security. Currently 40 percent of the coal we burn in this country comes from Russia. Far better to burn Lancashire shale gas than Putin’s coal.

So the first leg of my suggested policy would be an acceleration of shale gas exploitation. As Environment Secretary I did everything I could to speed up approval of shale gas permits having set up a one-stop-shop aiming to issue a standard permit within two weeks. But I was up against the very powerful “green blob” whose sole aim was to stop it.

Combined Heat and Power

But there is another advantage of bringing abundant gas on stream. We could build small, local power stations, close to where people live and work. This would allow us to use not just the electricity generated by the power station, but its heat also.

Combined heat and power, or CHP, cuts emissions, cuts costs and creates jobs.

The generous EU estimate of the current efficiency in conventional power stations is about 50 percent. The best of the CHP plants deliver 92 percent efficiencies.

Yet despite these attributes CHP is treated as the Cinderella to the European Commission’s favoured Hi Renewable Energy Strategy.

Renewables – especially wind – have been showered with lucrative guarantees, in the form of doubled or trebled electricity prices – thereby absorbing available investment capital.

Whereas the Commission attributes CHP’s failure to the “limited” efficiency and effectiveness of its CHP Directive.

I am a realist. CHP does have high capital cost and limited returns with payback periods longer than normally considered viable. Given the commercial risks, dividends from energy efficiency alone have not been sufficient to drive a large-scale CHP programme.

But the Coalition Government recognise this too in seeking to promote energy efficiency in the NHS.

Its buildings consume over £410 million worth of energy and produce 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Energy use contributes 22 percent of the total carbon footprint and, in its own terms, the NHS says that this offers many opportunities for saving and efficiency, allowing these savings to be directly reinvested into further reductions in carbon emissions and improved patient care. In 2013, therefore, it decided to kick-start its energy saving programme with a £50 million fund, aiming to deliver savings of £13.7 million a year. CHP comprised a substantial part of this spending.

To kick-start a broader national programme, providing state aid or financial incentives would be appropriate, especially as the effect would be more cost-effective than similar amounts spent on renewables.

In the United States, the value of CHP is beginning to be recognised as the most efficient way of capitalising on the shale gas bonanza. One state – Massachusetts – has delivered large electricity savings in recent years through CHP. CHP capacity in the United States is currently 83.3GW compared with about 9GW here.

Actually, between 2005 and 2010, the production of both electricity and heat from CHP installations in the UK fell, a dreadful indictment of the last Labour government’s energy policy. The installed capacity of wind increased by over 500 percent, despite a massively inferior cost-benefit ratio.

But I do want to highlight how revolutionary CHP technology can be in affording the localisation of the electricity supply system. Transmission losses, can account for 5-7 percent of national electricity production. A 20 percent reduction in transmission loss would be the equivalent of saving the output of another large nuclear installation. This is why CHP can deliver efficiency ratings of up to 90 percent: the system heat is produced where it can be used.

For instance, Leeds Teaching Hospital and the University of Leeds together have financed their own dedicated power station, comprising CHP units and an electricity generation capacity of 15MW.

With this model, it is easy to imagine office buildings, supermarkets and other installations operating CHP units of 1.5MW or less.

In fact, results from Massachusetts shows that 40 percent of total energy supply could be CHP. Freiburg in Germany is already producing 50% of its energy from CHP up from 3% in 1993.

Implemented nationally, this revolutionary programme of localised electricity production would massively increase the resilience of the system, considerably improve energy efficiency overall, and ease pressure on the distribution system. In total, we would save the equivalent of 9 Hinkley C’s.

Small modular nuclear

The third technology is an innovative approach with small nuclear reactors integrated with CHP.

Our policy has consistently favoured huge nuclear and coal plants, remote from their customers. Given that 40 percent or more of the total energy production from a nuclear plant is waste heat, such plants are ostensibly ideal for CHP, but there is no economic way of using the waste heat.
I think there is a further massive obstacle to achieving 40 GW capacity from large nuclear plants; there are simply not enough suitable sites and not enough time to build them.

Small nuclear plants have been running successfully in the UK for the last thirty years. Nine have been working on and off without incident and the technology is proven.

Factory built units at the rate of one a month could add to the capacity at a rate of 1.8 GW per year according to recent select committee evidence from Rolls-Royce.

Small factory built nuclear plants, could be located closer, say within 20 to 40 miles, to users and provide a CHP function. Installed near urban areas, they can deliver electricity and power district heating schemes or, in industrial areas, provide a combination of electricity and process heat.

I welcome the Government’s feasibility study into this technology. What is holding up full commercial exploitation is the cost of regulatory approval, which is little different from a large-scale reactor.

I also note that the US Department of Energy has commissioned the installation of three different modular reactors at its Savannah River test facility, with a view to undertaking generic or “fleet” licensing. We should learn from them as a key priority.

Demand management

The fourth leg of my proposal is demand management. The government is tentatively investigating smart meters and using our electric cars as a form of energy storage for the grid as a whole. That is to say, in the future, on cold, windless nights, people might wake to find that their electric cars have been automatically drained of juice to keep their electric central heating on. This is crazy stuff!

It is both impractical and yet not nearly bold enough. Dynamic demand would be a better policy for demand management that would also be cheaper.

It requires the fitting of certain domestic appliances, such as refrigerators, with low-cost sensors coupled to automated controls. These measure the frequency of the current supplied and switch off their appliances when the system load temporarily exceeds supply, causing the current frequency to drop.

Since appliances such as refrigerators do not run continuously, switching them off for short periods of 20 to 30 minutes is unlikely to be noticed and will have no harmful effects on the contents. Yet the cumulative effect on the generating system of millions of refrigerators simultaneously switching themselves off is dramatic – as much as 1.2GW, the equivalent of a large nuclear plant.

In addition, we can imagine a future in which supermarkets’ chillers switch off, and hospitals’ emergency generators switch on, when demand is high, thus shaving the peaks off demand. We have started this and we need to do much more.

For this reason, I think the Short Term Operational Reserve (STOR), a somewhat notorious scheme whereby costly diesel generators are kept on stand-by in case the wind drops, is not as foolish as it sounds. It would be even more useful in a system without wind power. At the moment it has to cope with unpredictable variation in supply as well as demand.

With as much as a 25GW variation during a day and with a winter peak load approaching 60GW, significant capacity has to be built and maintained purely to meet short-duration peaks in demand. The use and extension of STOR and like facilities can make a significant contribution to reducing the need for peak generation plants.

According to one aggregator, removing 5-15 percent of peak demand is realistic, as part of the new capacity market. This could be worth up to 9GW, effectively the output of seven major nuclear plants, or their equivalent which would otherwise have to be built. As it stands Ofgem has already estimated that demand management could save the UK £800 million annually on transmission costs and £226 million on peak generation capacity.

Four pillars of energy policy

And there you have it. Four possible common sense policies: shale gas, combined heat and power, small modular nuclear reactors and demand management. That would reduce emissions rapidly, without risking power cuts, and would be affordable.

In the longer term, there are other possibilities. Thorium as a nuclear fuel, sub-critical, molten-salt reactors, geothermal plants connected to CHP systems, fuel made in deserts using solar power, perhaps even fusion one day – all these are possible in the second half of the century.

But in the short term, we have to be realistic and admit that solar, wind and wave are not going to make a significant contribution while biomass does not help at all.

What I have wanted to demonstrate to you this evening, is that it is possible to reduce emissions, while providing power.

But what is stopping this program? Simply, the 2050 legally binding targets enshrined in the Climate Change Act.

The 80 percent decarbonisation strategy, cannot be achieved: it is an all-or-nothing strategy which does not leave any openings for alternatives.

It requires very specific technology, such as supposedly “zero carbon” windfarms, and electric vehicles. Even interim solutions can never be “zero carbon”, so these too must be replaced well before 2050.

In guzzling up available subsidies and capital investment “zero carbon” technology blocks the development of more modest but feasible and affordable low carbon options.

Thus, in pursuing the current decarbonisation route, we end up with the worst of all possible worlds. When there is a shortfall in electricity production, emergency measures will have to be taken – what in Whitehall is known as “distressed policy correction”. Bluntly, building gas or even coal in a screaming hurry. The UK ends up worse off than if it adopted less ambitious but achievable targets. Reining in unrealistic green ambitions allows us to become more “green” than the Greens.

We are the only country to have legally bound ourselves to the 2050 targets – and certainly the only one to bind ourselves to a doomed policy.

In the absence of a legally binding international agreement, which looks unlikely given disagreement within EU member states and the position of the BRIC countries, the Climate Change Act should be effectively suspended and eventually repealed. Clause 2 of the Climate Change Act 2008 enables the Secretary of State by order to amend, subject to affirmative resolution procedure, the 2050 target which could have the immediate effect of suspending it.

Then, energy efficiency becomes a realistic and viable option. Investment in energy efficiency, including the Government’s very welcome initiatives on insulation, offers considerable advantages over wind energy. It does not raise overall electricity costs, and may even cut them because the investment costs are matched by the financial savings delivered.

The moral case for abandoning the 2050 targets

We have to remember too that the people who suffer most from a lack of decent energy are the poor.

I have already mentioned that we are redistributing from those with low incomes to wealthy landowners through generous subsidies collected in high energy bills.
The sight of rich western film stars effectively telling Africa’s poor that they should not have fossil fuels, but should continue to die at the rate of millions each year from the smoke of wood fires in their homes, frankly disgusts me. The WHO estimates that 4.3 million lose their lives every year through indoor air pollution.

The sight of western governments subsidizing the growing of biofuels in the mistaken belief that this cuts emissions, and in the full knowledge that it drives up food prices, encourages deforestation and tips people into hunger, leaves me amazed.

The lack of affordable and reliable electricity, transport and shelter to help protect the poor from cyclones, droughts and diseases, is a far greater threat to them than the small risk that those weather systems might one day turn a bit more dangerous.

Growth is the solution, not the problem

Among most of those who marched against climate change last month, together with many religious leaders, far too many academics and a great many young people, the myth has taken hold that growth and prosperity are the problem, and that the only way to save the planet is to turn our backs on progress.

They could not be more wrong. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report states that the scenario with the most growth is the one with the least warming. The scenario with the most warming is one with very slow economic growth.


Because growth means invention and innovation and it is new ideas, new technology that generates solutions to our problems. The IPCC’s RCP2.6 scenario projects that per capita GDP will be 16 times as high as today by the end of the century, while emissions will have stabilized and temperature will have stopped rising well before hitting dangerous levels.

The history of the last century shows that dramatic technical breakthroughs are possible where incentives are intelligently aligned – but it’s impossible to know in advance where these will come from. Who predicted thirty years ago that the biggest breakthrough would come from horizontal drilling?

We have some of the finest scientists and universities in the world. A fraction of the money spent on renewables subsidies should go towards research and development and specific, well defined goals with prizes for scientists and companies.

Energy efficiency will develop very rapidly if encouraged to do so, cutting emissions.

A common sense policy climate for climate policy

The fundamental problem with our electricity policy over the last two decades has been that successive governments have attempted to pick winners.

Pet technologies introduce price distortions that destroy investment in the rest of the market, with disastrous consequences.

Even Nigel would admit that the liberalisations he introduced to transform the electricity industry in the consumer interest were frustrated. Sadly, the policies of the last decade or so, have undone many of his reforms.

But like him, I would reliberalise the markets and allow the hidden hand to reach out for technologies that can in practice reduce emissions.


To summarise, we must challenge the current groupthink and be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies.

Paradoxically, I am saying that we may achieve almost as much in the way of emissions reduction, perhaps even more if innovation goes well, using these four technologies or others, and do so much more cheaply, but only if we drop the 2050 target, which is currently being used to drive subsidies towards impractical and expensive technologies.

This is a really positive, optimistic vision that would allow us to reinvigorate the freedom of the science and business communities to explore new technologies. I am absolutely confident that by doing this we can reduce our emissions and keep the lights on.

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Show comments
  • Jean

    The use of High RES at a large scale is a great idea, although it will come with high costs for investors and for population also. But, at least, is a way that we could heal our planet…. Countries should start invest in research on oceans and climate. As you probably know, oceans are a main factor in influencing climate. Every action we take, has an impact on oceans and on climate. There is an interesting theory on ocean-climate interconectivity on Please have a look.

  • MrJones

    The current political class voted for a bill designed to *deliberately* increase energy costs so people would use less of it either not understanding or not caring that doing so would be economic suicide.

    The Cameroons closed down three perfectly good coal power stations under orders from the EU because of carbon reduction and then the turbines are sold to Germany because Germany are building twelve new coal power stations.

    The current political class should pay their salary back.

  • Hugh1

    Sorry but after reading the line, “I call for a robust, common sense energy policy .” I stopped reading even though I’d probably agree with most of it. No lecture/speech should ever contain the words, “robust” and “common sense” again. How many times have we heard that, “We have a robust, common sense policy to deal with… insert your problem/issue …” and found it to be an lie? Can you please stop?

  • Dr Norman Page

    Owen needs to revisit and revise his views on climate science.
    Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths combined with endogenous secular earth processes such as, for example, plate tectonics. It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of the relation of the climate of the present time to the current phases of these different interacting natural quasi-periodicities which fall into two main categories.
    a) The orbital long wave Milankovitch eccentricity,obliquity and precessional cycles which are modulated by
    b) Solar “activity” cycles with possibly multi-millennial, millennial, centennial and decadal time scales.
    The convolution of the a and b drivers is mediated through the great oceanic current and atmospheric pressure systems to produce the earth’s climate and weather.
    After establishing where we are relative to the long wave periodicities to help forecast decadal and annual changes, we can then look at where earth is in time relative to the periodicities of the PDO, AMO and NAO and ENSO indices and based on past patterns make reasonable forecasts for future decadal periods.
    In addition to these quasi-periodic processes we must also be aware of endogenous earth changes in geomagnetic field strength, volcanic activity and at really long time scales the plate tectonic movements and disposition of the land masses.
    The temperature projections of the IPCC – Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them have no solid foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently incomputable and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless. A new forecasting paradigm needs to be adopted.
    For forecasts of the probable coming cooling based on the natural 1000 and 60 year cycles so obvious in the temperature data and using the 10Be and neutron count data as the best proxy for solar “activity” see the series of posts at

    • the viceroy’s gin

      I like the cut of your jib.

      I’ve always thought the two key factors in the planet’s atmospheric conditions were the oceans of liquid metals and rock churning beneath us, upon which the Earth’s crust and all life is perched perilously, as well as the energy sent from the sun and captured by Earth. The first could affect the second, although it’s hard to see how the second could affect the first . But when their effects are additive, the thermometer goes one way, and when they are additive in the other direction, the thermometer goes the other way. Some day we may even be able to model all this.

  • Auntiemilibland

    And China, India and Germany build nuclear power stations. A concocted theory to raise the cost of gas and electricity. I would like to see how much of the interglacial stages of the Iceage were caused by man and machine. Anyone know where the archives are for this period? I want to see who had coalmines, computers, central heating, how many cars were owned per family, just who were running the airlines. During this Pleistocene epoch the temperatures were higher than todays, you don’t say!! You get my drift?

  • Bee Warren

    Heaven help us! They put the most science-ignorant, backward, selfservatives in charge of the most crucial and urgent issue of our time upon which the survival of all living things is hanging. It’s worse than putting Jimmy Saville in charge of a nursery.

  • Alexsandr

    No problem with most of OP’s speech.
    Not sure he is right on hydro. There are many old mill leats extant that cou;ld be made into micro hydro. If they had the water to drive a waterwheel driven mill they surely have the water to drive a modern turbine.
    They have done this at gayle in Yorkshire.
    I would bet there are quite a few water supply reserviors that could have a hydro plant attached.
    yes hydro can be unrelaible in summer -but thats when usage is lowest.

  • John Carins

    Too late a realisation. “Brown out” and desecration of our landscape is on its way. No miners strike this time to dim the lights, just the dim policies of our illustrious leaders.

  • brianH13

    At last, a pragmatic approach to the energy challenge. I’m not convinced that shale gas will make much impact (but it should definitely be explored as part of our energy mix).

    I think he underplays the infrastructure challenge. Shifting most domestic energy usage to electric will require massive investment in network reinforcements.

    The modular nuclear argument is well made. It is important to get generation as close to point of use as possible (and to use the waste heat for district heating).

    I would add two more pillars to the plan…

    1. I think the Japanese plan to use (off grid) wind/solar to generate Hydrogen, which is then used to substitute for transport fuels, makes a lot of sense. This eliminates the need for costly grid connection of remote wind farms, avoids the non-dispatch problem when the wind fails to blow, and reduces the grid load that will be caused by an increase in electric vehicles.

    2, Anaerobic Digestion is a no-brainer for dealing with organic waste – every local council should have them. It will not be material for the energy challenge, but is a quick win for fixing an environmental problem.

  • AlecM

    Just a little note on the politics of all this. Our Green movement is the direct descendant of the German ‘Blud und Boden’ movement. It came here in 1946 when ex-Blackshirt supporters of Mosely set up the Coventry based Soil Association.

    The 1944 meeting of German businessmen to plan for the end of WWII and create the EU/4th Reich is well known:–EU.html

    • Peter Stroud

      The green movement certainly has some things in common with the Nazis. It’s hatred of all who disagree with it is obvious. Especially when it comes to CAGW. In the extreme, we have had calls for ‘deniers’ to be murdered. But more insidious is the attempt to block any scientific papers that do not toe the official line. Also attempts to ensure heretics lose their jobs, have been exposed.

  • mrdavidjohnson

    A really splendid piece

  • AlecM

    As we get to the end-game of the IPCC’s Climate fraud, it’s useful to compare its progress with the very similar Phlogiston story of the 18th Century. At the end of its 70 year reign in science, the lead proponent was religious fanatic Joseph Priestley, who got funding from those days’ elite by persuading them that Phlogiston was a 5th Greek Humour; the essence of matter escaping when it was heated.

    But founder of modern Chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, proved by careful gravimetric experiments that when heated in air, matter gained in mass. The response of the Phlogiston lobby was to claim Phlogiston had negative mass!

    The IPCC’s Enhanced GHE is based on the assumption of ‘black body’ IR emission from the Earth’s surface, i.e. that its operational emissivity** = 1 instead of the real average of ~0.16. This imaginary surface IR emission in the main GHG bands and imaginary ‘thermalisation’ is supposed to be followed by increased ‘back radiation’, the Atmospheric emittance.

    However, 18 years’ no lower atmosphere warming has spooked the fraudsters so much that Trenberth, their present leader now Hansen has gone to ground, set up in 2009 the claim that the ‘Missing Heat’ has vanished into the ocean depths. The ARGO data are being altered subtly to try to pretend this is true, but it won’t wash.

    There is no ‘Missing Heat’, no Enhanced GHE. What’s more, the intrinsic 1.2 K CO2 climate sensitivity is, in our atmosphere, reduced by negative feedback to near zero, as is apparently being proved experimentally.

    As for our version of Priestely, it’s religious fanatic Sir John Houghton, whose treatise on Atmospheric Physics set up the scam with its assumption there was no surface convection and the claim that the surface participates in the atmospheric two-stream approximation by being at higher temperature than the adjacent gas, never proved experimentally. We live in the Age of Scientific Stupid.

    **Operational emissivity is real net surface Emittance/same temperature black body Emittance

    • Peter Stroud

      Well explained. I think it is almost certain that the major fault in the IPCC models is the value of the climate sensitivity. It is probably much lower than the models say, and might even by negative. But the likes of Trenberth will never accept this, they can’t. Their entire world would collapse around them. I haven’t seen any reply by the warmists to the deep ocean temperature data. No doubt there will be more arm waving soon.

  • photon

    “I have used the last three months since leaving the Cabinet to learn
    more about the consequences of this policy. And what I have unearthed is

    What was he learning when he was Environment Secretary?

    • Tony_E

      I’m sure that he was overwhelmed by the Bulls##t that the civil service were feeding him in great quantities.

      That and dealing with the practical fall out of environmental sustainability initiatives (and Agenda 21 based policies) that caused such devastation in the south west.

      I’m sure that his time is now better spent. We should be listening at least to what he is saying. The rest of the world isn’t going to go green to spite itself, and is quite happy to watch us prostrate ourselves on the alter of dodgy climate ‘Science’.

    • starfish

      He was the prisoner of the green lobby that has completely taken over at DECC and DEFRA

    • bufo75

      That while he was in the cabinet he was part of “collective responsibility” and that sooner or later Oliver Letwin (Minister of State for Policy) would get Dave to sack him 1

  • newminster

    He’s missing the point.
    Lowering living standards, killing off the old and the poor with cold and keeping the poor of the world poor are not an unfortunate by-product of the reduction of CO2 and the obsession with combatting global warming. They are the ‘green blob’s’ prime objective.
    They know full well that importing wood chips from the US increases CO2 emissions as does growing corn for fuel; they know equally well that shale gas will reduce those emissions. They don’t care because “reducing emissions” is simply the current excuse for imposing their lifestyle on the rest of us.

    Good speech, Owen, In any sane society your ideas would already be in practice or undergoing serious research. Regrettably, there are too many snouts in too many troughs in the modern world and too many eco-nutters with their own anti-civilisation agenda. But keep at it. Common sense will get there in the end.

    • Tony_E

      The problem is that largely, the ‘Green’ lobby is really the ‘Red’ lobby – anti capitalists dressed up as environmentalists.

      But had Paterson said this overtly last night, the speech would have been written off as ‘political’ rather than ‘policy’.

      We should also be aware that business has a great interest in the idea of ‘greening’ the economy in the current way -because there is money to be made selling technologies that actually have little or no merit. The Emperor has no clothes, but it might be expensive for some if that were revealed.

      • AlecM

        They aren’t Red but Black: the Red part is a smokescreen of pleb activists hiding the Fascistic elite who intend to use Agenda 21 to halve the UK population.

  • bufo75

    Paterson explained that when he voted for the Climate Change Act he “did not realise that the legally binding target is so pernicious”.
    He lamented the fact that the UK is the ONLY country with such a legally binding target and he is supported by a large number of Tory MP’s in opposing it.
    As James Delingpole says at Breitbart – Cameron is on the horns of a dilemma.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and his head will soon be on the tip of a spike.

  • bufo75

    Owen made it perfectly clear that he’s not coming over to UKIP, but he did thank the PM for “giving him the freedom to deliver this lecture”.
    He also commented on the “unhelpful tweets from Deben and Yeo” !

  • ashieuk

    I see Matt Ridley has written another speech. This time read out by that Patterson bloke.

    • bufo75

      Probably not unprecedented for a politician to use a speechwriter, but when your brother-in-law is an expert, why not ?

      • ashieuk

        What do you mean by “expert”? What are his climate credentials?

        • flaxdoctor

          Being a polymath helps. Maybe you should try it?

        • bufo75

          Of course not a REAL expert like Nicky Stern, Ed Miliband and Bryony Worthington !

          • ashieuk

            Enough of the whataboutery. You described him as an expert. I merely asked what his climate credentials were. I didn’t ask about anybody else. But if you wish to deflect a perfectly reasonable question….!

      • starfish

        I daresay drafts went both ways for error checking etc

        Strangely when the climate cult quote and ‘peer review’ each other that’s ok

  • JeffGazzard

    Fortunately for all of us, the CCC have calmly and accurately demolished Owen Paterson’s risible speech (actually written by Matt Ridley) here Please take the time to read it…

    • Tony_E

      Very predictable response seeing as who you linked to:

      The Committee on Climate Change (the CCC) is an independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008.
      Our purpose is to advise the UK Government and Devolved Administrations
      on emissions targets and report to Parliament on progress made in
      reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change.

      A body set up by the CCA 2008 to help implement the CCA 2008 CO2 reduction targets, doesn’t think that the targets should be removed or the act repealed.

      Please forgive me a little scepticism here if I wait for a more independent source to investigate Mr Paterson’s recommendations.

      • starfish

        Like the IPCC

        “progress made in
        reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change”

        They are true believers

        Read this
        plus commentary ion the Bishop Hill blog

        All warmists, all on the take (And Lord Deben is the worst)
        Grantham Institute does particularly well on the ‘independent advisors’

        Independent? Pah!

    • flaxdoctor

      So you’re redefined ‘fortunately’ in your own image? Frankly I can’t fault a word of the speech. It cannot be demolished with anything remotely truthful.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Well, yes, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

    • WFC

      You should read your own link.

      That was expressly written in response to the advance press reports of the speech – not the speech itself.

      It ends: “If Mr Paterson further elaborates his recommendations, beyond the press reports, we will look at this carefully, consider further his evidence and should his concerns suggest we should recommend changes to the Government, we will respond as necessary.”

  • Wessex Man

    Blimey! He’s certainly thought it all out NOW, why didn’t he do that when is power, well maybe because he know that not toeing the party line he would be sacked, he has effectively been sacked now.

    What this space I think he may decide to walk to UKip!

  • Ali

    Just heard the way this speech was reported on the six am news R4. ‘ … Owen Pattenson claimed that there has been no global warming for 18 years, the government refuted these claims’ or something like that. How dare they? They aren’t claims it’s just a fact, an irritating one for anyone who has devised a scheme for blackmailing the poor and using the pelf to pay their already very wealthy friends and relations out of the public purse, perhaps but if there is evidence the climate has warmed up in the last 18 years where is it?

    • Ilma

      The BBC are as much in bed with the CAGW crowd as most politicians. Just look at their pension investments! They are also holding Parliament in contempt by deliberately ignoring their Charter to be impartial and factual.

  • evad666

    The blind adherence to wind power can only be described as foolish. The failure to ensure the lights stay on is wanton criminality and all those responsible must be punished for gross criminal negligence.

  • DrWatt

    The Climate Change Act – put through by Ed Miliband and passed almost unanimously by all our MP’s who probably didn’t even read it – the most expensive and most destructive law ever passed by Parliament …an act of law that can only achievable by committing national economic suicide – an act of law drafted by Byrony Worthington – a zealous green lobbyist – a Friends of the Earth activist where she was running their Global Warming Campaign – this was the person that our politicians and ministers put in charge of shaping the country’s energy policy.

    Absolute madness – the lunacy of it all begs belief – it would be comical if it wasn’t so serious.

    And to top it all – these same people responsible for this disaster would have us all believe that it is UKIP who are the real threat to the future of this nation – it is UKIP who are full of fruitcakes and lunatics – it is UKIP who are living in LaLa Land when it comes to the the best interests of the British people – when in fact it is UKIP who are the only party that is prepared to confront the ideological green dogma that has infested the Westminster bubble – by repealing the Climate Change Act within days of taking office.

    It is the greed, corruption and sheer incompetence of the old three party political system that is costing us dearly as a nation – a system that is broken and has utterly failed us all.

    Time for change.

    • Peter Stroud

      You are right about UKIP repealing the CCA when they gain office. But, pray, when will that be?

      • Ilma

        If they continue on their momentum, they may well hold the balance of power after the 2015 GE, either in a coalition or a minority government. I hope they don’t go the coalition route, as it would likely force a compromise of their core values, principally challenging ‘vested interests’ that plague the current ConLabLib sect, and ridding the country of them such that ‘MP wealth-making’ policies are replaced by evidence led ones.

    • Adem Aljo

      Could you please let us know when UKIP intends to ‘take office’? It would be much appreciated, as I’d probably have to start shooting down the hundreds of pigs flying around my house.

  • Conway

    Funny how he didn’t realise that windpower would never do the job when he voted for the bill (he was in “Opposition” at the time, but didn’t seem to realise that meant he should oppose loony legislation). Windmills are very unpopular here (his constituency). I think the eureka moment might have been the prospect of an election next May.

    • Tony_E

      Collective responsibility.

      I think you should look at the potential gains from localised CHP especially, and the fact that we already have a few small ‘nukes’ in the UK (in Derby for instance).

      Large Nuclear has failed in the UK, wind is producing nothing like the necessary power . While it’s easy to try to dig out a party political angle to this, it should also be noted that he has some support from very much non partisan areas in this.

  • Chingford Man

    It’s time Owen Paterson abandoned the Tory Party.

  • Diggery Whiggery

    So basically, he’s saying what UKIP have been saying for years, only that because he’s a proper conservative it’s taken more seriously and reported as something revolutionary and new.

    • JabbaTheCat

      No, the difference is that Paterson’s speech is well researched with factually realistic proposals, as opposed to Ukip’s mere shallow aspirations of the Helmer variety…

      • Diggery Whiggery

        And yet he seems to make the same proposals and to be against the same things.

        • Conway

          Owen will have realised that North Shropshire went purple at the European elections. Whereas they used to weigh the Conservative vote, they lost this time. I think that might have been a road to Damascus moment.

          • Ilma

            It wouldn’t surprise me if Mr. Patterson is one of those now talking to Mr. Farage. It is clearly obvious that his position is far more closely aligned to UKIP’s than to the Conservative’s.

            My only request to Mr Patterson is to be truly sceptical (in the scientific sense) and challenge his own acceptance of the assumption that CO2 causes warming of any amount, i.e. a scientifically defined ‘causal’ cause, not the anecdotal sort or just apparent correlation. If he looks, he will find no evidence of a causal relationship whatsoever. This alone should place him in full opposition to Mr. Cameron’s and Mr. Davey’s position.

      • Conway

        You haven’t read the LSE article about the speech then?

        • JabbaTheCat

          Lolz…what the one by the warmists favourite useful idiot and scientific illiterate Bob Ward?

          • Wessex Man

            Lolz…. you are what you believe.

        • flaxdoctor

          You’re confused – the LSE rent an office to Jeremy Grantham, who pays an unqualified (failed PhD candidate) to write attack pieces. This is not an LSE article. Check your facts.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    The worst part of the global warmingism nonsense that the Cameroons have inflicted on everybody is those communist Chinese nuke power plants, which will be massively expensive to build, and which will be charging obscene rates for decades and decades to come. But the evil carbon emissions that are incinerating the planet are decreased, and thus it’s worth the expense, right? Right.

    A proper government would kill those things off immediately. It was a mistake then and it’s a mistake now. Dig up that domestic coal and burn it. Burn that fracked gas.

    • goatmince

      I love the fact that your hero is now suggesting to copy 1993 Freiburg im Breisgau. Hilarious. How long will you give yourself to complete say 20,000 local CHP units in a desperate attempt to catch up with the First World – till 2050? Who’s gonna design and build these things? You?

      No, you are going to buy it in, like you buy everything in that makes sense, and guess where from, fella.

      • Wessex Man

        oh dear.

        • you_kid

          You mean to say ‘checkmate’ but didn’t, mate.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …no, the goat doesn’t want to mate with you, lad. Stop it.

      • Tony_E

        Actually, the smaller units are generally gas powered WV engines in Germany. They are pretty efficient for Micro CHP.

        When I was in the chemical industry, we used to run CHP all the time for Steam and electricity production. Westinghouse designed I think (is that now Siemens/westinghouse)?

        China is not currently a leader in CHP technology, and China itself is now emitting more carbon per capita than pretty much anyone apart from probably the USA – certainly a lot more than the UK- and it set to go even higher. That in itself makes the Climate Change Act redundant.

        The priorities now should be efficiency, cost, security and load management (to reduce peak demand). We need to get manufacturing industry back in to the UK.

        • Ilma

          We also have huge mountains/pits of rubbish that produce bio gas. The collection and scrubbing technology is mature, and I worked on one such project, a fully automated, unmanned plant atop a filled and covered landfill site in The Netherlands over 20 years ago.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this wannabe-engineer-nutter’s gibberish?

        • goatmince

          You are twenty years behind the times, laddie.
          1993. Bless.

          What a ‘cook up’ …

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …and have a go at this technically illiterate gibberish as well, while you’re at it.

            • goatmince

              Babes, you are technically illiterate. You have proven many times that you are, on CHP or other technical matters.

              You are a mouthpiece of technically illiterate politicos, you have neither clue nor qualifications to comment on technical matters. Now we take note that OP, your hero, is advocating to copy 1993 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany’s greenest city.

              Amazing stuff. By doing that you confirm that you are 21 years behind the times.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …did you actually think anybody was going to read through this socialist nutter gibberish, lad?

                • goatmince

                  No, yet the facts do not change, even if you did not have a stamina or cerebral capacity to read and comprehend it.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and now you’re typing even more unread, nutty gibberish, lad?

                • goatmince

                  OP *told you* you were 21 years behind them Germans.
                  Now go and spike his head for doing that, not mine.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …that gibberish establishes new ground in gibberish. You should apply this sockpuppet for the gibberish socialist nutter nobel, lad.

                • goatmince

                  … will any of your reduced followership translate that into either German, French or Schwyzerdütsch?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …have a go at this gibberish as well, you gibberish translators.

    • Alexsandr

      you dont dig up coal any more. You do a process that turns it into gas without anyone going underground.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, you can collect natural gas in that fashion, but the coal will remain, and might still be extracted and burnt . Dewatering a coal field will involve significant energy costs and the extracted water will likely have to be treated somehow. There really is no free lunch here .

  • Peter Stroud

    I think we can see how once again Cameron bowed to his LibDem deputy and sacked a very good man. Purely because he could think for himself, unlike the majority of this coalition where the religion of CAGW is concerned.

    • Conway

      How did he think for himself? He voted against giving us a referendum in 2011, although he claims he’s EU sceptic. If he truly did think for himself, wouldn’t he have stood up for what (he claims) he believes in? His PPS had the courage of his convictions. In 2008 Owen was quite happy to vote for the CCA.

      • goatmince

        why bother?
        selective reasoning comes natural to bigots.

      • Peter Stroud

        As did all but a few of the opposition at the time. Things have changed a lot since then. There have been many more sceptical scientific papers published, and the propaganda from government and the likes of the BBC has become obvious.

  • David

    I met Owen Paterson at an event at Newbury Racecourse; I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t know who he was – even though he was Environment Secretary at the time. He came over as a really nice, humble, down-to-earth guy without any of that fake sincerity that most MPs exude. I was amazed to discover later that he was a government minister; it’s a tragedy that Cameron sacked him for some generic token woman who’s now in the job.

    • Conway

      Owen works hard at projecting that “really nice, humble, down-to-earth guy” image. He’s my MP and I shouldn’t like to tell you what some of his constituents say about him to me. It would make your hair curl.

    • goatmince

      Owen Paterson is a brilliant chap. One of the best recruitment agents for a split opposition. The chap is well-known to be:

      a- in bed with the faceless high volume foodstuffs industry rather than small quality producers.

      b- in bed with faceless high volume housebuilders rather than quality small scale developers.

      c- in bed with big supermarkets rather than small local retail.

      d- in bed with big GM rather than biodynamic agriculture.

      But the best thing is – he was slow and inept to handle the affair of a simple flood that would have made anyone in Hamburg, Holland or Hvide Sande laugh and just get on with what needed to be done. The chap couldn’t even get the TA out, or offer pumps that weren’t imported with great haste and at great expense.

      Why would anyone listen or look up to such utter and repeat centralist behind-the-times incompetence?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …you poor goat, the sockpuppets have you in bed a lot, don’t they?.

        • goatmince

          Dear troll,
          I am writing to you re: “in bed”

          Those of you who keep coming here by declaring how supposedly on the ball this clown was – have you ever been out there – can’t you see what goes on in food retail, farming, the environment, housebuilding, agriculture and rural affairs? It’s all over the news everywhere, it’s clear to see everywhere across the land how you forked up stuff that others do far better than your behind-the-times ilk.

          Get out of bed, fella!
          Fat chance of that ever happening.

          I am the goat and I don’t mince my words.

          • Wessex Man

            Dear double troll, have you ever thought how are we going to feed the world.

            I remember the small “independent biodynamic collective farm” set up just outside Bristol by squatters to supply their “supermarket collective” in Bristol.

            When shut down by the Public Health Department both places were found to be crawling with all sorts of pests including rats and cockroaches.

            Grow up and live in the real world!

            • you_kid

              Dear second rate, clown dancing troll of the stoopid varity,

              I am writing to you re: ‘what if’ and ‘did you know’ phenomena

              Let’s pretend you were German for once – did you know that Aldi sold biodynamic produce in all its homeland supermarkets for years now? Your future Monarch loves that, he wants to do the same at the Duchy, copying Aldi (!)

              Stay with me on this one. Let’s pretend you were German again – then you would know where ‘demeter’, wind turbines, 96% efficient gas boiler technology, high performance heat reflecting glazing, modern USC coal plant technology with optional carbon capture and Bio-Currywurst (yuck!) comes from.

              Focus, keep you attention span up, laddie. Let’s pretend one last time you were German – then you would know what end stage East German socialism looks like when you see it. Paterson is the embodiment of pure 100% end stage East German socialism. He had his chance, he blew it. Tant pis. My auntie is wetting herself now…



              • the viceroy’s gin

                Let’s pretend you’re an envirowhacko, global warmingist, socialist nutter pretending to be an engineer. No wait… you are an envirowhacko, global warmingist, socialist nutter pretending to be an engineer.

                Well, let’s pretend that Germany adopted all your insane envirowhacko stupidity. No wait… they did adopt all your insane envirowhacko stupidity.

                Well, let’s pretend that your envirowhacko stupidity crashed their economy and destroyed their economic growth. No wait… your envirowhacko stupidity did crash their economy and it did destroy their economic growth.

                Hmmmm, there seems to be a pattern here .

                • you_kid

                  What are you on about now, my Hamas supporting friend?
                  You waffle on about how you opposed Camerloon and supported Ukip?

                  Nonsense, you are a Boris groupie of the most transparent sort.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …can any other of you socialist nutters decode this nutter’s gibberish?

                • you_kid

                  yup – you are an Alexander de Pfeffel apostle, it’s obvious.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and have a go at this gibberish as well…

                • you_kid

                  … so you still won’t deny it? Interesting …

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and this, too…

          • Colonel Mustard

            I seriously doubt that “in bed” is a phenomenon, let alone phenomena.

            I seriously doubt that you could evidence it beyond accusation, let alone show it.

            Be grateful you are the goat and not the scapegoat of the water melons and leftist crusty collective. Much spinning in that marsh. Akin to the arsonists blaming the fire brigade for failing to put out the fire quickly enough.

          • Wessex Man

            Well, I don’t know about the Colonel but I have and new wallies like you haven’t!

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …you should call the RSPCA and report what they’re doing to you… I understand they’re socialist nutters too, so you should fit right in .

      • Fergus Pickering

        What on earth is biodynamic agriculture. This is a genuine question. I must say I am suspicious of new words with bio on the front.

        • Wessex Man

          See above!

          • Fergus Pickering

            Not so good then. Though I suppose you could eat cockroaches. That’s probably where we’re heading.

        • flaxdoctor

          It’s some occult filth dreamed up by the anthroposophist and arch racist Rudolf Steiner in 1920s Germany. He claimed the rules were revealed to him by the Angels of Atlantis.


          It’s excrement of the most risible order – based on cosmic forces harnessed by cow horns,faeces and lots of stirring. The better-known stuff about phases of the moon were tacked on later to make it seem *credible*… It’s completely eviscerated in this paper and plenty of other places. It just beggars belief that folks can be taken in by this drivel.

          • Fergus Pickering

            My daughter’s best friend went to a Steiner school for some years. It seemed benign if a little dotty. Anyway it did her good. I didn’t check on whether all her classmates were white.

            People believe that windmills will save the world. And I gather that some minister wants to offer Astrology on the National Health. Drivel rules!

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …so Steiner was an anthroposockpuppet?

            It’s all starting to come together now.

      • Latimer Alder

        Looks like it’s quite a crowded bed. Are there photos available?

      • fathomwest

        Strange. All the farmers and landowners I know in Somerset tell me he was on the ball immediately and agreed with them totally. I think you are a disgruntled chap. Are you Cameron by any chance? You waffle like him.

  • Noa

    Well researched, substantiated, indeed common sensical. Unlike the policy of the previous and present governments.
    So we know it won’t happen. At least not until the lights go out.

  • Ali

    Brilliant, thorough, well written, well thought out, so refreshing to read. Why on earth did the id*ot Cameron sack this man?

    • Colonel Mustard

      I think you’ve answered your own question…

      • Peter Stroud

        AbsolutelyColonel, absolutely. Cameron, Hague and the majority of the Tory ministers are fully paid up members of the green blob.

    • WatTylersGhost

      But how long did his “loyalty” get in the way of logical, independent thought? Typical tribal Tory, blindly supports the party at the expense of the country.

    • bufo75

      Because his “Minister of State for Policy” Oliver Letwin advised him to.
      Letwin is an extreme Green “Low Carbon Energy” fanatic.

    • Ilma

      The answer is in your question, either side of the “*”.

    • rolandfleming

      Because it was actually written by the brilliant, thorough, well thought out refreshing Matt Ridley (according to Guido Fawkes, at least)…

  • Antonia Willis

    About time.

  • ohforheavensake


    You’re a twit.

    • global city

      Why? Enlighten us?

      • JabbaTheCat

        Ofhs is a long standing ecomentalist with an almost perfect, and deep, cranial rectal inversion…

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …can a general practice physician cover that, or does it require special attention?

          • JabbaTheCat

            Very specialist task that one…

            This illustrates the problem well, because as you can see here, gravitational assistance is redundant to the reversal process…



      • Wessex Man

        Well it takes an idiot like ohforheavensake to know one.

    • David Prentice

      If I said you work for BBC Scotland, ofhs, would I be near the mark?

  • Suzy61

    Thank you, next UKIP defector.

    • telemachus

      He is sufficient of an unreliable turncoat to qualify

      • Suzy61

        Mmm..a purple believer?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …what qualified your Rotherham buddies, lad?

      • Peter Stroud

        Explain, idiot, explain.

    • JabbaTheCat

      Lolz…you will never see Owen Paterson defecting to Ukip…

      • Suzy61

        OK…we’ll just take his beliefs

        • Conway

          … with a pinch of salt, if you have any sense. He believes in giving the EU more money (according to the way he voted – for more money to the EU and against reducing the amount paid to the EU), and he believes that the UK parliament shouldn’t be sovereign (he voted against affirming its sovereignty).

      • Conway

        Correct. He isn’t really anti-EU.

    • Conway

      No, he isn’t really EU sceptic. He just claims to be. His voting record (what he does as opposed to what he says) is very pro-EU.