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Friday 10 May 2013

A most excellent letter.

Earlier I was reading an article in the Financial Times (As you do), when I came across this comment in the comments. It’s a letter to our esteemed (spits) Prime Minister exhorting him to get real where our energy policy is concerned.

I’m going to reproduce it in full here. I hope the author won’t take offence. It really hits all the right notes.

Yertizz | May 9 5:04pm | Permalink

In line with Nick Butler's excellent piece there follows the text of my letter to David Cameron:

29th April 2013

Dear Prime Minister,

Re: Energy Policy

It was with amazement and increasing trepidation that I read the front page article of the Mail on Sunday yesterday about plans to introduce ‘smart appliances’ designed to shut down at times of peak demand and to force users to pay astronomical energy prices for the privilege. I had to pinch myself and check the calendar several times to ensure the date was not 1st April!

What I was reading was an indication of a government in complete panic over energy policies which informed opinion tells us are destined to cripple the entire country in the next 2-5 years and all of which are driven by the Committee on Climate Change. The CCC is promoted as ‘independent’ yet it is funded by public money and stuffed with MP’s, only one of which as far as I can tell is a climate change sceptic and whose Chairman has his snout in the renewables trough. How that qualifies as independent is beyond parody. Additionally it seems to me that the CCC slavishly follows the gospel of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) without any consideration that the opposing views have any validity. In the past few years it has become self-evident the IPCC has its roots in flawed science. This was demonstrated by the failure of the Copenhagen conference 2 years ago to come anywhere near unanimity in approach and was further confirmed with the result of the Mexico meeting a few months ago.

In more recent times Professor James Lovelock, himself a founder member of the Green lobby, has recanted saying that no single contributory factor can be found to be responsible for climate change. Almost daily more independent peer-reviewed scientific evidence is emerging which supports the view that increasing levels of carbon dioxide do not materially add to global warming. In this context it is a complete mystery why increased atmospheric CO2, for which mankind is held responsible, is promulgated as the sole driver of climate change!

The only logical conclusion is that those who promote these fantasies stand to benefit from their beliefs and actions. For all the pain and anguish that will descend upon the people and businesses in this country there will be little or no advantages and in a global sense will have no effect whatsoever on emissions. Rather it will be nothing more than cynical political posturing on a Biblical scale.

Recently Drax power station began a £multi-billion conversion programme to burn biofuel (wood!) which will be imported from America at huge cost: and for what? Simply to satisfy the requirements of the ill-founded Climate Change Act which itself is driven by purely political EU directives. Yet Germany opened 2 new coal-fired stations last year, 6 more are due to open this year and a further 6 by 2020! Furthermore, in light of the events in Fukushima, Japan is to build more coal-fired plants as quickly as possible in the coming years. Then there is China currently opening a new coal-fired plant every four days and let’s not forget Russia and Brazil.

Meanwhile your government’s policies will ensure more of our coal-fired stations are closed in the coming years with absolutely no chance of renewables filling the void. Instead we will suffer power cuts and increasing energy bills; yet Employment and Pensions Minister Ian Duncan Smith chooses this time to suggest that pensioners, like me, give up our Winter Fuel Allowance! If ever there was a time for joined-up thinking now is it.

The only way I can see of getting out of this mess is to cancel the coal-fired closures until new gas and nuclear stations come on stream and ditch the odious Carbon Floor Price completely to show the EU how it’s done and, if Nick Clegg objects, show him the door.

It would be easy for you to simply dismiss these views as the hysterical ramblings of a climate change denier. Let me advise you of my stance on this: in almost 20 years’ involvement in the debate I have NEVER denied climate change but accept it as a normal and cyclical natural phenomenon supported by independent peer-reviewed scientific evidence. Neither am I ignorant of many of the factors which illuminate the debate. Before retirement over 5 years ago I spent nearly 50 years in the gas industry. I saw the emergence of natural gas and the impact it had, not only on what was a dying industry but upon the fortunes of the country at large. At the time of its discovery estimates told that there were some 20 years’ reserves. Here we are 50 years on and we still have not exhausted those reserves; which brings me to shale gas.

There, surely, lies the future for the energy industry in this country? Back in the 60’s the environmentalists of the day were issuing dire warnings of the consequences of drilling for natural gas. Some were even convinced that removal of the gas from its pockets beneath the sea bed would lead to it collapsing and draining the North Sea! Today’s warnings of the dangers of fracking leading to earthquakes and contamination of the aquifers must be regarded as the same fatuous nonsense.

If nothing is done to arrest the march of the Green Ideologues the future of our country is in mortal danger. I feel sure there are millions of voters, like me, who want their children and grandchildren to live in a country built upon common sense and honesty, not greed and obfuscation and that can keep them in plentiful, secure and continuous supplies of energy.

As you contemplate your reply (please don’t insult my intelligence by getting a researcher, intern or civil servant to respond parroting the party line) please be advised I will not accept any attempt to take the moral high ground as is so beloved of politicians. Do you wish your legacy to be as the Prime Minister who allowed his country to perish for the sake of political expediency or as a worthy equal of Margaret Thatcher? I have voted Conservative at every General Election since 1964 but unless there is some serious re-arrangement of energy policy I will have to change the habit of a lifetime at the next one.

Good innit