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Ed Davey talks tosh – City A.M. talks sense

At around midday today I caught Ed Davey MP babbling away on the telly about how 97 percent of climate scientists agree with him about the need to wreck the British economy and treble our fuel bills by making carbon illegal, or whatever. The BBC person present complained that Davey wasn’t doing nearly as much to wreck the British economy and treble our fuel bills as he should have been doing, and that what he was saying was merely bluster to comfort greeny true believers. It would certainly be nice to think so.

Peter Lilley MP, also present, had plenty to say about these absurd claims, but the word – just the one word – that he used that I remember most fondly was: Tosh.

Later in the day, on a tube train, I learned of better British economy and energy bill news, in the form of this City A.M. front page:


Here is the front page story.


THE UK’s shale gas industry was given a huge boost yesterday after one exploration firm massively lifted its estimate of the amount of untapped gas resources in the north of England.

Initial studies by IGas – one of the few companies with permission to explore UK shale reserves – have shown that reserves in its sites in the Bowland exploration area could hold up to 172.3 trillion cubic feet of shale gas – nearly 20 times higher than previous estimates.

My favourite paragraph of this story is this one:

But there has been opposition from green groups, who say it will reduce investment in renewable energy, and claim the hydraulic fracturing method used to recover the gas may cause earth tremors.

Anything that reduces invetment in “renewable” energy, which is the stupid kind, is all to the good. As for those earth tremors, bring them on.

City A.M. Editor Allister Heath starts what he has to say about Britain’s shale bonanza with this question:

What are we waiting for?

Waiting, presumably, for the likes of Ed Davey MP to be dumped into the dustbin of history where they belong.

11 comments to Ed Davey talks tosh – City A.M. talks sense

  • RAB

    The Greens hate Fracking on principle. What principle? Who knows? Apart from it diverting attention from their Blakeian bucolic vision of Windmills and Solar power that somehow appear by magic and will provide all our power for free. No mention of 3 times plus subsidies for these useless machines, or the rare earth minerals that are essential to make them work. Talk about NIMBY’s! Fine out of sight out of mind in China, but not round Blackpool or Bath.

    And I’m sure you more scientific folk will put me right, but isn’t Carbon capture… the process of trying to stuff CO2 into rocks in the ground so it doesn’t escape into the atmosphere and cause us to crash and burn the planet by a week next tuesday, the mirror image of fracking? Why do the Greenies think this will cause less earthquakes, or whatever they’re afraid of? Er like boiling your water before it even gets to the kettle?

    The Greens blithely believe in carbon capture, even though it has been proved to be nigh on impossible, but hate fracking, even though it has reduced the USA’s power costs by half.

    Yes this is a religion and has nothing to do with science or economics. Anyone want to invest in tallow candle futures?

  • George

    more government money needs to be put into Carbonara capture

  • PaulH

    RAB – carbon capture and storage isn’t the opposite of fracking. Fracking aims to fracture the ground, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s at least a theoretical risk of earthquakes from it (though I imagine there’s a counter-argument about relieving stress in rocks and thereby avoiding quakes; I suspect without knowledge that both can be true in different circumstances). Carbon capture, by contrast, looks for air-tight spaces in the ground and seeks to keep them that way (e.g. by not over-filling them). Any earthquake from carbon capture would not just be a side-effect, as it could be with fracking, but an actual failure.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of carbon capture at all, except if there’s some way to take what’s captured and make it useful – I haven’t heard of such a technology.

    Your point on the Greens hating fracking misses a couple of points, I think. First, their concern about power costs is that it be too cheap, not too expensive, so fracking (to them) is a bad thing in part because of this, not in spite of it. Second, I doubt that fracking actually has halved power costs, though it may have halved the costs absent externalities.

  • George

    Serious question, would any wind power companies turn a profit without government money?

    Do we think governments will continue to put money into wind when the shale gas comes online?

    I’m wondering if there is a shorting opportunity but I guess I’d be betting against the government continuing to do the wrong thing and waste peoples money.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The elephant in the room at the wind power party is the back up plan is when the wind don’t blow, and it will nearly always be gas, being the stuff that is easily “turn-off-and-on-able” and (relatively) low carbon emission.

    You would have thought then, that any discovery of local cheap gas would assist a wind powered strategy, but the basic problem is that when gas is so cheap it brings into question why have gas as a backup when it can be cheaper to run it 100% with the wind as top up instead.

    The question to ask the windies is what they propose as the back up plan if not gas?

  • Andrew Duffin

    What the windies are proposing (and, indeed, implementing) is the use of Smart Metering to shed load at peak times (translation – turn off your appliances by remote control, without your consent or involvement) so that no backup is required.

    Naturally the smart blackouts will not apply to important people such as MP’s and celebrities.

  • Although I’d read it several times before, it only just occurred to me that using the term “boom” to optimistically describe the discovery of large deposits of combustible gas carries some unfortunate connotations…

  • Dom

    Concerning that 97% figure, it’s false, but I don’t know what the real figure is. This is worth a read:


  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Does this mean Ed is a tosher?

  • Julie near Chicago


    “…[E]xcept if there’s some way to take what’s captured and make it useful….”

    There is. What you do is, you plant something. The plant sequesters (captures! *g*) the CO2 automatically, and at the very least you get a lot of nice usable Oxygen out of it.

    (Actually, you don’t even have to plant the stuff yourself. Nature will take care of that for you, given half a chance.)

  • Mr Ed

    OT but loonming over all politicians’ plans and people’s living standards, the UK National Debt has just cruised through the £1,200,000,000,000 barrier. There will have to be concessions to economic reality soon or else the whole rotten structure will come crashing down. Perhaps fracking will buy time.