We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

A press release worth sharing

I got this today from the Global Warming Policy Forum, a group that I guess can be best called a global warming sceptics group. It is based in the UK. Here is its press release today. It responds to reports that the UK is dangerously vulnerable to cuts in energy supplies and rocketing prices. Winter this year could be interesting. If the UK has power cuts and serious hits to supplies this year and into next, will the government double down on trying to produce energy from wind and happy thoughts, or realise that a mix of nuclear, some fossil fuels and limited renewables are the way to go? Can any major Western political leader withstand the likely wailing from the establishment media and call bullshit on Net Zero and the anti-carbon cult? Can you imagine any such figure advocating that people read Alex Epstein or Michael Schellenberger, for instance? It is worth noting that the last time the UK had power cuts, during the early 70s, we had a Tory government as led by Edward Heath (who took the UK into the EEC). Then, the coal industry was locked in a brutal industrial dispute with the unions. The three-day week, blackouts and all the rest were big reasons for why Heath was kicked out and eventually replaced by Margaret Thatcher. A basic requirement of a government is to keep the lights on, or at least not stop people from keeping them on. Boris Johnson doesn’t want to be the next Heath, does he?

Here is the GWPF press release:

The GWPF has consistently warned that Britain’s unilateral climate policies under both Labour and Conservative administrations were creating an insecure and expensive energy sector that would ultimately fail due to consumer costs and collapsing security of supply.

These warnings are now fully vindicated. Over-reliance on renewables and interconnectors and a failure to maintain a diverse portfolio of energy supply and electricity generation has resulted in a fragile, weather-dependent British system that is critically vulnerable to pan-European low wind conditions, interconnector failure, and high regional gas prices.

Income support subsidies to renewable energy investors currently total about £10 billion a year, and are still rising, while grid management costs have increased six-fold (to just under £2 billion a year) since the early 2000s when renewables were first introduced in significant quantities.

In spite of this large and growing cost burden, renewables do not protect the consumer effectively against fluctuations in gas prices, since wind and solar are both critically reliant on gas to guarantee security of supply. The UK’s apparent diversity of supply is an illusion. The current energy cost and supply crisis is the result of decades of ill-considered climate policy which has prioritised costly emissions reductions technologies while neglecting the consumer interest, security of supply and macro-economic impact.

The severity of the current crisis merits emergency measures, not only to protect consumers and the economy, but also to avoid the crisis from turning into social disaster as winter approaches.

The GWPF is calling on the Government to:

1. Suspend all green levies on energy bills, funding subsidies temporarily out of taxation, but acting firmly to cancel these subsidies in the near term.

2. Cancel constraint payments, and compel wind and solar generators to pay for their own balancing costs, thus incentivising them to self-dispatch only when economic.

3. Remove all fiscal and other disincentives to oil and gas exploration, including shale gas, to increase domestic production levels.

4. Suspend carbon taxation on coal and gas generation in order to provide consumer relief and ensure security of supply.

5. Re-open recently closed gas storage facilities and support new storage projects.

6. Suspend all further policy initiatives directed towards the Net Zero target, including the Carbon Budgets, the heat pump targets, and the overly ambitious timetable for the ban on petrol and diesel engines, until the UK energy sector has been stabilised.

7. Facilitate the acceleration of building and deploying Small Modular Reactors for both electricity and heat.

27 comments to A press release worth sharing

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    “…on trying to produce energy from wind and happy thoughts”

    That phrase made me happy 🙂

    On a more serious note, the GWPF are right, of course. The current crisis was predictable and predicted. We’ll have to see if the consequences of folly show up enough in Boris Johnson’s polling figures to get him to change course. As I’m sure you are aware the latest Mrs Johnson, the former Ms Carrie Symonds, is a keen environmentalist.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Boris has become a pathetic creature.

  • bobby b

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I end up dismayed because it appears they have conceded the fight that CAGW is a fraud, and moved on to “we’re not fighting climate change in the correct way.”

    I understand that one organization can’t fight all battles, and that taking a position about CAGW might lose them credibility amongst part of their audience, but this strikes me as a rather huge surrender. If the CAGW narrative isn’t shut down, then arguing about the details of how we “deal” with it is going to be much like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    (P.S. I’m assuming that this is indeed a “skeptic” group. If they actually are not skeptics, then I understand their positions.)

  • F Smith

    Three cheers for the GWPF!!!

  • Dave Ward

    It is worth noting that the last time the UK had power cuts, during the early 70s

    I remember them, but – as I was telling a friend today – this time it will be VERY different. 50 years ago the world wasn’t run by computers, so power cuts were inconvenient but when it was restored life quickly resumed as normal. I can still recall a picture in the local paper (taken in Woolworths), during a power cut – the customers were being served BY CANDLELIGHT! There weren’t any “Tap & Go” or Smartphone App payments then, or computer linked stock control of every purchase, just good old fashioned totting up on manual cash registers with notes & coins for payment…

  • Paul Marks


  • Mr Ed

    I have uncovered an Al Qaeda plot to disrupt the economy, and destroy life, in the UK. They plan to sit back and watch from Afghanistan, laughing as it all falls apart.

  • Paul Marks

    If (if) the projected prices of electricity and gas that I have seen are accurate, then the policy of the United Kingdom government and the “opposition” (for they are the same policy) can not be honestly defended.

    I am put in mind of the lockdowns – everyone in Westminster (regardless of whether they were politicians or administrators, and regardless of party) knew that the lockdowns would not “save lives” (just as they know that high priced electricity and gas in the United Kingdom will not “save the planet”) – but the policy went ahead anyway. Regardless of the vast harm it did.

    Who makes these policies? And what is their motive?

  • The Jannie

    So the energy “policy” proves to be yet another fantasy project -like HS2 – and damn the consequences.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    And yet, HS2 is still being built, even though the original Business Case is holed below the water line, and at least 50% of the potential passengers say they will carry-on working from home post-lockdown.

    Government policy = lemmings off a cliff?

    Entirely predictable is many businesses loosing crucial data when their servers crash because of power cuts and brown-outs.

    Here though, perhaps we should ask: As individuals, what can we do to prepare, and mitigate the potential of power cuts and brown-outs that crash all our own home computers? Perhaps ditch the desktop computers, and use laptops with batteries, or very-low-power devices (like Raspberry Pi) that can be powered for a long time from a small UPS.

    Just wondering, can we still get grants for having “stand-by” diesel generators connected to the National Grid?

  • Dr Evil

    7 common sense policies. So much that all these approaches are obvious. All this pandering to eco loons has brought us to the brink of disaster. We need far more CO2 for crops and general greening of the environment. Will this stupid bunch we call a government listen? We are sitting on cubic miles of high quality coal. Not using it for energy production is a criminal waste as I have been saying for years. We must wake up and put our citizens first. Taking a lead in what is spurious nonsense about CO2 emissions is utterly stupid for a small island nation when the big polluters don’t care.

  • Stonyground

    I believe that they started out as agreeing that Global Warming was a thing and only campaigning for better thought out policies for dealing with it. Since then it has become progressively more obvious that CO2 has no significant effect on global temperatures and the GWPF have become much more sceptical as a result.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    And yet, HS2 is still being built, even though the original Business Case is holed below the water line, and at least 50% of the potential passengers say they will carry-on working from home post-lockdown.

    Mr Johnson loves playing with trains and Big Things. He’s got the mental depth of a 9-year-old.

    We are so fucked unless the Tory Party chooses to send in the assassins.

  • bob sykes

    The fascination with small, modular nuclear power stations is one of the deranged peculiarities of our age. “Small is Stupid,”– Wilfred Beckerman, Duckworth, 1995.

    The economy of scale exponent on the size of manufacturing plants is about 0.7. That means that for each doubling of plant size there is a 20% reduction in the unit cost of production. That is why nuclear power plants are generally in the 1,100 MW range.

  • Deep Lurker

    Anything from the GWPF or any similar group will be ignored and suppressed. All the ‘Good’ and ‘Wise’ and ‘Decent’ people (who are of course all leftists) are completely convinced that global warming skeptics hate humanity and want the human species to go extinct. Of course, being leftists, they also project like World War Two searchlights.

  • Stonyground

    In a sane world it would be laughably easy to put the climate change nonsense to bed. Paul Homewood on oceanography expert Peter Wadhams.

    In 2012, he predicted that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2015/16
    • In 2014, he thought it might last till 2020.
    • In 2016, he confidently predicted the Arctic would be ice -free that summer (though curiously he now defined ‘ice-free’ as less than 1 million square kilometers!)

    How do we know that the climate scientists are wrong? They are always wrong, consistently and reliably.

  • Jon Eds

    We are so fucked unless the Tory Party chooses to send in the assassins.

    Johnson isn’t the problem. The entire political establishment is the problem. The very best case realistic scenario is for the Reform party/others to threaten the Tory party sufficiently for it to drop the more extreme of its policies.

    On HS2/infra projects. I noticed that the tunnel to Northern Ireland didn’t make it past the feasibility stage, judged to be too expensive at c £15bn; half of what we have spent on track and trace I believe, and way below HS2 costs. Shame, I thought that project at least had some merit as a nation building project.

  • pete

    ‘A basic requirement of a government is to keep the lights on’

    Is it?

    Surely a libertarian would know how to keep his/her own lights on.

    They wouldn’t regard it as a responsibility of the state.

  • bobby b

    “Surely a libertarian would know how to keep his/her own lights on.

    They wouldn’t regard it as a responsibility of the state.”

    But . . . but . . . surely we need to take care of the needy! Nothing non-libertarian about that.

    (And then you define “needy” to cover 60% of the population, which is how libs get co-opted.)

  • pete

    But . . . but . . . surely we need to take care of the needy! Nothing non-libertarian about that.

    So you’re a socialist libertarian?

  • bobby b

    “So you’re a socialist libertarian?”

    So, compassion can only come with socialist leanings?

    (I’m very anti-socialist, but you wouldn’t believe how many relatives I’m helping to support. Because in some manner they each please me, and so I choose to do so. My choice. That’s consistent with libertarianism. Browbeating me to do the same with 20,000 people I don’t know – not so much. Let them find some way to please the people from whom they need support. Yes, beggars ought to feel some pressure – if not to produce, at least to please.)

  • Fraser Orr

    I was watching a TV show recently about homelessness. And I struck me what a cruel thing that the homeless, people who are already in really bad shape, have the added burden of the government trying to “help them”.

    I think the cruelest word in the government lexicon is “entitlement”. The idea that the needy are entitled to someone else’s resources. Charity is a beautiful thing. I see someone in need and out of the compassion in my heart I reach out to help them. They get help from someone who actually cares. For me I get the pure joy of helping, the blessing of seeing my help actually transform someone’s life. The recipient gets the help they need, but because it is not an “entitlement” it comes with an understanding that they need to get on their own feet. They get the joy of gratitude, and the blessing of obligation to fix their situation. “Entitlements” rob everyone. Against my will I am forced to help people, often people I don’t want to help, people I don’t know, people who hate me. I am robbed of the joy of giving. The benefit of seeing my resources actually helping is invisible. For the receiver he is robbed of the joy of gratitude. He is instead instilled with a sense of entitlement so that he is not only not grateful, but is actually resentful, even hating of me. And if it is an entitlement he feels no obligation to fix it, no sense of shame for his shortcomings. The only people that benefit from “entitlements” is politicians. They get to take money forcibly from one person and give it to another (keeping a bunch of it for themselves) and then declare how generous and caring they are. It truly makes me sick.

    Private charity is a beautiful thing. The worst theft is the government stealing that from both the giver and the receiver. Private charity is the furthest thing from socialism I can imagine.

    I do contribute to various charities whose mission aligns with my beliefs. I assure you that it gives me a great deal more pleasure writing a check to them than it does writing a check to the IRS.

    One charity I contribute to helps run residential schools for girls in Tibet. These girls are very much neglected in that society, and they often go on to become teachers, helping the shockingly low literacy rate in Tibet. One of the father’s of the girls heard that the founder of the school was going to be visiting. Even though he was in his seventies, he walked twenty miles just to have the opportunity to thank that man for what he did for his daughter. I assure you that is far more enjoyable that watching a news story about the latest crap some government flunky pissed my tax money away on. Or watching some militant homeless group demanding that they take someone else’s property and to hell with the owner.

  • David Bishop

    Thank you, Johnathan. I forwarded that press release to my (Conservative) MP as soon as I saw it in my inbox. I added this comment:

    It is scandalous how gullibly successive UK governments of all hues have fallen for the deceptions of the Green lobby. Fracking was inexcusably killed off by a Conservative administration and the dire consequences are now being felt: massive gas shortages and rocketing prices, which inevitably most affect those least able to afford it.

    Please refer to Matt Ridley and to Lord Lawson for clear and authoritative expertise on this matter. Governments’ reliance on the deceptions of the Green lobby got the country into this mess. It is well past time more sensible voices were listened to and their advice acted upon.

    My MP will probably forward the press release, but with little enthusiasm. I have written to her several times before about the self-destructive climate and energy policies. While she always responds and is invariably polite, she is clearly not convinced by sceptical arguments – or does not dare deviate from the groupthink.

  • David Bishop

    Ross Clark in the Daily Telegraph two days ago set out a very clear outline of how this fiasco came about.


    It’s behind the Telegraph paywall, but the headline was this:

    From price caps to green targets, the chickens are coming home to roost on Milibandism
    Governments blame energy companies for high bills because it deflects attention from one main cause of of them: environmental subsidies

    (I’d be happy to provide the full report, but cannot see how to attach it here. Can anyone explain?)

  • Mark

    There is not, never has been nor, assuming perfectly reasonable engineering and technological improvement and advances, need there ever be any fundamental shortages of energy or rae materials for human civilisation.

    What we are seeing is purely the result of ideological politics. I don’t see how some sort of crisis – this coming winter or whenever – can be avoided.

    But who will wake, or perhaps more pertinently, who needs to.

    Totally destroyed economies, a death toll probably in the hundreds of millions and there are still left wing ideologies in denial.

    Red and green should never be seen. If only!!

  • Stonyground

    Well yes, I will shortly be servicing the genny to make sure that it is ready to go should it be needed, also thinking of upgrading to one that will run on red diesel. Also thinking about opening up a blanked off fireplace to give us more diverse heating options.

    On the other hand, isn’t the availability of a reliable electricity supply a good way of judging whether you live in a civilised country or a third world shithole?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Bob Sykes: The fascination with small, modular nuclear power stations is one of the deranged peculiarities of our age.

    I am unclear whether this is the object of much “fascination”. Outside of specialist organisations, I see little reference to it. I hardly ever come across it in the regular media. As for whether it is “deranged”, I don’t know: a few years ago, people imagined that computers would always be the size of a small house. Nowadays, you can fit one into a pocket. One of the main trends in engineering in some areas has been how things have got smaller, with no loss of economies of scale or efficiency.

    There may be physical limits on small a nuke could be. But a nuclear submarine’s power plant is much smaller than, say, Sizewell power station in my native Suffolk, UK, to give one example. So the idea that this is not feasible or economic doesn’t seem right.

    Rolls Royce is looking into the idea.