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Autumn is coming

You may think that mid-June is a little early for me to be saying that, but I do see signs that Britain, and perhaps the world, is not as green as it once was:

  • Ben Spencer and Harry Yorke in the Times: “Ministers quietly abandon ‘green crap’ as focus shifts to food security”

    Boris Johnson has scaled back plans to rewild the country as the government retreats from the green agenda to focus on the cost-of-living crisis.

    Ministers last year announced a post-Brexit scheme that would pay farmers up to £800 million a year — a third of the farming budget — to transform agricultural land into nature-rich forests, coastal wetlands, peatlands and wildflower meadows.

    But the fund, called the landscape recovery scheme, has been quietly slashed to just £50 million over three years, less than 1 per cent of the budget.

  • Nick Cohen in the Guardian: “Why bankers close their ears to the ‘climate nut jobs’ talking about the end of the world”

    If the future remembers any corporate villain from 2022, it will be Stuart Kirk. The satirically titled head of “responsible investment” at HSBC looks the part: shaven headed, tightly trimmed beard, hard, sharp eyes. Like all the best villains, the banker’s arguments are insidiously appealing. He says out loud what his audience thinks, cutting through polite society’s pious crap to reveal its selfish desires.

    “There’s always some nut job telling me about the end of the world,” he told the Financial Times’s Moral Money conference – and I haven’t made that title up either. “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages and that’s a really nice place.”

  • A poll by Redfield and Wilton Strategies asked, “Would Britons support or oppose the Government suspending its environmental taxes to reduce the cost of living?” The result:

    Support 49%
    Oppose 18%
    Neither 23%

    A majority (58%) of 2019 Conservative voters and a plurality (46%) of 2019 Labour voters support the suspension of environmental taxes.

  • 17 comments to Autumn is coming

    • William H. Stoddard

      I hope somebody’s listening. And I hope similar sentiments will emerge in the US.

    • Snorri Godhi

      I looked at the Nick Cohen article because. last i read from him, he seemed far from a loony, so i thought he might, just possibly, sympathize with Stuart Kirk (as i do).

      Alas, the next paragraph gives his game away:

      Notice the neat two-step he performs. On the one hand, only “nut jobs” talk of a catastrophe, even if the ranks of the nutty include the UN and every serious climate scientist. […]

      What Nick does not realize is that “serious climate scientist” is a contradiction of terms.

    • bobby b

      I have expected this particular autumn since Climategate. How could a thinking world continue to believe such piffle? But they’ve impressed me so far with their religious zeal.

      No, I think it’s going to take a lot more widespread pain to change the Chicken Little zeitgeist.

    • Interesting to compare HSBC’s recent public face as a thoroughly woke bank with this not-so-woke head of HSBC’s responsible investment. I confess that, judging by their public face, I was not expecting HSBC to say anything that would annoy the Guardianistas as much as this. Did the left hand not know what the right hand was preparing to say? Do these parts of the bank not talk to each other? Is other wokeness intended to neutralise the PR effects of ungreening (good luck with that in the Guardian’s pages)? Or may Niall ever-hopeful Kilmartin join Natalie in thinking that some people at the top in the UK are beginning to see danger in delaying seeing sense? Boris has been given a wake-up call but maybe he’s not the only one.

    • Paul Marks

      Economic collapse may influence the public – but will it influence the government and corporate bureaucracy (the people the Guardian reflects).

    • David Roberts

      The Psychology of Totalitarianism, arriving tomorrow by 9 PM. I am hoping this book will enhance my understanding and tolerance of the received multifaceted delusions.

    • JohnK


      If BoJo could extract his head from his arse, he would realise that green taxes, banning petrol cars and gas boilers, banning fracking and all the other greencrap are economically disastrous and guaranteed vote losers. If he reset his government to drop all the greencrap, he would win the next election. He might need a new wife, but he’s been there and done that, so no big deal.

      We all know that BoJo believes in nothing but his own success. Certainly not greencrap, which he used to satirize mercilessly when he was an amusing journalist. So why doesn’t he do it? Won’t the WEF let him? That’s the real question.

    • Stonyground

      “If the future remembers any corporate villain from 2022, it will be Stuart Kirk.”

      Unless of course his scepticism about the doomsday predictions of the climate change alarmists is completely vindicated.

      The CofE has had bishops that no longer believed in God and admitted it. The church of climate doom would never tolerate such heretics within its ranks. If you want to keep your government funded job you simply can’t admit that the whole thing is nonsense. How long does thermaggeddon have to continue to not happen before their position becomes untenable?

    • Fraser Orr

      I thought the problem with BoJo and the green agenda is that if Mr. Johnson doesn’t follow the green agenda with passion that the little Mr. Johnson doesn’t get any attention.

      (BTW, I thought you Brits elected a conservative government. Mr. Disraeli and Mrs. T are no doubt spinning in their graves.)

    • GregWA

      Yes, voter sentiment is turning toward the angels’ side. And yes, even the votes might be, assuming they are counted with better than 10% “accuracy”. But what does it matter when every single person elected then does whatever is needed to keep the whackos, jackals off their heels? And that’s just the pols who nominally disagree with the whackos; other pols are all in on the Left’s agenda.

      Push the whole lot (pols) into the sea. Take back K-12 education (sorry, US reference). Then in a generation, maybe, we’ll have civic minded people in office who respect voters and who prosecute and imprison those who subvert electoral processes. If we don’t take back education, teach civics and history, the ratcheting left will continue with the occasional move right as in this case.

      In the meantime, keep polling…it’s so encouraging!

    • Mike Solent

      Environmentalists should rejoice. If governments abandon their cause then they have a chance that free enterprise may solve the problem, if it exists.

    • Johnathan Pearce

      Nick Cohen is a very uneven journalist. Sometimes insightful, sometimes a total cunt.

      BTW, HSBC, a bank rooted in Hong Kong, issued a grovelling statement supporting Beijing’s national security law crackdown on HK in 2020, which gives one some idea of how seriously it takes concerns about society and so forth. Standard Chartered, a UK-listed bank that does most of its business there, issued a similar statement. It is also heavily into this ESG stuff.

    • The BBC are determinedly not noticing any approach of Autumn. It was cool where I am today but I learned from the BBC 10’oclock news that it was 32 degrees celsius in the hottest bit of the UK!!! That’s almost 90 degrees fahrenheit!!! In June!!! Can you imagine anywhere being 90 degrees fahrenheit in June? !!! Health and safety warnings have been issued – check your neighbours lest any perish from such warmth.

      The beeb had a hard time getting the park-visiting members of the public they interviewed to say more than it was nice weather, but made up for it reporting that it was so hot that many had sought refuge in – the shade!!! They assured us that such heat events would become yet more common thanks to climate change – though those who stayed till the end of the programme discovered they were not yet quite common enough, it appears, to prevent the BBC’s weather forecast from telling us it would become markedly cooler and fresher over the weekend.

      The BBC news had much talk of records being broken – but on the web they are in a war with the Victorians.

      The driest year registered is now 1855 following a University of Reading project that involved 16,000 volunteers. … Millions of archived rainfall records dating back nearly 200 years which were digitised by volunteers during the pandemic have broken UK weather records and provided researchers with decades more data on weather trends.

      And when sundry ‘Friends of the Earth’ assured me that

      This May [2022] was the driest on record since 1896 in England … February 2020 was the wettest February in the UK …

      then the overall message about these extreme weather events adding up to catastrophe did not panic me quite as much as they intended. 🙂

    • Rudolph Hucker

      Meanwhile, in an Australia winter …

      In perfect hell for grid managers, Global Warming causes coldest start to winter in South-East Australia since WWII. The climate experts didn’t warn us we’d need more electricity for winter in Australia. If only carbon dioxide make winter nights warmer, Australians wouldn’t have been using up stockpiles of coal and gas in the last six weeks, and setting winter-time demand records. These geniuses got everything wrong.


      Blackout risk in five states continues: Wholesale energy market suspended, Australians told to use less electricity


      Expert scientists wrong again: Bumper snow season kicks off in Australia


    • Paul Marks

      JohnK – the British political system has been evolving in the direction of ever more power to officials and “experts” for a long time (a very long time). We may well have reached a point where a Prime Minister CAN NOT (not will not – CAN not) go against the entrenched officials and “experts” who create “Policy”.

      However, I agree with you Sir – a Prime Minister should make the attempt to go against what they are told to do. If democracy in this country has become an illusion (a sham), with policy really being decided by officials and “experts”, then this should be brought out into the open.

    • Channel 5 has just shown a programme ‘Heatwave: Summer of 1976’, which payed verbal deference to global warming while simultaneously admitting that nothing wholly comparable to that year’s heatwave has happened since, and quoting members of the public saying that, when not too inconvenienced by the drought and having to get water from standpipes in the streets, they recall it as a glorious summer.

      I missed the very beginning of it; in what I saw, the programme did not mention that the ‘experts’, eagerly echoed by the alarmist media, were warning of a new ice age at the time. But the ending seemed to suffer from a split personality. The message almost seemed to be: global warming is happening; it might get so bad as to return us to the conditions of 1976.

    • Paul Marks

      Niall Kilmartin.

      I just watched the BBC claiming that temperatures in Europe are at record highs – they are not a record highs, but I have learned that complaining about such disinformation is pointless.