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I'm still suffering, although the medicine is starting to kick in. In the meantime, here are a couple more links to keep you all going.

Ben Pile has a really good summary of the Fakegate affair up at Spiked.

The myth of the climate change denier exists in the heads of environmentalists, and seems to prevent them entering into conversation with anyone that dares to criticise environmentalism. The crusade of ‘communicating’ climate change is not a project that involves an exchange of views. To criticise environmentalism is to ‘deny The Science’, no matter how incoherent the environmentalist’s grasp of science or how lacking his or her sense of proportion.

Sometimes you wonder if GuardianEco is taking the mickey. Look at Damian Carrington's article about what he calls "fossil fuel subsidies". He is actually referring to the 5% lower VAT rate for energy. Having called this a fossil fuel subsidy, he goes on to note that it applies to energy from "renewables" too, and then seems to attempt a justification by noting that most of the energy supply comes from fossil fuels.

The Justice Committee today heard from the universities on the subject of FOI. Audio is here.

Judith Curry's take on Lindzen's talk at Westminster last week is here. I liked this quote of Lindzen's

Unfortunately, denial of the facts on the left, has made the public presentation of the science by those promoting alarm much easier. They merely have to defend the trivially true points on the left; declare that it is only a matter of well- known physics; and relegate the real basis for alarm to a peripheral footnote – even as they slyly acknowledge that this basis is subject to great uncertainty.

Climate Realists has the videos of the talk.

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Reader Comments (15)

Good piece by Ben Pile.

The environmental movement is as promiscuous with its ‘ethics’ as it is with ‘The Science’. You can make stuff up, apparently, just so long as you do so in order to ‘save the planet’.

And more people are capable of spotting that the ethics is corrupt than can understand about properly centring principal components. The whole episode will raise widespread doubts about the integrity of people involved in mainstream climate science, and consequently of the science itself.
Feb 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam
There are no comments on Carrington's article so I will say it here instead. Not taxing something is not the same thing as subsidising it. As his whole premise is that they are the same, then it is not worthy of attention.
Feb 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterAQ42
**...seems to prevent them entering into conversation with anyone that dares to criticise environmentalism.**

Well, it is their arrogant, elitist mentality that causes them to view 'skeptics' as atavistic, brain-dead, greedy, and immoral, either too stupid to understand the 'science' or having been paid off by 'Big Oil'.

And given that they believe that 'skeptics' are morons or neanderthal capitalist shills, what debate is possible?
Feb 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford
Stephan Shakespeare has an interesting article at Conservative Home about the techniques involved in framing the debate and anchoring the debate on ground of your own choosing. He cites the CAGWists as being particularly successful in doing this from the outset, with no effective counter arguments for several years. He comments that the current attacks on capitalism are similar. I think he makes god points.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterOld timer
Carrington's piece (and his quote from that great 'expert', Greenpeace's Joss Garman) is a cornucopia of tendentious nitwittery.

How much \\\"subsidy\\\" is there on a huge range of things from food & books to baby ware and burials that are ZERO VAT rated? see:-

So why is a lower rate of tax on energy an issue? Why are cycle helmets subsidised (more heavily than energy)?

And he skips over the feed in tariffs, the Renewable Obligation Certificates, the Carbon prices and all the rest. And conveniently forgets the fact that if all these real subsidies (and the fact that electricity suppliers HAVE to buy ruinables whether they want them or not) were not in place, the ruinables industry would vanish like snow in a blast furnace.

The OECD (budget €342 Million / year) is another taxpayers funded lying machine. Of which there are literally dozens.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby
Carrington thinks export credit guarantees are a subsidy. Nope, ECGD is an insurance organisation and exporters have to pay realistic premiums. Besides, guarantees are available to all exporters. If a UK manufacturer of solar panels wants ECGD to guarantee an export order they will happily oblige.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Emptying of domestic sewerage tanks is zero rated. I once had the sucklifter out to suck up rainwater with about 4 inches of mud sediment to drain and clean out a 10,000 gallon underground rainwater sump- the kind the Edwardians used in rural houses to catch rain for domestic water supply through a charcoal filter bed before mains water was available. The driver said is was too clean so he had to charge full VAT on top. I told an American colleague at work next day- sent him into fits- no VAT on s**t, he said, shaking his head.
Feb 28, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Next time the driver says it was \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"too clean\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\", ask him to take a sip.

My guess is he pocketed the VAT.

Bishop -- yer computer needs mending, it does.
Feb 28, 2012 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra
The cited point by Lindzen is precisely why the Team loves to engage skydragons. And why there is no skydragon commentary at Climate Audit, a policy that I recommend for substantive blogs.
Feb 28, 2012 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre
One of Ben Pile’s key points is that environmentalists lack a sense of proportion, a point which Damian Carrington makes for him brilliantly in his Graun article, by consistently, over and over, mixing millions and billions with gay abandon, demonstrating that he has absolutely no grasp of numbers bigger then the sums he learned in primary school.
He laments that:
‘Gas, oil and coal prices were subsidised by £3.63bn in 2010,.. whereas ... All renewables in the UK benefited from £1.4bn over the same period’
entirely ignoring the pitiful contribution made by renewables, in return for a colossal 28% of total “subsidies” (which are in fact nothing more than a VAT level lower than than the maximum. By the same logic, lower VAT on food equals a ‘subsidy’ paid to Chinese noodle manufacturers).
He continues:
‘Gas, which dominates home heating and electricity generation in the UK, received about £3bn in subsidy, with oil getting £500m and coal £72m.’
So coal is getting 2% of total “subsidies”. And a large part of what senior Greenpeace campaigner, Joss Garman calls ‘handing billions of pounds of taxpayers' money to some of the biggest and most polluting corporations in the world’ is the cost of free coal to the familes of retired miners. No doubt dear Damian thinks they should reduce their sooty footprints by carbon-capturing it in their baths.
Feb 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers
Bish, glad the medicine is working. Get well soon!
Feb 28, 2012 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K
Great piece on Spiked, Ben.

One point to remember is that Gleick has been deliberately ambiguous about the faked memo.

His "confession" was ghost-written by a Clinton lawyer to give the impression that he got the memo in the post without actually saying as much.
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes
‘If you like your hypocrisy sandwiches served with a side order of double standards, then these leaked documents are certainly the place to dine out’.

Did you know Leo Hickman said this?
Feb 29, 2012 at 2:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub
Actually, it would be good if they stuffed energy VAT up to 20% pointing out that this was at the enthusiastic insistence of Greenpeace, OECD and The Grauniad.

Dave Boy, Cleggy & Osborne listening to their green consciences.

It would be a boost to the burial & cremation trade (unfortunately subsidised, as zero rated) as frozen OAPs, unable to overcome galloping fuel price inflation, were carted off. More 'green jobs'. Less pensions to pay out. What's not to like? And a big and well deserved boost to the Thermageddonist's popularity.
Feb 29, 2012 at 7:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

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