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« On scientific freedom | Main | Safely spaced out - Josh 363 »

Virtue-signalling ministers

The problem with the modern politician is that everything important gets brushed aside in favour of mood music and virtue signalling. Witness energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who yesterday decided that an 80% cut in carbon dioxide levels was simply not ambitious enough and that we should put a target of zero emission in law.

Whether this is anything other than mood music or virtue signalling remains to be seen, but of course Ms Leadsom isn't going to be around to deal with the consequences anyway, so it's a win-win situation for her. 

Apart from the fact that a lot of people are going to wonder why, as the country faces a potential energy crisis, she is engaging in this kind of self-indulgence rather than trying to find a resolution. Most will conclude that she is just not very serious about the brief she has been handed.

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Reader Comments (81)

Mar 15, 2016 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commenter Ivor Ward

Everything i've seen from UK PR recently eg EU ref, Global warming etc has been fully supportive of your government. Why? because Banks, assurers, academe's, MPs all, stand to make a fortune out of these subsidies whether from the EU or EU-ETS or UK ETS.

FOLLOW THE MONEY. This minister was in banking. She is supporting her friends

Mar 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Again she is a banker.
If they cannot create artifical scarcity they will create real scarcity via the mechanism of industrial sabotage.
I.E. the plan is to destroy the industrial surplus via any and all means at their disposal.
All of these games were covered by Ch Douglas many many years ago.
I believe these guys are very very serious about their proposals.
While abolishing co2 emission is absurd I suspect transport energy consumption will further increase on the backs of declining Production / consumption in all other sectors.
Victorian mean living standards coming soon....

Mar 15, 2016 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

An image search shows that the photo of a plume coming from a stack at the head of the article (the photo taken into the sun to make it look dark and sinister) has been used multiple times, mostly by the Guardian and the BBC.
It could be steam it could be smoke, whatever it is, it’s not CO2.

Mar 15, 2016 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris Hanley

Apart from Millipede, does anyone actually know the names of the cross-party group of MPs behind the amendment to the Energy Bill? And does it include Andrea Leadsom?

Mar 15, 2016 at 9:15 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

@golf charlie, Mar 15, 2016 at 11:56 AM

Just when I thought some sanity was slowly being restored into Government Policy on Energy, a new champion WimDit emerges from the Green Jungle to throttle us all.

Re: Green Jungle
Reminded me of another lunatic's views revealed today: Lion King’s Simba Is ‘Fascist’, Anti-Migrant Propaganda

@michael hart, Mar 15, 2016 at 12:49 PM

However, her constituency does include Silverstone. The general area is considered home to many high-tech industries associated with British motor sport which represents the best in the world. Perhaps Andrea Leadsom might like to hear their opinions about her intentions to abolish them before 2050. Presumably their employees are also voters.

I would love to see her interviewed by Eddie Jordan on the podium after the British F1 Grand Prix:

Eddie: ... you enjoy the racing...exciting...technolgy...Silverstone...GBP Billions...home of world motorsport.... ?
Andrea: Yes....
Eddie: benefits to UK GDP GBP x Bn pa.... Will you do more as the local MP and a minister to promote, support and encourage financial investment in motorsport valley?
Andrea: Yes....
Eddie: How do you justify your policy of zero CO2 emmisions in UK by 2050? Motorsport will be prohibited, even breathing will be illegal which means wiping out all life - including plants as they emit CO2 when the sun is not shining - thus turning the UK into a barren wasteland. Do you have a brain Andrea?
Andrea: Well I propose... em err ... breathing exempt ... err cough cough cough... splutters "need water cough"..
Andrea crawls of podium pursued by Eddie and camera crew...

Suggestion: Email FOM and Silvertsone nominating her to present winning team trophy.

@Stonyground, Mar 15, 2016 at 4:15 PM

What about agriculture? Even if we had nuclear fusion generating limitless amounts of electricity, good look with trying to plough a twenty acre field with a battery operated tractor.

Which brings to mind the military. I'm trying to picture Salisbury Plain with MBTs and other armoured fighting vehicles exercises with multi-mile extension leads trailing behind them.

Even more mind boggling would be another MENA/ROW conflict with MBTs etc having several hundred mile long extension leads trailing from them.

I can't imagine the military accepting explosive Hydrogen powered fuel cells as an alternative to multi-fuel engines.

Dellers: UK Energy Minister: ‘Britain Must Commit Zero Carbon Suicide’

Mar 15, 2016 at 9:40 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Everyone's forgetting that she has Ed's endorsement . . .

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Pcar, they won't need hydrogen fuel cells to power tanks, if they mount wind turbines on the turrets. Peace would break out everytime the wind stopped blowing, with severe reprimands laid down by the UN for any tank crews caught cheating with batteries, or clockwork motors.

With organic salad crops, grown hydroponically in place of all that heavy metal armour plating, a modern tank regiment could turn barren desert, into an oasis of green healthy living. By replacing 'depleted uranium' in armour piercing shells, with 'depleted composting toilet', warfare would remain messy and smelly, but not quite so lethal, and the decaying remains would act as a natural fertiliser.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

From Tim Blair's Blog at the Telegraph: Following a failure of the Trans Bass Strait Cable:

"UPDATE. For shame! Tasmania isn’t getting into the Earth Hour spirit.

An extraordinary industrial event occurred in Tasmania at the weekend. Diesel generators, hastily rushed across Bass Strait at a cost of $44 million, rumbled into action to keep the lights on.

This week, the generators operating since Friday at Catagunya Power Station will ramp up production from 9MW to 24MW, leaving the public wondering: just how does a state in 21st century Australia run out of power?

Strictly speaking, Tasmania is not a “state in 21st century Australia”. It’s a state living off 21st century Australia."

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered Commenternicholas tesdorf

Capell, we must also remember that Ed endorsed himself. I wish her equal success in her political career, but hopefully without the disastrous collateral damage, to Country and Party, that Ed will be remembered for.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@golf charlie

Pcar, they won't need hydrogen fuel cells to power tanks, if they mount wind turbines on the turrets. Peace would break out everytime the wind stopped blowing, with severe reprimands laid down by the UN for any tank crews caught cheating with batteries, or clockwork motors.

With organic salad crops, grown hydroponically in place of all that heavy metal armour plating, a modern tank regiment could turn barren desert, into an oasis of green healthy living. By replacing 'depleted uranium' in armour piercing shells, with 'depleted composting toilet', warfare would remain messy and smelly, but not quite so lethal, and the decaying remains would act as a natural fertiliser.

ROFL, reminds me of one of last week's C4 Zoo where vets were commenting on how to avoid chimps hitting them with the poo they threw.

Greens anti-industrial revolution and evolution aim is clear: we must all become pre homo sapien apes again.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:56 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Leadsome may well be under qualified to contemplate the idiocy of her reasoning and 'some' may wish to lay the blame at the feet of her advisers (whom she must necessarily rely upon), but there is no excuse whatsoever for a basic inability to think through the proposals before opening ones mouth.

Once upon a time this was known as 'common sense' but more often than not our elected representatives seem more than capable of dispelling the idea that they can exert even a modicum of said.

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Since the Earth absorbs 60% of our CO2 according to the IPCC we clearly just need a reduction of 40% anyway :)

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Pcar, if the vets stopped throwing their poo at the chimps, the chimps wouldn't be able to hit them with it.

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

JamesG, either we need to make the earth bigger, or make massive rockets powered by compressed CO2 and launch them into the vacuum in outer space, currently housing the Green's entire logic functions.

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

nicholas tesdorf, as the Antipodes have generated the most disastrous, and most expensive, per person, climate science calamities, is it possible that climate science will go down the plug hole in the opposite direction to the UK?

Diesel died in mysterious circumstances in 1913, as war was brewing in Europe. That his invention is saving lifestyles, wrecked by mankind's stupidity over a hundred years later is remarkable.

Mar 16, 2016 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Al Harrabin* thinks the 0% target is a trick.
He's even retweeted GWPF on his FB page

Retweeted GWPF (@thegwpfcom):
@RHarrabin @GeorgeMonbiot @Revkin empty promises are always the best way to get gullible greens off your back
* Maybe he's Saudi funded

He retweeted about the abolition of biofuels "We need to rapidly accelerate the phase-out of 1st generation #biofuels"#Biodiesel #Palmoil "

His ridiculous BBC Headlines - look like they come straight out of Greenpeace
eg "Renewables subsidy cuts could increase energy bills
By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst 3 March 2016"
..Right hows that for twisted logic : the subsidy which is part of the bill could increase the bill if it is removed, cos subsidy mafia won't build subsidy power stuff.

Mar 16, 2016 at 7:50 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

PM Cameron made huge promises on immigration targets
..and totally failed on it ever since.
... So that is a track record of words not action.

Mar 16, 2016 at 8:31 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I get the trick a headline on Reading Uni website "Pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions 'not enough to avoid damaging impacts' - March 11, 2016*"

Gov can now shout "SHUT UP we've pledged a 0% target"

*( report by group called AVOID..... R Uni's Walker Institute is a member, led by Prof Nigel Arnell)

Mar 16, 2016 at 9:01 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

No need for a new Yes Minister, the old one still suffices, currently repeating on Freeview 19, ironically the "Yesterday" channel. July 2015

UK energy minister Andrea Leadsom said: "We are determined to make the most of our North Sea resources to provide secure, reliable energy for hard-working families and businesses, and reduce our reliance on volatile foreign imports.

"We are backing our oil and gas industry which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK.

"The 28th offshore licensing round comes after the Government announced a major package of support in March to encourage £4 billion of additional investment in the North Sea which will prolong the life of this vital industry."

Speaking at the House of Commons yesterday, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: “The government believes that we will need to take the step of enshrining the Paris goal for net zero emissions in UK law.

“The question is not whether but how we do it and there are an important set of questions to be answered before we do.”

She added: “This is an example once again of the House demonstration on a cross-party basis a determination to tackle climate change.”

WWF said the announcement “is a recognition that the UK can be at the forefront of a brave new (low carbon) world”.

(my brackets) Brave indeed, Minister, as Sir Humphrey would say.

Mar 16, 2016 at 9:47 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Golf charlie, josh.

I propose you combine your talents. The world deserves to see pictorial representatives of golfcharlie's wilder imaginings. Consider husky like chickens pulling a plough (perhaps with a Heath Robinson device to collect the eggs, so avoiding trails of omelette) or squadrons of stalled wind powered, fertilizer shedding ecotanks (perhaps surrounded by hordes of wheelbarrow welding enemy guerrilla (or even gorilla) gardeners.

So. Josh can you bring out your hidden Dali? GC could you restrain yourself to one surreal imagining per post so as to share the joy?

Mar 16, 2016 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall, as I still await any of the dire consequences of global warming, it is important to maintain an appropriate level of respect, for those who capitalise out of creating fear.

Ironically, if we had all donned tin foil hats to reflect the sun, following Mann's Hockey Stick, the conclusion based on evidence would be that it is working, but to be safe, we should all upgrade to new hat sizes, particularly global warmists, whose brains are clearly suffering from over heating.

Mar 16, 2016 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@Mar 15, 2016 at 10:03 AM |. Adam Gallon

You got there first, but that was exactly my thought, too.

Mar 16, 2016 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

Thank you, Roger Tolson...

'Andrea Loathsome..'

Love it....

Mar 16, 2016 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Golf charlie, please stop it. A vision of Vietnamese workers with tin covered millinery claiming greater climate change responsibility Instantly came to mind. I can almost see Josh's take on it.

Mar 16, 2016 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

"Facts no longer matter. We simply decide how we want to see the world and then go out and find experts and evidence to back our beliefs."

This is not just Virtue Signalling. We have reached VIRTUE PAGEANTRY!

Mar 16, 2016 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterDyspeptic Curmudgeon

She has probably already worked out how she is going to dispose of the 14% of her breath exhaled, which is CO2, is going to be handled. Perhaps she'll pioneer a portable CO2 recycling plant, it'll have to be waterproof for when she's in the shower, and, oh, all sorts of stuff. She'll figure it out, she' s a smart lass. She is Conservative, after all.

Mar 16, 2016 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Melia

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon. PEAK VIRTUE anyone? Or could we strive, like football managers, for 110 percent?

Mar 17, 2016 at 6:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Heh, 'Virtue Pageantry'. The colors of the lady are green, but so are the lances in the tournament.

Mar 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"The government climate law announcement follows the tabling of an amendment to the Energy Bill by Mr Miliband and a cross-party group of MPs from six parties: Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Green, Plaid Cymru and SDLP."

So why wasn't Douglas Carswell in on it

Mar 17, 2016 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

You first, Ms. Leadsom. No breathing for you, and no gaseous emissions from your remains. Zero emissions.

Can't you find a path out the fireswamp of death where you led yourself? I hope so.

Mar 18, 2016 at 3:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterDean_from_Ohio

It's a win-win situation for us when she stops exhaling.

Mar 29, 2016 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered Commenteriowaan

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