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Discussion > The Lord Deben Conspiracy

I am now unashamedly out of the closet and revealed as a conspiracy theorist.

I tried to raise this in "Unthreaded" but it was soon swallowed up by other issues so I am now hoping to get a discussion here.
I do not know the whole system relating to how people get nominated for positions such as "Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change" however I assume that at some point Lord Deben put himself forward as a candidate or accepted a nomination.
However it now appears that whichever of the above two situations occurred, Lord Deben deceived the government.

The CCC is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act (2008). We advise the UK Government on setting and meeting carbon budgets and on preparing for the impacts of climate change.

In his interview with the DECC select Committee on 4th September 2012 Lord Deben explained that there was no need to discuss Climate Change because Sustainability demanded all of the actions needed to combat Climate Change PLUS much more. His agenda is Sustainability and NOT Climate Change.

You can watch his performance here:

I give a transcription of part of the last 15% of his interview below but my hearing is not perfect and so there are some blanks (be grateful if someone could fill them in? hehe). This starts immediately after he was asked what green growth was.

One of the things we have got to learn is that we are a world of finite resources and if we are going to continue to have the standards of living to which we have become accustomed and to which other people would wish to become accustomed then we can only achieve that if we can deliver it by using less resources.
We have "200/250 " years of productivity improvement largly by reducing the number of people, we have done that by using and raiding our resources to a large degree. My problem Mr Chairman is that I very often find that Environmentalists have done damage to their case by talking about peak oil, by talking about running out of things, thats not the issue, the issue is that in a world in which resources are finite, we have a responsibility to use them as effectively as we can and the quicker we have a green economy the more we will "obtain" these things at a lower price with less likelyhood of shortage, with a greater ability to deliver and therefore thats where the (green) growth will come from.
"Take rare Earths" if we go on to the point where we run out of them then we become puppets to those who have got those resources, so its in that area that I see the growth and we have got to grow because we are going to have to feed 9 billion people and they are not going to want to be fed in a subsistance way and they are not going to want to be housed in a subsistance way, nor do we have a moral right to demand that they are.
I do say to those who are sceptical about Climate Change.....clearly there is no need to talk about Climate Change because we have got to do all these things anyway if we are going to meet "the needs of 9 billion people"

I think that by the end Deben's mind was wandering, he had forgotten he was there to audition as Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and was simply giving his core beliefs.
His comments about where green growth would come from were off the wall.
Most of this interview is spent discussing Malthusian beliefs not Climate Change.
I have put quotation marks around bits where I am not sure what was said.

Sep 15, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Dung

Sep 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I love how he assumes that 'we' are responsible for feeding 9 BILLION people - as if the benefit culture wasn't abused enough already....

Sep 15, 2012 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

A transcript of his evidence is here

Sep 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

In the statement of John Selwyn Gummer
The logic gets rummer and rummer
The committee’s adjourning
The GLOBE’s not for turning
And John Selwyn is named - what a nuisance.

Sep 16, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

There was a plan (did it ever happen? ) to turn “An Inconvenient Truth” into an opera and put it on at La Scala. Reading Gummer’s evidence makes me think the entire global warming story needs redoing as Gilbert and Sullivan.
Then I came to this:

Secondly, we are moving into a different stage now, and if I look at the members of the Committee - I do hope we can keep a real sense of continuity; this is a very, very good team, and similarly with David Kennedy, and I would want to build on that rather than change it - I wonder whether we do not have a need for somebody who knows about behavioural science, because increasingly the problem is going to be to help people change behaviour. That is itself a science. There is a great deal of knowledge about that, and I do not think that at the moment any member of the Committee would say that that was their speciality. I would look to see if that could be improved.
So perhaps Gilbert could do with some help with the libretto from Brecht, who said (among other memorable things) “If the people vote the wrong way, change the people”.

Sep 16, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I started reading Gummer’s evidence with the idea of compiling a “best of”, but you just can’t do it. Every paragraph is laden with jewels. Non-sequiturs, self-contradictions and banalities sparkle like diamonds on the breast of a duchess.
Where are the radical investigative journalists - the John Pilgers and George Monbiots of yesteryear - to eviscerate this self-serving tripe?
(A quick google search reveals that John Pilger is still alive and writes for the New Statesman, as does John Gummer. There are no references to Lord Debden at the New Statesman).

This is a businessman doing the business. It’s like an arms salesman getting appointed Minister of Defence Procurement. My one faint hope is that his appointment is Cameron’s cunning plan (hatched at a secret meeting with future minister Delingpole?) to kill the Climate Change Committee with ridicule.

Sep 16, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

“My interest in energy’s so deep and strange
That now I am the Commissar for Climate Change”

Sep 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Please behave yourself Mr Chambers! This is not poets corner, this is conspiracy corner -.-

Sep 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I recently realized that the maintenance of the Royals provides a benefit not available to us leftside-of-ponders. That would be relief from an unfortunate name, Gummer for example. Before the introduction of more effective false-teeth in the US, someone without might have been known as "Gummer."

One might have thought that his ennobling rescue from that affliction would have inspired sufficient humility to keep his head a bit lower. And to think that I had always thought that Lewis Caroll invented these types.

Sep 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

The Code of Conduct
for Members of Parliament:

6. Members have a general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole; and a special
duty to their constituents.

7. In carrying out their parliamentary and public duties, Members will be expected to
observe the following general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on
Standards in Public Life in its First Report as applying to holders of public office.1 These
principles will be taken into consideration when any complaint is received of breaches of
the provisions in other sections of the Code.

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any
financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations
that might influence them in the performance of their official

Lord Deben is President of Globe International


GLOBE recognises and seeks to strengthen the central role of legislators and parliaments in tackling the major global environmental challenges, as well as placing a much greater emphasis on the role of legislators in holding governments more effectively to account for the implementation of international commitments.

GLOBE's mission is to create a critical mass of legislators that can agree and advance common legislative responses to the major global sustainable development challenges.

In his interview with the DECC he was advocating the principles of Globe and not advocating what was best for the UK or its citizens.

Sep 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Bishop says: "Enter your information below to post a reply to this thread."

I don't think this rises to the level of "information" but ...

Dung, is it possible that Deben believed that he WAS advocating what was best for the UK and its citizens?

Sep 16, 2012 at 1:39 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson


I have this old fashioned view that a UK government should advance the cause of the UK at all times and in all situations. We are in competition with all the other countries in the world; for trade, power and influence.
When Deben says "we" have to learn to manage with less resources so that 9 billion people can be fed and housed, I say bollocks and its not my problem. If some guy in a mud hut in Africa wants a nice house, a nice car and a good income then fine but it is not my job to pay for it and neither is it for our government to pay for it.
If you listen to the UN or read Agenda 21 it is clear that they want a huge transfer of wealth from the rich countries to the poor countries and Deben is on that bandwagon.

Sep 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I would agree with you if I were a Brit, but I think since I'm not, it would be inappropriate. But in general, i feel the same way you do. My point was likely a lousy one though, which was to suggest that someone isn't conflicted if whatever scheme he supports, he supports thinking it the best for the nation, wrong though he may be.

Sep 16, 2012 at 3:39 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson


OK I see where you are coming from now and you make a good point. Luckily for me the rules for Members state that you dont actually have to do wrong, you just have to be in a position where you "could" do wrong or might be seen by a reasonable person to have the opportunity (thats off the top of my head, not copied but it is the general idea)

Sep 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Geoff Chambers: re John Pilger. At least we can take some comfort from the fact that JP was one of Assange's bail contributors who got his wallet burned when Assange broke his bail conditions.

Sep 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

I enjoyed the bit about running out of rare earths.....he probably thinks we are in danger of running out of silicon as well. His factual knowledge is abysmally poor.

Sep 17, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

I suddenly realise that there must be some who are wondering what is wrong with sustainability, people who are not aware of Malthus or have not read Merchants of Despair or other books on the subject and particularly people who do not understand the UN Agenda 21.
All of the resources that man currently relies on are grown on, live on or are found in the earth's crust, a precariously thin veneer which varies from 5km to 70km in thickness and is the planet's outer shell. The crust represents less than half of one percent of the earth. We have not even started to investigate the other 99.5% of the earth.
Roughly 70% of the surface of the earth is water and the deep oceans are where some of the thinsest parts of the crust are found.

We have hardly scratched the surface of seabed resources, still we are currently finding new oil and gas deposits faster than we can use them, no resource used by man has ever run out, we have always been able to find new sources. However the key resource ignored by the sustainability alarmists is human ingenuity. The fact that we use certain resources today does not mean we will not develop a totally new resource tomorrow.
Lets start with Graphene, a new material set to be used for just about everything. Graphene filters will make sea water a cheap and inexhaustable source of drinking water, it will also replace silicon in computers. A few facts about Graphene:

The material graphene was touted as "the next big thing" even before its pioneers were handed the Nobel Prize last year. Many believe it could spell the end for silicon and change the future of computers and other devices forever.

Graphene has been touted as the "miracle material" of the 21st Century.

Said to be the strongest material ever measured, an improvement upon and a replacement for silicon and the most conductive material known to man, its properties have sent the science world - and subsequently the media - into a spin.

Graphene is taken from graphite, which is made up of weakly bonded layers of carbon

Graphene is composed of carbon atoms arranged in tightly bound hexagons just one atom thick

Three million sheets of graphene on top of each other would be 1mm thick

The band structure of graphite was first theorised and calculated by PR Wallace in 1947, though for it to exist in the real world was thought impossible

Due to the timing of this discovery, some conspiracy theorists have linked it to materials at the Roswell "crash site"

In 2004, teams including Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov demonstrated that single layers could be isolated, resulting in the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010

It is a good thermal and electric conductor and can be used to develop semiconductor circuits and computer parts. Experiments have shown it to be incredibly strong

"Our research establishes graphene as the strongest material ever measured, some 200 times stronger than structural steel," mechanical engineering professor James Hone, of Columbia University, said in a statement.

"It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap [cling film]."

And the way this material can be utilised is as surprising as its properties.

"Graphene does not just have one application," says Professor Andre Geim, the current co-holder of the Nobel Prize in physics for his work with the material at Manchester University.

"It is not even one material. It is a huge range of materials. A good comparison would be to how plastics are used."

Much has been made of graphene's potential. It can be used for anything from composite materials - like how carbon-fibre is used currently - to electronics.

Since its properties were uncovered, more and more scientists have been keen to work on projects. About 200 companies and start-ups are now involved in research around graphene. In 2010, it was the subject of about 3,000 research papers.

And the benefits to both businesses and to the consumer are obvious - faster and cheaper devices which are thinner and flexible.

"You could theoretically roll up your iPhone and stick it behind your ear like a pencil," Professor James Tour, of Rice University, told the Technology Review.

If graphene can be compared to the way plastic is used today, everything from crisp packets to clothing could be digitised once the technology is established. The future could see credit cards contain as much processing power as your current smartphone.

"It can open completely new applications in transparent electronics, in flexible electronics and electronics that are much faster than today," says Jari Kinaret, professor of technology at Chalmers University in Sweden.

And beyond its digital applications, just one example of its use would be graphene powder added to tyres to make them stronger.

It is revolutionary developments like this which make talk of scarce resources truly premium bullshit.

Sep 17, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Registered CommenterDung