Wednesday 25 April 2012

'Friends of the Earth' no friends of the facts

The guv'nor is busy and suggests I fisk a new FoE press release. As ever I hasten to do CU's bidding.  It's like taking candy from a baby, but here goes - there are some interesting points arising.

"A new poll from Friends of the Earth reveals 85 per cent of Brits would like to see the Government increasing the use of clean British energy and reducing the use of overseas gas ... 

That's a naughty over-interpretation of what the poll results actually say (see below).  FoE aren't terribly keen to have you read the detailed poll (can you find it on their website ? I couldn't); but you can get it on YouGov.  Have a look, if you can be arsed.

FoE is calling on Cameron ... to shift the energy market away from just six big energy firms who rely on fossil fuels to power our homes – driving up prices for hard-pressed households – and help new clean British energy businesses to thrive.

This sounds suspiciously like a purely commercial pitch in favour of a smaller energy supplier.  Actually, fellahs, we all rely on fossil fuels. And it's 'green' subsidies that push up energy prices higher than they would otherwise be.

When people were asked which sources of energy they would most like to see providing more of their electricity in ten years’ time, 64 per cent backed wind, wave, solar or tidal power while just 2 per cent backed gas. 

A tad more honest as a reflection of the actual poll: but it doesn't necessarily mean what FoE infer at all.  Respondents might simply be reflecting that we have enough gas in the portfolio right now, and that they'd prefer renewables to replace coal plant as it retires. (But - who's to say that's feasible ?  Actually, it isn't !)

Deborah Meaden [sic] said: “Cameron needs to listen to the public and say ‘I’m in’ to clean British energy, opening up a multibillion pound opportunity for British businesses". ... 

A complete non sequitur - you stupid woman !  Oh - and do we detect commercial lobbying again ..?

Gas, coal and nuclear are the technologies of the past. 

That's because we like our heat, light and electrical appliances.  They'll continue to deliver the same in the years to come - assuming we all still want them !  (With FoE you can't be sure.)
FoE’s Clean British Energy campaign would switch the UK to home-grown clean power – we can’t afford not to. Ministers have a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our electricity market to help smaller businesses, schools and communities plug into clean and affordable power. 

Exactly what 'help' do FoE have in mind, eh ? 'Green tariffs' are available already  ... the whiff of commercial lobbying grows ever stronger, and the 'support'-word can't be far behind.  Bloody subsidy-wallahs !

It’s time to wave goodbye to costly fossil fuels and develop affordable power for the future." 

And here's the interesting bit. Note that nowhere do FoE mention CO2 or renewables targets, global warming or anything else.  Just 'clean'. Oh, and 'affordable'.  Like I always say: when push comes to shove, GDP trumps GHG.  They know they have to address the fuel poverty issue, which will rapidly dominate the scene: and they are attempting to do so, brazenly.

Unfortunately for them, they are entirely on the wrong side of that one.  When you need massive subsidies every step of the way, which are going to be funded directly from energy users' pockets, this is an argument you can only bluster over.  It's game on: and they are going to bluster for all they are worth.



Mark Wadsworth said...

Aha, the plot thickens.

The poll I mentioned a day or two ago was commissioned by RenewablesUK and was carried out by IPSOS-MORI, this one was carried out by YouGov.

rwendland said...

At least FoE is not a charity, so isn't itself subsidised by govt. Unlike the Noel Edmonds' founded charity Renewable Energy Foundation - which rather contrary to its name argues against wind farm expansion, subsidised via Gift Aid!

Anonymous said...

Some of these "green" organisations are in practice fronts for the oil industry, which is pleased to see alternative energy sources that don't work, such as wind and solar.

Nuclear fission, which is clean and safe and does work very reliably, is the real enemy of the oil and gas companies.


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