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Eggborough Power Station

November 13, 2014

By Paul Homewood


Thanks to all who have managed to identify where the BBC’s photo of the smoke stacks came from. It looks as if it is Eggborough Power station, in Yorkshire.



Contrast the “normal” photo from the BBC’s report in February, when there was concern that the plant might close with the loss of 800 jobs.




With Roger Harrabin’s backlit version this week.







Now that’s what I call misleading!



BTW – if anybody knows the likely make up of whatever is coming out the chimney, please shout out.

  1. stuartlarge permalink
    November 13, 2014 11:11 pm

    For sure that is at least 90% water vapour, if that was dust, alarm bells would be ringing and they would have minutes to fix it, or shut down, they face huge fines for over allowed emissions.

  2. November 13, 2014 11:17 pm

    It’s time this sort of thing was exposed in the MSM.

    But who would do it?

    They’re all at it!

  3. November 13, 2014 11:22 pm

    Water vapor, looks like a scrubber stack IMHO

  4. John permalink
    November 14, 2014 12:03 am

    They will need a permit from the EA for those type of emissions It could well be on the EA site,
    Off to bed now, could look in morning

  5. AutoScoringSystems permalink
    November 14, 2014 12:06 am

    The image manipulation is a simple feature of Photoshop – either increase GAMMUT or increase BLACK SATURATION and or fiddle with BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST Either way, it’s deliberately deceptive – not misleading. PC On 14/11/14 09:58, NOT A LOT OF PEOP

  6. November 14, 2014 12:07 am

    The image manipulation is a simple feature of Photoshop – either increase GAMMUT or increase BLACK SATURATION and or fiddle with BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST
    Either way, it’s deliberately deceptive – not misleading.

  7. Chilli permalink
    November 14, 2014 12:55 am

    Hi Paul, Tom Nelson had a post on exactly the same misleading use of this manipulated image way back in 2011: See here:

  8. Joe Public permalink
    November 14, 2014 7:25 am

    The main products of combustion of gas, coal & oil will be colourless CO2 and water vapour – the same as us humans exhale. Nitrogen in the combustion air passes through the system.

    Eggborough being coal-fired, has flue-gas desulphurisation.

    I repeat again, the UK’s Clean Air Act prohibits the emission of visible particulates, so only condensing water vapour will be visible in any unmanipulated photograph.

  9. November 14, 2014 7:41 am

    What are the chances that Harrabin’s photo is not only backlit but photoshopped as well?

  10. November 14, 2014 7:43 am

    I’ve contacted Roger Harrabin and he claims he took the picture himself.

    • November 14, 2014 8:43 am

      what ? It’s got a Press Association logo in the corner.
      I stuck it in a “reverse image search” : Google said “Best guess for this image: carbon dioxide” I’m not then presented me with all the top pages on CO2
      There literally hundreds of copies of this very image on the internet, mostly with no PA logo
      The ITV webpage credits it as “Credit: John Giles/PA Wire/Press Association Images”

      • November 14, 2014 9:10 am

        It’s only what he said!

        I don’t know how to do a “reverse image search”.

        Try e-mailing him yourself at: “”

    • November 14, 2014 9:09 am

      That’s strange. From a comment on Tom Nelson’s blog regarding a John Giles image which even the BBC retains the “PA” attribution:-

      “Further to your inquiry. I can confirm that the image in question is genuine.
      Almost all pictures are routinely passed through Photoshop or other image processing software for them to be cropped and/or the density and contrast adjusted to enable the image to match the scene that the photographer saw when the picture was taken. Our photographers work to strict rules over picture handling which permits overall changes to exposure and contrast as well as local dodging or burning, consistent with that which could have been achieved in a traditional ‘wet’ darkroom.
      This picture was taken in winter and shows the clouds of condensed water vapour coming primarily from the cooling towers strongly backlit by the sun. Clouds can appear both white and fluffy or dark and menacing – as in a thunderstorm – depending upon the direction of the light.

      Kind regards

      Milica Lamb

      Picture Editor
      T: 020 7963 7156
      M: 07977 252271
      292 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1AE”

      • November 14, 2014 9:16 am

        Yes, virtually every image will have been through photoshop or something similar. IMHO it’s still misleading.

  11. November 14, 2014 8:03 am

    That photo is also disingenuously cropped, too!

    Note in the wide shot, it is only the top of the flue stack which is painted black, with natural brickwork below.

    None of the natural brickwork is in the BBC version. Very, very naughty.

    • saveenergy permalink
      November 14, 2014 8:46 am

      Joe, I’m just being pedantic,
      there’s no brickwork….. its a continuously cast concrete structure

  12. Richard111 permalink
    November 14, 2014 8:39 am

    So Harrabin took the picture himself??? He must have been up that pylon at the same time the top picture was taken. 🙂

  13. November 14, 2014 9:14 am

    I searched the image and it comes up with ‘carbon dioxide’

    And has been widely used for a few years.

    I am surprised Harrabin says he took it considering it’s wide use.

    More likely this is a stock photo which is labelled by the PA as CO2 or Carbon Dioxide.

    Press Association might have more detail as I’m sure the image will be available for purchase.

  14. silverfox permalink
    November 14, 2014 9:54 am

    Clearly, considering the widespread use of this very image over a long period of time, to claim he took the image, Harrabin is a liar. It makes you wonder what else he publishes is also lies!

  15. November 14, 2014 11:06 am

    @ craigm350 10:33 am

    “Still misleading in light of how the PA description states it’s condensed water vapour coming primarily from the cooling towers strongly backlit by the sun.”

    It is condensed water vapour, but emanating from boiler flues, NOT cooling towers. Clearly seen right-hand side of the top wide-angle photo.

  16. November 14, 2014 11:15 am

    Is it possible that pic B is a photo-shop’d version of pic A I wonder?
    Can’t be absolutely sure because my image software it turns out is not quite up to the task (or perhaps I’m not!). When I try to crop the top pic to the size of the lower pic it becomes too pixelated and I can’t clean it up, but the shape of the smoke being emitted in both pix looks suspiciously similar !

    Wouldn’t put it past them. And if it were, then his behaviour might even get criticised by the limp-wristed BBC Trust, which one suspects is really on his side.

    Any of your followers up to the technical challenge of finding out?

  17. TC Leeds permalink
    November 14, 2014 2:21 pm

    It is primarily condensed water vapour from the FGD (flue gas desulfurization) plant, which scrubs out around 90% of the sulphur dioxide.

  18. Dan C permalink
    November 14, 2014 2:34 pm

    Its mainly dirt…. what happens is when they re-fire up the boilers depending on the station, they use gas or oil burners, ferry bridge (fore example) actually have to engines similar to the vulcan bombers engines which start it up.. this burns clear after a while …. just like when you light a normal fire at home… I dont listen to anything the news say after the morons used a picture of steam from the cooling towers to show ”pollution”

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