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Alex Henney Memo To The CCC

November 22, 2015

Alex Henney wrote to the Committee on Climate Change, pointing out some of the fallacies behind their latest Progress Report to Parliament. John Gummer has presumably forgotten who pays his wages, as he has not yet bothered to reply.




The scientific flaws of the Committee on Climate Change and the expensive consequences,




The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has just published “Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change: 2015 Progress Report to Parliament”. The report reviews a range of low carbon policies with the electric industry centre stage in some of them, notably deployment of renewable electricity generating capacity.

The CCC treats the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a source of serious science. It is not – its remit is to identify “man’s impact on climate change”, not to study the issue in a broad and scientific manner. Over the years it has included a great deal of junk politicised “science” which has been retracted. Furthermore it is a political body. Its Summaries for Policymakers are signed off by government representatives and on various critical points do not represent the science but spins and evades issues. Climate models are critical to the work of the IPCC including both its (rigged) predictions of future temperature and its attribution of the effect of CO2. Yet for a whole variety of reasons climate models do not (and will not) reflect reality – the climate is too complex, the models too crude.

To substantiate its belief in the need to decarbonise the economy in general – and the electric industry in particular – the CCC makes a number of claims which are either incorrect or exaggerated and presented as though they are a problem. In doing so the CCC frequently exaggerates the figures of the IPCC. The CCC:-


  • Neglects to mention that there has been no increase in global temperature for 16-18 years
  • Exaggerates the past sea rise round Britain
  • Claims without any foundation that “Hundreds of millions of people from small islands to large coastal cities are currently projected to be living in areas that could be submerged”
  • States “Ocean acidity will rise which will pose substantial risks to marine ecosystems” – a claim which is based on an ignorance of chemistry and the oceans
  • States that “the Arctic sea will become nearly free of summer ice at some point this century”. This is a very unwise forecast to make. Arctic sea ice is variable and over the last three years has recovered much of its recent decline
  • Claims that “continual warming increases the likelihood of severe, widespread damage”, a claim in which the IPCC has “low confidence”
  • Claims “Average global temperature could rise between 20C and 5.50C by 2100 compared to the late 1800s”. Anything beyond 20C is a scare story with no foundation. A number of solar physicists are forecasting another Little Ice Age

This factually frail rationale (along with the quest by academics for grants and renewables developers for subsidies) is the group think which has driven the British government’s generation policies, which consist of:-

  • Building the most expensive nuclear plant in the world
  • Subsidising very expensive offshore wind farms which do not achieve what they claim on the tin by way of CO2 mitigation
  • Subsidising the largest and most expensive scheme in the world to burn wood chips from new cut trees in the US which actually increases CO2 emissions
  • Subsidising residential solar panels in our gloomy climate
  • Spending more than any other country researching the unproven prospects of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

In reality what we do has no effect on the climate even supposing CO2 has any impact. The Germans and Dutch have just completed 10 large new coal plants. Chinese emissions are now twice US emissions and India’s are 70% of the EU’s and both countries (along with other developing countries) are going hell for leather to build more coal plants.

Going on as we are is not only vastly expensive – effectively a regressive tax on electricity consumers; a burden on energy consuming industry; and a burden on the balance of payments – but unless we build more CCGTs we risk brown-outs if not black-outs in the not too distant future. We are pursuing the politics of illusion and delusion at the expense of an ill-informed public who have to pay for the political caprice.





1 I was on the board of London Electricity 1981-84. My report “Privatise Power” published by the Centre for Policy Studies in February 1987 was the first to propose a competitive restructuring of the electric industry with a pool. After the election in June I was involved with Rt. Hon. Cecil Parkinson and officials in the early days of restructuring, and wrote a paper “The operation of a power market” which had an influence on the course of events. Subsequently I have advised on electric markets from Norway to New Zealand.




The full memo is here.

CommentsOnCCCreport [71750]


Or alternatively:

CommentsOnCCCreport [71750]

  1. November 22, 2015 7:37 pm

    If only 90% of the population actually knew the ramifications…. Poverty, Death, eternal slavery….. gotta laff eh? They’re cheering it on…! (frowns and scratches head)

  2. November 22, 2015 7:50 pm

    Thanks, Paul. The heat is on!

    On a different tack:
    On September 17, 2015, the UK Supreme Court held a climate-change propaganda event in its no. 1 and no. 2 courtrooms, in which only one side of the debate was permitted. Lord Carnwath, chairman of the event and a justice of the court, said:

    “President Obama has said we are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it. On that basis, the forthcoming Paris negotiations under the UN Climate Change Convention are a crucial test of our ability as a global community to address those challenges. The intention is that the commitments which emerge from those negotiations should have legal force.”

    Christopher Monckton of Brenchley says:
    The Court at first broke the law by failing to reply on time to my freedom-of-information request about its pantomime of hate against “scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential” skeptics whose “claims” its favoured lecturer said it and its counterparts worldwide should “scotch”.

    It then continued to break the law by sending not a single one of the documents or records I had requested. Its excuse was that it would cost more than the statutory $1000 limit to source and send the documents.

    From “Keeping up the heat on the UK Supreme Court”, Watts Up With That?, at (November 21, 2015).

  3. November 22, 2015 8:24 pm

    I doubt if John Gummer is interested in his wages, he is probably making a lot more from other sources and destroying the climate change story would be destroying them too. There’s a lot of money in climate change!

    This is the “man” whose main claim to fame was publicly feeding his daughter a hamburger at the height of the mad cow disease scare when he was Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and food, and just as commonly happens with climate change, skeptical scientists who aired their doubts on public paper tended to be denied access to government data bases and their funding dried up. Worse still, as head of MAFF, he gave repeated, unfounded assurances to the British Public, while failing to stop toxic material from entering the food chain.

    He also used the parliamentary expenses system to claim more than £9,000 a year for gardening.

    “Mr Gummer also received hundreds of pounds to meet the costs of “treating” moles, removing jackdaw nests, tackling insect infestations and an annual “rodent service” contract. He claimed more than £100 a year for the mole treatment alone. Only costs essential for an MP to carry out his or her parliamentary duties are supposed to be recouped. It is not clear why Mr Gummer’s claims were authorised by House of Commons officials.

    The former Cabinet minister lives in a grange in Suffolk. He has a £60,000 mortgage on the property and initially claimed around £200 a month towards the interest on the loan. However, he still claimed close to the maximum allowance of more than £20,000 annually during most years once his other expenses were added.” (The Telegraph, 2009).

    On second thoughts, perhaps Mr. Gummer is interested in his salary after all. It seems he is inclined to bend any rule that might enable him to enrich himself no matter how slightly at the taxpayer expense and I would suspect that this debauched little man with friends in high places would stoop to pick up pennies in the street, or more likely get one of his aides to do so for him.

  4. November 22, 2015 8:33 pm

    I see that Ed Milliband is now calling for ZERO carbon targets to be set in law, thank goodness he is now history, but other politicians of that ilk are in power elsewhere, and in opposition in the UK.

    A zero carbon area would be a good idea, those advocating such a thing can go and live there for 6 months as a cure for their affliction.

  5. gareth permalink
    November 22, 2015 8:45 pm

    ‘continual warming increases the likelihood of severe, widespread damage’

    “For many years this glacier was steadily advancing on the meadow in front of it, ploughing up the soil and overturning the chalets in its way. It now shares in the general retreat exhibited during the last fifteen years among the glaciers of the Alps.”

  6. Kestrel27 permalink
    November 22, 2015 10:15 pm

    Oh dear! I agree with many of the views Alex Henney expresses and appreciate how strongly he feels but unfortunately this is not the sort of letter that is likely to get a reply from people in government or on House of Commons committees. It is too hectoring, too dogmatic and too long. A more moderate sounding letter would have been more likely to get a response. Sadly, Mr Henney seems to have forgotten the presentational skills he must surely have learned in his earlier career when he was advising and writing reports for governments.

    • Swanny permalink
      November 22, 2015 11:10 pm

      I so agree with Kestral27. Short less strident letters would have a much greater impact. Leave the alarmist language to the global warming “believers”, and the BBC.!

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