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The True Cost of Green Energy: Channel 4 Dispatches

April 12, 2018

By Paul Homewood


One for the diary!

Next Monday on Channel 4 at 8pm.


This is the programme description:



Reporter Antony Barnett investigates a subsidised renewable energy industry that turns trees into fuel, and asks whether burning wood instead of coal is really an environmentally friendly answer to climate change. He travels to the forestlands of the south-eastern United States to find one source of this controversial ‘carbon-neutral’ fuel, and the biodiverse wetlands of Virginia and North Carolina, where millions of tonnes of wood are harvested and processed into pellets, which are burnt in one of Britain’s largest power stations.

  1. HotScot permalink
    April 12, 2018 10:23 am


    Although the conclusion will probably be “Of course it makes sense” as the world is burning up anyway and trees produce the evil gas CO2.

    But at least it’s a start.

    • April 12, 2018 11:15 pm

      Bloody idiot – Trees consume CO2 and breathe out Oxygen!

      • HotScot permalink
        April 13, 2018 8:07 pm

        Sarcasm’s not your strongest attribute, is it?

        Personal abuse is up there though.

  2. April 12, 2018 10:42 am

    I suspect it will concentrate on the environmental cost of cutting down all those trees. I suspect it won’t look at the cost to the UK consumer from the massive subsidies given to the troughers. We will see.

  3. David Richardson permalink
    April 12, 2018 10:48 am

    Mr Barnett will make one very small error of fact in the whole programme and this will be used to take Channel 4 to the broadcast regulator as a lack of balance in their covereage.

    Most of you will recognise this as the very outcome after Channel 4 had the temerity (bravery as it turned out) to show the Programme “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. a few years back. You had to laugh – The Channel 4 programme was one sceptical view, full of good science (Prof Lindzen was contributer), in a thousand alarmist plethora but it was judged to lack balance!!!!!

    Already set to record – thanks for the tip Paul

  4. April 12, 2018 11:09 am

    Let’s hope he does as well as the Dutch broadcaster:

    Transcript at

    • April 12, 2018 11:10 am

      The video has English subtitles.

      • Athelstan permalink
        April 12, 2018 12:08 pm

        “Karma ham”

        Brilliant stuff and saving horses in the Tiber.

        Indeed calling the goverment to account through political satire – where did it go to? The luvvie comedians saw to that.

        Where in the UK, we used to do similar parody (to the above) and behind it alays a terse sharply delivered political message,
        Rory Bremner with his superb Bird and Fortune were, an astute and very funny critique of all that is UK HMG. These days of the post modern puritans aka the ‘Mayhem terror’ where hate speech is the work of the Devil and no one even allowed to think it, thus, sticking it to the green lobby and green beholden politicians is as likely as the bbc declaring for full Brexit.
        If follows that, the green religion runs riot and no dissent is suffered, its madness just gets worse where the likes of claire perry get to shove UK energy policy into the realms of bonkers on stilts. The civil service mafia in the BEIS therein fashion an economic calamity on this nation via the transport of the great Marxist wet dream of ‘back to the fields’ deindustrialization.

        We’re doomed by our own lot and all for what, one can only surmise that, sending Britain down the road to third world immiseration and povery is the desired ambition.

    • Geoff Sherrington permalink
      April 13, 2018 3:05 am

      Thanks, Ron,
      Outstanding and recommended.
      Esp. if you know what a Dutch ‘slip’ is. Geoff

      • Paddy permalink
        April 13, 2018 6:39 am

        A slip ? Do tell.

      • April 13, 2018 10:42 am

        Geoff, I can only guess about the slip. I did hear this in Amsterdam: “A herring a day keeps the doctor away. Two herrings keeps everyone away.”

  5. Andrew permalink
    April 12, 2018 11:27 am

    Ron- the Dutch broadcast is brilliant. Everybody in the country should watch it and I certainly hope the channel four guys have!

  6. Ian permalink
    April 12, 2018 11:29 am

    It would be interesting to see stats on this subject generally. I get the impression there’s momentum gathering.

  7. quaesoveritas permalink
    April 12, 2018 11:45 am

    It is a pity that Dutch broadcast was in a comedy programme and not a serious documentary.

    • Nigel S permalink
      April 12, 2018 1:48 pm

      Danish Scandi Noir ‘Follow The Money’ had an evil wind energy boss who was iced by the Swedish psycho hitman at the end. Shown on BBC4 too, quite encouraging.

  8. April 12, 2018 11:52 am

    Probably best not to get too excited, yes biomass burning will get trashed, but the conclusion will just be that more wind/solar/batteries are needed.

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 12, 2018 12:44 pm

      More and larger solar and wind “farms” will take the spaces where trees…and other vegetation are grown…that “sequester” CO2.

  9. Joe Public permalink
    April 12, 2018 1:09 pm

    “Reporter Antony Barnett …. travels to …. the biodiverse wetlands of Virginia and North Carolina ….”

    Wetlands eh? That’ll be low-value near-rotting wood.

    Having driven the length of Skyline Drive & the Blue Ridge Parkway, I suspect many rednecks might make a fast buck harvesting their local forests.

  10. Ed Bo permalink
    April 13, 2018 2:28 am

    But at least they are not poking little holes in the ground and breaking up rock a mile below the surface!

    Almost anything is justified to prevent that horror! Right?

    • Robert Jones permalink
      April 13, 2018 8:38 am

      Fracking is the future! Get used to it.

  11. dave permalink
    April 13, 2018 7:18 am

    “…holes in the ground…”

    I am still cognizant of the largely ignored idea of Professor Thomas Gold that, when oil and gas is removed, deeper, abiogenic, hydrocarbons rise and take their place. Many fields have lasted far longer than originally expected.

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    April 13, 2018 1:06 pm

    Cutting down trees to burn on an industrial scale to generate electricity less efficiently than using coal will always be mentally retarded so they are relatively safe ground. It is a start but an expose on the reasons why Ovo and British Gas have to raise prices would be more cutting. Pixie Perry could be interviewed and asked why she and her department lie.

  13. swan101 permalink
    April 16, 2018 2:25 pm

    Reblogged this on UPPER SONACHAN WIND FARM and commented:
    A similar expose is needed for wind power in respect of environmental damage, effects on the human system (incl.wildlife and domestic animals) from infrasound see (Noise Seminar). The list is extensive on this form of renewable energy – on the economic front it is indefensible.

  14. Andrew permalink
    April 16, 2018 7:28 pm

    They should have screened the Dutch program instead. They must be chicken.

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