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Dumb And Gummer: Selwyn’s climate-change claptrap

July 17, 2018
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

h/t Mick J


Gummer does not like it up him!

From Conservative Woman:



Stepping into the room at the launch of the Committee on Climate Change’s new Progress Report to Parliament was like walking into a parallel universe. This was the cult of anti-CO2, with its supreme panel of very expert experts ready to tell the adoring throng that the Government should be cutting emissions faster. No one saw that coming!

The Committee on Climate Change, or CCC for short, is a quango which received its mandate from the 2008 Climate Change Act: to provide the Government with independent advice on meeting emissions reduction targets. The reality is that it’s far from independent, teeming as it is with green zealots who have strong links to the renewable energy industry.

The day had begun badly for the CCC’s chairman, John Selwyn Gummer, or as he likes to be called, Lord Deben. He was on the Today programme that morning when he proceeded to make a total of three, shall we say, ‘terminological inexactitudes’. All totally unchallenged and in the space of just a few minutes.

He claimed first that there is a ban on onshore wind projects. There isn’t. Indeed, just this March construction began on a giant onshore wind scheme in Caithness.

He then said that onshore wind energy was the cheapest form of electricity generation. This isn’t true either; but it is argued by those who try to make the case that somehow huge and disproportionate carbon taxes are inherent to combined cycle gas turbines, for example. The distortion is breathtaking, but almost no one, least of all the BBC, is interested in the truth of the matter. Anything to be able to celebrate renewables.

Bizarrely, Gummer went on to say that China was at the forefront of decarbonisation efforts. John Humphrys should have pointed out that China’s emissions are actually rising at their fastest rate for seven years, that they have plans for many new coal-fired power stations, and that the Paris Agreement doesn’t even contain any CO2 emissions reduction targets for China.

When I met Gummer for the first time at the launch of last year’s report, he proceeded to tell me that as a young person I could not possibly disagree with him. This is an insight into his mindset.

If you thought his Today interview was bad, things would descend further into pompous preposterousness.

After a presentation about the report, the floor was opened to discussion and a well-informed contribution was made from a housing industry representative. He made the point that the drive for energy efficiency mustn’t be allowed to get in the way of safety, as it had done at Grenfell Tower, or hinder the proper ventilation of buildings. All very reasonable-sounding and worthy considerations.

Gummer’s response was a tirade about how house-builders were the worst people on the planet and that Essex was the most disgusting place he had ever seen. Even his fellow panellists looked bemused. The housing industry has its issues, no doubt, but these were serious points that deserved a respectful response.

Things got even more heated when a spokesman from the cement industry said that manufacturing was leaving the UK and moving to areas with cheaper energy. Gummer said that this could not be the case because they wrote a report on it which said so, and they could get around this problem by advertising the fact they had reduced their emissions. Ingenious! The chutzpah of the man was breathtaking.

The CCC is an organisation that has a set conclusion and finds the ‘evidence’ to back it up. In doing so it has the backing of most of the British establishment, who always seem to benefit from the subsidies and policies it advocates.

It was certainly not surprising that we heard the CCC back Michael Gove’s call for a new environmental regulator. This will be more stuck-up so-and-sos telling us what to do, all the while raking it in from the public purse. Public service indeed!

While we might expect the quangocracy to behave in this way, our elected representatives need to develop the wherewithal to see through the vested interests of this bonkers committee. Alas, our politicians take their word as gospel. Once again, an unwarranted deference to so-called experts is to blame.


As I have often said, it is amazing how the Government has been allowed to get away with blatant  lies and obfuscation about how much their climate policies are costing ordinary people. They have been aided and abetted in this by most of the media, led ably by the BBC, but Gummer and his green cronies on the CCC must shoulder much of the blame by providing a cloak of authority for all of these lies.

But, there again, that is exactly what they have been generously paid for from the very start.

  1. roger permalink
    July 17, 2018 9:50 pm

    He always came across as a preposterous blathering bombast and thirty years on nothing has changed.

  2. mikewaite permalink
    July 17, 2018 9:59 pm

    With respect you are wrong to say that the day started badly for Gummer with his “terminological inexactitudes”. For him it was a brilliant start . He was able to declare rubbish to the nation with no rebuttal at all. For the cause of truth , good engineering practice and the public purse the day started badly thanks to the BBC , but for Gummer himself it was another public relations triumph.
    One day there will be a book or a documentary about the part that the BBC and its journalists played in the destruction of Britain’s competitiveness and environment. I wonder if any of them ever wonder about what will be said of them.

    • Mack permalink
      July 17, 2018 10:39 pm

      Cue an immediate investigation by the BBC, followed by much wailing and gnashing of teeth resulting in a public condemnation of these ‘inexactitudes’ a la Lawson’s misquote. No, thought not. Yet another easy ride for the Green Blob provided by our ‘impartial’ national broadcaster whose news output can always be trusted….. to be untrustworthy.

      • Ian permalink
        July 18, 2018 8:08 am

        You see this phenomenon every week on “Newswatch”. An upset viewer rants on about BBC activity (such as the Cliff Richard helicopter stunt, judgement due today). A BBC manager comes on and says: “So what?” End of subject.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 18, 2018 1:06 pm

        Cliff Richard won his case but only got £210,000 in damages. I was hoping for seven figures.

      • July 18, 2018 7:34 pm

        I tend to say to anyone who makes a statement on such issues (and many others too). “Do you know if that’s true or did you hear it on the BBC?”

  3. Duker permalink
    July 17, 2018 10:36 pm

    A bit on his ‘other work’ from Wikipedia
    “Lord Deben is Chairman of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change. He also chairs the sustainability consultancy Sancroft International, recycler Valpak, GLOBE International – the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment, the Association of Professional Financial Advisers and Veolia Water UK”

    and this was startling…
    He had responsibility for food safety [Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food] during the mad cow disease epidemic in 1989–90 which eventually claimed 176 British lives. At the height of the crisis in May 1990, he attempted to refute the growing evidence for BSE/Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease by feeding his 4-year-old daughter a burger before press cameras.”

    and no surprise here …”Gummer was involved in the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal, after claiming £36,000 for gardening over 4 years”

    • dennisambler permalink
      July 18, 2018 11:23 am

      Gummer actually happened to be right about Mad Cow Disease. This was another Scare of the Year, with “millions to die, sometime in the future”.

      It seems a false record has been left for posterity. Mad Cow Disease, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis, BSE, is a similar condition to Creutz-Feld Jakobs Disease in humans, CJD, and the two were regularly conflated by an ignorant media, not corrected by agenda scientists.

      BSE did not claim 175 British lives, that is a falsehood, the figures are from CJD and 55 had no post mortem.. As a result of the scare the CJD Surveillance Unit was set up and patients with the condition were identified, who would previously have gone unrecorded.

      “Over the period 1990-2016 average annual mortality rates from sCJD in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were, respectively, 1.13, 1.40, 1.15 and 0.83/million/year. The differences between these rates are not statistically significant (p=0.4). The mortality rates from sCJD in the UK are comparable to those observed in most other European countries and elsewhere in the world, including countries that are free of BSE.

      Up to 31st December 2016, 178 cases of definite or probable variant CJD (vCJD) had been identified in the UK (123 definite and 55 probable cases who did not undergo post mortem). All 178 cases have died.”

      Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in its classical form was first described in the 1920s and is predominantly (85% of cases) a sporadic disease, with no identifiable cause.

      The flimsy science was exposed at Spiked Online:

      “The categorical claims arising from the study of the Queniborough cluster stand in marked contrast to the sober – and little reported – judgements arising from a major investigation by the government’s CJD surveillance unit of the first 51 known cases of variant CJD (2). This failed to produce any link between the disease and eating beef.

      The authors concluded that ‘we have found no evidence of dietary, iatrogenic or occupational risk for vCJD’. In response the Department of Health admitted that the evidence that eating beef was to blame for vCJD was ‘circumstantial’.”

      There are many parallels with the ubiquitous false claims about the climate.

  4. Athelstan permalink
    July 17, 2018 10:48 pm

    Gummer, there’s none dumber self anointed green tosherati, advocate, expert boondoggler and thus to, wasting domestic consumers hard earned.

    The Green lobby mafia pays for his services and a brazen tart is all that he is, as goes the maxim, it’s not what you know, it’s all about who you know.

  5. July 18, 2018 6:11 am

    There was a time when I believed that the UK was pretty much free of corruption. I now realise corruption is endemic, starting at the very top and working its way down through politics, its associated bureaucracy (both the national and local civil service, QUANGOs), many charities, and most of the media.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      July 18, 2018 9:44 am

      Sadly that seems to be the truth, and the whole truth. How can we have sunk so low, no one has any integrity any longer.

    • bobn permalink
      July 18, 2018 9:59 am

      Agree. Its the sad realisation ive had that ive been lied to all my life by Govts, politicos, newspapers and TV newspeak. I no longer trust any ‘authority’. I demand evidence or else i dismiss it. Hence i dont believe any of the Russia collusion or ‘Novichok’ stories. I dont know what happened because no real evidence has been shown. Thus its as likely MI6 (proven liars) did it as anyone else if indeed nerve agent was involved (still no evidence in public and denied by doctor who treated skripals).

  6. Silver Dynamite permalink
    July 18, 2018 7:43 am

    On a slightly different topic, I saw yesterday that puffins on Skomer Island have greatly increased in number. In 2013 the fake news BBC implied that puffins were about to go the way of the dodo because of you know what…

  7. Charles Wardrop permalink
    July 18, 2018 7:44 am

    Even if the impact of CO2 and greenhouse gases on adverse climate changes were very important, as stated by climate alarmists, the inescapable fact is that the UK’s tiny proportional contribution to global CO2 etc. nullifies any benefit from decarbonisation.

    That horrendously costly process is therefore futile and unjustified.
    Why do the Great and the Good not recognise that reality?

    • Allan M permalink
      July 18, 2018 8:05 am


  8. July 18, 2018 9:24 am

    Wind power was supplying a trivial 0.8% of UK electricity supply this morning. Perhaps the BBC should ask Lord Deben how this is going to save the world.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      July 18, 2018 9:50 am

      0.5% as I write — less than anything else!

    • gallopingcamel permalink
      July 20, 2018 4:17 am

      Lord Deben is an imbecile so expect more “Stupid Government” until he shuffles off into obscurity.

  9. Geoff Sherrington permalink
    July 18, 2018 9:44 am

    Can anyone here recommend a report that does an actual, realistic comparison of the price of coal power over the past 20 years, compared to the price of renewables?
    The type of report I seek would be like a private investor would compile if seeking to enter the market for the provision of large scale electricity.
    The raw cost comparison should emerge first, then the ways that is affected by subsidies and incentives and any other major relevant aspect of policy.
    The aim is to answer those like Lord Deben who claim that renewables are now the cheapest form of electricity supply.
    This request is not to the detriment of those who contribute so well to informing the public by this realistic blog. It seems that cost comparisons quickly become bogged down in arguments about externalities and their definitions. All the best from Australia Geoff

  10. Mike Jackson permalink
    July 18, 2018 9:47 am

    I first met Gummer at a Conservative students conference in, if memory serves, 1961. I thought he was a prat then and have seen no reason to change that judgment since.

    The idea that Wilkinson cannot disagree with him because he (Wilkinson) was young is hilarious. He was probably the most self-opinionated person I had met at that stage of my life.

    My fellow delegate was a mature student, a captain in the RAEC. His view was the same as mine!

  11. saparonia permalink
    July 18, 2018 12:07 pm

    Carbon release and volcanism are indications of cooling. They occurred before Ice Ages. Ice redistributes from polar regions as rain and snow, the melt is not a symptom of warming, it is part of the process of cooling. Technically we are still in an Ice Age as we still have continents covered in ice. Additionally the Sun has dropped into it’s minimum and this will also have a cooling effect. This year there will be reductions in harvest expectations.
    I would say that we are badly in need of educating ourselves about survival, and this game being played is hampering our future.

  12. gallopingcamel permalink
    July 20, 2018 4:13 am

    While I never met John Selwyn Gummer one of my best friends at Cambridge university knew him well. Sadly my friend Walter Kelly who worked tirelessly to promote the Conservative party, support his local community (Twickenham) as a magistrate and an architect died ten years ago.

    Walter was underwhelmed by the ability and intellect of John Selwyn Gummer and now I realize how right he was.

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