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How rich it is for privileged green politicos like Selwyn Gummer to make the poor pay for their eco-zealotry-Stephen Glover

December 19, 2020

By Paul Homewood

Stephen Glover hits the nail on the head!


How easy it is for high-minded rich people to lay down the law for poorer folk. They often haven’t the faintest idea of the effect of their expensive recommendations on ordinary lives.

The most recent example comes from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a quango which advises the Government on measures to tackle climate change. Yesterday it called for oil-fired boilers to be phased out by 2028, and gas boilers by 2033.

If you factor in insulation, which the CCC also champions, the cost of installing heat pumps as alternatives to boilers could work out at a minimum of £8,000 per household. That is several times the price of a boiler.

Chris Stark, chief executive of the committee, whose handsome annual remuneration is £205,000, says that ‘a large proportion’ of the expense ‘should be met by households’, though he holds out the hope that the Treasury might help poorer people.

Mr Stark recently asserted that the costs of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050 — the Government’s existing target, based on the CCC’s advice — will be much less than previously thought.

Not, it seems, when it comes to splashing out on new heat pumps. But I suppose that if you are scraping by on £205,000 a year, an outlay of £8,000 must seem a pretty derisory figure.


Another person who won’t be fretting about the cost of installing a heat pump is the CCC’s chairman, Lord Deben. Readers may remember him as John Selwyn Gummer, who as Minister of Agriculture during the BSE crisis in 1990 made his four-year-old daughter eat a beef burger in front of the media.

Lord Deben is not short of a bob or two. Last year it was revealed that he and his family own Sancroft International, a sustainability consultancy which has received more than £600,000 from ‘green’ businesses. Perhaps surprisingly, the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards exonerated him of any conflict of interest.

His lordship is fortunate to own a sprawling country house in Suffolk, with a garden that was landscaped for free in the early 1990s, partly at the expense of taxpayers, and partly as a gift from a food company.

Selwyn Gummer (as he still was) justified this unusual arrangement on the basis that his garden was visited by EU farm ministers.

Though his sizeable mansion may well require a constellation of heat pumps to power it, and double-glazing on an industrial scale to retain heat, I think we can safely say that Lord Deben will be able to meet the costs without too much difficulty.

But will millions of others? And how will they feel about wealthy climate change zealots (there are others besides Lord Deben and Mr Stark on the CCC who aptly fit that description) loading substantial extra costs on them?

How, indeed, would these hard-pressed people feel if they knew that the climate change committee cheerfully despatches staff on taxpayer-funded flights rather than choosing greener alternatives?

A freedom of information request last year uncovered almost £10,000 worth of flights including a first-class return trip to Beijing costing £5,081. That particular jaunt produced an estimated carbon footprint of 9.2 tons of CO2 — some 6.1 tons more than the equivalent journey in economy.


Most people, I believe, are prepared to take climate change seriously, though they need to be reminded that the UK accounts for less than one per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and that this country’s painful sacrifices won’t make much impact globally.

What they do not appreciate is being instructed to spend large sums in an uncertain cause by rich people working for a shadowy and unaccountable quango which is guilty of rank hypocrisy.

Oh — I nearly forgot. Another impertinent demand by the CCC is that we should cut our consumption of meat by 20 per cent over the next nine years to help reduce emissions from cows and sheep. Lord Deben, having virtually shoved a burger down his daughter’s throat, will be telling his grandchildren to lay off beef.

It actually seems to be Chris Stark who wields the real power these days. It was him who was largely responsible for writing the Climate Assembly Report last month.


Yet he has little experience of the real world, having worked in various civil service roles since 2002.

It is quite astonishing that a nonentity like Stark has been given so much power to determine the course of people’s lives.

  1. frank bayes permalink
    December 19, 2020 10:28 am

    Hi Thanks for all you excellent research and comments. I wonder if you will be casting your eye over the latest report out today from the Government on Energy Security. Link: Cheers Frank

  2. Charlie Flindt permalink
    December 19, 2020 10:50 am

    Great pic doing the round on Twitter recently of Gummer lecturing us from his home – and in the background is a basket of logs.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 19, 2020 12:47 pm

      I think the Duke of Cambridge and family have a larger wood store, as revealed in their Christmas card.

  3. Alan Keith permalink
    December 19, 2020 11:19 am

    Presumably it would be new boilers that would be banned? I can see another industry emerging to refurbish oil boilers as they age. A new heat exchanger Sir? No problem – we have an uprated spare available, Chinese made of course, but top quality. Much cheaper than a heat pump!

  4. CheshireRed permalink
    December 19, 2020 11:25 am

    He looks a smug bstard.

  5. December 19, 2020 11:25 am

    If you notice most advocates of radical Green policies are wealthy. They have never had to choose between heating or eating. They have never been poor, lived in a deprived community or known how hard life can be just trying to ‘get by’

    When people are poor their life choices are fewer than if from a wealthy background. Their education options can be limited & plenty swap hope for dope instead.

    We need cheap energy to prosper & to lift people out of poverty. The climate zealots are demanding we spend money we haven’t got as individuals but also as a country on pretty backward technology that cannot power our country. We still require a full backup system which adds to the expense of our electricity. It is the poor who will shoulder the burden of paying exponentially more for their heating & cooking as we are forced to shift from cheap fossil fuels to expensive, heavily subsidised, intermittent power sources.

    Ordinary people are being denied a voice. Many do not realise yet that their lives will be put at risk by the rich eco elite. Poverty kills see Age U.K figures for the number of fuel poverty deaths per annum.

    I have spoken about this at public meetings & found myself booed & hissed at by supposed environmentalists who filled the audience. The dark Green cult is ugly & cares not a jot about the more disadvantaged in our society.

    • Ariane permalink
      December 19, 2020 12:45 pm

      Lorraine, thank you. Brilliant. I’d only add that the original intention behind the decarbonisation campaign even prior to the establishment of the IPCC was rich people wanting to stall development in what was then called the Third World,, to ruin Western industrialised civilisation, reduce populations and end the growing prosperity of workihg people. That so-called educated, altruistic and progressive people pressurised our governments to pass ‘climate’ legislation (when decarbonisation has only ever been about control of our energy) and continue to believe they are ‘saving the planet’ shows how powerful the Deep Greens at global and national levels are. Brave woman for talking about this at public meetings!

      • December 19, 2020 1:48 pm

        Ariane, I agree with your comment. I truly believe that most of the Green agenda is not just about controlling our energy though, but about controlling our lives completely.

        If they get their way, we will not be allowed personal ownership of a vehicle, we will be told what we can & cannot eat. We will be expected to work from home & to rarely travel. Our reward, & only leisure activity, will be learning how to weave hessian & tie sticks together to create tools for our allocated work tasks!

        Sounds far fetched….

      • Ariane permalink
        December 19, 2020 2:10 pm

        Deep Greens, eco-zealots, environmentalists, whatever you call them, must live in a permanent state of anxiety and pessimism. Other mental attitudes:- totally irrational and hateful of humanity. When they have money and power, disaster is inevitable.

    • subseaeng permalink
      December 19, 2020 2:04 pm

      You are so correct Lorraine. These people in their little (or not so little) bubble disgust me. They have no idea about the lives of the vast majority of working people and how tight their finances are. I truly despair for the western world and their warped view of the future.

    • December 19, 2020 4:27 pm

      Well said, Lorraine. Keep it up !

    • Barbara permalink
      December 19, 2020 5:00 pm

      Lorraine – I am horrified, though not surprised you are booed and hissed at during public meetings. I would not be strong enough to take this and I hope that you are and that you are able to rise above it. This really does go to show the mindset of so many. I am often ashamed to be a Telegraph reader with the overprivileged tosh they push out.

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      December 19, 2020 5:06 pm

      I bet many or most of these rich people seek to stay prosperous by corruption, real and by stealth, with Gummer, old and educated enough to know better, an obvious example.
      Though “found out”, still in his pole position. Maybe, knowing too many like himself, cannot be sacked, along with his useless, mendacious and damaging CCC.
      The whole of all UK governments desperately need a new broom to sweep away the rubbish.

      • dennisambler permalink
        December 20, 2020 2:58 pm

        He was FoE’s favourite environment minister. He was at Kyoto in 1997 with John Prescott, lambasting the US for not signing up to the Kyoto protocol.

        Was President for some time of GLOBE International, a pseudo governmental group of legislators agreeing national legislation out of sight of the public, but very much part of government involvement. See:

    • StephenP permalink
      December 20, 2020 8:50 am

      The intermittent power sources are not subsidised from some mysterious source, but paid for by us with higher electricity bills and taxes.

      • December 20, 2020 8:57 am

        StephenP, exactly. The poor cannot afford to fund quangos AND renewable companies growing fat on what is an inadequate source of energy.

    • Robert Jones permalink
      December 23, 2020 9:13 am

      Picking up your point about people being denied a voice, it must surely be time to trumpet the fact that ‘the Emperor has got no clothes’. Contributors to the NALOPKT website have long questioned the problem that the Climate Change Committee clearly has with reality but we have failed to challenge the CCC’s misguided output and time is running out.

      The CCC is only a (probably self-appointed) committee, one of many. Surely it must have some guiding higher authority which can be approached? We are otherwise sleep-walking into needless expense for some and poverty for many others?

      • Ariane permalink
        December 23, 2020 9:45 am

        Via my MP, many years ago, I wrote to Adair Turner who was the CCC Chair then, about how the IPCC reports relied on climate models too much, the uncertainties in IPCC science were not reflected in the Summary for Policymakers and I enclosed a paper about how the ‘climate’ issue was basically a Limits to Growth campaign.

        The response from the Chair was that the assessments ‘contain a heavy dose of observations’, the Summary for Policymakers ‘is an accurate representation of the key points from the full report’ including accuracy in measurements relating to increased CO2.

        Adair also claimed that ‘Far from being an organisation designed to propagate a limits to growth ideology, the IPCC was expressly created to provide scientific advice that is policy-neutral. Furthermore, the C..C..C.. bases its advice to Government on a careful reading the full IPCC reports (including uncertainties) plus further reading of additional studies, discussion with independent scientists, and our own analysis.
        In 2008 we recommended that the UK adopt a long-term target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We are pleased that the government of the time accepted this advice. Rather than providing a limit to growth, we estimated that it would cost only 1-2% of the national Gross Domestic Product in 2050 to meet this target. In real terms, assuming a conservative average long-term growth rate of 0.5% we would still be over 20% better off than today. Taking this action as part of a global effort to combat climate change will be much more beneficial to human health and welfare than doing nothing.’

        That was the Chair of the CCC in December 2011. And good luck to those who want to challenge that 9 years later.

        Apart from the costs and the renewables’ problems which, so far, don’t seem to have had any effect on the CCC drive to ruin us, the fact remains that nobody is admitting that about 0.00065% anthropogenic CO2 in our atmosphere can have no effect at all on the Earth’s climate – meaning that policies are based, not on science, but on an ideology designed to ruin us.

  6. cajwbroomhill permalink
    December 19, 2020 11:33 am

    Nothing could surprise me re CCC wasted extravagance, both in money and space.
    It a comletely unnecessary drain on resources and should be wound up on the basis of UK ruin by Covid, and the CC Acts repealed.
    Churchill would have done that kind of thing in WW2.
    The mistaken beliefs of his fiancee might be a deterrent but today’s PM could surely guess correctly what his hero would do in such circumstances and follow his lead.

  7. Devoncamel permalink
    December 19, 2020 12:01 pm

    Well done to the Daily Mail and Stephen Glover for espousing what many commentators on this blog are saying. The virtue signalling by Stark and Gummer is nauseating. To the eco zealots it matters not that millions will be impoverished because the end justifies the means in their extreme ideological world.

    • December 19, 2020 1:24 pm

      For two days running I too have had to fight an overwhelming urge of nausea but it wasn’t sea-sickness which caused it but loathing at the sight and sound of the name Gummer and all he stands for.

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 19, 2020 1:05 pm

    The disappointing feature of Glover’s article is that he accepts the false costings provided by BEIS, the CCC and National Grid, which are about a twenty of the costestimates of Prof Kelly.

    There is an interesting callibrator if you look at the cost of the Grenfell Tower refurbishment – some £10m for 129 flats, or £77,500 each. And that was using cowboy fitters and cheap insulation. Next time, he should tie those stories together. If the fumes aren’t toxic enough already.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 19, 2020 1:07 pm

      Not sure how the auto correct managed to mangle a tenth into a twenty.

  9. Broadlands permalink
    December 19, 2020 1:14 pm

    “to tackle climate change. Yesterday it called for oil-fired boilers to be phased out by 2028, and gas boilers by 2033.”

    Phasing out must be accompanied by phasing in. The problem, of course, is there is nothing to phase in that will work when the Sun and the wind do not cooperate. “Let ’em eat cake” in the cold?

  10. Joe Public permalink
    December 19, 2020 1:18 pm

    Ah Gummer.

    Ben Pile noticed he was a source of local environmental pollution of precisely the same kinds (plural) that a coroner deemed this week to have contributed towards the sad death of severe asthma sufferer Ella Kissi-Debrah.

  11. Gerry, England permalink
    December 19, 2020 2:47 pm

    Sadly we have a population made up of ignorant people who can’t be educated and will have to suffer before there is a realisation that they have been consistently lied to by politicians and the legacy media. Who knows how much damage will be done before that happens and how much of it can be reversed and over what timescale.

    I will get to enjoy saying ‘I told you’ though to all my friends and colleagues who didn’t listen.

  12. Gamecock permalink
    December 19, 2020 3:18 pm

    ‘installing heat pumps as alternatives to boilers’

    ‘Mr Stark recently asserted that the costs of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050 — the Government’s existing target, based on the CCC’s advice — will be much less than previously thought.

    Not, it seems, when it comes to splashing out on new heat pumps.’

    The decadent people in power think electricity comes from a socket in the wall. Heat pumps require electricity. You can’t have electricity and zero carbon emissions. Ipso facto, heat pumps change nothing. For £8,000 per household. In theory, heat pumps for all might reduce CO2 emissions. Which is NOT the stated goal. You can’t get to zero with heat pumps. Ask Deben how heat pumps get you to zero.

    The objective of the CCC is to enable the decadent to feel good about themselves. Start looking for your torches and pitchforks.

  13. cajwbroomhill permalink
    December 19, 2020 7:13 pm

    He and the CCC are self-deluded ignorami, corrupt or, most likely, both.
    Same true of those who set up these liars and gnoble parasites on the poor and disavantaged, using a nice little earner for themselves.

  14. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 19, 2020 11:01 pm

    What about the nasty compulsion ideas – you can’t get a mortgage or sell an uninsulated house. There will be a bloody revolution .

  15. Mad Mike permalink
    December 20, 2020 12:06 pm

    You don’t really think that Deben will actually pay for any of the measures he will need to take at his home to comply with these costly changes do you. If he can get away with getting his garden landscaped for free because of some tenuous link to the EU visits, he will have no problem using his home a demonstrator for all this nonsense.

    Oink, oink I hear.

  16. mwhite permalink
    December 20, 2020 1:52 pm

    All the fault of “BigOil” no doubt.

  17. dennisambler permalink
    December 20, 2020 3:09 pm

    Gummer and Goldsmith were behind Cameron’s Green Tories and the “Quality of Life” report:
    Conservative leader David Cameron has set up a policy group on the environment to pave the way for “tough decisions” on cutting greenhouse gas.

    The group, chaired by ex-Environment Secretary John Gummer and environmentalist Zac Goldsmith, will look at “quality of life” issues. Mr Cameron says he will finalise policies in 18 months’ time following the group’s recommendations.

    Mr Cameron has highlighted the environment, and in particular climate change, as a key area of concern. He launched the policy review group at the London Wetland Centre where he met members of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. Zac Goldsmith, editor of the Ecologist magazine, will work alongside Mr Gummer, meeting environmental groups to discuss policy proposals.

    Time after time, Gummer gets away with it:

  18. cajwbroomhill permalink
    December 23, 2020 4:07 pm

    Whatever Adair Turner may have claimed, the CCCis an irrelevant force for good and now a force for false scares and corruption, moral, scientific and financial.Witness Ld Deben.
    In view of the UK’s negligible output of greenhouse gasex as a proportion of total global, decarbonisation must be ended and should never have been started.
    That would be true even without the viral plague.
    Those in charge are completely misguided to pursue these insane policies.

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