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Oily palms and twitchy fingers

22 July 2013
Climate change

Andrew Neil's interview of Energy and Climate Secretary, Ed Davey, on July 14th, provoked a predictable backlash by outraged CAGW elements – accusing him of aiding and abetting (climate deniers) and so forth. The vitriol heaped on Neil and the programme came in shovel loads – especially at The Guardian and its blog, hosted by Dana Nuccitelli, a rather excitable fellow. Most sceptic web sites that bothered to report the original interview (it has now gone ballistic) considered it a rather tame affair – and Davey really got off lightly. Lots of questions could have been fired at him but were studiously avoided – it was on the BBC don't forget. Davey was the product of his own misfortune in that he didn't know very much about the subject he was in charge of – the climate science he can be excused as he has advisors to point the way, but when it came to adding up pounds and pence of wind farms and renewables he really was a desperate case. These people, MPs, even think they are under paid – and want more of taxpayer loot to fill their boots. From his display there is a good case to show they are overpaid and mollycoddled and unfit for purpose – but that might just be an impression. Davey clearly knew very little about the science, parroted some pointless memes of the CAGW faithful, and generally came across as not up to scratch. It was, in effect, Davey's display rather than Neil's cutting edge that made the CAGW cause look quite shoddy – and perhaps it was expected Davey would put on a better effort (but did not happen).

Neil is one of those TV presenters that makes the occasional really down to earth programme (the Sunday Politics Interview) but I suppose it all depends on the interviewee and whether he is able to bat the odd googly or full toss. Stung by the criticism, and a boatload of offensive twitters, Neil was prompted to make a reply. One of the things tossed at him, and common to anyone accused of being a denier, was that he was in the pay of Big Oil (the number one bogeyman of the rich well fed middle class bogus radicals). Neil's piece is an attempt to explain his position – and that of the programme itself (and you can read it in full at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23405202

He begins with a put down of Dana Nuccitelli, the Guardian blogger who was especially vociferous in his criticism of Neil – and it clearly stung. Neil knows things about Nuccitelli nobody else did, it would seem, and one of these is the fact that in his daytime job (the blog is done in his own time) he is an environmental representative for an oil based company. . Now, that has set the cat among the pigeons – or it should. Sceptics are routinely accused of being in the pay of Big Oil, mainly because the CAGW faithful can't fathom why everybody doesn't pay homage to the same bunkum they do. In reality, most sceptics are retired pensioners who have seen these kind of scams before and see no difference between CAGW and the Year 2000 computer scare, or numerous other doomsaying scare stories that went bust. CAGW is different only in that it has lasted longer than most – and the government have been able to fill their coffers with the tax revenues. Other sceptics are contrarian scientists (not denying co2 plays a role in warming but denying the extent as shown in the various models) or people with a particular beef or grouse to raise and wave their hands. Links between sceptics and oil companies are very hard to come by – near impossible. Yet, we now have a vocal alarmist actually exposed as working for an oil based company. I think the term in new speak is, wicked. Now, it is also a well known fact in sceptic circles that oil companies such as Shell and Exxon have been subsidising CAGW organisations for years – you only have to look at the lists of sponsors. Oil companies have been throwing money at the CAGW cause – and various other loudmouth NGOs. Is it just me, or am I really being wicked in the proper sense of that word, might Neil have triggered (inadvertently) a new conspiracy theory – is Big Oil funding CAGW alarmism in order to sideline it greatest commercial rival, King Coal? This is one for Nexus magazine surely – but won't be picked up by Private Eye (they are CAGW conformists).

The whole subject of global warming (the term climate change is totally meaningless as climate changes from day to day and year by year regardless of co2) looks very much like a very Big Joke the longer it goes on – yet people are still making bundles of loot, stealing from the poor to cushion the angst of the rich and comfortable. Robin Hood – where are you? We need you – desperately.

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