Global WTF Thinktank Urges Theresa May to Jump off a Political Cliff

What’s this I hear you ask? The Global Warming Policy Forum , a right-wing climate denier “forum”, (or “think tank”, “septic tank” or what you will) is urging the newly minted PM to rush headlong of the fracking cliff? Surely not? But yes, they are indeed!

London, 8 August 2016 — The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has welcomed the Prime Minister’s plan to spread the benefits of shale gas to local residents as a sensible step to break the decade-long logjam in UK shale development.

Strangely the consultation document doesn’t actually talk about a plan to to spread the benefits of shale gas to local residents – it merely raises it as a possibility. Rather cleverly the government put out  a press release that led editors to a conclusion that wasn’t actually backed up by what would follow. This way they get to see the reaction to a course of action without having committed themselves to it. Neat isn’t it?

The “log-jam” the GWPF refer to has in fact only existed since 2011 when Cuadrilla caused the earth tremors at Preese Hall, so 5 years not a decade.

The GWPF, which has been advocating UK shale development for many years, is calling on the Government to speed up shale gas exploration in order to establish the full extent and economic viability of the UK’s substantial shale resources.

Yes it has – the climate change sceptic’s associated with the GWPF like Nigel Lawson, Matt Ridley have been banging the drum for fracking and repeating the hysterical ranting of Mr Murdoch’s Sun newspaper – e.g “the falsehoods of the noisy eco protesters and their social media pollution hysteria” for some time now. It’s not very edifying from grown men really.

“Despite repeated claims to ‘go all out for shale’, the last two governments under David Cameron (2010-2016) failed to get any shale gas out of the ground. Theresa May now has a golden opportunity to reset UK energy policy and demonstrate that she can deliver where her predecessor failed,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF’s director.

Well Mr Cameron was perhaps a little conflicted, what with having claimed he’d run the “greenest government ever”and all, but really the greater part of the delays have all been down to issues caused by the fracking companies themselves. One of the problems that we face with energy policies is that we have not had a coherent, consistent policy from any government for years. Continuous policy “resets” like the one we had last November from Amber Rudd when she crippled the nascent wind and solar industries, just as they were starting to show signs of unassisted economic viability are not a good thing. She can do yet another reset of course, but whether it would be politically or scientifically wise is a different thing entirely.

The GWPF also called on trade unions to support the development of a UK shale gas industry that will benefit both households and UK manufacturing.

“The trade unions have a choice between a policy based on the eco-dogmatism of green campaigners and the GMB Union’s energy policy that focuses first and foremost on safeguarding UK manufacturing and tackling fuel poverty,” said Benny Peiser.

Benny is right of course – the trade unions do have a choice – they can stick their heads in the sand and ignore the greater issues in order to maximise short term employment and income for their members (although fracking is going to provide relatively little of either if the submissions to the Blackpool Inquiry are to be believed. The Environmental Statements submitted by ARUP for Cuadrilla suggest that the likely total direct jobs per development site is 7 Full Time Equivalent Employment, and the total direct, indirect and induced employment will equate to just 11 for each site. Another 4 temporary Full Time Equivalents may be created by the associated monitoring processes.)

However, we really must take issue with the suggestion with the repetition of the old canard that fracking will alleviate fuel poverty – too many people, Cuadrilla included have stated that fracking will have little if any impact on gas prices for that one to fly.

So really, all we have here is the same old people, the usual suspects repeating the same old tired routines in the hope of pushing policy in directions that will favour their interests.

busfrackThe reaction to the Brexit style lie that households are being promised tens of thousands of pounds each if they get behind fracking has been interesting, and I am sure Mrs May will have been disappointed that a lot of media outlets seem to have identified it as the bribe it was – here are just a few examples:

Proposed fracking “bribes” and other compensations

People have identified (as reasonable people would) that for compensation to be paid there must be something bad that requires them to be compensated, so this move has merely made more people realise that there is something to look at critically here.

Post Brexit Mrs May is in a delicate political position – attempting to force people to accept fracking, or setting neighbour against neighbour by appearing to promise large cash funds to some but not others, could be one of the riskiest strategies that she might adopt. Whatever you may think of Mrs May, her political history shows she is calculating and cautious enough to realise that. The luke-warm reaction to the announcement of huge cash windfalls (aka bribes) would make any sane politician take a step back from the cliff.

I’d be surprised if she’s listening to hard to the siren song of Nigel Lawson and his pals, so nice try GWPF, but it’s not going to fly.

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