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Bernard Ingham Writes To Chris Huhne

The letter I wish I’d written: Sir Bernard Ingham | The Times

The former chief press secretary to Mrs Thatcher writes to Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Dear Chris, I’ve been meaning to write this letter for some time.
I am assured on all sides that you have a very good brain and are “an evidence-based economist”. Unfortunately, this does not square with your energy policy.
It has more inconsistencies in it than holes in a colander.
I am not ungrateful now that you have cleared the way for the private development of nuclear power — my particular interest. You have certainly come off your untenable opposition to it, which is a blessing.
But to suggest that you are in favour of it is pure spin. You will contemplate it only if not a penny of public subsidy is involved. This would be fair enough, especially as the nuclear industry is not, to my knowledge, seeking subsidies, if you were not simultaneously pouring riches beyond the dreams of avarice at a time of straitened national finances into largely useless renewable sources of energy, notably wind and solar.
You are able to do this only because the taxpayer is not being asked to throw good money after bad. Instead, the consumer has to foot the mounting bill. So much for concern about fuel poverty.
I’ve space for only one more inconsistency. If you are in the business of the security of electricity supply, why wind (which is totally unreliable) and solar (no use at night)? Especially when engineers have serious doubts about how much wind the national grid can take without blowing a gasket.
In short, your energy policy sadly lacks evidence of brainpower. It certainly will not deliver your declared objective of securing low-carbon electricity supplies in an affordable way. Only nuclear can deliver that. It’s so elementary that I worry about you.
Bernard Ingham

Comments

This is what never fails to amaze me. I can understand the common man or the dedictated lefty wanting to heavily subsidized these failed technolgies. But what is it about otherwise intelligent people, some who are even scientists, who are blinded by the hype? How can you not see that solar (PV) is 20 times more expensive/less efficient then a simple coal fired power plant? I understand that you oppose coal fired power! I get it. But isn't then incumbent on you to support a viable alternative? What the left has done is placed their faith in a non-scientific philosophy with the hope that a miracle occurs and suddenly solar or wind will live up to the hype. What we have is a massive conspiracy to defraud governments and taxpayers around the world for the benefit of a few who manufacture or sell wind and solar. What we need is some jail time for the uninicted co-conspiritors.

This is what never fails to amaze me. I can understand the common man or the dedictated lefty wanting to heavily subsidized these failed technolgies. But what is it about otherwise intelligent people, some who are even scientists, who are blinded by the hype? How can you not see that solar (PV) is 20 times more expensive/less efficient then a simple coal fired power plant? I understand that you oppose coal fired power! I get it. But isn't then incumbent on you to support a viable alternative? What the left has done is placed their faith in a non-scientific philosophy with the hope that a miracle occurs and suddenly solar or wind will live up to the hype. What we have is a massive conspiracy to defraud governments and taxpayers around the world for the benefit of a few who manufacture or sell wind and solar. What we need is some jail time for the uninicted co-conspiritors.

"What is it about otherwise intelligent people, some who are even scientists, who are blinded by the hype?"

Are you sure they are blinded? Think on this:

The evidence that Britain's energy strategy is doomed to fail is pretty conclusive and it's almost certain that within 10 years the country will be left with no money, thousands of useless windchimes, no coal and no nuclear power stations and only the French upon whom to rely for their (nuclear generated) electricity.

Then try holding a referendum on the country's relationship with La Troisieme Empire, ... oops, sorry .... the eu.

It's hard to put an X on a ballot sheet you can't see because the lights just went out.

Well, that's what I'm implying; that there is a broad based conspiracy to extract huge sums of money from the taxpayer under the guise that "green energy" will save us. That's why I call for jail time. But just as clearly there are people in the game actively lobbying for solar or wind that aren't going to make a penny on the fraud and who are intelligent enough to do the math but for whatever reason they cannot figure it out. How can that happen? I love PV. I acquired my first photovoltaic cell to play with in the 50's and I have been eagerly waiting ever since for that breakthrough in cost or efficiency that was "right around the corner". That is still the cry from the PV industry and the geek magazines that this or that new development will put solar power on everyone's roof. But it is all a scam. No matter what sized PV system you buy or where you live (since clearly some locations are much better for solar) your PV system will NEVER generate enough electricity to pay for itself. Not 5 years or 10 years or even 30 years but NEVER. When confronted with this fact PV supporters will point to the subsidies but the subsidies merely push some of the cost onto the taxpayer. Or they will ignore the cost of money when they compute the payback of your new shiny PV panels. But no matter what ploy they use PV will NEVER even pay for itself. Doesn't matter if you put in 392 megawatt plant or a 45 watt panel on your patio. It is essentially an expensive toy.

You're both right. There is wilful ignorance of the true nature of heat and energy - even among scientists who should know better. I'm looking for a big & hefty volume of Maxwell's Equations to whack them on the head with.

Bernard,

Please just describe Mr Huhne for what he is, an 'LLL' (liberal left Loony). Your speech to the Institute of Fuellers back in May 2007 was pretty much bang on the nail, except that coal is perfectly ok once you separate out CO2, which is a perfectly safe and positive effect trace atmospheric gas=, and clean up the rest, particulates, sulphur, etc.

Any energy policy that puts unscientific hype and environmentalist rhetoric ahead of practical and economic reality is no policy, and any politician that states that such hype and rhetoric is 'true' and so causes taxpayers money to be misused, mainly ending up in the pockets of speculators (themselves included), should be hauled before the courts charged with fraud and criminal deception.

I am seriously considering installing a diesel generator for my house to keep the lights on and computer running (I work from home), as I for one don't want to sit around in the evening relying on candles. I already have a woodburning stove and am keeping the wood stocks high, but whilst that's very twee, is a backwards step and messy.

We must keep up the pressure on our politicians to drop any notion of their current, warped understanding of 'Green' and any and all market-distorting support of renewables, including Feed-in-Tariffs, and bring about the return of a rational energy policy that secures our future and keeps the costs down, retaining our industrial competitiveness.

I hate to say it, but only UKIP seems to have such a policy!

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