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Richard North, 05/12/2012  


Inde 923-wwf.jpg

Britain's "dash-for-gas" strategy has been undermined just a day before chancellor George Osborne is set to place the fossil fuel at the heart of UK energy policy, says the Independent.

This is on the basis of a "new report" which finds the economy would be better off harnessing offshore wind instead. The British economy, it claims, "would be £20bn-a-year better off by 2030 if it favoured offshore wind over gas-fired generation as the driver of an essential overhaul of the country’s energy infrastructure over the next two decades to replace aging (sic) power plants and keep the lights on".

Turning to the source of this wisdom, we find the "think tank" originator named as "Cambridge Econometrics", but to call it a think tank is something of a misnomer. The company actually describes itself as "an independent consultancy", its business being the application of economic modelling and data analysis techniques to the needs of clients in business and government.

As to its "independence", the company is a trading subsidiary of a charity, the Cambridge Trust for New Thinking in Economics, which receives income from the company to pursue its registered objects.

What is interesting here is that Cambridge Econometrics seems to be a very profitable company, which, according to the accounts submitted to the Charity Commission, turns over a cool £2-million-plus each year and giving its effective owner, Dr Terry Barker, a very comfortable living, plus pension. And Dr Barker has a certain amount of baggage. His cv says he is:
... the Chairman of Cambridge Econometrics, having founded the company in 1985. He is also Senior Departmental Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Economic Systems Research, the International Journal of Climate Strategies and Management, the International Journal of Global Warming, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the World Wide Views on Global Warming. He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Climate Change Congress, Copenhagen, March 2009, and was on the Writing Team of the Synthesis Report of the Congress.
This is a warmist personified, which might suggest a certain bias in his approach to the subject of windfarms. And, if that isn't enough to set an odiferous rat running, we find that the report itself is produced for Greenpeace and WWF-UK, which funded the work.

Oddly enough, in the Independent report, there is no mention of the source of funding, or of Dr Barker's interests, and certainly no mention of Greenpeace or WWF. Yet this is a newspaper which, in other circumstances, is rather keen on disclosure, one of its journalist once having rung me up virtually accusing me of being in the pay of "big oil".

Yet, when a multi-million consultancy, in the pay of "Big Green" produces a report on windfarms, the newspaper somehow doesn't feel it necessary to acquaint its readers of these salient facts.

When we come to the role of Greenpeace and WWF, both or either could easily have fronted this report. But that isn't their game. As we have seen elsewhere, increasingly these NWO Greens prefer to work through front organisations and networks to conceal their identities and activities.

However, at least the loss-making Guardian admits the funding status of the report, but then has Rob Gross, "an energy expert at Imperial College London", say: "This report is a hugely important contribution to the UK policy debate. Economic impacts in the round are poorly understood and this report remedies that. I recommend this to all analysts of energy policy". 

What the loss-making Guardian somehow forgets to say, though, is that Dr Rob Gross has also been funded by WWF-UK to write favourably about windfarms.

Lift a stone anywhere these days and you will find Big Green funding exerting its malign influence – about which the legacy media seems strangely silent. But then, to judge from the amount of WWF advertising on media websites these days, the media is itself somewhat in hock  to Big Green. And not only does money talk - it buys silence.

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