The one thing that shocked me at the British Society meeting was total disparity between what was being said at the meeting regarding the apparent lack of confidence in climate models represented by those present and the bombardment of climate certainty we get in Scotland. There is something very wrong and I am becoming increasingly concerned that there may be far more to this than anyone has previously imagined.
But to start we have to go back and see how Scotland became so enthusiastic for wind. First, there is a the obvious fact that Scotland is the windiest country in Europe (we also had good hydro already in place). England however is fairly resource poor in terms of wind and other renewables like hydro. Second … there was the odd circumstances by which the Scottish parliament got control over renewable electricity. To explain, we should remember that at the time of devolution (end of the 90s) two things would have concerned Westminster:
•how to give the Scottish Government the impression it had power when it was actually given none.
•how to ensure that Scotland which had the lion’s share of renewable resources, ended up producing disproportionately more renewable electricity.
If one looks at the Scotland Act which sets up devolution, one finds that Health and Education (which were already effectively devolved and so not giving away much) are the obvious big areas in the act, but then we have this rather strange provision for Renewable electricity. Notice, it is not “energy” or “renewable energy” or “electricity”. But Renewable electricity, and at the time there was almost no other feasible way to provide this other than wind.
Then there is the very strange way that hydro was excluded as a renewable.
With some 8% of Scottish electricity coming from hydro, if we had simply been given a target for renewable energy production, there was no a need for a single windmill before 2008 because Scotland had plenty of renewables from OUR hydro. That would have been the “fair” way to set up renewables. Scotland was given a target, which as part of an international commitment by Westminster was not devolved, but then that target was given to Scotland which we could then decide as a devolved power how best to achieve the set target. But obviously, that wouldn’t suit Westminster because Scotland wouldn’t have had any need to destroy our tourism, kill birds, etc. etc, by putting up wind estates. So, by some magic, Scottish politicians were persuaded that large scale hydro was not a form of renewable as far as the Scotland act was considered. That is just bizarre! The result was that by 2010, Scotland ended up producing 18% of its electricity from renewables when there was only a need to produce 10% of which only 2% needed any funding. We were fleeced! We had all the costs of hydro & wind destroying landscape, but we were not allowed the benefit of counting hydro as a renewable to reduce our need for wind.
So, why didn’t Westminster just retain renewables? Do I need to ask how people in Scotland would have reacted to all those windmills going up if they were being forced on us by an English government? Political suicide!
For a very long time I have believed that wind was only devolved in what was otherwise a devolution pretty well devoid of real power, with the intention of encouraging Scottish politicians to “show their virility”. To get them to embrace the challenge or producing as much wind energy as possible – because to be frank, there wasn’t much in the way of any real powers they had under devolution so they were bound to do as much as they could with the little they were given. And obviously that was exactly what Westminster wanted.
Along came the SNP – the bull in the China-shop.
Then along came the SNP administration with their pledge for independence. Imagine what Westminster thought! The voting system had been designed precisely to stop the SNP ever getting power. It was a disaster but then there was Climategate. You have to be daft to believe Climategate didn’t highlight that a lot of what was said about climate modelling was just bananas. But somehow, although international investors seem to have got that message (share prices in wind companies have dropped ever since) that message did not get through to the Scottish government. Why? Why didn’t the disquiet about climate ever percolate into Scotland? Why did the Scottish media, BBC, politicians etc. etc. not only fail to head the warning of Climategate, but instead they jumped head over heals with a “Renewable energy is the power of the future”.
Why did Salmond, who is otherwise a fairly shrewd operator, fail to see the danger: that renewables are economic madness? Why did the Scottish government pursue a policy based on the economics of selling massive amounts of wind energy to England or Europe, during a period when the markets were clearly aware it was coming to an end given the way major wind turbine manufacturing shares have been plummeting in value as we head toward the end of Kyoto? The investors could see Kyoto was dead in the water and that economically wind was valueless, but the Scottish government didn’t get that message! The normal mechanism by which governments are kept informed seem to have either failed by cock-up or perhaps by intention.
The result is that we literally have the politics of the madhouse! There couldn’t be a more daft policy than to hitch the future economy of Scotland to a failing concern like CO2 warming.
Was that the intention? Just as the Scotland Act was set up knowing that Scottish politicians couldn’t fail to want to “play with their toy” of political power over wind, is it possible that somehow Scotland has been coerced down the WIND, WIND, & more WIND path? Have we been set up with wind as the future of Scotland, precisely because Westminster knew it would fall apart? To ensure that the whole renewable energy charade falls flat on its face just before the independence vote?
I think this is a credible hypothesis.
At the very least, it is difficult to understand why a country on the colder fringes of Europe would be so overwhelmingly preoccupied with “stopping global warming”. Something is very odd. Something has been very odd with the way the BBC acted like propaganda machine in Scotland on climate. Something was very odd with the way there was no discussion about the Climate Change Act and no opposition. Was Salmond being set up?
So, what if it were true? What if there had been a conspiracy by the Westminster government to mislead Scottish Politicians – or perhaps more accurately goad them – into a ridiculous economically suicidal renewable energy policy as a replacement for oil? The temptation was clearly there. North Sea oil is running out (we are told) so the economic case for independence based on oil was wearing thin. Salmond clearly needed another source of “power”. Desperate people grasp at straws, so it is easy to see how someone could have left this straw for Salmond to grasp.
The implications are serious.
If this were true, thousands of people will have had their homes blighted by unnecessary wind. £billions will have been taken (stolen) from consumers to set the Scottish government up for a fall. Investors will have spent £10s billions on renewable infrastructure that is going to be worthless in a few years.
But the real question is “could it have happened?”. Would it have been worth the risk for the Westminster elite to feed the anti-nuclear SNP the kind of information that would keep them enthusiastic about renewables? The benefits are obvious. Destroy independence, and real power remains in Westminster as does the revenue from Scottish oil, as does the billions of Scottish taxpayer money that disproportionately funds the SE of England at Scotland’s expense.
Could they have created (or at least artificially extended) a whole policy arena simply to ensure Alec Salmond falls flat on his face thus scuppering any chance of independence?
Someone has to ask the question!
Perhaps it is a daft idea. On the other hand, perhaps other people may be equally concerned with other pieces of the jigsaw which might all add up to a compelling case. We won’t know unless we have the courage to ask.
Another piece of the Jigsaw: Where are the major investors? City of London. How come these investors have been aware, but somehow the politicians in Westminster who spend much of their time with these investors were totally clueless?
For more evidence it is all falling apart just look at the current stories:
•David Whitehouse: No Underlying Global Warming In Recent Years
•Climate totally absent from all presidential debates
•The Big Solar Sell-Off: Siemens Puts Solel On The Block
The Big Solar Sell-Off: Siemens Puts Solel On The Block
German industrial giant Siemens on Monday said it has put its solar assets up for sale, including Solel, the Israel solar thermal power plant builder it acquired just three years ago for $418 million.