Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A face of evil

Bishop Hill covers it - the select committee on "Climategate" – and does a creditable job under very difficult circumstances.

The Guardian also does it at some length, while Watts up with that? picks up on the report in The Daily Mail. The point that seem to have stuck is Jones's admission that not sharing data is "standard practice" – for climate scientists at any rate.

What has shocked us all, however, is how old Jones looks (pictured). Clearly, all the publicity photographs we've been using are long out of date. But it's probably not wrong to assume that the strain of the last few months is affecting him.

Nevertheless, I missed all the fun, having spent the best part of yesterday on the net, tracking down more of Pachauri's millions. I'm working on a theory that the predominant source of his funding is European, which seems to be the case, although it is early days.

There's a lot of Swedish money, quite a bit of German federal funding, some Spanish and some Italian. But he gets a lot of corporate funding as well, some US federal funding and hunks from charitable foundations, to say nothing of the Global Environment Foundation. Transparent it ain't, but one thing seems to be clear – by far the majority of his funding comes from taxpayers.

I also stumbled on a couple more EU projects, which brings the total found to date up to 19 in seven years, at a gross value of €58 million, of which TERI takes an unknown share. That is a remarkable success rate for an obscure Indian research institute. I've amended my earlier piece to take account of these projects.

Meanwhile, an e-mail from a tortured reader alerted me to Moonbat's latest piece - tortured because he found himself agreeing with the man. And, remarkably, so do I. Staggering, but there it is.

Moonbat is having a go at the government's feed-in tariffs, with the absurd allowances for the different types of input. He calculates that the money paid out to micro-generators by 2030 will cost £8.6 billion – a loss of £8.2 billion.

He also makes the point that this is a direct transfer of wealth from the poorer consumers, who will be paying for the tariff through their electricity bills, to the middle class who can afford the equipment, and also notes that the Tories (and the Lib-Dims) want even more. These are precisely the points I made in my piece.

What Moonbat also calculates is that, using solar panels, it costs about £430 to save one ton of CO2, by far the most expensive possible way of doing it. By contrast, it costs £8 a ton if you build a nuclear power station.

That the Tories want to up the ante (or so we are told by Channel 4), from the government's two percent to 15, is then even more bizarre than I earlier made out. Over term – if we rely on Moonbat's figures – that is around £60 billion, averaging £2 billion a year. Add carbon capture and you will be reducing half the population to rubbing sticks to keep warm.

Looking at Jones's picture, it is not easy to discern whether the man realises what he's been part of – the forces which he's contributed to letting loose. But that is the face of a man who will be responsible for no end of heartache as people struggle to pay their fuel bills, and suffer when they cannot.

Starkly, that is one of the many faces of evil. It never looks anything like you might imagine – although Pachauri gets close.