February 19, 2013

Ed Davey Suffers from Schizophrenia

Prompted by a conversation over on Neven's Arctic Sea Ice blog I happened to glance at the Department of Energy and Climate Change's shiny new web site this morning, and discovered evidence strongly suggesting that Ed Davey is suffering from selective schizophrenia.

Last Monday Ed's script provided him with the opportunity to impersonate the good Doctor Henry Jekyll as he gave a speech at the Royal Society's AVOID symposium on climate change.  Addressing his audience of scientists he said some things I agree with, such as:

It is fair to say that trust in politicians is not something the public has in abundance.  That is why, when it comes to climate change, it is so important that all the rigours of the scientific method are applied.

going on to point out that:

If we have this trust in scientific evidence, why would we make an exception when it comes to the science of climate change?  When it comes to assessing the health of our planet’s eco-system – we should listen to the scientists – and we should believe them.

Two hundred years of good science – teasing out uncertainties, considering risk – has laid the foundation of what we now understand.  It screams out from decade upon decade of research. The basic physics of climate change is irrefutable. Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and cause changes to the climate. Human activity is significantly contributing to the warming of our planet.

Ed concluded his speech by saying that:

Those who deny climate change and demand a halt to emissions reduction and mitigation work, want us to take a huge gamble with the future of every human being on the planet, every future human being, our children and grand children, and every other living species.

We will not take that risk.

All of that is great to hear of course, but when it comes to the practicalities of  "emissions reduction and mitigation work" it seems as though a demonic Mr. Edward Hyde takes charge of writing Ed's press releases. On Wednesday Statoil announced that:

The UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) today announced their approval of the field development plan put forward by Statoil and its co-venturers for the Mariner heavy oil field. Statoil expects to start production from Mariner in 2017, and the field is expected to produce for 30 years. The average production is estimated at around 55,000 barrels of oil per day over the plateau period from 2017 to 2020.

DECC proudly pointed out that:

The development of the £4.6 billion Mariner heavy oil field has been made possible through partnership between government and industry, together with targeted tax breaks.

and Ed had this to say about the matter:

North Sea oil and gas is a vital asset. It provides energy security for the UK, reduces our reliance on volatile international energy markets and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. Mariner will be one of the biggest projects ever in the North Sea and the £4.6billion commitment over 40 years from Statoil is a vote of confidence in the future of UK oil and gas. Importantly, unlocking heavy oil production marks a new chapter in development, opening the potential for five per cent of our oil reserves.

Note that on this occasion for some strange reason Ed made no mention of what Monday's audience might have to say about the impact of  "unlocking heavy oil production" on "our children and grand children, and every other living species".

The first thing that springs to my mind is that Ed should make his mind(s) up.

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