British Business Leaders Fiddle as Green Economy Collapses

In a week when official watchdogs recommend tighter controls to help avert further UK banking fraud a key spokesman for the nation’s “renewables” sector goes the other way demanding regulations cuts. Isn’t that a green light to more corporate fraud?

John Cridland, Head of the CBI, Is he telling the truth about Big Green?

John Cridland, Head of the CBI, Is he telling the truth about Big Green?

Adair Turner, Head of the UK’s Financial Services Authority, (FSA) last week (September 28, 2012) called for tougher laws  and more regulation to prevent a repeat of the 2008 banking crash. The government’s Business Secretary,Vince Cable concurs. But John Cridland, Head of the Confederation of  British  Industry (CBI), disagrees. He is on the campaign trail pleading for deregulation for Big Green to salvage what analysts admit is a dying EU sector. In this article we examine just how off-beam the CBI has become on this controversial issue.

This Autumn CBI head honcho John Cridland is on the party political conference  circuit desperately banging the drum for Big Green with his vision of a new deregulated “intellectual infrastructure.” Since July Cridland has been touting the CBI’s new Colour of Growth  report as “the best solution for a greener economy.” In his latest speech to the Liberal Democrat conference Cridland pleads a special case for the UK’s green sector; he’s cock-sure they can be trusted not to defraud the system as did their banker cousins in the City of London and Wall Street.
But we must remember that Cridland’s CBI has long been regarded as the smarter-suited twin brother of the Labour Party. Known for endlessly chasing cushy government contracts the CBI is once again seeking tax “benefits” and jobs for the boys. At it’s core Cridland’s mission is to get Prime Minister Cameron’s government to permit fewer, not more banking regulations. Cridland’s justification: “The so-called “choice” between going green or going for growth is a false one.” But the CBI frontman is already conceding that for his vision to succeed, “bills will go up, but that’s how investment works.”

Cridland’s hope is that Britain’s Coalition government will provide the new Green Investment Bank (GIB) exemptions from the FSA’s proposal for increased accountability. Since 2010 GIB has been designated by government to be the banking mechanism by which it intends to drive down “carbon emissions” by 2050. But events in the wider world economy seem to be rendering GIB a lame duck destined to never get off the ground.

Anyone astutely following recent history will know that green investors are no less criminally corrupt. The global carbon trading market in Europe has collapsed due to widespread fraud costing taxpayers billions; while the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) was closed in November 2010 after similar irregularities. European Commission spokeswoman Maria Kokkonen admits that half of all EU nations are vulnerable to this kind of white-collar crime.

Only a fool or a charlatan refuses to see that another economy-wrecking bankster-style Ponzi scheme is right here in Cridland’s making. Britons know all about the grotesque price already inflicted on them for bailing out corrupt big banks. Will they welcome Cridland’s latest flight into financial folly? The wider UK economy already bears a massive green burden thanks to the ludicrous Climate Change Act (2008). Because of the Act the profligate “green economy” already sucks £18 billion a year off the teat of taxpayers.

Global Solar Power Industry in Crisis

Cridland now wants government to forge a new “intellectual infrastructure” to take Britain deeper into the Age of Stupid on an oxymoronic “decarbonisation” program – all at a time when the rest of the world is bailing out. Only last week the global solar panel industry was labeled a dead man walking. It was announced that the world’s largest solar panel maker, China’s Suntech Power Holdings Inc. is being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange – it’s share price crashing from $90 in 2008 to less than $1 today. Sharp Corp. (6753)  is also pulling out of solar with job losses predicted at over 10,000.

Electric Car Market Sparked Out

But what about the CBI’s beloved electric car industry? Cridland insists Nissan’s Sunderland plant building the new ‘Leaf’ model is a great investment that will “reduce the carbon footprint” – but does it have any real future? No, according to hybridCARS website the Nissan Leaf’s range per battery charge has dropped from the advertised 100 miles to as low as 44 miles. While the rest of the electric car market is falling deeper into crisis. Tesla Motors  has lost $660 million in the last 14 quarters, while bailed out General Motors has only sold 925  Chevy Volts to private buyers since launch in 2010.

Apart from higher prices and lower consumer demand the electric car market is also beset with technical problems. Of no small concern are the lithium-ion batteries electric cars rely on. These are the very same kind we use in our notebook computers and mobile (cell) telephones. Firstly, lithium does not occur freely in nature but in compounds. So, if we are going to discuss finite resources then placing “peak lithium” in context with “peak oil” makes switching to electric cars is dumber than staying with gasoline. But consumers are becoming keenly aware of other impracticalities, too.

Apart from their woefully short range – the lithium batteries that power  electric cars notoriously degrade and perform poorly. In a year they can lose 10 to 20 percent of their already pitiful 25-mile range and General Motors admits that to replace a car’s batteries will cost between $8,000 to $9,000. Moreover, the production and disposal of these batteries on a large scale is an extremely polluting process. So much for the CBI’s  waffle about “sustainability” and caring for the environment! Perhaps Cridland should revise his next speech to reflect these topical developments? Only last week (September 24, 2012) Toyota was credited as the mass manufacturer that finally killed the electric car industry.Their reason? “No demand.” And Germany announces  abandonment of its electric car targets.

Carbon Capture and Storage Looks Buried

But apart from ineptitude on the business side, even with basic science the CBI has gotten this all wrong, too. It is axiomatic that the carbon cycle  alone invalidates Cridland’s obsession with “carbon capture and storage” (Page 26). It appears the CBI doesn’t even understand that CO2 is comprised of two atoms of oxygen for every one atom of carbon. So, yes, that’s mostly good, clean oxygen these jokers want to bury underground.

Not for CBI concern is the 2010 Report of the U.S. Government Accountability Office that admitted the very process of carbon capture and storage (CCS) is technically unfeasible – even if it were vigorously pursued it could take at least another 15 years to crack [1]. While a detailed study by Stanford University showed that such a pipedream, even if achieved, would be “25 to 1,000 times more polluting.” [2]

Wind Farms Fall Foul of International Laws

But worse for the CBI not only are it’s business and science brains all askew it seems it has no legal acumen either. In a sensational recent decision (May 2012)  the EU is being compelled to address the UN’s Aarhus Convention concerning wind turbine sprawl. It appears that EU governments may have unlawfully permitted the construction of wind farms without adequate consultation. In particular, evidence presented showed Britain may have abused the Convention by circumventing public discussion on whether wind turbines are either “sustainable” or cost-effective. As  Mark Duchamp, Executive Director of EPAW opined, “To spend so much money, a positive has to be proven – It hasn’t.” But the worse news this winter for UK households is that the cost of energy bills may double thanks to soaring wind farm subsidies.

Booming Shale Gas Puts “Renewables” to Shame

And now we must turn to the “frakking”revolution of shale gas acquisition – a development that is currently transforming the American energy scene. Drilling  cheap shale gas has brought American consumers energy joy as fuel bills are being cut by about a third. But incredibly, the“frakking” potential for Britain due to its own shale gas deposits in North West Lancashire is far, far greater. This is because Britain is in the enviable position of possessing very, very high quality reserves that make their US counterparts look tiny by comparison. One company, Cuadrilla – with no government subsidy – has license to tap a Lancashire shale field that is 4,000 feet thick and holding 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. Geologists predict there may be more than 1,000 trillion cubic feet yet untapped. With potential already to create 5,600 UK jobs this is where the CBI should be clamoring for investment.

Briton’s Shocking and Growing £18 Billion Annual Green Subsidy

But the ludicrous Climate Change Act (2008) may stymie this great dash for gas. Green lobbyists are already hard at work hoping to apply the Act to help deny this tremendous bounty to consumers. This insane law already condemns voters and businesses to pay an extra £18 billion per annum until 2050 on crippling climate taxes – money that could have been better invested elsewhere.

In this Age of Stupid even Britain’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills admits soaring green-energy charges “will make British industry uncompetitive compared with other leading countries by the end of the decade.”  But Britain’s dumb politicians don’t even know it.

Global Political Climate Cools on Climate Change

Now let’s remind ourselves what underpins the CBI’s obsession with a “greener economy”- the dubious science of man-made global warming. Yet there’s been no upward trend in global temperatures in 14 years.  No wonder there is so little international political will to tax the people further in a bumptious attempt to “cool the climate” still further. Even the scientists heading this Chicken Little enterprise are backtracking on their “catastrophic” prophecies.

Yet so willfully ignorant is Cridland’s shabby Colour of Growth that it boldly declares “progress” was made at the Durban Climate Conference towards a “low carbon” global treaty (Page 19). Obviously no one sent the CBI the Greenpeace memo. But the long-term outlook appears even worse for the greens because world leaders are about to let the UN’s Kyoto Protocol, the CO2 emissions-limiting treaty, die this year. No wonder Canada voted in a Prime Minister who is a “climate change denier.”

“Low Carbon:” that Unscientific Oxymoron

You may already find Cridland is not just willfully ignorant about the political sea change –  but  he has no idea on the science, either. In each and every one of his presentations our “Age of Stupid” frontman spouts the pseudo-scientific “low carbon” oxymoron. “Low carbon” has no basis  in reason because carbon is nature’s essential building block – if you diminish carbon you diminish life. Cridland and his carbon capture fantasists should consult with horticulturists. They would soon enlighten the deluded and myopic that carbon dioxide is not a “pollutant” – it is an essential component of photosynthesis. Moreover, it is routinely pumped into greenhouses in concentrations of 1,000 ppm (parts per million) or higher despite a misguided clique of influential climatologists making absurdly unsupportable claims that concentrations above 350 ppm are “dangerous.”

So, if in Cridland’s world CO2 is a “pollutant”- why is it routinely added to our food and beverages? Well, for one thing, according to the Canadian government “Increased CO2 levels will shorten the growing period (5%–10%), improve crop quality and yield, as well as, increase leaf size and leaf thickness.” [3] And just imagine how flat your beer or soda would be without it!

Going Green Fails the “99 Percent”

Nonetheless, the CBI’s eco-propagandist insists going green will “create jobs, drive up investment and increase real wealth.” But that’s not true. If Cridland was honest he would admit that last year leading consultancy, Verso Economics, found that for every green job created in the UK, 3.7 existing jobs are lost. The more we look the more we see the “low carbon society” in Cridland’s vision is less about the 99 percent and more about pandering to the whims of the moneyed elite who invest in these  Ponzi schemes.

The financially hard-pressed among us understand what this “low carbon” lunacy actually means at the sharp end:  high cost, low employment, misery and self-denial. Cridland even has the cahones to call “fiscally neutral” his proposal to penalize homeowners by moving them in the Stamp Duty band if they don’t spend more on upgrades to comply with the Energy Act (Page 20). This is what he really means when he asserts, “it is clear that the market for green goods and services will continue to expand…” (Page 11).

Another Banking Fraud in the Making

Today no one doubts that more, not less regulation is what’s need. Cridland’s call to roll back the “regulatory landscape” is an ominous echo of those similarly misguided voices that brought about the repeal of key banking laws in the 1990’s (e.g. Glass-Steagall Act). If further public unrest in Britain of the kind seen in nations like Greece, Spain and Italy is to be averted then Cridland’s proposals must be resisted.

The CBI must remove those green-tinted spectacles and abandon demands for more government (taxpayer-funded) Big Green subsidies. In a shifting political and economic backdrop “going green” is impractical. Cridland’s environmentalist vision is faith-based, expensive, premised on junk science and without public support. Today Britian says “no” to those ailing green industries teetering on the brink of collapse. Just look at the ”Occupy” movement  – a barometer of public discontent and widely regarded as the spearhead of progressive “Liberalism” – never once has it called for reductions in CO2. In Greece, to avert a fresh energy crisis and more riots, plans are afoot to raise taxes on “renewables” as en masse consumers are refusing to pay their bills and Greek solar energy operators face going under.

Time and again the opinion polls confirm the story: demands for lower energy bills now, real jobs not fake green ones will revive the economy rather than pipe dream notions of saving the planet. Cridland and his green-colored capitalist cronies must toe the line with banking reform and learn the lesson that deregulation encourages more fraud, waste and corruption; or they will be condemned as self-serving and mendacious chancers looking to expose taxpayers to more calamitous risk.


[1]  “US GAO says coal plants need better data, technology to cut CO2” Platt’s, July 16, 2010.

[2] “Wind, water, and sun beats out biofuel, nuclear, and coal?,” R&D, December 11, 2008. (The abstract of the paper by Jacobsen published in Energy and Environmental Science in 2009 is available here.

[3] T.J Blom; W.A. Straver; F.J. et al., Carbon Dioxide in Greenhouses, (December 2002) Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Carbon Dioxide In Greenhouses (accessed online: September 27, 2012).



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3 responses to “British Business Leaders Fiddle as Green Economy Collapses

  1. Pingback: British Business Leaders Fiddle as Green Economy Collapses « Skeptics Chillin'

  2. Question: If you were to set out to destroy modern technological civilization and mankind with it, what would you do that the pushers of the so called green economy have not done?

    Answer: You wouldn’t do a thing beyond more of the same.

  3. johnosullivan

    Lionell, agreed. The scary thing is most UK MP’s support the scam yet have no idea how is operates or the damage it actually does.

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