There's nothing greens love more than a nice, juicy oil-spill disaster

If anything is going to cause more long-term damage to the planet than the gallons of oil being spewed out by the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster, it’s the toxic clouds of posturing cant and alarmist drivel billowing forth daily from environmentalists. Most especially from their cheerleader in the White House, Barack Obama.

Barack Obama’s behaviour throughout this oil crisis has been a disgrace – but not for the reasons given by all those watermelons who have taxed him with not having done enough to stop the flow or punish BP. (Yeah, he should have declared war on Britain, that’s what he should have done! And imprisoned everyone who works at BP in Gitmo! And then nuked every Big Oil company in the world just for good measure!)

Rather, his crime has been to pander to the worst excesses of the environmental left – and cynically to exploit a private Louisianan tragedy in order to advance his personal eco-socialist agenda.

Until the happy accident (happy for Obama and his chums in the green movement, that is, though not for anyone else) of Deepwater Horizon, the Obama administration’s plans to introduce Cap and Trade were dead in the water. Obama had had enough trouble pushing through his health care reforms. No way was the Senate going to vote for an ill-thought-out, massively expensive scheme – riddled with holes and special concessions to favoured business interests – to tax US business and consumers for the amount of a harmless gas they produced, especially not in the midst of a recession.

But as Obama’s chief hatchet man Rahm Emanuel says: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” And Obama hasn’t done. As well as affording him a chance to indulge, with all the dignity and responsibility of a Mugabe-style dictator, in one of his favourite sports – Brit Bashing – it has given him just the excuse he needed to rail against the fossil-fuel industry which Cap and Trade will supposedly help destroy so that we may all live happily ever after in clean, happy cities powered entirely by the wind and the sun.

The WSJ Online has his measure: (hat tip: Austin Closs)

As with health care, the strategy is to ram the thing through by any means necessary. Amid a revolt against government excess, and a rising liberal panic about November losses, Democrats understand that the political window for their green ambitions is closing. Without any policy concessions to the public mood, they’ve simply decided that they haven’t done enough to convince voters how great their plans are.

Wednesday’s speech was a preview of this new rhetorical campaign: The Gulf crisis will replace the artist formerly known as the climate bill. “The next generation will not be held hostage to energy sources from the last century,” Mr. Obama said, throwing in some banalities about GOP narrow-mindedness and dependence on foreign oil at no extra charge. BP will play the political foil, like the insurer WellPoint did during the health-care debate.

Hardly any less nauseating and cynical, though, has been the glee with which the tragedy has been salivatingly reported by environmental correspondents. Boy, there’s nothing they like more than a juicy oil spill: all those moving pictures of tarry seabirds (though of course a manatee, if you can find one, would be better); all those political cartoons to be published captioned “the price of oil”; all the column inches to be filled with heart-rending accounts of just how much damage will be done to the “fragile eco-system”.

Can we please get a sense of perspective here? Of course the tragedy is a disaster for all who have been exposed to it. We all feel as sorry for Lousianan shrimpers and beach cafe owners and birdwatchers as we would for the victims of any tragedy – be it terrorism or a horrible train crash. But the idea that there is any bigger ecological moral to be drawn from this is as poisonous as it is stupid. You might as well argue the next time there’s a big motorway pile up: “Right. That’s it. The time has come to ban forever this wheeled death machine we call the motor car!”

We need oil. There is no substitute for it. It tends, increasingly, to be found in remote places where it is harder to drill. Sometimes there will be accidents. This is why oil companies like BP make so much money: it is a function of the risks they take drilling for the stuff and of the intense global demand for this vital resource.

Finally, we need a bit of a perspective. As one of my favourite commenters, the brilliant AN Ditchfield pointed out the other day:

The Obama administration qualifies the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as the worst environmental disaster in history. In this they show a short memory and a dim grasp of arithmetic. In World II five million tons of petroleum were cast into the Atlantic (about 32 million barrels of oil) from tanker ships sunk by Nazi submarines, in a period from 1942 to 1945, and with heavy concentration in the fateful year of 1942. Averaged over 1000 days the loss is equivalent to two to five times the oil now spilled into the Gulf of Mexico – every day – for the duration of the war.

21 thoughts on “There's nothing greens love more than a nice, juicy oil-spill disaster”

  1. Good morning James

    Good morning All

    Clearly there is a lot of dust that had been disturbed over the last few days, not just at the DT but elsewhere.

    We now I believe allow time for that dust to settle and let the decision process to take its course. I suspect those of us who comment have made our views clear and you and DT now need space to decide the way forward.

    Rest assured however James you at present have our support in resolving this problem.

    I am sure all of us look forward to some form of policy statement in the not too distant future.

    Thank You.

    manonthemoor 9 June 9:04

  2. Just been over at the DT and all I can do is express my sadness at what I found. Ducky is in his element at Damiens cake and arse party,posting rubbish as the replies are moderated out and it all looks like the DT has taken a turn for the worst.Follow the money indeed.

  3. Hard lessons teach good sense

    “With the bureaucracy soldiering on, political leaders afraid to dissent, climate campaign organizations filling their coffers, radical governments seeking to hobble the free world and profiteers bellying up to the bar, it is the delegates of the developing world who seem to offer the best hope of good sense. It is they, despite the enticement of redistributed billions, who continue to question the proceedings. They want real development for their people. They are not ready to renounce things we take for granted like clean water, sanitation, refrigeration, education, good nutrition and modern health care. Ask the delegates from Ethiopia who told us at the CFACT display that they are, “devastated that the rest of the conference couldn’t see how the policies enacted were hurting their country.”

    All great madnesses begin to take on their own interior logic. This article points out the financial realities rather cleanly – the developing world won’t be getting much money from the industrialised nations …


  4. James,

    I have heard elsewhere that now you have a high profile you are happy to forget your followers. Well, if that is the case (I am yet to be convinced), then I for one will be writing to Alex Jones, Lord Moncton, Andrew Neil et al. You should never forget that you owe your success to the many loyal commentators on your DT blog.

    Respectfully yours,


  5. Billy, I think its time to move on from the DT as the blogs are being run under a new tightly moderated regime which is leaning towards the left. This sissified approach is reflected in the newspaper generally.

  6. “The moves comes a day after prime minister David Cameron warned that Britain was somehow going to get worse.

    He said: “Some say it’s impossible to find something in Britain that still works, but I pledge to find that thing and then batter the holy living shit out of it with a spade.”

    Looks like Dave has been at the DT

    quote from the Daily Mash

  7. Billy, I think its time to move on from the DT as the blogs are being run under a new tightly moderated regime which is leaning towards the left. This sissified approach is reflected in the newspaper generally.

  8. Hmmmmm…. James, the DT is now deleted form my list! BUT WUWT are reporting the Pen State Law department are trashing AGW…….M. Mann must be spinning lol.

    Sort the DT out pal, surely you have some say over what they have done! I blame that Bible pushing child there myself! How did he get any editorial status!

  9. James, if you have not yet read Professor Johnson’s ‘Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination’ Research Paper 10-08 May 2010, University of Pensylvania, I would strongly recommend you do. It takes the IPCC assertions as presented in the assessment report and critically compares them with actual climate science. The result is a clear demonstration that the IPCC has ignored the scientific method, misrepresented, resorted to gloss and exaggeration. This obviously will not come as news to you, but it is nice to see it being done by a legal scholar. His seventy-nine page report concludes that policy should not be made on ‘stories and photos confirming faith in models’. How very wise, especially when one considers the costs of the policy being pushed.

  10. AGW, aka “manmade global warming”, is a scientific, intellectual, political, financial and moral scam. The climate has been changing for millions upon millions of years.

    The IPCC is the biggest perpetrator of scientific fraud that the world has ever seen.

    Individuals and organizations involved in this fraud should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Civil suits should be filed to recover grant money and subsidies given to individuals and organizations participating in the fraud.

    Now is not the time to let up !

  11. “We need oil. There is no substitute for it.”

    You’ve obviously not seen that big thing floating in the sky called “the sun”, or that blowy stuff called wind, 0r the waves in the ocean.

    Wake up: we don’t “need” oil: we’re just too lazy to do without it.

  12. Pointman good point about the developing world we could all benefit by raising everyone who wants it standard of living on this planet and it could be done it just needs cheap available energy.

  13. Yes, it is a little tedious hearing not of an oil spill but the BP oil spill. As I understand it British Petroleum was the company paying for the drilling, but it was an American company implementing it. So that would be the failure, incompetence or lack of quality of an American company that is directly responsible for the oil spill. Similar standard then to their leader.

    By the way, BP makes lots of money because of the ubiquity of its product, which is why they take the risks. Big business generally gets too much political support, so it must be a shock when it turns on them.

  14. James just been listening to your prison planet Alex Jones show

    A fantastic show

    For ALL visitors this show will be available to listen again in a couple of days

    For more conspiracy visit the current DT blogs


  15. Dave L

    All that blowy stuff has been a little absent lately, which accounts for wind turbines’ pathetically low capacity performance of around 20%. Grid operators only factor them in at around 10% because they are unreliable. The more turbines you have the less that becomes, because you have so much unreliable production at once.

    Denmark dumps a lot of its wind power onto its neighbours for very little money, because the power surges are often too great when the wind does blow. It then buys top-up from Norway, (hydro) and Sweden, (nuclear, even though Denmark is against nuclear power). But they rely on coal for two thirds of their fuel in large combustion plants with no nonsense about sequestering CO2, just improving furnace technology.

    You may have noticed that over the winter, (the coldest since 1979 btw) we didn’t get an awful lot of sun to power these fantastic solar panels: Solar photovoltaic array capacity factors are typically under 25%, often producing only about 12% of name plate capacity.

    Wave power? Great idea but not very practical to date. Example installation would require 40 machines occupying 1 to supply power, (theoretically) to 20,000 homes. High maintenance, plus danger to shipping, marine life etc, as are these vast offshore wind farms such as the one to be built in Llandudno Bay, over 50 sq miles of subsidised scrap metal.

    Back to the drawing board, how about using all that coal we still have sitting underground.
    “Britain simply stopped burning British coal and bought coal from overseas. Last year 43m tonnes of coal were imported, mainly from Russia, Poland and Australia.

    Yet Britain has enough known coal reserves to meet the nation’s needs for 200 to 300 years. Why not mine those reserves – resume and expand major coal mining in Britain, and to hell with reliance on foreign imports?”

    Why not indeed?

  16. Where did you get 20% from? .I t was zero yesterday for a time and is currently at about 13%,its best performance for months. You can see the real time output ,bullshit free , here

    Note that the % figure on NETA is the % of demand. To see how wind is performing divide the given Mw’s on the site by the installed capacity

  17. You have to accept they work sometimes, that was an annual figure. It has been zero on many occasions at a local one near me, but there are other times when they are working, although if it is too strong they have to be featherd down. I don’t do bullshit.

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