Nicholas Stern, Davos, 2009

Media and energy companies conspire to ‘mislead’ says President of the British Academy

And so the plot thickens! Two weeks after the energy companies threatened power cuts if they can’t raise prices, and just one day after SSE hiked their prices a staggering 8.2%, the President of the British Academy, Baron Stern of Brentford, tells BBC News that the media are conspiring with energy companies to mislead the public:

There is currently a concerted campaign to mislead the British public about the factors that are driving up consumers’ electricity and gas bills.

That much was already clear from our own analysis of the news over the past few weeks, but it’s nice to have it confirmed by a President of the Royal Society, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and a Baron no less!

But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the conspiracy goes much deeper than Lord Stern cares to admit. As the former Chief Economist of the World Bank he’s a member of the global elite, and there’s plenty of reasons why they might want to manipulate energy markets and mislead the public on a much wider scale.

Nicholas Stern, Davos, 2009
Nicholas Stern, Davos, 29 Jan 2009. Photo by Sebastian Derungs © World Economic Forum

So what conspiracy might that be? Well, look at what Lord Stern told BBC‘s Environment analyst, Roger Harrabin:

It is clear that the real culprit for bill increases has been the soaring price of gas.

Is it really? So how come this Catalyst Energy Market Brief from just a few weeks ago said long-term gas prices were largely flat and started fall in August:

Wholesale Gas % Power Prices, Catalyst, Sep 2013
Gas and Power Prices Fall Despite Rising Oil, Catalyst Business Energy Market Brief September 2013

Catalyst isn’t a political think-tank or lobby group. It’s a leading energy broker, so they should know what they’re talking about when they say:

Long-term gas and power prices were largely flat during July … but during August annual power and gas prices started to fall.

Falling gas prices and the reduction in coal prices resulted in the annual October 13 power contract falling 0.8%. This is 2% lower than the same time last year.

Catalyst Energy Solutions, September 2013

And it isn’t just Catalyst who thinks gas prices are going down. Even Npower are predicting gas and electricity costs will fall consistently over the next decade:

Wholesale Energy Costs 2007-2020
Wholesale Energy Costs 2007-2020, Energy Explained, Npower,

So you have to wonder where Lord Stern gets his information from, and why the BBC‘s Environment ‘analyst’, Roger Harrabin, hasn’t analysed this!

A clue to where Lord Stern is coming from can be found in the BBC piece:

Lord Stern, who wrote an influential global review of climate change economics…

Aha! Now it does become clear. On leaving the World Bank in 2003 Stern became second permanent secretary at the Treasury under Chancellor Gordon Brown, where he was lead author of the Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change and  a key architect of the green taxes. Whilst some economists described the Stern Review as “deeply flawed”, Telegraph columnist Charles Moore compared it to the “dodgy dossier”  that misled us into war in Iraq.

No surprise then that Stern focuses his conspiracy allegations purely on “climate-sceptic newspapers” like the Telegraph rather than the mainstream media in general.

All the same, it is becoming pretty obvious that the energy companies’ PR strategy does seem to revolve around the classic trick of misdirecting our attention somewhere else while they’re picking our pockets.  And Lord Stern is no slouch at that game himself, playing the lazy-good-for-nothings card by blaming  handouts to poor people for most of the green taxes.

But perhaps the most interesting news is thrown away near the end of the BBC piece:

Supporters of renewables also point out that the government is about to announce a long-term price support deal for EDF’s planned Hinkley C nuclear station. The price is reported to be roughly double the current market rate for electricity, locking in the price for 35 years.

Wow. That’s big news. The government is still planning to go ahead with a new Nuclear Plant at Hinkley whilst Germany has already shut down 8 of its 17 nuclear plants and will shut down the rest within the next ten years!

And they’ll be announcing that only a month after we discovered that Fukushima radiation levels are 18 times higher than we thought.

And Cameron is going to tell us that he’ll be locking in a long term electricity price at twice the current market rate for the next 35 years, when he’s just spent the last three years telling us you can’t mess with market prices!

How on earth are they going to get away with all that!

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