Lord Deben and his Pals


The Right Honourable the Lord Deben is Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, which tells the government how many windmills it should build, and also of the sustainability consultancy Sancroft International, recycling company Valpak, the secretive political thinktank GLOBE International (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment) and Veolia Water UK, who make their money connecting windmills to the grid, among other things.

Lord Deben, (the con artist formerly known as John Selwyn Gummer)  (b.1939) gave a speech the other day at the Oxford Environmental Change Institute, an audio recording of which is linked at


I’ve transcribed it and the transcription is at


While I was transcribing it, I was reminded of Lord Snooty (b.1938). I wanted to see if the resemblance was physical, but Wikipaedia’s tiny Gummer mugshot was entitled “No higher resolution available”. No doubt that’s the motto inscribed  on his coat of arms (“Party per fess nebuly gules and argent, a boar rampant sinister, snout  in trough”) and no doubt that’s the reason this rentier of renewable energy was appointed to oversee the planning of Britain’s energy supply, no higher resolution being available than the resolution to make the maximum moolah from the fear of global warming.

I left a couple of comments on the Bishop Hill article, speculating on his psychology. It’s unfair, I know to speculate about how it feels to be lumbered with the surname Gummer, by a father called Selwyn, a man of the cloth who preaches “suffer the little children..” and who inflicts not only his surname, but also his first name on his firstborn. (Talk about the sins of the fathers…)

The main point of his talk, referred to in the title, is that converting to renewable energy sources is an insurance policy against global warming, and that the rise in fuel bills engendered by subsidies for windfarms is the price to pay for saving the planet – a point that he hammers home with a long comparison with fire insurance, thus demonstrating that he is ignorant, not only of the basics of climate science, but also of the very meaning of the word “insurance”.

Taking out fire insurance does not ensure that my house will not burn down; it reimburses me in the event that it does. Paying for useless windmills does not reimburse me in the case of flood, hurricane, or drought caused by anthropogenic climate change. It is supposed to make the said floods, hurricanes or droughts less likely (on average, other things being equal) over a period of a century or two, than they would otherwise have been, given always that other countries follow our example and institute similar measures.

Well thanks, but no thanks.

Note that the argument for and against Deben’s politics can be stated without any discussion of climate science at all.

If an insurance salesman came to the door offering, for a mere £60 a year, to ensure that your house would probably be less likely to burn down in the next hundred years, as long as your neighbours and the Chinese take out a similar policy (which they’ll be sure to do, if only you set them a good example) you would probably close the door in his face.

But with Lord Deben you can’t. You’ve already bought the policy.

“At present, I am charging the average family about £60 a year on their fuel bills to pay for their insurance against climate change.”

It’s nice of him to admit that he, and not the government or power companies, is personally responsible for this charge.  But it’s also a bit odd. Nobody voted for him. In theory he merely advises governments what savings in CO2 they should try to achieve. Since his sources of information are the same as the government’s (the five-page five-yearly summary for policymakers of the IPCC assessment reports) one wonders  on what basis he decides either to push government policy forward or step on the brakes. No doubt it’s a subject he raises with his colleagues in the secret discussions of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment.

But while the main thrust of his argument is to persuade us to accept the policy which he has taken out for us, the greater part of his  speech is devoted to an attack on those of us who don’t want to – the denialists.

There’s a long description of the difference between sceptics (good) and denialists (bad). He quotes Lord May: “Scepticism is the staff (or stuff?) of science.” True science is scepticism bla bla bla…

What is astounding about people like Gummer, Sir Paul Nurse, HRH the Prince of Wales etc. is that they repeat word for word the comments of warmist trolls at Guardian Environment as if they were the decalogue hot off the press from Mount Sinai. Gumboil has no idea what a stale load of horsepiss he is emitting (yes, I know).

In  an aside intended to express his broadmindedness, he says “..that doesn’t mean to say that we should not consider the Lindzens and the Stotts of this world seriously..”

He then rather spoils the effect by identifying Lindzen and other sceptics as “oddballs”, part of “a small contrary cabal of scientists and campaigners”.

He compares denial of climate science to Lysenkoism and phrenology: (Sorry Gumdrop, I got there first):


I am the very model of a modern climatologist

I’m partly statistician, partly palaeo-phrenologist…

Gumboot starts his talk by saying:

“I’m not going to talk about the science. I think that one of our problems is that we don’t just say to people “The science is as certain as anything can be. And we’re not going to argue about it.” Because that’s what they want us to do. They want us constantly to pick away at this or that or the other.” 

(Too right, Gumbleed. This, that and the other is exactly what it’s all about)

But that doesn’t stop him from venturing into the scientific domain when it suits him:

“… most people know enough about the history of the world that they know that it emerged from a situation in which it was too hot. And that gradually, as the emergence of plant life and the rest it drew out of the atmosphere carbon, and the world became a place which it was possible for us to live in. Quite a lot of people say if you reverse the process it might have exactly the opposite effect. Not surprising!”

“..it emerged from a situation in which it was too hot.”

cue for a song:


I’m tempted to leave it there, on a positive note, with the image of the delectable and recently deceased Ann Kelly. I shall return later to finish with Gumboil, and his peculiar message to the University of Oxford (doubly peculiar given his identity as the recusant offspring of an Anglican canon) namely:

“FUCK you Lawson, and BUGGER the planet”.

Next week: Gumbugger and the foulmouthed Welsh business baron; Gumbum and his friend, the delectable Welsh hippy acidhead Guardian journalist.

About Geoff Chambers

Retired illustrator (children's magazines, religious education textbooks, an Encyclopaedia of Christianity, gay contact and female fitness magazines, pornographic strip cartoons etc.) Retired lecturer in English and History of Art in a French University; ardent blogger on climate hysteria, banned five times from the Guardian and twice from the Conversation. Now blogging at Cliscep.com
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5 Responses to Lord Deben and his Pals

  1. I live in the same county as the dismal little twerp. Why were you so kind to him?

  2. “Party per fess nebuly gules and argent, a boar rampant sinister, snout in trough” has a number of problems as a blazon. You mean something like “Party per fess nebuly gules and argent, a boar statant reversed, snout in trough, all proper”. #pickyHeraldryGeekisms

  3. I haven’t finished with him yet 😉

  4. jonathan jones
    Many thanks. I knew there’d be someone who’d correct me. I wanted him rampant because it means “crawling” in modern French, and sinister for obvious reasons. But I do like “all proper”. You can’t get away with the least thing on the internet.

  5. I love geekiness in a subject matter of which I know nothing!

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