The RSPB is preposterous

The improbably glamorous Ewa Jasiewicz of “No Dash for Gas”

The improbably glamorous Ewa Jasiewicz of “No Dash for Gas”

The RSPB, always rather a suspect organisation in terms of its political activities, has excelled itself.   It has formally objected to plans by Cuadrilla to drill for shale gas, on the grounds of potential damage to birds.

Remember that the RSPB is a knee-jerk supporter of green policies and “action to prevent climate change”.  As part of its approach, it is a vocal supporter of wind turbines, apparently oblivious to the fact that wind turbines, on many estimates, kill millions of birds (and bats) every year,  and are very ineffective at reducing emissions. The industry responds that cats, and traffic, kill more birds than wind turbines.  This may be true, but turbines preferentially kill rare birds, raptors, and migrating birds.

So let’s get this clear: the RSPB is a charity for the protection of birds.  The clue is in the name.  Well-meaning elderly folk leave the RSPB generous legacies to protect birds.  Yet this charity supports a technology which kills literally millions of birds, but chooses to oppose an alternative energy technology which has never harmed any bird at all.  If you want to leave a legacy to an organisation which protects birds, you’d do better to leave it to UKIP, which campaigns against wind farms.

Meantime on Channel 4 News on Aug 16th, we had an interview with the improbably glamorous Ewa Jasiewicz of “No Dash for Gas”, one of the eco-warrior organisations seeking to hi-jack the local protest in Balcombe.  She trotted out the usual myths about fracking (do read Matt Ridley’s magisterial rebuttal of this nonsense).   She insisted that gas would not help to reduce emissions, ignoring the clear evidence from the USA.  She worried about global warming — although there has been no global warming for best part pf two decades.  Not since Ewa was seventeen, in fact.

But I was particularly struck by her reference to Germany, which was either ignorant or disingenuous.  She quoted Germany as a fine example of a country which has largely switched to renewable energy.  Perhaps she is not familiar with the study by Bjorn Lomborg, showing that (even accepting the Al Gore position), Germany’s huge investment of $110 billion in solar panels would, by the end of this century, have delayed global warming by only 37 hours. Perhaps she doesn’t know that the German energy system is facing severe difficulties, and that the output from their huge renewables investment has been disappointing.  Perhaps she doesn’t know that Germany is having to build or refurbish twenty-five coal-fired power stations to meet demand.  And it’s importing cheap American coal.  If Germany is the best example of the success of renewables, heaven help us.

Of course the only rationale for the RSPB position is the theoretical damage that global warming could do to wildlife.  They too ignore the failure of the climate to follow the theory.  And the fact that birds have survived very nicely, without the help of the RSPB, through repeated climate changes and ice ages over a hundred million years.

One other organisation with a position on fracking (although a conflicted position) is the Church of England.  Last week the Diocese of Blackburn declared that fracking “posed a threat to God’s Creation”. But today the position has changed.  We read that the Church of England has declared that fracking protesters are “like MMR scare-mongers”.  So nul points for consistency.  But as the Good Book says, there is Joy in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth.

In fact the Church has come up with a powerful, cogent and relevant simile.  Both the anti-fracking movement, and the MMR scare-mongers, were irresponsibly raising unnecessary and unjustified public concerns, in a way that damages the people.  In the MMR case, children may well have suffered and died as a result of parents’ understandable worries about the MMR vaccine.  In the fracking case, the British economy, British prosperity and energy security and jobs will suffer quite unnecessarily because of mendacious scare stories.  Time to get the issue into perspective.

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15 Responses to The RSPB is preposterous

  1. 1957chev says:

    Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines and commented:
    These people are NOT protecting anyone!!!

  2. Roger – everyone must agree – she’s a fine looking woman!

    Look, you are a member of UKIP. So where are all the government people, whose job it is to keep the lights on? I look on Labour List in vain for anything about fracking. Apart from a few platitudes, there is nothing on Conservative Home either. The BBC (surprise!) is also mute.

    Keep saying it – for heaven’s sake! Please!

  3. nollyprott says:

    Reblogged this on nollyprott and commented:
    If only Pinocchio’s nose had been cut for timber !

  4. nollyprott says:

    The economics of fracking don’t add up in the UK because road fuel duty is so high and therefore like NoDashForGas claim it is unlikely to REDUCE UK energy bills, it can only ever hope to stop gas prices rising faster than would otherwise be the case ! The Energy Bill Strike Prices will also inflate the wholesale cost of electricity and therefore prop up the gas price just like the Oil companies always desired, and hey presto now they are proposing Diesel for Wind Farm back up generators whilst the greens claim its part of an energy mix !

    • But Nolly, even if you’re right about gas prices (and I don’t think you are — we won’t know until we’ve been drilling for a while and got a handle on the economics) the effect on jobs, energy security, GDP, balance of payments and Treasury Revenues will be hugely positive, and benefit all of us.

  5. Henry Donald says:

    Please keep highlighting things like this, Roger.

    Please also stand in the next GE.

    I dream of you sitting where Deluded Davey is right now. You can start by removing the CC from the DECC!

    In solidarity,


  6. And don’t forget that the Church has decided to claim it’s share of any Fracking spoils under ancient laws! Mammon usually wins over even the devoutest souls!

  7. ex - Expat Colin says:

    I wonder why the RSPB don’t formally complain about cats and folk with airguns/catapults/cars. I suspect the birds are bothered about those things (sort of). Might that offend their (charities?) money suppliers dramatically? Those RS (title) organisations are quite a VI problem I think and I hope will be damaged at some point. Unfortunate really, because they were good but have been taken over/distorted by very dangerous people.

    I thought I recognised that scarf thing round her neck…says a lot. Journalist rattle ! Seems Russell Brand got there 1st (uuughhh).

    Was there a tester prior to the administration of the MMR jab – like polio. Not that that gives a 100% guarantee.

    And then Justin Welby (A of C) will not provide support to the RSPCA. So he is too busy then, and would that be filing for mineral rights.

    If there was a big issue with fracking, like water pollution/quakes, why is not evidenced in any way by BGS report(s) on UK land based gas reserves. It always appears to me that the evidence cited (negatively) on this topic has little formal proof, although we have financed such activities. I am talking about free access to such proof, not that paywalled or witheld for any reason. Its all heavily negative and anything positive seems weak or in the background, and only championed in a few blogs – as here.

  8. Another great piece Roger . The government must continue to support the fracking industry and at the same time jettison it’s wind farms policies .
    Matt Ridley’s article on fracking is excellent and should be given a nationwide audience . Keep up the good work of putting things into perspective .


  9. DougS says:

    “… The industry responds that cats, and traffic, kill more birds than wind turbines….”

    You can probably add plate glass windows to that list a well but it hardly adresses the point.

    And lots more than were killed by the Gulf oil spill, but somehow I can’t see the RSPB supporting oil exploration, even though it’s a lot more sensible than erecting useless wind turbines.

    These people have a completely different agenda – it’s one that opposes anything associated with fossil fuels, so that Mother Gaia can be saved and we can all (those with enough food that is) live out a Bronze Age existence!

  10. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:

  11. Chris Manuell says:

    Roger the RSPB is even more preposterous than you think. See this article–fracked-gas-oil-power-21-000-homes-day–complaints-locals.html.

    They have issued a press release condemning fracking, but in the last three years have built a bird sanctuary right next to an oil and gas field that has been there since 1968 and has been fracked four times, the last time in 1989. The nearest well-head is just across the lane from the sanctuary and the pipeline to the power station runs underneath the sanctuary. The oil company even paid for the car park for the sanctuary. The site can be seen on Google maps The nearest nodding donkey is at 53.40186 -0.80025 the RSPB site is the South side of the old Trent road, just yards away, notice also how close it is to the River Trent.

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