Ben Pile doesn’t come here any more, which is a shame. Instead he makes excellent videos which you can see at and he tweets a lot.

For example, he’s been ranting at a lady called Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who, I’ve just learned from Wiki, is Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, and also “Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency.” (That doesn’t mean “champion” as in: “good at,” but rather in the mediaeval epic sense of “ardent defender of whatever hopeless lost cause my Liege Lord imposes on me.”)

Ben says:

Look at all this virtue fluff. It’s not enough to fill the democratic deficit. The poor are going to be FAR worse off if the climate agenda becomes any more concrete. It is democracy, not political power put out of the voter’s reach, that best represents people’s interests. 

All talk of helping ‘the most vulnerable’ is hollow moral blackmail. Once established, green politics is indifferent to people. We can see that in the treatment of indigenous people by the likes of WWF, which funded murder, rape, torture, and illegal and violent eviction.

It is the very thing that the climate agenda has in its target that has done most for the world’s most vulnerable people. They call it “business as usual.” It has driven unprecedented development in the era seemingly characterised by “catastrophic global warming.”

Seen from that historical perspective, @annietrev’s and her colleagues’ words should be seen for what they are: callous and indifferent to people’s suffering, except when it’s convenient to their political ambitions. She turns ‘vulnerable people’ into puppets.

Those puppets then enact a morality play. But they never get to say what they want, or organise politically on their own terms, because that is anathema to environmentalism. If you’re not a victim, you’re a carbon-spewing baddie.

Well said Ben. I only wish you’d say it here, where you’d get a hundred times more readers, and might even initiate an interesting discussion. 

[You may argue that we preach to the converted at Cliscep, but it’s not necessarily true. When I did an article touching on the activities of our armed forces in the Middle East, we got dozens of visits from ARRSE, which is the official discussion forum for the British Army. You never know who’s reading you.] 

So what had Anne-Marie Trevelyan done to incur Ben’s scorn?

She’d tweeted a link to a little video, in which she had a ten-second walk-on part, along with Christiana Figueres and others – a video to publicise a podcast put out by On it she says:

(inaudible) “… talk to and hear from really the vulnerable countries, so, you know, developing countries mostly, who are at that front end of climate shock risk”

I can see that when you’re a Minister in Her Majesty’s Government it may seem urgent to tweet a link to a two-minute video which is itself an ad for a podcast on which you feature, even if it’s the 106th podcast in a series published on some blog no-one’s heard of. But shouldn’t you take the time to prepare a proper English sentence for your ten seconds of fame? 

Anne-Marie is on just after Kate Gallego, mayor of Phoenix Arizona, who says, loud and clear:

“For some communities, climate change is a future hypothetical event. For Phoenix it is something that is our everyday reality and we prepare for it. My father fancies himself a political consultant and he says if I can just do something about the heat in Phoenix I’ll have a great political career.”

I’ll say. That’s an audible political message if ever I heard one: “Vote for me and I’ll make it cooler in Phoenix, Arizona.” What have you deniers got to say to that?

There’s also Christina Figueres, filmed at an odd angle, as if the camera is under her chair, looking like Naomi Oreskes’ ailing sister, or possibly a bat out of Wuhan. And the Mayor of Accra, Ghana who says: “We in Africa take climate change very seriously, and would love some of those trillions of dollars that are up for grabs. Where do I sign?” or words to that effect. And a nice African lady from the UN, and a scientist. None of them, with the possible exception of the mayor of Phoenix, is a native English speaker, but they all manage to utter proper audible grammatical sentences, except Our Minister. 

And all this in a two minute video that is an ad for a podcast put out by, which is a website set up by two climate refugees from UNFCCC – Christina Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. 

Christina we all know. She was chief gavel-banger at Paris COP21. But what about Tom?

Tom is a Founding Partner of Global Optimism and works across the portfolio of engagements and initiatives. He has spent 20 years working at the intersections of international diplomacy, energy policy and climate change in business, non profit, financial services and international institutions.

Prior to co-founding Global Optimism, Tom was Senior Advisor to the Executive Secretary at the UN Climate Convention where he focussed on the political strategy towards achieving the landmark Paris Agreement in December 2015. Before this he was President and CEO of CDP North America, an entity that utilizes the financial markets to drive greater disclosure of climate change related risks and opportunities in the operations of listed companies. Currently more than 7,000 companies report climate information to CDP, which is then reflected back to investors for use in valuation and asset allocation decisions…

Earlier in his career Tom held roles at Dyson and also spent two years as a Buddhist monk…

“Held roles at Dyson” did he? Is that what Ben means by “virtue fluff”?

CDP North America, of which Tom was President and CEO, is the Carbon Disclosure Project (I’ll show you my emissions if you show me yours”) a nonprofit employing 57 people taking confessions from 2,400+ companies and supported by 157 signatory investors with $46.5 trillion in assets. And he dropped all that to make podcasts with Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Since Anne-Marie is going to be one of the star turns at the most important meeting ever held in the history of the Universe (Glasgow, Scotland, November) you might like to know more about her. For a Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change she seems to keep a remarkably low profile. She has been Minister of State for the Armed Forces and Secretary of State for International Development and now she’s Ms Clean Growth Adaptation and Resilience. Surely the green -leaning press must be all over her? 

Not so, and a quick scan of the scant press coverage explains why. She’s in favour of fracking and fox hunting, she was attacked in the Commons by Green MP Caroline Lucas for allowing exploitation of a new oil field off the Shetlands, and she wants to widen a major road in her constituency. (Since it’s the A1, which hasn’t been widened since the Romans built it, even the Greens might pardon her that.) Oh, and she received campaign financing from Russian-born businessman Alexander Temerko, who held senior posts in the Russian Defence Ministry in the nineties, was a director of the Russsian Oil Company Yukos, and is now a member of the British Conservative Party. She also participates in Singing for Syrians every week – which sounds like an undercover recruiting drive for ISIS, or possibly a Foreign Office plan to encourage asylum seekers to go home. 

And since the only interest in things environmental she has manifested is a liking for the scenery around Netherwitton Hall, the mansion that has been in her family since the 14th century, and since Berwick on Tweed is the last place in England, if not on earth, which needs to worry about global heating, one must look elsewhere for an explanation for her appointment. And it surely lies in her Champion title, which refers to Adaptation and Resilience. Both words suggest putting up with what Nature throws at you, rather than trying to challenge it by doing anything global. So maybe this is Johnson’s way of indicating that climate change ain’t going to come to an end after Glasgow, and the developing world had better get used to it, and that the UK will help all it can by providing the money for poor African countries to hire British construction companies to build dams, widen roads, explore for oil or whatever, just so long as they promise not to let the Chinese build coal fired power stations. 

All of which is quite interesting, and why Ben’s twitter storm deserves a wider airing. 


  1. Thanks for reminding us all about Ben Pile. It’s a pity he’s no longer here, but he’s doing great work elsewhere.

    As for Anne-Marie Trevelyan proudly supporting the upgrade of the A1 through Northumberland, she is right to do so. Her website says this, so there’s no mistake:

    “Anne-Marie has changed the Government’s mind on the importance of this forgotten stretch of road. Back on 2007 she set up the Dual the A1 Campaign Group in order to pull together many cross-party voices to make sure that Government would understand about the missing link in the A1 road network.

    Fantastic news came in December 2014, when the Prime Minister announced an initial £290m investment to upgrade the road.

    The campaign’s ultimate goal is for full dualling all the way up to the border.”

    It’s absurd that the A1, the main road between the English and Scottish capital cities has many miles through Northumberland that aren’t even dual carriageway standard. It’s a road traffic accident blackspot, with numerous deaths on it over the years. It should have been dualled decades ago. Presumably many climate campaigners think it should remain the way it is Even with its death toll. I’d be delighted if they don’t think like that, but any such acknowledgment of course is an acknowledgment that real life deaths are more urgent and relevant than hypothetical ones in the future from climate change that can’t be prevented by not dualling the A1.


  2. MARK
    Agreed. The fact that we English don’t think its important to have a decent road connection to one of the great cities of Europe which happens to be just across our border suggests something deep in the English psyche. Perhaps we’re still in the Roman mindset and think it should stop at Hadrian’s Wall.

    Apart from her support for road widening, there were a lot of other things that I found sympathique about Anne-Marie’s programme, including being in favour of fracking in a National Park and accepting money from Big Russian Oil. Perhaps we could adopt her as our sceptic mascot at COP26.


  3. From a profile of Tom Rivett-Carnac’s wife: ‘Until COVID, her family split their school year between Costa Rica and the UK.’

    Of course they did. Didn’t we all?

    Mr and Mrs Carnac have Masters degrees from Totnes’s Schumacher College and Dartington Hall, so it’s no surprise that a yurt has been part of their children’s education. The children are home-schooled these days but for a while they spent three days a week at an unregistered school in a wood near Bath. The Sun called it ‘Britain’s most hipster school’, but ‘most hippie’ seems more accurate. Instead of tight-trousered men with beards and fancy coffees, there’s a yurt and a canvas-clad geodesic dome and meetings always start with a teacher howling like a wolf.

    £105 per child per week, if you’re interested. Thanks to covid, we should all be able to afford it – that’s less than a quarter of the cost of the cheapest return flight to Costa Rica.

    Tom Carnac’s father is a geologist who spent decades hunting for oil in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas. One of Tom’s brothers is also involved in oil exploroitation.

    Christmases must be fun chez Carnac. ‘You’re a climate criminal. ‘No, you’re a climate criminal. ‘No, you’re a climate criminal.’ ‘No, it’s you. I’m with the UN!’ ‘Your carbon footprint is out of this world, you effing twat!’ ‘So is yours!’ ‘Is not!’ ‘Is!’

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Speaking of Anne-Marie Trevelyan:

    “Teesside chosen for UK’s first net zero emissions power plant”

    “Plans for the first power station in the UK with net zero emissions have been announced.

    The natural gas plant at Wilton International on Teesside will capture and store carbon emissions offshore.

    Middlesbrough’s Sembcorp Energy UK and US clean energy firm 8 Rivers Capital, who are behind the project, said it could create up to 2,000 jobs during construction and 200 during operation.

    Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said it was a “real game-changer”.

    It was a “significant step forward in the UK’s fight against climate change” and supported efforts to “revitalise this key industrial heartland”, she said.

    The Whitetail Clean Energy project will use a process which combusts natural gas with oxygen, rather than air, and uses carbon dioxide in a fluid state, instead of steam, to drive turbines.

    A spokesman for the project said the process will eliminate all air emissions, including traditional pollutants and carbon dioxide, which will be captured and stored under the North Sea.

    He said if given regulatory approval, the facility could produce about 300 megawatts of electricity per hour and be in operation by 2025.

    The UK government has put £6m into the project since 2012.”

    Green jobs? Those weasel words, “up to” 2,000 jobs during construction and 200 (up to? – not clear from the way the sentence is constructed) during operation.

    By the way, the project is entirely foreign-owned, not that you would think it from the BBC’s reporting. “Middlesbroughs” Sembcorp Energy UK is in fact part of Sembcorp Industries, which has its headquarters in Singapore and is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Plans for the first power station in the UK with net zero emissions have been announced.

    The natural gas plant at Wilton International on Teesside will capture and store carbon emissions offshore.”

    Is this carbon dioxide actually going to be stored or is it going to be used to flush out the last remaining oil from the North Sea wells?


  6. “Look at all this virtue fluff” – Never a truer word said !!!

    just got my 20 bottle box off Buds from Te**o – big “virtue fluff” on the box side.

    “now brewed with renewable 100% electricity” with a trade marked battery logo – I’m losing the will to drink the stuff, honest !!!


  7. dfhunter, my favourite beverage, Hardy’s Shiraz, is now 100% carbon-neutral too, thanks to a couple of wind turbines and a lot of dodgy carbon offsets.

    100% renewable?

    Not in a meaningful sense.

    (Thanks to covid, I have kept some empties for more than a year and they are still empty.)


  8. It’s a pity that Ben Pile is no longer active here, but he’s certainly active elsewhere, and he has a living to earn, I suppose, so fair play to him. This latest offering is well worth a read, IMO:

    “Is the climate really getting more disruptive?
    Climate policy, not climate change, poses the biggest risk to our daily lives.”

    The final para:

    “Ironically, it is environmentalism that makes the climate actually dangerous. Green austerity will deny people the resources and technology they need and deserve to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. And it is environmentalism, with its promise to make the weather ‘safe’ and unchanging if we follow its agenda, that is selling us false hope. That is a much greater threat than climate change or extreme weather could ever be.”


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