Ho Ho Ho Green Giantz

by | Jul 8, 2009

Thanks to George Carty for pointing us to the Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum, where someone named Klaus Allmendinger has spotted something strange in the small print of a new report from WWF and Allianz insurance that claims to rank G8 countries in terms of their progress towards CO2 emissions targets:

… When noticing France AND Germany in similar places on the list, I looked a little further. France, according to this report, has still fairly high emissions from electricity production. A small footnote under one of the graphs though explains why:

1 WWF does not consider nuclear power to be a viable policy option. The indicators “emissions per capita”, “emissions per GDP” and “CO2 per kWh electricity” for all countries have therefore been adjusted as if the generation of electricity from nuclear power had produced 350 gCO2/kWh (emission factor for natural gas). Without the adjustment, the original indicators for France would have been much lower, e.g. 86 gCO2/kWh.”

So basically, France’s CO2 emissions from electricity production are produced by ideological bias, not by fossil fuel combustion. It looks like the German emissions are lower than actual tons of CO2 also because of emission trading schemes. Allianz is of course also a trader in CO2 certificates.

It seems like the new battle-cry is: Enrons of the world, unite !!!

Not only does the report clearly not do what it claims to do, and not only is this another instance of Big Insurance joining forces with Big Environment to whip up alarm (not to mention premiums) about environmental risks (Allianz join Munich Re, RMS and Catlin), but, by ranking countries in terms of energy – rather than CO2 – production, it also supports our suggestion that Environmentalism has less to do with saving the planet than it does with reining in human aspirations.


  1. geoffchambers

    Congratulations to George Carty for spotting that.
    It would be interesting to trace the history of of an organisation like the WWF, to find out how it morphed from a charity protecting endangered species (a bit like the National Trust, only for rodents) to a think tank doctoring statistics for ideological reasons. (On second thoughts, it wouldn’t be interesting at all, but somebody ought to do it).
    The only thing to be said in their favour is that they are so naive, or new to the game, that they make no effort to disguise their ideology.
    If only the IPCC were so open!

  2. Ayrdale

    …bringing to mind the quote “Fear is to the insurance industry what oil is to Enron.”

  3. Editors

    oi, that’s our quote

  4. Demesure

    What’s priceless is the bastard nuclearists who are behind this AGW hoax (in France, all climate modellers and most of French authors at the IPCC are in laboratories affiliated with our state agency Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique) are aimed at now by greenies, but with that same hoax.
    Like caught gangsters, they try to put the blame on each others when things go down the toilet.

  5. Papertiger

    I wonder if they do that with San Onofre & Diablo Canyon? Does the government use WWF statistics?

  6. George Carty

    Demesure, I think there’s very powerful arguments for phasing out fossil fuels in favour of nuclear energy, even without AGW.

    Coal is responsible for too much pollution (both noxious gases and ashes). Oil and gas are too geographically concentrated, which leads to despotic “rentier” governments in the oil-and-gas producing lands, as well as wars fought over the resources.

  7. Luke Warmer

    nice story – if tragic as other commentators have noted.

    What about peak uranium ;-)

    From yesterday’s FT article about BP:

    “At some point, however, the shift in the world’s energy system will come. Lew Watts, an independent consultant, says the future will bring growing electrification, including of transport. “What we are likely to see, and are already seeing, is that energy will continue to de-carbonise and will ultimately move to the electron,” he says. “Any energy company of the future will need to be in the electron or power business. Companies that do not do this become merely commodity suppliers.”

    “merely commodity suppliers” – as opposed to what – a luxury good? Clearly electrons are fungible – the very definition of commodity.

  8. George Carty

    Nuclear fuels are approximately a million times more energy-dense than chemical fuels. Uranium isn’t a rare metal (it’s about a common as tin), while thorium (didn’t you read the name of the forum where I sourced the info in the first place) is three times more common.

    Peak uranium is a despicable hoax put forward by Storm van der Leeuwen, the head of the Club of Rome in the Netherlands. (The Club of Rome – that charming organization which suggested that human population must be reduced to less than one billion…)

    His “study” (paid for by Europe’s Green Parties) was full of deliberate mistakes, listed below:

    1. No breeder reactors (either Uranium-238/Plutonium-239, or Thorium-232/Uranium-233)
    2. No reactors capable of burning unenriched uranium (like the CANDU or the Magnox)
    3. Enrichment using the obsolete gaseous diffusion method (as opposed to the centrifuge method, which uses about 100 times less energy).
    4. Vastly-overestimated energy requirements for mining low-grade uranium ores (about two orders of magnitude higher than reality). The amount of energy which Namibia’s Rössing mine would consume according to Storm van der Leeuwen’s calculations, is larger than that consumed by the entire country of Namibia in reality.

    M. King Hubbert (who coined the term “peak oil”) had this to say about nuclear energy:

    There is promise, however, provided mankind can solve its international problems and not destroy itself with nuclear weapons, and provided world population (which is now expanding at such a rate as to double in less than a century) can somehow be brought under control, that we may at last have found an energy supply adequate for our needs for at least the next few centuries of the foreseeable future.

  9. Luke Warmer


    Didn’t you see the ;-)

    nuclear is especially interesting ‘cos it’s become a “splitters” faultline for the “movement” as Mark Lynas found out.

    However rational a choice it is, I am continually disappointed by clearly shoddy management – even if the leaks/fines etc are low level (back-office) process stuff, they shouldn’t continue to happen. There was one in the 90s where the pipebridge had been leaking for years – that’s not safety/env. mgmt. The industry needs to recognise the old “clean table tops in the aircraft signal better maintained engines” thing.

    And as the Editors have commented to you elsewhere there’s then the whole weapons bit, complicated by the current terrorism meme.

  10. George Carty

    I see that Ecofys, who did this hack-job of a report for the WWF and Allianz, is now bankrupt…

  11. George Carty

    And I thought the quote was “Fear is to the insurance industry what oil is to Exxon” (not Enron)…

  12. George Carty

    Luke, I did see the smiley, but I want everyone to think “hack job by the genocidal Club of Rome” whenever anyone mentions “peak uranium”.


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