Shades of Fahrenheit 451 – British retirees burning books to stay warm

Remember these chaps? This time they’ll be putting out the book fires rather than starting them.
Click for larger image

From Benny Peiser’s daily newsletter, it appears to be time for a revolt in Britain:


Metro News, 5 January 2010


Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm.
Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.

A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent, although people over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel allowance of between £125 and £400.

And it appears the problem is only going to get worse….

Daily Mail, 3 January 2010 Tom McGhie

Household gas and electricity bills are expected to rocket fourfold to nearly £5,000 a year by the end of the decade to meet Government-imposed green targets. And the price heavy industry will have to pay by 2020 is so high that energy-dependent firms could be wiped out, causing thousands of job losses, said an industry spokesman.

A massive rethink on the cost of ‘green energy’ is taking place in Whitehall among senior regulators and industry, leading some to question whether the public will be prepared to pay increasingly high bills for the UK to become greener than most countries.

Officials at regulator Ofgem now privately admit that a report they issued only last year severely underestimates the cost of cutting carbon emissions by building a new energy infrastructure for the UK.

more here:


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Red Dwarf:


UAH is out for December:
+.28C. Down a good bit from November.

Don Keiller

More from Benny Peiser’s newsletter.
NC Media Watch, 4 January 2010
Russ Steele
The Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Business section has this story on unemployment soaring among Spain’s youth by Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times. As you will recall, Spain was on the forefront of going green. While Spain has traditionally suffered from relatively high unemployment, double the 9.8 percent average for the European Union, but the sharpest increase has been among young people. It has jumped from 17.5 percent three years ago to the current 42.9 percent.
Unemployment soars among Spain’s youth
“Like hundreds of thousands of other young people, Jesus Pesquero Penas dropped out of school to go to work when the Spanish economy was booming. But since he was laid off from his construction job two years ago, he has been living on unemployment benefits. Now Penas finds himself part of a lost generation in Spain, where unemployment among people ages 16-24 is 42.9 percent, the highest in Europe, and more than double the overall rate.”
Where are all the promised green jobs? How could this happen when Spain was on the leading edge in the EU to convert to a sustainable life style free from their oil addiction, by adopting wind and solar power. California Governor has often pointed to Spain as a example for California to follow.
“Adding to Spain’s woes, its government is unable to inject more stimulus and offer further support for job creation while its economy languishes as one of the weakest in Europe. The outlook on Spanish sovereign debt was recently downgraded, and the government is moving to raise taxes and cut spending.”
As I have written before, every green job in Spain created through government subsidies resulted in the loss of 2.5 jobs in the regular economic sectors. Details here. Though not mentioned in the NYT article one has to wonder how much going green contributed to the job losses in the youth sector?
“In part, Spain is paying the price for its efforts to make it easier to put young people to work. In recent years, a disproportionate share of Spanish youth were employed on temporary contracts. So they were the easiest to lay off when the economy sank, said Alfonso Prieto, deputy director general of employment studies at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.”
Again, one has to ask were those temporary employment contracts funded with government subsidies for green jobs? Will the same happen in California, if we create job with government subsidies? We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation and the Governor is seeking green subsidies a Federal bailout? We should all be aware of the Spanish experience.

I suspect it’s a cold cold winter in East Anglia.

photon without a Higgs

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent
This is what Barak Obama wants—“necessarily skyrocket” electric bills.
As long as they burn books with ‘Audacity’ in the title I’m fine with it.

Dodgy Geezer

Message from the Great Britain, a country that used to run a third of the globe
…We’re stuffed…
That is all.

dave ward

Don’t worry – we have a huge stockpile of “Energy Efficient” bulbs to keep us going….

photon without a Higgs

A massive rethink on the cost of ‘green energy’ is taking place in Whitehall among senior regulators and industry, leading some to question whether the public will be prepared to pay increasingly high bills
The public can’t pay it now. They’re wondering if the public is prepared??
Man, these guys are on the ball!


Books burnt by pensioners because they are cheaper than coal…
Power prices to rise to £5,000 in order to pay for more windmills when those already installed aren’t producting any power during the current big freeze.
It really is time the insane wealth-shifters were returned to the asylum.

photon without a Higgs

dave ward (07:15:31)
“Energy Efficient” bulbs
Ya, pay no attention to the mercury in them.
This going green thing is working out so good!


Call me crazy but I do believe this is deliberate. Looks like the Brits are leading the road back to serfdom.


??44 lbs of coal costs $7.50 – $10??
Time to export some relief to the good ol’ USS United Kingdom!
Isn’t it about time to kick some “bleeding heart liberals” out of their well heated 44,ooo sq ft mansions and villas and put things back to normal? Burning books? Books cheaper than coal? Hello! What planet am I on?


There’s a good 6″ of white global warming soot in my back garden in West Yorkshire.
“Forecasters warned that the snow and arctic conditions are set to continue into the weekend, while southern England is braced to be the “crucible” of the severe weather later today.
The renewed wave of bitter weather comes as experts predicted that Britain is facing the coldest winter in 100 years.”

I would invite all readers to help improving the climategate article on wikipedia, which has been hijacked by alarmists that have a troop of sleepless zealots that work in conjunction with the aim to keep the page as useless as possible. Please bear in mind the use of reliable sources and read and add your views in the discussion page before changing the main article. We need more people to counter W. Connolley and his troop of alarmists:
talk page:

P Wilson

Thats not all
“The prolonged cold snap has also led to fears that Britain could be confronted with a shortage of gas after the National Grid warned supplies to reduce use of the fuel.
It was the second time ever that the move has been taken and came after a 30 per cent rise on normal seasonal demand. ”
What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis. I guess it’s because we haven’t had a cold winter like this for a long time (apart from last year)

Is this likely soon to be the USA … And isn’t that the problem.
If green is your god, then nuclear power should be your savior … Else it’s all a lie, isn’t it.

photon without a Higgs

Don Keiller (07:07:02) :
More from Benny Peiser’s newsletter.

It seems those should be called ‘welfare jobs’. In America Van Jones had planned for ‘green jobs’ to be inner-city jobs—“climate ‘justice’……give them the wealth, give them the wealth!”—was his mantra.
But Van Jones was ‘stepped down’.

Tom G(ologist)

I want James Hanson to tell us once again what it is that constitutes a “crime against humanity”
This is appalling and calls up mental images of Fagin, complete with fingerless gloves, burning rags and garbage to stay warm at the end of the LIA.
Return of the Frost Fairs.

God save the Queen and get rid of the green.


While all this is happening and I am trapped by a foot of snow, the Independent is keeping its reputation as the worst offender in this scam
What especially angers me is the smug “within natural variations” excuse used, unaware of the irony.

Richard Wright

There ought to be a lot of “Our Choice” books available since no one bought any.

photon without a Higgs

There would have been a lot of burned books if these same conditions were here in the US this past week. And probably many deaths from cold.
HAMweather map of past week in US,mintemp,lowmax,highmin,snow
It’s climate I say, not weather.
And more record cold is in the forecast.

Britain does not exist any more – its been taken over.
Its about time for tanks on Parliament Square (and not water tanks). Anything Cromwell can do, we can do better…

Tom G(ologist)

Many years ago, during one of the many previous manifestations of the eco-terrorist phenomenon, I saw a bumper sticker at a geological Society of America meeting which read:
Ban Mining: Let the Bastards Freeze in the Dark.
I wish I had bought out the man’s entire stock so I could have put one on each the many cars I have owned since.


Funny story, but anyone with a fireplace in which they can burn books would get a lot more benefit from blocking it up and using something like an oil-filled electric radiator.


I hope they won’t run out of books:
From Times Online January 5, 2010
Met Office warns of 40cm of snow within hours in South East

ken 67

Re: Dave Ward’s link:
“An average gas and electricity customer pays £38 a year towards subsidies for green projects, according to Ofgem”
Perhaps some of the British can capitalize on this insanity by selling T shirts, with the caption: ” 38 Pounds a Year and all i got was a lousy lightbulb”.

People actually buy bags of coal??? Next you’ll be telling me Jack the Ripper is still on the loose! How 19th century!

photon without a Higgs

joe (07:22:09) :
Call me crazy but I do believe this is deliberate. Looks like the Brits are leading the road back to serfdom.
Piers Corbyn thinks higher food prices caused by biofuels is intentional.
He’s right a lot.
I paid attention when he said that.


We had a new boiler fitted in August so our first quarterly bill for gas and electricity came in December. We were very pleased that it showed a 25% decrease compared with more or less the same period in 2008. And that with no price increase during the year from our supplier.
However our “delight” has been short lived with the recent cold “snap” as the BBC calls it increasing our gas consumption by almost 100% to maintain the same temperature. We’ve had to turn it down and put on even more layers. I’m typing this wearing thermals, a fleece top and a blanket round my shoulders.
So our next bill will be at least 50% higher than the last quarter and we are on a limited income. Hate to think what it might have been with the old inefficient boiler. Probably at least double.
How on earth our government in the UK thinks we are going to be able to afford a 400% increase in fuel charges to fund their outrageous plans I really don’t know. Gordon Brown has announced plans to spend £100bn on more windmills even though the link to this table below shows that the current wind turbines only produced 0.4% of the country’s power output, the bulk supplied by the gas and coal powered stations (that we are having to close down from NEXT year on the orders of the EU)

photon without a Higgs

Pascvaks (07:22:27) :
Burning books? Books cheaper than coal? Hello! What planet am I on?
I think they’re talking about used, donated books at places like Goodwill.
Pretty crafty of the pensioners I think.


Don’t send us food parcels please. Send oil! Send coal! Send LPG!
Our world-leading (according to them) government has put off building more nuclear power stations for so long that the lights will start going off in a couple of years.
Brown may have saved the world, but he’s run the UK into the ground.
Ah well, as a third-world country, at least we’ll get loads of carbon credits from the UN. Do they come with any paperwork? Paper will burn!

photon without a Higgs

What do the environmentalists whose heart are filled with care and concern have to say about this?
Wait, I know, ‘the burnt ink in the smoke is harming the environment’.


Burning cars in Paris on New Years? Now burning books in London? I have a feeling the MSM have missed another headline story (or are trying to keep it hidden to let the White House and Congress pass a resolution or something). Life IS a beach, and I think there’s a hurricane coming.

Phillip Bratby

I’ve been listening to a BBC radio programme about the history of the Royal Society. Compared to the state and status of science in the UK over 300 years ago, you would be forgiven for thinking that we are in now back in the dark ages. Science has been thrown in the bin at the expense of green and politically correct advocacy. It’s enough to make a grown man weep.

Bud Moon

OT but I thought you might enjoy this one:
Met Office chief receives 25% pay rise.
He now gets more than the British prime minister.

Robert A

Here in Michigan, Governor Granholm (economic advisor to Obama) has passed an initiative that requires 10% of electricity in the State to originate from renewable sources.
The Detroit Free Press explained yesterday that a power company was letting contracts to solar farms to buy electricity at an average rate of fifty cents per kilowatt hour for twelve years. The going rate is 11 cents.
So 10% of our electricity will cost 400-500% more, on average the overall cost will go up 30-40 percent over the cost in nearby States.
It is not for nothing that Michigan is listed dead last in business climate.
When building an economy, it is wise to consult Michigan then do the opposite.

Douglas DC

Green is the New Blue….

Henry chance

One third of the consumption of bituminous coal in England is residential heat.
In India and China 75% of homes use fire to burn papaer, corn stalks, coal or dung for cooking and heat.
Of course playing games with energy hurts the poor.
The unemployment rate in Spain and the youth and minorities in America is due to defective thinking in economics.


Our glorious leader it quick to grandstand over the execution of a British citizen in China but says nothing about the 36,700 old people that his government effectively executed last winter because they had to decide whether to spend their meagre income on food or heating.
How many more will die this winter as his idiot gOVERnment pushes ahead with expensive green energy projects which will make their decisions even more difficult just so he can project himself as the world saviour of global warming?

John Campbell

Jeff, you seemed surprised that we still buy bags of coal. Why? Every winter, in the long evenings, we quite often light the fire in the sitting room (having turned off the central heating for the room). And we burn coal in our fireplace (sometimes with a coupla small logs on top). I top up the fire with coal from our nice shiny brass coal scuttle. There’s nothing like a bright coal fire, flickering flames, dancing reflections, and oodles of radiated heat, to make a room really cosy. And yes, I buy the coal in bags. What else? It’s difficult to carry when loose.

Adam Gallon

Well Jeff, some of us buy coal to fill a bunker. It’s a great thing to either use when you don’t want to switch the central heating on or to augment its effects.
As is normal in these cold spells, there’s very little wind to power those bloody bird-choppers!
Local councils are running out of salt & grit to treat roads and pavements with, thanks to the Met Office’s ever-so-reliable forecast of a mild winter.

Galen Haugh

The thing that gets me is how fragile our energy sector is. For example, the US once had a thriving industry that built luxury yachts. Then the Dems came along and figured they could get a lot of revenue by taxing these as luxury items. Well, it didn’t take long for rich people to do some comparative shopping and start buying their luxury yachts from overseas. So all those artisans and supplier that had been building luxury yachts in the US went out of business. Then the Dems realized they’d made a huge mistake and rescinded the tax. But you know what happened? The yacht makers had families and themselves to feed, so they had found other jobs doing something else by that time. And with the prospects of yet another “Tax the Rich” on their yachts should they go back to building them, they just said “Nuts”, and so an industry was lost.
The same thing happens with mining–an industry I’m fairly familiar with, having worked as a mining engineer in the western US for 15 years. There, it takes a bunch of disciplines and a huge amount of money to get a mine up and going–including financial gurus, geologists, mining engineers, equipment operators, etc. etc. You destroy an industry and it may never return. Ever! Why? It becomes easier to buy from overseas suppliers, just like luxury yachts.
But the Dems have never been strong on production or business–no, they’re generally a bunch of lawyers who have never produced a workable, useful widget in their lives. They’re so far from the reality most of us face that they’re the butt of many nasty jokes and rightly so. It is pretty sad they impose their unworkable pardigm on the rest of the world.


The UK could use some additional wood lots. As could California, particularly the Bay Area. Especially on Winter “Spare the Air” days!

Layne Blanchard

Maybe their pain will help to instill some sanity… here’s another story… gas shortage


From Britain
Wind, in all its glory, managed to deliver a risible 0.4 percent – which is hardly even a rounding error and amounts to an insignificant contribution to the national electricity supply. Producing a mere 163 MW at around midnight last night, against an installed capacity of just over 4 GW, that represents a load factor of four percent.


‘A spokesman for the National Grid said the alert had been effective in prompting electricity companies to import more gas or switch to coal-fired power stations. ‘
Presumably the lack of wind means all those expensive windfarms are not working. Tut. Tut. More bloody carbon dioxide but hopefully that might warm things up a bit.

Rich Day

Enjoy it. Winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event.

Thanks, Anthony and Benny, for continuing to remind us of reality and its conflict with fake climate predictions from a corrupt alliance of scientists with politicians.
PAIN is the greatest teacher. Only ACCEPTANCE of reality will relieve the pain.
May “Climate-gate” produce enough pain for corrupt scientists and politicians to finally accept this basic spiritual principle of science:
“Truth is victorious, never untruth.”
(Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85)
Again, I thank you for helping the scientific community face reality.
A list of scientific “Observations That I had To Accept” since 1960 was posted on the “Naked Science Forum” earlier this year:
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

Alan the Brit

Mark Bowlin (07:08:01) :
“I suspect it’s a cold cold winter in East Anglia.”
BBC lunchtime news & weather (from the good ol guys n’ gals from the Met Office), snow & sleet blizzards will make their way eastwards in the southern half of the country & head up towards East Anglia. Rather appropriate I thought.
Yes I recommend book burning, although IPCC SPMs burn jolly well, I think they contain vast amounts of phlogiston! Then again so do cow pats!
Cold & miserable in the south-west. Snowed quite heavily at lunchtime with low cloud over the hills, at least the dog enjoyed his walk over the fields chasing snow flakes all the way!
I know Piers Corbyn would take issue with me over cause, but I seem to recall Prof Mike Lockwood of Southampton University & Rutherford Appleton Lab said a while back of the quiet sun in early autumn, that if there was going to be any cooling effect as a result we would have seen it by now! Well err………..take a look outside your window Mike, you’ll be surprised what you might see! Not many takers on giving an explanation of why we’re experiencing such cold conditions in the northern hemisphere it seems to me. We know the jet stream has shifted south, there is a huge high pressure over Greenland (F*%k-its-freezing-land), but no “why”, & that’s it, nada, zilch! I am waiting for the wacko who then suggests that this is global warming big time causing the cool temps that were predicted back in thne 70’s hailing in the next ice-age!
Dodgy Geezer has it bang on the nose me thinks!