Norway Names Controversial Climate Change Skeptic As New Oil Minister


By Tsvetana Paraskova – Dec 18, 2019, 3:30 PM CST Norway offshore

Norway appointed on Wednesday a skeptic on wind power and climate change as its new oil minister who will oversee oil and gas drilling and wind turbine installations on and offshore Western Europe’s largest oil producer.

Sylvi Listhaug of the right-wing Progress Party was appointed Minister of Petroleum and Energy on Wednesday, replacing Kjell-Børge Freiberg who was “honourably discharged from his office,” the Norwegian government said.

Listhaug is taking over one of the most important ministries which oversees one of Norway’s top exports—oil and gas—as well as the government’s majority stake in energy giant Equinor. The new appointment comes as political parties in Norway debate about how far into the Arctic they should allow oil and gas drilling.

While Norway’s oil policies are not expected to dramatically change under the new minister who is of the same party as the previous head of the petroleum ministry, Listhaug comes into office with a baggage of some controversial statements in the past regarding wind turbines and climate change.

In an interview with Norway’s VG outlet back in 2011, Listhaug said that “it has not been proven that human CO2 emissions cause climate change. It is mostly an excuse for imposing more taxes.”

Then in August this year, the new oil minister told Norwegian broadcaster TV2 that Norway does not need wind power, and referred to wind turbines as “white monsters.”

In Norway, hydropower accounts for 95 percent of electricity production, while thermal power production and wind power represent 2.4 percent and 2.6 percent of electricity production, respectively, according to Statistics Norway.

Full story here.

HT/Willie Soon

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December 23, 2019 6:12 am

The imagery of describing wind turbines as “white monsters” is brilliant.

Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2019 4:56 pm

A Don Quixote of sorts, sans the dementia.

Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2019 7:27 pm

In English, you would say “white elephants”. I wonder if it is a cultural translation.

Robert Beckman
Reply to  Hivemind
December 24, 2019 3:18 am

No, white monsters works better because it invokes the anti-white racism rising in some parts of the West. Things like “black people (Replace with other local groups) can’t be racist, be cause racism is privilege plus power, and black people (or your local minority) don’t have power” – a particularly funny claim from Americans during their last Presidents term. But a recurring theme nonetheless.

Non-racists will see it as an amusing but apt description. Racists will see it as western hegemony that must be destroyed. Seems like a good name to me.

Kjetil Nesheim
Reply to  Robert Beckman
December 30, 2019 4:12 am

What he said was what he ment. I’ll garanti you that standing infront of a 120m high tower with rotating blades do not make you think of “white power” or any other racist direction.
Montsters is a good description and why they all are screaming white I do not understand.

December 23, 2019 6:12 am

“Full story here.”


Andy Espersen
Reply to  saveenergy
December 23, 2019 6:28 am

“No link – The brief summary is enough. – Bravo.

GREG in Houston
Reply to  saveenergy
December 23, 2019 6:50 am

The link is at the top. (

Reply to  saveenergy
December 23, 2019 4:44 pm

Greg is correct, the link above will take you to the article.

The last two paragraphs of the article were cropped in the above summary. I think others will enjoy reading them as much as I did:

“Earlier this year, public opposition forced the Norwegian government to scrap plans for large-scale onshore wind power development.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate was quoted as saying that the plan received 5,000 responses from the public and most of these “were critical from private individuals who do not want wind power in their municipality.”

Reply to  jtom
December 26, 2019 4:24 am

How do you say NIMBY in Norwegian?

December 23, 2019 6:13 am

Sounds a sensible lass. I have no problem with what she’s quoted as saying.

Reply to  Disputin
December 23, 2019 8:39 am

Impeach, must impeach.

December 23, 2019 6:37 am

It’s funny how they always call climate change skeptics “controversial”. 😉

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Goleta
Reply to  PaulH
December 23, 2019 7:27 am

“Controversialization” is something invented by a PR Management firm to erode the believability of an opponent. The concept involves linking the name of the “target” to some deed, opinion or other well-known objectionable person. It is military grade calumny.

One the well known recent examples is that of Dr Jordan Peterson whose book”12 Steps…” is simply brilliant and a thumb in the eye of the Western Libertine Experiment (a cultural self-immolation that finds no historical parallel save the Roman collapse). By agreement among his intellectual foes, his name is invariably prefaced by the adjective “controversial” so that all who hear what follows will consider the speaker as a secret-truth-revealer and any citations as suspect. It is fascinating to see the (especially young) public ignore the backbiting to start the process of reorientating their lives, weakening as it does, the grip of the talking heads on public thought and morality.

Controversialization can take other forms such as the hiring of “protesters” who scream, fight and yell outside political events in the hope that their robust sloganeering will undermine positive public opinion about their victim/foe.

The arrogant in the media believe they have right (and power) to make or break careers in this manner, upon their whim. They are the Harvey Weinsteins of the 4th and 5th Estates and deserve a similar fate.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Goleta
December 23, 2019 8:25 am

Last paragraph: fully agree!
As famously described by the 1930’s UK Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in his remark about Lord Northcliffe – a UK Press Baron:” power without responsibility is the prerogative of the whore throughout the ages!”
We should simply be asking the simple question to all rabid CAGW/Climate Change propagandists, and those who have benefited, and still are befitting, from this false religion, :” How’s business on your side of the street?”

michael burns
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Goleta
December 23, 2019 9:18 am

Peterson is a UN globalist…and for a different type of collectivism.

Only the individual counts all the rest is a type of herd of one species or another.

Are the 12 rules for life, not another version of manifesto CW?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  michael burns
December 23, 2019 10:15 am

Michael Burns,
You couldn’t be more wrong about Jordan Peterson. He describes his 12 rules as a list he made for himself, which he thought might be useful for others, not as some sort of manifesto. He is a strong supporter of individual freedom and achievement. He has been roundly attacked by the left and their thought-police dogs.

Reply to  michael burns
December 23, 2019 1:25 pm

what is CW referring too: Culture Wars, Climate Wars, Culture of Words, Culture of Wealth, Civil Warfare………………….

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  michael burns
January 2, 2020 8:18 pm


what is CW referring too: Culture Wars, Climate Wars, Culture of Words, Culture of Wealth, Civil Warfare………………….


CV stands for: curriculum vitae

Dave O.
December 23, 2019 6:39 am

Alarmists are always forward thinking, skeptics are always controversial it seems.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 23, 2019 6:44 am

Hope Sylvi will have a domino effect on the other Scandinavian energy ministers.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 25, 2019 2:01 am

I sincerely hope this will have an effect on the other EU (and Swiss) ministers…

Ron Long
December 23, 2019 6:48 am

Good for Norway, but it’s one step forward and two back, because Germany just hauled the train company that “insulted” Greta by correcting her lie, into court to defend their actions. Derangement is the new normal.

Frank Garrett
Reply to  Ron Long
December 23, 2019 7:10 am

Her holiness Greta will not be trifled with.

Reply to  Frank Garrett
December 24, 2019 3:52 am

Id fill her entire xmas stocking with coal..not just one lump

John M
Reply to  Ron Long
December 23, 2019 7:55 am

Virtue signaling doesn’t stop Europe from building a nasty pipeline to import nasty fossil fuels from the reputed home of election meddlers.

“The Nord Stream 2 pipeline starts in Russia and passes through Finnish, Swedish, Danish and German marine areas before going ashore at the German coast. It can transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.”

No mention of St. Greta. And note Norway is not a part of it, but guess who’ll be demonized.

Reply to  Ron Long
December 23, 2019 8:38 am

Ron long

Germany is lost, its a country which is going down in every sense of the word, economic, cultural and its own german values…

If a train company can’t even speak the truth, then what chance has the common man/woman got??

Reply to  Ron Long
December 23, 2019 5:06 pm

“Train company” hauled into court? The German railway Deutsche Bahn is owned 100% by the Federal Republic of Germany.

December 23, 2019 6:57 am

Listhaug seems to be a true conservative. comments about terrorists

Jonathan Haidt has examined the moral roots of liberals and conservatives. link He finds five dimensions to morality. The liberals consider only two. The most succinct summation I have found is this:

A liberal, finding a bee in the hive suffering from injustice, is motivated more or less exclusively by the desire to get justice for the bee. A conservative, being partially driven by the Care/Harm foundation, also desires to alleviate the injustice, but tries to find a solution that also contemplates the survival of the hive itself. link

That pretty much sums up Listhaug’s comments about terrorists as well as the left’s reaction to those comments. Haidt’s analysis seems to have predictive value.

December 23, 2019 6:59 am

O&G is “one of Norway’s top exports”? one source says 62% for 2018, maybe try “leading export by far”

Reply to  Bob
December 23, 2019 7:38 am


Tiny population, massive oil and gas resources, combined with a reduced domestic need for said resources. Not for nothing has Norway been referred to as the Kuwait of Europe.

Reply to  Fanakapan
December 23, 2019 1:03 pm

There is simply NO basis; absolutely NONE, upon which Norway and Kuwait may be compared. ZERO. Anyone drawing that parallel has simply not lived and worked in Norway…or Kuwait.

Reply to  KO
December 23, 2019 3:52 pm

The both have small populations and lots of hydrocarbons underground.

Reply to  MarkW
December 24, 2019 5:29 am

Lies; damn lies; and then there are statistics.

Reply to  Fanakapan
December 24, 2019 3:47 am

golly then the eu missed dissing them in their listing “nasty” fossil fuel” producers/miners etc
how remiss of brussels.
so is the norwegian govt going to tax itself heaps more for carbon sins?
or divest itself close down the evil fuel suppy?
ha ha ha seeing as its what keeps their govt n system working I doubt it!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 24, 2019 1:50 pm

Oz: Norway is not part of the EU. They have old trade and economic treaties with countries making up the EU that are still honored.

Joseph Zorzin
December 23, 2019 7:12 am

The Scandinavians are also smart about the use of wood for energy. It’s a big part of their renewable energy. In America, there is now a movement to stop all use of wood- not just for energy but for all uses- in order to lock up all the forests.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 23, 2019 7:38 am

Will the US then stop the nonsense of felling large areas of forest to feed Drax?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  StephenP
December 24, 2019 4:38 am

No forests in America are felled to produce wood chips for Drax. The chips are made from the lowest value trees- the better trees go to sawmills or paper mills. Overall, about 3% of the wood cut in the American southeast goes into pellets for energy. The idea that vast areas of wilderness are being cleared for energy is absurd. For one thing, there is no wilderness in the American southeast. Also, much of the forestry work in that area isn’t clear cutting- it’s thinning.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 23, 2019 8:12 am

If that comes to be, then the DRAX Power Station will not receive any wood pellets from the US?
Ah, forgot the new HVDC cable planned between Denmark and UK, then Denmark and UK can go into the darkness together, how empathic.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 23, 2019 10:40 am

Russia will have no compunctions about logging Siberia for pellets. And it’s much closer.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  icisil
December 24, 2019 4:41 am

Logging isn’t “done for pellets” because pellets is the lowest value product. Forestry work produces many products including logs for sawmills to make construction material and furniture and other wood products we all love. And, forestry work produces pulp for paper. What’s left is otherwise of no value if not used for pellets. It is the least profitable product- essentially, it’s a byproduct of good forestry work- which is not to say most forestry work is well done- it isn’t- so the goal should be to make all forestry work nicely done, not to stop it- because who wants to live in a cement house and sit on plastic furniture?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  icisil
December 24, 2019 1:57 pm

icisil: Closer? Did you know that the distance from Chicago to Moscow is the same as the distance from Moscow to Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific Coast!! Besides, the Carolinas are on the seacoast – cheaper transpo

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 24, 2019 3:51 am

well that’ll make for some ripper fires then!
and it takes more fossil fuels to produce steel frames for homes,
or solid plastic furniture if they dont use wood or wood waste MDF or chipboard muck.
and when that stuff burns iits far more toxic than wood is.

those that want all forests locked up..should be forced to live right IN them

December 23, 2019 7:28 am

White monsters. A Green blight… A return to rational, with a flourish.

December 23, 2019 7:34 am

Never a dull moment:
The new Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy has also been portraited by a street artist:

Straight forward as she is, she attracts all quasi-radicals’ and other politically corrects’ anger, and stays forever young on their top hate list 🙂

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Telehiv
December 23, 2019 12:19 pm

Well she shouldn’t be ashamed of being portrayed with a very nice “figure.” 😆

For most of 2019, Sylvi Listhaug was Minister for the elderly and public health where she made the very un-PC remark, “People should be allowed to smoke, drink and eat as much red meat as much as they want. The authorities may like to inform, but people know pretty much what is healthy and what is not healthy, I think.”

“As Minister of Migration and Integration (2015-2017), Listhaug reduced the number of asylum seekers arriving in Norway from 30,000 in 2015 to 2,000 in 2017.[1] Although the drop in asylum seekers was partially linked to an overall fall in traffic to Europe, Listhaug was attributed for proposing and securing support for many new regulations and overseeing the tightening of the system, which resulted in a 19-year low in number of new asylum arrivals.”

She made a comment on her Facebook page that she ultimately was forced to resign her 2018 Minister of Justice post after only several months in the job:
“In March 2018 Listhaug posted a Facebook message claiming that (the) Labour Party ‘cares more about the rights of terrorists than national security’ following disagreement on a parliamentary vote about whether the state should be able to withdraw the citizenship of threats to national security. ”

We need many more sane politicians like her here in US.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 23, 2019 2:31 pm

Damen er veldig pen, men hennes tenkning er enda vakrere!
The lady is very pretty but her thinking is even more beautiful!

I hope that she doesn’t face another witch hunt.

Alan Robertson
December 23, 2019 7:38 am

Norway’s Socialists haven’t yet completely sidelined those who realize that when their vital oil and gas industry can no longer pay the bills, Norway becomes the next Venezuela.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
December 23, 2019 10:48 am

Worse. Apart from its highest peaks, Venezuela doesn’t freeze.

Reply to  icisil
December 23, 2019 10:59 am

Oh wait, n/m. With all of that hydro and wood Norway’s not going to freeze.

Tom Abbott
December 23, 2019 7:56 am

From the article: “Then in August this year, the new oil minister told Norwegian broadcaster TV2 that Norway does not need wind power, and referred to wind turbines as “white monsters.”

Well, what do you know, a person with a little common sense is appointed to a political position in a European nation.

That’s a cause for celebration because it doesn’t happen very often.

Joel Snider
December 23, 2019 8:00 am

‘Controversial’ means ‘upsets intolerant progressives.’

December 23, 2019 8:12 am

Do note Norway subsidises EVs and a large part of new vehicles in Norway are EVs…

Note also Norway’s fossil fuel divestments…

Is this a step forward for the skeptic viewpoint? No.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
December 23, 2019 9:10 pm

The Norwegians can afford to subsidise EV’s on the back of huge profits from oil and gas exports. No oil, no gas, no profits, no subsidies, no EV’s.

And we have discussed the “divestment” before here at WUWT, it’s so insignificant (A few million in a multi-trillion dollar industry) in the overall size of Norwegian oil and gas exports it’s not even worth mentioning.

December 23, 2019 8:16 am

“hydropower accounts for 95 percent of electricity production” – Now that’s renewable!! Not only renewable but most importantly “renewable WITH storage”!! Who needs wind with that much hydro?

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  TRM
December 23, 2019 9:49 am

“Who needs wind with that much hydro?” they don’t, except for virtue signalling.

Ten years ago I found via the CIA FactBook that Norway had the highest electricity consumption per capita in the world. I am almost certain it was because Norway had a huge production of of aluminum, which uses lots of clean water and lots of electricity. Something that Norway has.

Tim Crome
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
January 3, 2020 3:38 am

The wind is for the German market, with foreign investors reaping profits from Norwegian State subsidies. Norway does not need this wind power, except to virtue signal, and there is actually a large and increasingly vocal lobby group trying to stop onshore wind now – Motvind (Norwegian for Against Wind).

Kjetil Nesheim
Reply to  Tim Crome
January 3, 2020 6:23 am

“The wind is for the German market”.
No, very little goes there since Norway in fact do not export much electric power. For 2019 it was nothing at all. Norway imported the same amount as was exported for a net zero.
All that is left is the 2,5% part off total production and virtue signalling. That is very costly when looking at the cost. We could get a 2.5% increase for a fraction of the cost by upgrading older hydro electric installations.

December 23, 2019 8:20 am

For all the claims of Scandinavia being Socialists the truth is they are Capitalists with a heavy dose of welfare afforded by their economic ideology. Norway has mostly “free energy” due to their geography and uses fossil fuel exports to prop up their welfare, not Socialism.

Reply to  markl
December 23, 2019 11:30 am

It’s crazy expensive to visit and stay there.

Konstantinos Pappas
Reply to  Derg
December 24, 2019 3:21 am

Yes, the place is very cold.
They have to import almost every single food source, except for fish.
They have to triple and quadruple the energy for everything in comparison with warmer countries like Spain or Greece.
Financially speaking, the place can’t be cheap.
And they can’t afford to be poor with such horrible climatic conditions.
Texans or Californians tend to neglect how uninhabitable places like Norway are.

December 23, 2019 8:24 am

Apparently the truth is controversial.

Joel O’Bryan
December 23, 2019 8:52 am

Told the EU to get lost decades ago. Controls its own immigration, currency, and economy. What novel concepts.

michael burns
December 23, 2019 9:22 am

She looks like a nice Viking girl, smart able to take over for wispy beta who is willing to throw the baby out with the bath water.
I can hear the echo of voices with money, in this “honorable” decision.

Luisa Neubauer
December 23, 2019 9:25 am

Controverse? Why?

December 23, 2019 9:29 am

Controversial as in educated and not a spreader of agenda science.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 23, 2019 10:08 am

Funny though, in the Norwegian capital Oslo virtually all cars are battery cars. In a way it makes a little bit of sense, as Norway, like France, actually has very clean electricity production. The drawbacks I see, are the batteries and the bloody cold weather during winter. Last time I went on ski holiday in Norway with some friend, we were glad we were traveling in a diesel 4×4. For all 150 miles from Oslo to the destination in the mountains, there were no filling station and a third of the distance we had to use snow chains. Not sure if battery car would have juice enough for two times 150 miles with heater on full blast and through snow.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 23, 2019 11:47 am

Battery powered cars are not viable choices in cold climates. They’re lower energy density relative to petroleum. They are poorly suited for transportation. They’re toxic from recovery to reclamation. They are better suited for fixed and small-scale applications, and to shift pollution from their applied environment, notably high-density population centers.

Konstantinos Pappas
Reply to  n.n
December 24, 2019 3:27 am

Electric vehicles should be the major means of transport within urban areas.
They are not (yet?) reliable for long-distance transportation.

December 23, 2019 1:40 pm

Great news from Norway. Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to all in the Engine Room at WUWT.

Tim Crome
December 24, 2019 2:01 am

Having lived in the country for over 35 years I have seen how all political parties, including Sylvie Lysthaugs FrP, have moved to say that there is a climate crisis and Norway needs to go in front as an example to other countries in solving this crisis. The Norwegian government is always made up of a bunch of small parties in a coalition where the extreme views, such as that climate change is natural, are held in check by the other parties.

Some years ago I had dinner with one of the previous oil & energy ministers from the same party, before he took the role, and a bunch of other well educated people. All of us were clearly skeptics. Once he came in office he changed tune completely, to avoid upsetting the political applecart, and pushed wind hard.

Norway is also the homeland of Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was instrumental in starting this whole circus, and who has stated that it is immoral to question the science! She still has a lot of political power in Norway, especially within the largest political party, Labour.

Norway is a very wealthy country, as a result of whaling, shipping, hydroelectric power and most recently oil & gas. Most people are left leaning and support the consensus view about anything! The wealth has also allowed Norway to virtue signal with two of the most expensive ways of reducing CO2 emissions ever; electric cars and powering offshore o&g platforms with electricity from land. (The Norwegian negotiators at Kyoto promised to match EU emissions reductions but forgot that Norway is 99% hydro powered!)

So, don’t expect any changes in official Norwegian policy any time soon. Remember Norway produces gas for Europe and the climate scare is a great way of marketing this product, coal is still cheaper but if a high CO2 tax were to be introduced Norwegian gas could be competitive.

December 24, 2019 5:42 am

“Once he came in office he changed tune completely, to avoid upsetting the political applecart, and pushed wind hard.”

This is the typical pattern. Up and coming politicians will have some moral integrity but it is disposable at any moment. Hell, it’s true in any power hierarchy– all integrity is expendable for the purpose of success and renown.

Hence the term “spineless”, used to describe politicians in particular.

michael hart
December 24, 2019 7:20 pm

The guy certainly has a great job. Better than being Minister of Sand in Egypt.

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
December 24, 2019 7:32 pm

She. Sorry.

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