The surest sign that some high-profile initiative is going wrong is when it’s rebranded. We’ve finally noticed that green energy production is basically subsidy farming, and we’re paying the subsidy. So the fanatics in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (slogan: We want more of the first, and less of the second. Or is it the other way round?) have ditched green energy for “affordable” energy.

This is a dead giveaway. It’s in the same category as the security man asking “Can I help you?” when he means the opposite. Affordable green energy may exist one day, but not any day soon. Poor old Hapless Huhne may still be in the driving seat at the department, but his assertion that his green-about-the-gills energy policy will deliver bills “lower than they otherwise would have been” is claptrap.

Green energy is hugely expensive, so its advocates at the IEA have been reduced to selling it as a diversification of sources. The fact is, as Reuters’ John  Kemp points out, that “Political will to tackle climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions, never very strong, has all but disappeared across much of North America and Western Europe in the last twelve months.”

It only persists in isolated pockets, including inside Huhne’s head, as he desperately tries to square greenery with reality. He might read Nigel Lawson’s response to his latest policy announcements for a better perspective. The lights in the UK will be kept on by shale gas, either found indigenously, or imported at low prices, reflecting the emergence of massive supplies elsewhere. If our dear Energy Secretary would only grasp that gas is part of the solution, not the problem, he may yet save us from 100,000 windmills, and himself from the chop.