Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

UK looks likely to back the wrong horse

with 12 comments

Sad to say it but, having reached cross-party consensus and implemented the Climate Change Act in 2008, the UK has now:
— failed to honour the promise this contained;
— failed to listen to the advice of its own scientific experts;
— failed to dismantle the subsidies that support fossil-fuel production;
— failed to provide certainty for investors in renewable energy (at any scale); and
— failed to take a lead to encourage other countries also to work towards a sustainable future.

I therefore think John Ashton, a former Foreign Office climate expert, was right to conclude recently that no-one who has voted for this new Energy Bill can be considered to be taking the threat of anthropogenic climate disruption seriously.

Here is the latest email from Greenpeace UK summarising what happened in the UK’s Parliament yesterday:

The vote was this afternoon and was amazingly close. But we lost.

MPs have just rejected a clean power future – and I thought you’d want to be the first to know.

It’s been a tense few days as we waited for MPs to vote on a clean power target in the Energy Bill, and it’s not the outcome we all wanted.

But there is a silver lining.

Thousands of us told our MPs to back clean electricity, and as a result the rebellion against George Osborne’s dirty, costly dash for gas continued to grow steadily right up to the vote.

We lost by just 23 votes. That’s the third closest vote since the election. If just 12 more MPs had switched sides, we’d have won.

Osborne may have won this round, but the Energy Bill will now go to the House of Lords. There will be another vote, which gives us another chance to secure our clean energy future.

The battle for Britain’s energy future is far from over.

Over the next few days, we’ll be thinking about where to take the campaign next. But right now we’re recruiting for our core volunteer lobbyists – the people who go and challenge their MPs face-to-face, in their constituency offices.

We need as many of these volunteers as possible to make sure we get the political impact we need. You’ll be trained for free and given all the support you need to become an effective lobbyist – for the good guys.

Let’s use today’s news to make us stronger. Volunteer for the Greenpeace lobbying network now.

[Greenpeace UK]

P.S. In two days, 21 people will be sentenced for occupying one of George Osborne’s dirty gas power stations. Some of them are facing prison sentences. Please follow [i.e. ‘Like’] the Facebook page of Greenpeace’s No Dash for Gas campaign for updates.

12 Responses

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  1. Do you know the story of the king and the milk tax? A king asks for his subjects to come one night to pay the milk tax which is collected in a big vat. It occurs to the subjects that they could actually tip a bucket of water into the vat and keep the milk (who would know?). In the morning the king inspects the vat only to find it is full of water.


    5 June 2013 at 13:18

    • I am afraid, Jules, that this is a bit cryptic for me. We need politicians to take a few difficult decisions that will be of benefit to all in the long-term. Sadly, all we have got is politicians that take easy decisions that will be of benefit to a few in the short-term.

      Martin Lack

      5 June 2013 at 13:39

      • But what about China? they are so big and we are so small so our 0.001 % co2 saving is meaningless so why don’t we just not bother- or any other variation of ‘I’m not a denier, I believe AGW but – the science needs more research, there has been no warming, the science isn’t settled, we need to remain competitive- yada yada yada.

        So if we pop water in to the vat who will know?


        5 June 2013 at 22:38

  2. Perhaps we should class Osborne as akin to Neville Chamberlain, i.e. another appeaser, but this time an appeaser of fossil fuel lobbyists (some of these need ‘outing’) and NIMBY anti-wind power agitators.

    Rex Tillerson Exxon CEO has recently been quoted as saying ‘What Good Is It To Save The Planet If Humanity Suffers?’ and such narrow thinking is on display from those indicated in my first paragraph. Is Osborne really that stupid or is it simply ignorance from listening to the likes of the Lindzen ‘cheerleaders?

    Lionel A

    5 June 2013 at 15:42

    • Thanks Lionel. Rex Tillerson clearly needs to go back to school and, as they say in the USA, “do the math”. (see this comment [and those that follow it] on the Think Progress website).

      In short, sticking our heads in the sand is not an option and the longer we wait to take action the more impossible that action becomes.
      The CO2 Fairy does not exist [yet] (1 Feb. 2013).

      No, Osborne is not stupid but, yes, he has been duped into doing nothing (helpful) by people like Lindzen.
      Policy inaction is the aim of those that dispute global warming (28 Oct. 2011).

      Martin Lack

      5 June 2013 at 15:56

      • Tillerson would gain little from a return to the classroom for he obviously lacks clear thinking skills. Now Osborne OTOH should have a mandatory course in science with a must pass mark for a test at the end else it will ‘ground-hog day’ for him ’till he grasps it. Same goes for many others who should know better, this dumbed down parliament is not only rotten but stinking ignorant on this topic too. Except that is Ed Davey gets some of the picture. How long before they throw some mud in his direction to get him ousted?

        First that brouhaha that pulled Vince Cable into line,

        then the Chris Huhne take down – sure he was a naughty boy but what made Price change her mind (some thinkers would like to know),

        and then Mike Hancock – What is really going on there, a case to answer or a witch hunt?’

        will the pattern develop further with Davey in trouble?

        Watch this space.

        Lionel A

        5 June 2013 at 16:15

        • I think your have spent too much time reading about conspiracy theories, Lionel. Is it time you took a break to enjoy some fresh air…? Vicky Price was angry about being divorced and Isabel Oakeshott misled her into thinking she would not be found guilty of perverting the course of justice herself.

          Martin Lack

          5 June 2013 at 16:32

  3. Great post, Martin.

    Paul Handover

    5 June 2013 at 17:52

  4. […] 2013/06/05: LoE: UK looks likely to back the wrong horse […]

  5. […] reduction targets can be considered to be taking the need to reduce carbon emissions seriously (see here).  Sadly, by doing so, they are going against the advice of the vast majority of relevant experts […]

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