Monday, July 30, 2012

whatever happened to the “greenest government ever”?

You’ll no doubt recall David Cameron’s claim at the last election that his would be the “greenest government ever”.
Isn’t it funny how the PM and, in particular, his Chancellor seem to have conveniently forgotten such pledges once they were elected.
A report in this morning’s Guardian refers to a scientific study set up to address climate change sceptics’ concerns about whether human-induced global warming is occurring has concluded that “humans are almost entirely the cause”.
The study suggested there would be 1.5 degrees of warming over land in the next 50 years.
Yes, I know, you’ve heard it all before, but the dire consequences of our continued failure to address climate change cannot be over-stressed. If humanity cannot get its emissions to peak by 2020, there is little chance of holding down temperature rises to under 2C by 2100. Major changes to our planet will then occur. Deserts will spread, ice caps melt, sea levels rise, coastal zones will be inundated and hundreds of millions of people will be left homeless. Rising temperatures will melt the world's regions of permafrost, releasing more carbon dioxide and methane, which will raise temperatures even further.
Last week saw NASA report about the unprecedented melting of most of the Greenland ice sheet surface.
Meanwhile, Mr Osborne – who clearly knows far more about climate change than all the experts (and determined to redirect whatever green policies the coalition might have had) – recently told parliament: "I am worried about the combined impact of the green policies adopted not just in Britain, but also by the European Union … if we burden [British businesses] with endless social and environmental goals – however worthy in their own right – then not only will we not achieve those goals, but the businesses will fail, jobs will be lost, and our country will be poorer."
In other words, let’s put climate change issues on the back burner!
The trouble is this particular back burner just happens to be gas-powered… 
This extract is from another recentreport from the Guardian:
“The Treasury has been accused of undermining government attempts to secure the future energy requirements for the country and improve the green electricity supply, by meddling in its energy bill, which MPs now say is ‘unworkable’. Tim Yeo, the Tory chair of the Commons energy and climate change select committee and an ex-minister, told the Guardian that George Osborne is sacrificing the green energy plans in order to placate Conservative backbenchers, many of whom are campaigning against wind farms and new pylons in their constituencies. He said: "They are working particularly to target some Conservative backbenchers, pursuing a policy designed to prove that they are not going to get into so-called costly green initiatives. It is extraordinary.
Yeo's criticisms came as a letter came to light sent by Osborne to Ed Davey, making clear that unabated gas power should remain a dominant part of the UK's energy mix until 2030. This position, the culmination of more than 18 months of backroom maneouvrings by the gas industry and the chancellor and his advisors, would be fatal for the UK's climate change targets, but would play well to Tory backbenchers”.
The Chancellor is effectively attempting to tear up the Climate Change Act and fire the trigger on a full scale dash for gas. In addition, Osborne has (understandably, as far as I’m concerned, and NOT before time!) been receiving a LOT of criticism – from the business community and others - over his handling of the economy.
For goodness sake Mr Cameron, get a grip and let’s see you beginning to fulfil your green election promises. It’s NOT about political point-scoring, it’s about something FAR more important than that… my grandchildren’s future.

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