IN my absence last week we had a real “hate the Green Party” week, so now let’s even the balance.
To Martin Fletcher. Apart from where you blame the Greens for all our problems, I agree totally with everything you say about electric cars. Currently unless you use your vehicle purely as a local runabout and never travel more than your car’s battery range between home stops, a totally electric car has major problems, and your choice of a hybrid the only practical solution. But that is not the car’s problem, and I do blame the Conservatives and the voters who keep them in power, because until we have a government that is not totally committed to the fossil fuel cartels we will never be free from the crippling costs and restrictive regulations that are halting our progress to a fully alternative power system.
Twenty four years ago Greenpeace commissioned a science-based report that if implemented could have resulted by now in a fully renewable national energy supply that would have ensured that our present high fuel costs and inflation would never have happened. But we didn’t and it has. The Greens can’t change that on their own, we have one MP in a Parliament of over 600 with a 59 government majority. Even with a PR voting system instead of the out-dated FPP system our government is clinging on to we would only have 11.
But that’s another story — back to electric cars. Home charging, I agree lines of pre-1900 terraced housing are a problem, as indeed are modern multi-storey apartment blocks, but not unsolvable ones, (I’ve thought of one while preparing this letter), but as you say the installation costs would require Government finance and control of electricity, and probably a return to proper police patrolling to avoid theft and vandalism, and with the present government that is not going to happen. So over to you Martin, not a Green party pushing too hard, but a Government committed to foot dragging and pocket lining rather than progress.
As to Clive Phillips. The problem I have with the queries of you and your climate denying employers is the time it takes to unearth the obscure sources of your misinformation. The one about the Maldives comes from a local paper in Canberra, who misquoted a speech by a UN official named Noel Brown. What Brown really said was that unless the world solved the present global warming problem by the year 2000, then the Maldives would eventually disappear under rising sea levels. Quite a different scenario, but an ideal speech for the climate deniers to distort into the lies needed for their purposes. And if you’re interested, the next place to be totally swallowed by rising sea levels will be Jakarta in Indonesia, not the Maldives, and not until around 2050 at the present sea rise rates.
Ice Ages aren’t cold spells that happen every few years, they last for thousands. The one that peaked 11,500 years ago we are still in the final years of even now. What we really have is glaciers disappearing permanently and Himalayan melt water increasing so fast it’s causing major problems in the lowlands, and both occurrences measurable.
Energy transfers between us and France are a two way deal, this year we are exporting to them, two years ago they exported four times as much to us; the change has probably something to do with the £250 million worth of Russian oil we have imported since the start of the “embargo”. And Germany is phasing out coal by 2030, so why should they be building power stations they will never use?
The CO2 argument you devoted half a letter to before. Carbon is a natural element and in the ground is an essential to plant life. Dug up and burnt as we do to make energy and plastics it becomes CO and CO2, suffocating gases which were once so abundant it took 200 million years of the forestation that we no longer have to absorb it and reduce it to a level that air breathing life could start to exist. Just one tenth of it is all that plant life needs, which is why it’s accumulating so fast.
The World Economic Forum in Davos, your description will get no argument from us, so why I and the Greens should be queueing for it is a little bewildering.
For anyone wondering, LGBTQQIP2SAA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, 2 Spirit, Androgynous and Asexual. Never heard of it till I saw it in Clive’s letter, and neither had a couple of transgender associates of mine (not Green Party), until I researched it. You and I must move in different circles, Clive. Actually it was apparently conceived as a result of a discussion in a meeting of the Middlesborough Town Council, believe it or not.
And that, I think, says it all.
Charles David Foulstone, Rotherham Green Party