Yes we can- greenwise

If you feel helpless in the face of the news from Copenhagen and the general failure to get the Green Revolution going; turned off by the new fatalists and prophets of doom ; depressed that much recycling is being diverted back to landfill and asking – God – do we have to have more nuclear? – read this from the doyen of environment correspondents Geoffrey Lean, on the good practical ideas which look like working – provided the politicians have some guts for a change.

  • The Raven

    Saddening to see no debate on this issue.

    Brian, I liked Lean’s article. In particular, I have always been an advocate of removing motor tax and increasing fuel duty by a commensurate amount.

    Less paperwork, less need for so many souls at DVLA, and you only ever pay for what you use.

  • The Worm

    Response to The Raven:

    Only trouble with such a good fuel tax idea is the lack of ability in the UK to really get to grips with environmental issues. A lot of talk but no real guts as no votes in it. Not like the teutonic countries (UK being Anglo-celtic)where they tend to be ahead of us in most social and technological matters. The RoI at least realised a bit late that it needed a LUAS but why this short-termism again and again?

    It was interesting that the Daily Mail had a recent “ban the plastic bag campaign” (where is that now?) but surely missing the biggest issue for future generations -the very limited amount of oil and gas. I would leave a discussion about biodiversity loss to another post by the way.

    Future generations will be amazed that we used a valuable substance like oil for fuel and will wonder how an advanced society like the UK had a government that didn’t take hard scientific and economic advice and get on with nuclear despite our misgivings. Perhaps on a wider front it merely reflects the lack of scientists in the front row of any political party in the UK or indeed RoI when you think of it. At this point in history we need less lawyers and more scientists in our political elite. The rising tide of creationism and other mongers of fatalisitic mumbo jumbo are a risk to the advancement of human society. The green side works best when it lobbies in a positive and well informed way that gives hope not fear to potential voters. The old fundie/realpolitik split is one thing for greenies but they also need to have valid scientific argument. To be fair though a fair percentage of NI MLAs would rather seek advice from the chap with the big white beard on a cloud above- and we vote for these deluded fools?

    Still, I quite enjoy a nice coal fire and agree that my impact on the world is minimal compared to the 2 billion people collectively in India and China. But I live in Belfast, a city that helped to fire up the industrial age- one which could help unfire in a new greener eco-technological age, low on waste and good on sustainable resources – not a bad idea when you live on an island. And hey good for the ECOnomy too!

    Surely the scary thing I note on slugger is that most environmental issues are rarely discussed seriously- at least Pete B tries but we need more Petes in this world if we are going to avoid going back to living in holes in the ground.