Monday, 18 January 2010

Alone Again Or

Disturbing but not at all surprising report in the FT of a survey of Tory candidates standing in the 240 most winnable of their target seats. Of the 144 PPCs who responded, “reducing Britain’s carbon footprint” was the lowest priority for them out of 19 policy options put before them.

Asked to rate each policy on a scale of one to five, where five was the most important to them personally, the candidates gave the climate change issue an average rating of 2.8, significantly below “more help for marriage”, 3.6, and “protecting the English countryside”, 3.57. They rated “cutting red tape” as second only to tackling the budget deficit in terms of priorities, suggesting resistance to environmental regulation.

Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home is quoted as saying: ‘This is a hugely controversial issue for the Conservative party. There’s almost no support among centre-right think-tanks for all this climate change, so the party has got to be incredibly careful. I’m confident the sceptics are going to win. It’s for Cameron to decide how he’s going to get out of this – he’s lost the battle already.’

So is Cameron going to take a stand and try to whip his party into shape behind him? Or is he going to quietly let this one go? Judging from his near silence on green issues in recent months, even during Copenhagen week, it looks as if he's already given up the fight. (And that's being generous enough to assume that he was ever particularly passionate about the cause in the first place... Which I doubt.)


Bristol Dave said...


Until someone can provide me with not only satisfactory proof that we should be making punitive or (more likely) expensive changes to our lifestyle in the name of "reducing our carbon footprint", but perhaps far more importantly, a satisfactory way of testing whether these changes are having the desired effect, (which nobody seems to be able to) then I'm not sure we should!

Nobody seems to have a Plan B.

What if we continue with this obsession with CO2 and find that regardless of massive cuts in CO2 emissions, nothing happens and climate and everything else carries on as it has been? What do we do then? Cut more? At what point do we then admit that it doesn't work? And what if we make attempts to "reduce our carbon footprint" and things get better? How do we know it was down to the cuts we made, and not some other extraneous reason (meaning that if it happens again, the cuts may not work, and that the measures we did take were a waste of time and (more importantly) money)? Until these questions can be answered I'm not sure "reducing our carbon footprint" should be our number one priority, but alarmingly, nobody seems to be too bothered about the answers to these questions, which proves to me that it's at best overly-reactionary, and at worst, a front for a rather more sinister end.

Glenn Vowles said...

Seems to me that you ask for certainty, or something near it, Bristol Dave. This is unreasonable.

Dont you insure your house, car, life and possibly health?? Given the potential for very large effects from climate change should we not insure ourselves against them by acting according to the best evidence we have?

Spare me the conspiracy stuff - it detracts from otherwise plausible arguments that you raise.

Bristol Dave said...

Is it unreasonable that I find it alarming that many (including yourself, presumably) advocate spending seemingly limitless amounts of money - money that it seems will be taken from the public, willing or not, through introduction and expansion of various taxes - on pursuing the reduction of CO2 emissions, without any test plan to see whether it's effective way of stopping climate change? Or without a plan B in case it's not?