Friday, December 29, 2006

Tories Hail Green Hero Al Gore...And Arnie S

I know it's a light news week, but after the release of a list of Great Britons which included Aneurin Bevan but not Winston Churchill, you might have thought that a lesson would have been learned. Oh no. Hot off the press is the Conservative Party's Envorinmental Heroes and Zeros of 2006. Among the heroes of Keely Hazell, a page 3 girl "for going Green in 2006 and for offering helpful tips (that's TIPS...) on how to help fight global warming".

Another Conservative hero is Al Gore "for his film An Inconvenient Truth, which brought home the threat of climate change to millions of people". He is joined on the list by Sir Nicholas Stern "for authoritatively placing an economic cost on the threat of climate change and for asserting the need for action in the clearest terms". Arnold Schwarzenegger is a hero "for making California the first US State to put greenhouse gas reductions into State law". And just for good measure they thrown in Labour MP Colin Challen "for his energetic work as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group". That should do him a lot of good in his reselection battle with Ed Balls...

Anti heroes in the list include Exxon "for continuing to fund 'think tanks' which deny that human activity is contributing to climate change", Ryan Air's Michael O'Leary, the Competitive Enterprise Institute "for responding to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" with an ad campaign with the strap-line " Carbon Dioxide: they call it pollution. We call it Life"". They are joined by Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander "for an aviation policy that is totally inconsistent with the Government’s supposed attempts to tackle climate change".

This, of course, begs the question: how would a Conservative Aviation policy be different? The implication is that aircraft will be taxed out of the skies as cheap fares are consigned to the dustbin of history. I hope when the Quality of Life policy commission reports later in 2007 that it will look at green incentives rather than a whole plethora of green taxes, as Dizzy suggests HERE and HERE...

"There is no incentive present when you use tax to punish people into changing their ways. Genuine incentives do not use negativity (in this case financial pain) as a means to an end. Attempting to draw a distinction between increased tax and incentives is like arguing in favour of torture because it provides an incentive to talk. Incentives are positive benefits that are acheived from a neutral status-quo position. You do not move the goalposts then ask for money as an incentive to move them back, there is only one name for that, and it's blackmail. To argue as Miliband does is at best disingenuous, and at worst intellectually fatuous."

Shadow Environment Secretary Peter Ainsworth comments on the list:

“2006 was the year when the environment took its rightful place at the centre of British
politics. It became a fact not worth disputing that climate change is an enormous issue requiring urgent action if we are to prevent an ecological, economic and social catastrophe, and if the UK is to reap the potential rewards of green growth. This list is by no means comprehensive, but takes a look at some of those who have been a part of the solution in 2006, and some who are still part of the problem – in the hope that they will do better next
year.”


Let me make it clear. Al Gore is no hero of mine. Never was. Never will be. Arnie, on the other hand...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keeley sooo deserve it

David Whelbourn said...

Politicians could act by removing tax from products that use the new low energy LED light sources and the low wattage compact fluorescent lights (CFL). Then after a suitable period ban high wattage incandescent filament type bulbs. Removing tax will speed up adoption of low energy technology and banning the wasteful high wattage bulbs will reduce energy demands. Lighting accounts for 13% of household. Apparently if the UK switched to CFL lighting a whopping £4.8 Billion would be cut from fuel bills. Just need some politicians with guts

verity said...

'Another Conservative hero is Al Gore "for his film An Inconvenient Truth, which brought home the threat of climate change to millions of people".'

Yeah, right. I remember seeing people queued up around the block to join the millions of other people who went to see the movie. Uh-huh.

proud to be anonymous said...

Couldn't see Mary Louisa Toynbee on the list anywhere. So what went wrong?

Mr Eugenides said...

The lovely Keeley is all very well - I certainly wouldn't kick her off my blog - but do we really need to hear her opinions on global warming?

Anyway, given that she spends most of her time in the buff, should she not welcome the trend?...

Paul Burgin said...

Iain is this because Al Gore just doesn't have the pithy one-liners that Arnie has, but then at least Gore gets his teeth stuck into the pressing issues of the day and bothered to make a documentary about the challenges that enviromental issues bring. It would have been easier for him to make a film about Bush's foreign policy on Iraq a la Michael Moore, and brought in a ready return at the box office as well!

verity said...

Gore gets his teeth stuck into non-pressing non-issues. He spent two years on the hanging chads.

BTW, if global warming is caused by carbon emissions, how did the Ice Age go away?

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Why no green tax cuts?

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Arseholes.


That's all I have to say on the matter.

Lerxst said...

And thus, the Cameron Conservative party hits a new low. It's become so unsound, LibDems will be defecting to them soon...

f0ul said...

Green issues are only a big deal to politicians who realise they have very little power to discuss and change anything else!
It does seem strange that the small issue that we are yet to work out is what is truly causing the globe to warm up, but we have already worked out that Tax is the answer!

I guess its all in the saying, no problem, no funding!

Peter from Putney said...

"I know it's a light news week" - This being so, Iain and after your myriad of Best this and Best that for 2006, how about a thread for everyone's best hopes (and maybe worst fears) for the New Year - including your own?

Anonymous said...

The Environment is simply the most pressing issue any politician will have to deal with.

Tax,whilst negative, is the simplest way to effect a change.

If people willingly contribute to the destruction of the environment they should pay for it.

Anonymous said...

David Whelbourn said...
"banning the wasteful high wattage bulbs will reduce energy demands."

Those low energy things don't work properly with dimmer switches. Though obviously that wouldn't matter in a tasteless eco-hovel.

Neil Craig said...

It is disgraceful that the Tories should attack Exxon for funding sceptical research. Sceptical research is what science is supposed to be about. There are grants galore for pro-warming researchers (or indeed Stern who never did any research on the theory).

To say that politically incorrect scientific theories should not be studied is an attack on science & on individual freedom.

On a less serious note Gore also said smoking was a major cause of global warming. This does not appear to have required any research. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/9/28/220035.shtml?s=lh

Anonymous said...

The original low light bulbs are just folded up flouresent tubes. They warm up slowly and give off a light which is horrible. My ex flat mate begged me to remove the trial set I put in the living room. Lighting has serious effects on people's mental state by the way - bad lighting can increase depression (scientifically proven)

There are newer designs that are better, but they are still not good.

LED bulbs solve all these problems and work with dimmers. In addition they are smaller than the bulbs they replace, unlike the fluorescents, so they can be used in any existing fitting. They are very expensive at the moment but the price is falling rapidly. Within 2-3 years they will be cheaper than the fluorescents.

In my view it would be better to wait a short time until the LED bulbs are ready - otherwise millions of people will simply obtain incandescent bulbs by mail order over the internet from other countries.

Just to piss off the Greens, a big driver in the cost reduction is American military R&D. The new, high power arrays of LEDs are ideal for pumping high power lasers.....