Sunday, December 30, 2007

An Inconvenient Press Release

I swear this is an official Conservative Party press release. Honest.

The Conservative Party has put together a list of some of the year’s environmental heroes and zeroes. This is the second year in which the list has been compiled. Whilst last year it included Sun page three girl Keeley Hazell and the Women’s Institute, this year the Archers, M& S and George Monbiot have their place. The list aims to highlight the hard work of groups and individuals who have worked hard to improve the environment in 2007, whilst also bringing to attention those who have blotted their copybook.

Shadow Environment Secretary Peter Ainsworth commented: “This time last year I said that that it was not worth disputing the fact of climate change and its impacts. Unfortunately, in 2007, some continued to insist that we do not have a real problem on our hands despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, and they are amongst the zeroes of 2007. The heroes are part of a growing consensus across the world that to ensure economic, social and environmental security we need to change the way we live and show more respect for the Earth’s natural resources.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but aims to recognise the achievements of some who have been part of the solution on 2007, and some who are still part of the problem – in the hope that they will do better next year.”


Jonathon Porritt – For his blog, which has been courageously rude about the Government considering that he is their chief advisor on sustainability.

HRH Prince Charles - for his Accounting for Sustainability initiative and also for his Rainforest

BBC Newsnight’s Justin Rowlatt, the Ethical Man - for going well beyond the cause of duty.

M&S - for committing £200 million to an initiative to become carbon neutral by 2012

Alan Simpson MP - for consistently putting the environment above politics and for being a cheerful advocate for change.

The Archers - for raising a huge range of topical issues affecting farming, including climate change.

The Quality of Life Policy Review Team – For the most far-reaching and detailed political work on sustainable work ever produced.

Sarah Beeny – for drawing attention to the presence of toxic chemicals in everyday household products.

The Emergency Services – for their outstanding work during the summer floods.

The President of Guyana – for offering 50 million acres of rain forest in return for sustainable development funds.


The Smoking Ban – for a huge increase in the use of patio heaters, which are an environmental

Palm Oil – for causing the destruction of the rainforest without most of us even knowing that we are helping it along.

Channel 4 – for screening an attention seeking programme about climate change based on highly dubious evidence.

Stewart Dimmock – for spending a fortune on legal fees challenging an Al Gore film pointlessly.

George Monbiot – for being too grumpy about the environment, even though he may be right.

Canadian tar sands – for tempting respectable companies like BP to become pariahs by pursuing the extraction of fossil fuels at the expense of the environment.

Margaret Beckett and David Miliband – for ignoring advice about the state of the drains
at Pirbright when they were in charge of them; the consequence being a release of Foot & Mouth Disease..

The Food Standards Agency – for a hopelessly inadequate investigation into the illegal sale of GM contaminated rice.

Teenagers – for not turning the lights off whilst lecturing their parents about climate change.

The Common Fisheries Policy – for continuing to destroy the marine environment, and permitting an unforgivable waste of fish, without serving the interests of fishing communities or those who enjoy recreational fishing.

I think any further comment from me would ruin the moment. And probably get me into a lot of trouble. ConservativeHome has done a mild fisk HERE.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, very Tamsin Lightwater.

Anonymous said...

This press release is evidence of clinical insanity and should be retained in a safe place, in case needed in evidence.

Johnny Norfolk said...

More like the Wishy Washy party.

Who wrote it for them the BBC.

Ralph Hancock said...

Heroes: ugh, one and all.

Zeroes: a few real hits. The smoking ban and patio heaters, those pointless propane guzzlers that warm the sky, yes, absolutely. Palm oil -- i.e. biodiesel produced by clearing Indonesian swamps: yes -- fuel produced in this way creates about 24 times as much greenhouse gas as petroleum diesel, and that can't be good in anyone's view. The Common Fisheries Policy: agree totally -- bungling towards wipeout.

But in all, an embarrassment. (Actually, I think that the buildup of greenhouse gases will be halted fairly soon by world economic collapse and a pandemic. Let's look on the bright side.)

wonkotsane said...

Why is Camoron so obsessed with pissing off Tory voters to suck up to people who will never vote Conswervative?

Anonymous said...

Little tachybaptus or whatever, palm oil is nothing to do with swamps! Have you been diagnosed as insane? Have you ever seen a properly-managed palm oil plantation (well, they all are)
or do you live in AlGoreland? Could you let us know where these mal-managed palm oil plantations are? I personally have never seen one, as they are money-making entities and are a big investment.

To be candid, in one way, I take mean-spirited pleasure in the ignorance of lefty, press release-fed morons. On the other hand ... oh! ... there isn't another hand.

You may be a naive, unworldly little poster! Or a dishonest, vicious little poster. Who cares? You're a wrong little poster.

Anonymous said...

Peter Ainsworth: ignorant prat.

wonkotsane said...

I thought this one was priceless:

Channel 4 – for screening an attention seeking programme about climate change based on highly dubious evidence.

Al Gore's film has been ruled to be politically motivated, biased, one-sided propaganda by a judge. It goes past dubious and into the realms of bullshit fantasy.

Stewart Dimmock – for spending a fortune on legal fees challenging an Al Gore film pointlessly.

It was an important legal challenge because our children should be exposed to illegal propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Apart from saying that the authors are idiots, whichn it would be quite improper of Iain to do, the attacks on C4 & Stuart Dimmock are quite disgraceful. The former is an attack on free speech & pretty well the only sceptical words on the entire broadcast media over the year. The latter is, if anythuing, worse since it is attacking Dimmock for daring to be right & objecting to a quite deliberate breach of the law (1966 Education Act) in submitting children to what has been proven to be lying propaganda.

The real brickbat is deserved by the judge who, against all normal legal precedent & for reasons which must be sadly obvious, declined to award full costs to Dimmock despite him being proven right. This establishes a precedent which will allow those with money (primarily government) to breach any civil law they wish against ordinary people.

Ralph Hancock said...


The largest of the drained peat swamps on which oil palms are being grown is the Kampar bog in Indonesia. See Fred Pearce, 'The bog barons', _New Scientist_, 1 December 2007, pp 50-53. From this article,

'... razing rainforests to grow palm oil for biofuels is madness. Clearing a hectare of tropical forest releases between 500 and 900 tonnes of CO2. Since turning a hectare's worth of palm oil into biodiesel saves approximately 6 tonnes of fossil CO2 emissions a year, it will take 80 to 150 years of production to offset the one-off emissions from trashing the forest.

'That is bad enough. If the forest is growing on a peat bog, however, the CO2 losses are far greater and continue far longer ...

'... where water is drained to a depth of a metre, typical for many palm oil plantations, about 10 centimetres of peat disappears every year. This emits between 130 and 180 tonnes of CO2 per hectare each year. So, including the one-off releases from deforestation, each hectare of peatland drained for palm oil will emit between 3750 and 5400 tonnes over the next 25 years, according to Jack Rieley, a tropicalpeatlands specialist at the University of Nottingham. Even if the palm oil is used as biofuel, a hectare's output will save only 150 tonnes in vehicle omissions over the period, meaning 25 to 36 times as much carbon will be emitted as is saved.'

To help you do your sums, the article also mentions that 130,000 square kilometres of peatland forests in Southeast Asia have been cut down and partially drained.

By all means bandy around accusations of madness, but please save them for Messrs Pearce and Rieley. This humble creature is merely passing on the bad news.

scott redding said...

Poor BP, they only made a profit of £11 billion last year. They're down on their luck, it's the last chance saloon, nowhere to turn, and then along come those cocky Canadians with their tarsands, "tempting respectable companies like BP", taking advantage of them. Research has shown that bitumen is a gateway fuel. Remember Nancy Reagan, and just say no, BP.

Anonymous said...

I'm Yawning, really yawning.....

Anonymous said...

Tachybaptus - I really don't care about CO emissions or whatever it's called. They should give it a name everyone can remember. Like Claude.

To help you do your sums, the article also mentions that 130,000 square kilometres of peatland forests in Southeast Asia have been cut down and partially drained.


How many forests were cut down to build London? Or wherever you live?

When did history freeze? When was the socialist Year Zero for cutting down trees?

The Indonesians have a right to make a living and they have a right to order their own country without reference to phony science. It's a very large country, with around 100m people and they are doing a good job of developing it without whining around with begging bowls.

Concentrate on getting the Olympics stopped.

Anonymous said...

..... and this idiot is the Conservative's shadow environment secretary !!!!!!

Matthew Revell said...

Ach, if I needed an excuse not to renew my party membership, I now have it.

Was this written to appeal to yoof TV viewers?

What an embarrassment.