IN my absence last week, we had a real “hate the Green Party” week, so now let’s settle the balance.
To Martin Flecher. Other than blaming the Greens for all our problems, I totally agree with everything you say about electric cars. Currently, unless you only use your vehicle as a local runabout and never travel more than your car’s battery range between home stops, a fully electric car has major issues, and your choosing a hybrid is the only practical solution. But that’s not the car’s problem, and I blame the Conservatives and the voters who keep them in power, because until we have a government that doesn’t fully commit to the fossil fuel cartels, we will never be safe from the crippling costs and regulatory restrictions that impede our progress towards a fully alternative power system.
Twenty-four years ago Greenpeace commissioned a scientific report that, if implemented, could have resulted in a fully renewable national energy supply that would have ensured that our current high fuel costs and inflation would not would never have happened. But we didn’t and it is. The Greens cannot change this alone, we have one MP in a Parliament of over 600 with a government majority of 59. Even with a proportional representation voting system instead of the outdated FPP system our government clings to, we would only have 11.
But that’s another story, let’s get back to electric cars. Home charging, I agree pre-1900 rows of terraced housing are a problem, as are modern multi-storey apartment buildings, but not intractable (I thought of one while preparing this letter ), but as you say the installation costs would require government funding and control of electricity, and probably a return to proper police patrols to prevent theft and vandalism, and with the current government, it won’t happen. So to you, Martin, not a green party that pushes too hard, but a government that is committed to dragging its feet and lining its pockets rather than making progress.
As for Clive Phillips. The problem I have with requests from you and your climate-denying employers is how long it takes to dig up the dark sources of your misinformation. The one on the Maldives comes from a local Canberra newspaper, which misquoted a speech by a UN official named Noel Brown. What Brown really said was that if the world did not solve the current problem of global warming by the year 2000, the Maldives would eventually disappear below sea level rise. A rather different scenario , but an ideal discourse for climate deniers to twist the lies necessary for their ends. And if you’re interested, the next place to be totally swallowed up by sea level rise will be Jakarta in Indonesia, not the Maldives, and not until around 2050 at the current rate of sea rise.
Ice ages aren’t cold snaps that happen every few years, they last for thousands. The one that peaked 11,500 years ago, we are still in the latter years of the same now. What we really have is the permanent disappearance of glaciers and the rise of Himalayan meltwater so rapidly that it is causing major problems in the lowlands, and both events are measurable.
Energy transfers between us and France go both ways. This year we are exporting to them, two years ago they exported four times as much to us; the change probably has something to do with the 250 million pounds of Russian oil that we have imported since the start of the “embargo”. And Germany will phase out coal by 2030, so why should it build power plants it will never use?
The CO2 argument to which you devoted half a letter before. Carbon is a natural element and in the soil is an essential element for plant life. Unearthed and burned as we do to make energy and plastics, it becomes CO and CO2, choking off gases that were once so abundant it took 200 million years of afforestation for us to escape. let’s no longer have to absorb it and reduce it to a level that breathes the air life could begin to exist. Only one tenth is all plant life needs, which is why it accumulates so quickly.
The World Economic Forum in Davos, your description will get no argument from us, so why me and the Greens should be lining up for this is a bit baffling.
For those wondering, LGBTQQIP2SAA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, 2 Spirit, Androgynous, and Asexual. I never heard of it until I saw it in Clive’s letter, nor did I have a few transgender (not Green Party) associates, until I researched it. You and I have to move in different circles, Clive. In fact, it was apparently conceived as a result of discussion at a meeting of Middlesborough City Council, believe it or not.
And that, I think, says it all.
Charles David Foulstone, Rotherham Green Party