There has been so much written and said about the environment in the last few weeks that I barely know where to start. I think first it is best to set out where I sit. The science to me is firmly on the side of man made global warming. I would love to believe the the great climate change swindle, but many of the arguments made in that have been disproved time and again (see realclimate.org for a fully scientific rebuttal). Perhaps the effects will not be as extreme as the likes of George Monbiot would like us to believe, but nonetheless we can all see the climate changing around us rapidly.So we must do something...
But tax is not the answer. Typically our ill-led and unambitious government (and opposition) can only think in one dimension. Tax.
This is not the solution at all, we need a far more market and globally based approach.
We need to finance and support new technologies and research (UK government research budgets have been falling in real terms for years) to find alternative fuels.
We need binding international agreements so that there is no incentive for businesses to practice 'carbon-avoidance.'
We need to follow the better, already tested, policy ideas such as those of Woking Borough Council, which has reduced its energy spend by 90%.
I know the wrong policies though, regressive and unilateral taxes on transport and consumers. These affect the poor the most and leave the rich to go about their chosen lifestyles. I am more or less ashamed of the Conservative policies announced this week, at least the Labour policies are less regressive.
Really if there is one thing emerging from the 'debates' this week, it is that there is already too much hot air in the UK; and this is definitely sharply on the rise.