Sunday, August 02, 2015

The Green Clause IV - Serendipity

I am prompted to write this post by comments on earlier posts.

Do you recall reading about Acid Rain back in the 1970s when our news was produced using an archaic medium based on materials known as paper and ink? Do you recall our modern 24/7 instant access digital media mentioning this phenomenon recently? No? Well, that’s because we drastically cut back on burning coal to produce electricity. We fixed it.

Do you remember reading about the hole in the ozone layer back in 1985 when mobile phones were the size and weight of a brick? Yes? Heard anything lately? No? Well it’s still there. But it’s getting smaller and the scientists predict it will fully repair itself by 2070. We stopped using CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon) and started to properly dispose of legacy appliances that used CFCs. We fixed it.

We can fix things when we want to, when the political will is there, so why haven’t we got to grips with Climate Change?
Global warming's record-breaking trend continues
A detailed update of key climate indicators by hundreds of scientists reveals that 2014 saw rises in temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse gases to record levels, writes Alex Kirby.
Meanwhile the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott (no relation to Diane) wants to expand the use of coal and here in the UK there are plans for a new open cast coal mining facility in Wales. These are the same people who complain about the aesthetic value of our countryside being degraded by ugly on-shore wind turbines.
Strange happenings on a small island off Europe
The Conservative attack on the environment is being carried out for good reasons, writes Chris Rose: because they can; because it delights their support base; because it heads off UKIP; and because they think it carries no political risk. Now it's up the UK's green movement to prove them wrong. But have our 'herbivorous' NGOs got the stomach for a fight?
And
Fighting back for the green economy
The UK government has timed its attacks on renewable energy to perfection, writes James Dubrey. Public 'consultations' on proposals to cut away support for wind and solar are running over the holidays - and many of those affected don't even know about it. It's time for us all to stand up for the green economy and make our voices heard!
Well well well. It seems the Government is on something of an anti-green roll.
The last few weeks have seen them announce an effective ban on onshore wind, privatise the Green Bank, scrap the Zero Carbon Homes plan, shove up taxes for green cars and put a ludicrous carbon tax on renewable energy.
Now the feed-in tariff is under threat. This is the scheme that allows individuals like you and me, as well as thousands of schools, hospitals, libraries and small businesses to install solar panels or small wind turbines.
As I explain elsewhere there are lots of reasons for this, most of them nonsense, but the point is that the Green Economy is under attack.
But they’ve got a problem and it’s of their own making. The Neo-Liberal free market is opening up new possibilities. As Tony Blair said in his speech on the Labour leadership, “we live in a rapidly changing world”. Yup, where he and his mates are past their use by date. It’s time for the Green Clause IV.
The $7 trillion solar tsunami in our midst
Never mind government inaction (or worse) on climate change, writes Assaad W Razzouk. Solar power costs just keep on falling, and it's already providing the lowest cost electricity across much of the world. With $7 trillion of investment piling into the sector, the momentum is now unstoppable.
While world leaders have been talking a lot but doing little in the run-up to the UN climate conference in December, the private sector has been forcefully tackling climate change.
A solar tsunami is sweeping across the globe and politicians would do well to recognise its importance and help it along.
With coal/gas costs rising and solar PV capital costs falling dramatically with increased efficiency, plus development in battery storage there is no need for feed in tariffs or even to connect to the grid at all. We face the prospect, within a generation, of the consumer owning the means of production of their own energy. Self sufficiency Tom and Barbara style. Neo Liberalism at its best where the individual stands on his/her own two feet and is not reliant on anybody else, not least some faceless multi-national corporation. Oh yes, the times they are a changing.

Just take a pause here and think about the social and economic consequences and you may understand why the UK establishment and the Neo-Luddite big energy companies are quaking in their boots at the prospect.

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