Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Green Monday

It seems to be Green Monday in Britain. Leader of the Conservative Party, shiny new blue-green David Cameron, advised by Zac Goldsmith of the Ecologist, has been revealing his green plans after the latest EU declarations on climate and energy. He has drawn the fire of "leader in waiting" of the Labour Party, Gordon Brown. Brown attacks the Cameron plans, perhaps keen to show his readiness to step into the Prime Minsterial role. He plays the Europe card and points to the Tories' Euroscepticism possibly inhibiting the necessary European co-operation on this issue, but this looks like passing the book to the EU and playing politics, whilst Cameron comes over all consensual. Cameron's plan appears to edge closer to carbon rationing rather than pricing systems as main tools with his proposals on flights, but the Tories are still a long way off a coherent policy and have 'ne'er do wells' like John 'Vulcan' Redwood and Nigel'Climate Swindle' Lawson sniping from the wings.

Meanwhile groups like FEASTA are leading the way on energy and cap and share/carbon rationing approaches as opposed to current emissions trading and pricing mechanism prioritisation by the main players. Pricing mechanisms tend towards social injustice - "pricing the poor out" - and are sometimes strongly advocated by those elements of the free market right that actually acknowledge any environmental problems. Whilst congestion charging just about works without serious social injustice due to the money flowing into improved public transportation in city centres and the easy use of same, pricing mechanisms are a much blunter and potentially divisive tool for dealing with other questions of transport and energy. The Green Party in England and Wales currently advocates carbon quotas in line with the contraction and convergence model. The Independent have a bash at working out which of the three largest parties is 'greenest'.

Elsewhere on the green front the Guardian reports that 10,000 acres of greenbelt land are under threat.

Meanwhile the Trident debate heats up ahead of the vote on Wednesday. The Independent reports that a Scottish Labour MP who was Deputy leader of the House Of Commons has stepped down to vote against the government. This possibly tells us two things - one the growing opposition amongst Labour MPs (including my own, who is not a habitual rebel) to the Replacement plan, and two, the political temperature in Scotland where the SNP and Greens are set to make progress in May, and Labour representatives and activists are getting increasingly restless.

The Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament's Kate Hudson has an article on the Trident replacement debate over at the Guardian's Comment Is Free pages.

Back on the subject of TV programmes, the Guardian's Madeleine Bunting muses on the first episode of Adam Curtis’ BBC documentaries The Trap and some of the comments in the comments section online touch on the things I mentioned the other day - the simplistic and emotive style he uses which tends to detract from the interesting stuff about intellectual currents and their influence.

The Durkin 'Swindle' programme continues to excite comment, like this posting on Indymedia UK. The Indymedia piece includes a link to an expert demolition of the programme's arguments by John Houghton, former co-chair of the IPCC.

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At 4:05 am, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Margaret Thatcher must be shaking her head, about some recent Tory decisions, as being even light green.


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