A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Friday, November 25, 2005

No energy for climate change.....

Today, there is a must read - Roger Harrabin of the BBC rhetorically deconstructs Tony Blair on climate change: 'Q&A: Blair's climate strategy' (BBC Science/Nature News Online, November 24). I would simply highlight two key comments:

(a) First, this telling revelation:
"[Government officials] privately complain that he [Blair] is increasingly beset by domestic political problems and has too little energy and concentration left for climate change."

Frankly, on television, Blair looks exhausted, grey around the gills. The constant battles over new terrorism laws, education, pensions, the NHS, his Party's self-indulgent rebel MPs, and now energy policy would sap the drive of even the most driven. Climate will fade, frozen out by sheer exhaustion and by the dire winter projected by the Met Office;

(b) Then there is Harrabin's concluding rhetorical question and answer:
"Q: Will the politicians be able to devise politically saleable policies fast enough to make sure we don't suffer catastrophic climate change?

There are so many unknowns in climate science, policy, technology and politics that it is impossible to answer this question."

Absolutely. A realistic Beeb at last. But do read the whole piece - it helps one to understand UK climate-change politics.

Meanwhile, in the UK, we are heading for energy gaps all round. If you have access to the magazine, you might like to read my own excoriating article on the Government's energy policy just published in Country Illustrated (Christmas Edition, 2005, pp. 63-65): 'Why we should not farm the wind'.

Philip, a tad sorry for Blair. He has tilted at far too many windmills. And, as I have long predicted, the policy focus is inevitably blowing cold on 'global warming' and drifting to practical (much needed) energy. "I'll drink a hot toddy to that!" Wind chill and snow flurries all round. Brrrrr. Now where is my lovely Barbour?

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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