Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hope and despair from Poznan

Could Europe have come up with a coordinated plan to cut EU carbon dioxide emissions significantly? Yes it could! Did it do so? No. Our leaders keep on with endless talking and commissioning of more reports. They lack the nous and courage to act.

Energy conservation measures are a no-brainer: they create jobs for the growing queues of unemployed, they save money, they help to rectify recessionary tendencies, they save energy and they help to save our grandchildren from shivering in the dark.

Conservation works at the low tech end of the system. At the high tech end, a High Voltage Direct Current pan-European network, linking all renewables from offshore wind in the North of Scotland to Concentrated Solar Power in North Africa can get European manufacturing a necessary boost.

There is an unacceptable lag between scientific realities and political response. We have seen this with climate science, although the politicians are now convinced of the case for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), despite the protestations of the denialist lobby.
Now we have a lag between the technologists who know what needs to be done, and the politicians who are fiddling and faffing and farting about.

If they can find billions to shore up the banks after their insane lending spree, they most certainly find the billions necessary to create real, good work directly in the real economy, in the most vital fundamental part of the economy, in sustainable energy provision. We know what needs to be done. We know how to do it. What we lack is the political leadership, wisdom and courage to do it.

It is difficult to maintain hope. Yet we must stay hopeful, because pessimism leads to inactivity, or worse, to anger.

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