A great rant from Christopher Booker at The London Daily Mail:
From killer diesel fumes to ruinous floods, every green initiative imposed on us by politicians has ended in disaster... and this is the great folly of our age, says Christopher Booker
What a parable for our times the great diesel scandal has been, as councils vie to see which can devise the heaviest taxes on nearly half the cars in Britain because they are powered by nasty, polluting diesel.
And Christopher cites a lot of examples - here are just three of them:
Consider the scandal of Drax in Yorkshire, until recently the largest, cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe.
Now, thanks to an annual half-a-billion pounds of public subsidy, Drax has been switching from burning coal to millions of tons a year of wood pellets.
Absurdly, these are shipped 3,500 miles to Britain from the U.S., where vast acreages of virgin forest are being felled, supposedly to be replaced with new trees that will eventually soak up all the CO2 emitted by burning them.
Unfortunately, a bright spark has just pointed out in a report for a respected think-tank that it could take a replacement tree hundreds of years to grow to maturity — which would be far too long to have any supposed effect on any climate change. (It should be noted that the former coalition energy minister Chris Huhne, having been released from prison for perverting the course of justice over speeding points, became the European chairman of a firm called Zilkha Biomass, which makes its money supplying wood pellets from North America to Europe.)
The bottom line is that a new report has just confirmed that, far from reducing its CO2 footprint, Drax is now emitting more than it did when it was only burning coal.
And this one:
Then there was the dream of ‘carbon capture and storage’, for which Gordon Brown’s government offered £4 billion for companies to come up with a way of removing CO2 from the coal and gas used to make electricity, and then piping it away for burial in holes under the North Sea.
Only one Scottish power station took up the offer, spending £1 billion before it discovered that it didn’t work.
But even though geologists say it can never work, the Government still talks about it as the only way it can allow coal and gas-fired power plants — which still supply more than half our electricity — to stay in business.
It would work very well - if you didn't mind paying one hundred times your normal electricity bill for the cost of doing this. And one more:
For 18 years, the local rivers and drainage ditches had not been dredged by the Environment Agency, with the deliberate intention of keeping more water flooding out on to the Levels, to provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife.
One former head of the agency, who previously ran the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, had remarked that she wanted to see ‘a limpet mine’ on every one of the pumping stations which — separately from the dredging — were used to pump out the water channels to prevent flooding.
When the lack of dredging led to the inevitable, and the Levels disastrously flooded for the second time in three years, it not only did £100 million worth of damage to homes and businesses.
With bitter irony, it also resulted in the drowning of huge numbers of the birds, badgers and other creatures the conservationists had wanted to save.
A lot of these "drainage ditches" were part of the extensive canal system that pre-dated England's railways. They are now used for recreational boating but they were not maintained and when England had a rainy spring, the flooding was disasterous. A lot more at the site including over 860 comments - well worth reading these too.