Spoilt for Choice

September 2010 is turning out to be a veritable over-stuffed cornucopia of Climate Change- and Energy-related events.

This week, 15th September 2010 breaks the record for the number of useful things I could be doing. I am effectively quintuple-booked, and something’s got to go (well, nearly all of them, actually).

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Financial Ties : Green Taxes

The Financial Times advises :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5dca38e0-8ac1-11df-8e17-00144feab49a.html

“Environmentalists have had a disappointing year. The Copenhagen talks fizzled and the economic crisis has overshadowed all other considerations. But the need for countries to repair towering fiscal deficits is an opening for the movement. As treasuries look for ways to raise more revenues, climate change activists should make the case for green taxes.”

So, environmental campaigners should be campaigning for green taxes to plug holes in public deficits caused by crashing banks ?

I think not.

Tax revenue that is collected on the basis of environmental pollution should always be hypothecated, committed to remediation and removal of environmental pollution.

The majority of the populations of the deficit-stricken economies (OK, then, the whole world) are quite right in resisting being locked down into extra taxation at present. Green taxes would be a financial tie too tight for most of the world’s economically stressed.

Green taxes spent on things other than green energy and energy efficiency would be a mockery.

Besides which, only very high levels of green taxation would have any impact on pollution behaviour – the “signal” from green taxes would be lost amongst general economic “instability” (that is, price rises due to other factors).

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Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube

I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?

Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.

Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.

First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.

The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).

If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.


Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
Jo Abbess
28 June 2010

I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.

I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.

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Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

Last Wednesday’s “Sceptic Backlash” meeting ended with a lively Question and Answer session. Here it is as I recorded it :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/scepticsmeeting


Q. (from Christian Hunt, a plant in the audience from Greenpeace)

– You say it’s just the journalists who are the sceptics. What happens if another Government comes in and scepticism gets political footholds ? [ reference to Conservative Party Climate Change sceptics ]

A. (Phil Thornhill, Campaign against Climate Change)

– People shy away from the problem if they can’t find solutions. We propose a million Climate jobs – there are lots of ways of dealing with the crisis. That’s the kind of thing we should be emphasising.

Q. Andrew Neill interviewed Caroline Lucas and asked her about the Phil Jones interview with the BBC where he said there had been no “statistically significant” warming in the last 15 years. Has there been no statistically significant warming or not ? Why wouldn’t Caroline Lucas, head of the Green Party, say “you’re wrong” ?

A. (Phil)

– I wrote her a rather long e-mail. You can’t really debate Science in the popular Media. Most people don’t understand.

– The tip for answering this kind of question is – in 15 years, it’s hard to spot a trend against the background noise. It’s a difficult thing to explain.

– It’ a clear case of how once you start debating the Science it gets twisted. She should have said “this is a typical case of the misrepresentation of Science”.

A. (Ben Stewart, Greenpeace Media)

– She was fine to say “I’ll take a pass on that”.

Continue reading Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

Climate Vigil : Becoming Light

On the night of 15th May 2010 in London, England, an all-night, all-party, all-age, all-opinion vigil will be held to uphold the Climate of the Earth in the newly elected British Parliament.

A candlelight service of thankfulness, commitment and prayer will be held at the ancient church of St Martin’s in the Fields, just off Trafalgar Square, and then events will be held by torchlight throughout the night, in and around Parliament Square :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/overnightvigil

The organisers of the event are asking for chamber and orchestral musicians to participate in the church service, and in some of the overnight moments, which will feature a range of artistic performances, culminating in a Vigil Breakfast in the early hours.

There will be no money, but there will be plenty of love and respect, and perhaps even a little fame, for all musicians who take part.