Wed Jul, 22 2009
Endarkenment — Right Out Loud
"[British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward] Miliband claimed last week that the result of his proposals would be an increase in costs to energy users of about 17%. However, the business and enterprise department admitted last year that Britainís existing 'climate policies' - even before Milibandís latest Big New Idea - would add an extra 55% to energy bills. Itís obvious where this will lead: to the exit from Britain (and, indeed, Europe) of much of what remains of energy-intensive manufacturing industry - the euphemistic jargon term is 'carbon leakage'.(Dominic Lawson -- UK Times Online)
Jeremy Nicholson, the director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, which represents such industries as steel and aluminium, is exasperated beyond measure: 'A future administration will have to say in public what ministers and their officials already admit in private, that the renewables target is neither practical nor affordable. Outsourcing our emissions is not a solution to a global problem. Politicians need to understand that unilateral action will come at a terrible cost in terms of UK manufacturing jobs, investment and export revenue, for no discernible environmental gain - is that really what they want?'
On the day Nicholson said this to me, last Thursday, Anglesey Aluminium, the biggest consumer of electricity in Wales, announced that it would cease production, precisely because it could see no prospect of signing up to a long-term supply of electricity at a rate at which it could make a profit. And on the day of Milibandís announcement, a group of Labour MPs presented a 'Save Our Steel' petition, saying: 'We need to make sure we act before the light goes out.'
It may well be that the English steel mills will become unable to compete globally, even at current domestic energy prices; but deliberately to make them uncompetitive is industrial vandalism - and even madness when the consequence of Milibandís Martin Luther King moment may be the lights going out not just for producers but for all of us in our homes. This is worse than a futile gesture: it is immoral."
By the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, a person could look around just about every single day and watch politicians coolly relegating their subjects to a future of frozen darkness. The world had never seen anything like it: this pious hand-in-hand march toward the most complete human impotence that they could arrange.