Thursday, October 15, 2009

London Tories Walk Out On Climate Change Motion

I don't know if you saw it last night but Zak Goldsmith certainly did a good job agreeing with everything Caroline Lucas said on Newsnight, whose bizarrely combative item 'greens on trial' managed to unite anti-capitalist and Conservative against their inept questioning. But is he a typical Tory when it comes to taking climate change seriously?

He was certainly an eloquent advocate for urgent action and brooked no nonsense about nuclear power or GM crops being the answer. Indeed, so desperate was he to cosy up to Caroline I thought at one point he was going to climb into her lap. Thankfully he restrained himself.

Sadly many of Zak's Conservative colleagues have a less 'on message' attitude when it comes to cutting emissions. Who'd have thought it when the Conservatives even have a lovely piece of broccoli as their logo? Take the Tory London Assembly members who chose to scupper yesterday's motion (pdf) on 10:10 by rendering the meeting inquorate by marching out (with the BNP) at the crucial moment. You can watch the exciting footage here although I recommend skipping the first sizzling 2 hours 50 mins of Assembly business to get straight to the action where old white men walk out of a room.

These kinds of playground tactics are a deliberate method to subvert a democratic institution ensuring it did not pass this motion to cut 10% of the Assembly's current emissions by the end of 2010, not by winning the argument but by sabotaging the meeting. Interesting that it is this environmental measure that sparked their walk out. So it seems the elected Tories aren't quite as green as poster boy Zak would like them to be.

They are consistent though because this attitude fits snugly with this week's plans for fare increases for Londoners, making public transport less appealing in a move that will also hit the poorest, hardest. More on that here.

It is certainly possible to care about the environment, be opposed to climate chaos and be a paid up Tory. However, this week on the London Assembly shows this is clearly not where the heart of their party lies, despite Cameron's occasional nods towards the green movement.


Anonymous said...

'no nonsense about nuclear power or GM crops being the answer'

Agree not THE answer but certainly nuclear is an answer that should be considered, especially as there are no renewables as current viable alternatives to hydrocarbons in large scale energy production.

And please, the anti-GM stuff is a load of crap. The potential for GM is vast and it is an essential tool in modern science and medicine.

Jim Jay said...

Did you watch it?

The first question (from memory) was "given that we only have six years to significantly reduce our emissions why wont you consider nuclear poweras part of the solution."

Answer (paraphrasing) "I have considered it, it takes fifteen years to build a nuclear power station so it has no contribution to make to our capacity in the next six years"

(incidentally I don't know why newsnight thinks we have specifically six years but that's their number)

On GM the interviewer claimed that GM could "solve" climate change. That's clearly bollocks and the panelists said so.

David Cox said...

I’m not anti-science, indeed I would criticise the Green Party for its luddite tendencies (much reduced these days). But seriously folks we are being hoodwinked by two groups of very powerful international corporations - the nuclear industry and the GM agro-business. These monopolistic leviathans offer centralised energy and food production, at a time when what we really need is decentralised generation, and local food production, which is cheaper, more resilient and safe - Sorry keep saying it, but size does matter. The nuclear industry has successfully portrayed itself as the saviour of the world from global warming. I think it was Paddy Ashdown who said you could insulate the whole of the UK for the cost of a couple of power stations, saving more energy than the nuclear power stations would generate and do it much faster.

Anonymous said...

Jim, in six years there will be no contribution from renewables to a solution either given the fact that it will be impossible to manufacture enough wind farms to carpet the UK in this time.

And yes, the interviewer was clueless, which was a shame because, as you well know, the Greens do have some tough questions to ask on GM and nuclear.

Strategist said...

bizarrely combative item 'greens on trial'

Ha! Yes, what the hell was that all about? I missed the intro and when the three of them lined up behind lecterns I was thinking, where are the chairs, where is the glass coffee table? But the lecterns were meant to represent "the dock"!?!?!?

"so desperate was he to cosy up to Caroline I thought at one point he was going to climb into her lap. Thankfully he restrained himself."

I bet she was gutted. He is very dashing.

Public school homoerotic crush aside, actually I think Richmond Park is the one seat in UK where I'm rooting for the Tories. I mean Susan Kramer's OK up to a point, but it'll be very interesting to see what Goldsmith does with his vote if he is elected. (My God having said thay I hope we don't see a one seat Tory majority...)

ModernityBlog said...

Yuck, rooting for the Tories :(

Almost as bad as those dodgy, re-tread, arguments for nuclear power.

The sooner the political elites become immune to the lobbying of the nuclear industry the better, what is needed is a *massive* investment programme in renewable energy, not polluting and wasteful nuclear crap.