It was an all too rare event. Going to a Labour Party meeting and actually discussing policy, and feeling that through the drafting of a Resolution for Conference, that we were actually having some input into what goes on.
I can only imagine the fear in the hearts of the organisers of the meeting, as I remember all too well that horrible feeling when as a CLP Secretary, I had roped in an MP or God forbid a Front Bencher to speak at an event and it ends in an embarrassing fiasco when hardly anyone turns up.
I suffered a total humiliation of this kind in 1993 when Phil Woolas came down and it was me, him, the local branch nutter (it wouldn’t be the Labour Party without one) and three others. Woolas was fine about it, but I felt like a total knob.
Our biggest triumph came in 1994 when we had 200 people at an event in Farnham to mobilise against rail privatisation, the Unions did their bit, plus us leafleting the station before work. But this was in the Major Govt. dog days, and on a hot issue.
Saturday’s Forum on Climate Change produced a healthy attendance complete with stimulating debate.
Colin Challen M.P. is Chair of the Cross Party Committee on this issue and spoke to us about some of the facts and myths surrounding Global Warming.
Firstly he debunked the nay sayers and faux science which is doing the rounds. Every UN study since 1971 has reported that we are heating up, and that our activity is a MAJOR factor. Not the only one, but in combination with cyclical change, sun spots and the like our actions are a vast accelerant.
Air travel. It’s not ideal but take this for a stat. ONE day of logging in say Indonesia or Brazil is the equivalent to 4 MILLION passengers going from New York to London in the same 24 hour period.
Car usage and 4X4’s. Ditto as in minimal impact. But tax the bastards any way as they are tossers who don’t vote for us! And Daily Mail readers. Cause enough for me.
Seriously, air travel and the car issue are just excuses to tax in the name of being green. It’s a con. Michael O’Leary was right. God that hurt!
The main cause of Global Warming in the West is our old friend, energy production.
Nuclear? Forget it. The energy expended on getting the darn things up and running would negate any benefit for TEN YEARS. By then it would be too late.
Then there’s how to get rid of the waste, accidents and saying to Tehran and the such; “It’s OK for us, but you lot ain’t to be trusted”. Plus France had to shut 40% of capacity in 2003 as the drought meant they couldn’t get enough water to run the reactors safely.
Next to speak was Dave Bowe, a former MEP who served from 1986 till 2004 on the Environment Committee in Strasbourg.
His solution, backed up by science? Open the mines. Yorkshire has high yield clean stuff and we nearly cracked the carbon waste issue in 1984 until Her Who Shall Remain Nameless pulled the plug on the labs doing the work. Wonder why?
The technology is now available (he explained, but I’m too thick to understand this stuff) to remove the CO2 and pump it into the North Sea beds from whence oil and gas had previously come. All the infrastructure is there and would mean we could cut emissions by a massive amount. Up to 60% if it works out.
What’s needed, and thus why it won’t happen, is a complete U turn in policy allied to initial heavy expenditure to set it up. The Labour Government won’t commit because of the financial commitment which the Tories would argue is Big Government (always Bad) and mean they couldn’t offer tax cuts.
Another way forward is to INCREASE bin collection, so that organic waste is picked up more rapidly, put into landfill and the resulting methane gas pumped into clean power stations. They’ve done this on a local basis in Germany and it works.
The US pollutes at 20 tonnes per person per year, we are at 10 tonnes and Kenya at 0.5. Thus we should aim to converge at 5 tones which means we do our bit whilst allowing developing nations to well, err develop.
Not hard? But as with Global Poverty, it involves redistribution of resources and wealth, and as we all know Capitalism simply won’t play ball, unless absolutley made to by the market.
Nevertheless we have to keep going, not give up and hope for a sea change in attitudes on the scale of the Slave Trade.
I’ve got no time for all that hand wringing pony such as Live Earth. We know what needs to be done. Better to get out on the Streets and make ’em do it through direct campaigning, especially of MPs in marginal seats where the Tories pose a real threat.