Nurse! The Greenies Need Their Pills Again!
THERE really are some loons out there in the environmental movement. I think we all share the aim, a cleaner, greener, better world for us and our children? Good, yes, I thought so. What worries though is that the actual methods proposed, how we get from here to there, are all too often entirely insane. Take this for example:
Shale gas exploration also supports fewer jobs than renewable energy generation – hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created in offshore wind, solar power and other green energy, but drilling shale gas wells requires minimal manpower.
That is being used as an argument in favour of renewables and against shale gas. Entirely the wrong way around of course. At a 180 degree skew to reality.
We want to use the least resources possible to do whatever it is that we want to do, not the most. It seems pretty obvious really, doesn’t it? If you can build a railway with 100 tonnes of steel per mile then you wouldn’t think it better that you build one with 500 tonnes, would you? If you can make a coat out of 10 yards of fabric then you wouldn’t swwon with excitement at the idea that you could use 30 to do it, would you?
Similalry, if you can heat the country using the labour of 5,000 people (say) then why should you prefer the solution that takes the labour of 300,000 to achieve the same aim?
Sure, OK, renewables are different from fossil fuels, decent coats better than not decent etc: we can talk about the other things that are being achieved in each case. But look at this most basic point: using more of something isn’t, in and of itself, a good thing.
Using more labour to provide our energy just isn’t, in and of itself, a good thing, for it means that all that labour which could be off curing cancer, caring for kiddies or just supping a quiet pint has to be lashed to some bloody windmill in the middle of a North Sea gale.
There might be all sorts of reasons to favour renewables: not boiling Flipper might be a good one even. But that more people have to labour and sweat to keep our tootsies warm simply isn’t one of them, quite the opposite.
So where did this lunatic idea come from? It was actually in the Green Party Manifesto at the last election and I still cannot work out why anyone at all is stupid enough to believe it.