back to article Greens: Abandon economic growth to beat CO2 offshoring

Environmental campaigners, citing government-commissioned research, have said that the UK's claimed carbon emissions figures are "a big lie". The analysis adds carbon burdens associated with offshore manufactures, shipping and aviation to the UK total, and - according to the activists - shows that economic growth and carbon …

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Alien

What planet is this guy from?

Never mind saving the planet, what planet do people like this come from? I'm all in favour of green issues, regularly recycle and in fact regularly cycle to work. Got drenched lunchtime. If y'man seriously wants us to revert to some form of third world agro economy, and his silence suggests exactly this, he's going to have a serious problem. You see with all it's faults, we live in a democracy and unless he's planning some sort of green coup and make us comply, he and the green party will have to justify his views and extreme solutions at the ballot box, where I fear he and they will come unstuck. It was extreme green views in the early nineties - one child families and a large reduction of the population - that frightened the middle classes off voting for them. Talk of stopping economic growth and doing away with technology will have the same effect. People are not going to freeze in a log cabin with goose fat lamps to suit an off planet agenda no matter what the carbon cost. Get used to the idea.

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Unhappy

It looks like we are going to have to vote for nukes whilst holding our noses

Trends in energy use are upwards, fossil fuels are in limited supply and are largely in politically volatile regions of the world. Prohibitive costs will reduce consumption to some extent.

We may have to take on the nuclear option to keep the lights on. Shell have estimated that best efficiency could reduce demand by 50% but that will cost a lot to roll out and has a huge human dimension. Prof Mackay's analysis tells us that relying on renewables demands we give up enormous quantities of our land area to even make a dent in our emissions. It will also mean a huge investment in infrastructure.

It pains me to say it but I think new atom power stations on the sites of the old ones is probably the 'best' solution. The sites exist so local opposition is a vote for redundancy, the grid already exists there too. We just need to sort out the hazmat by-product problem. Probably by sending it all to China.

Gah!

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Coat

Urrm isn't that emissions trading?

They manufacture, we import.

We pay the cost of manufacture+transport+their profit. The overall cost of the goods should include any perceived cost of carbon.

If we're not paying for the carbon then that's the manufacturers problem. I don't see that we can be held accountable for it.

Hang on though, does that mean that people who fly abroad are actually taking their carbon to their destination? After all, a tourist is a form of export. Perhaps they need to recalculate again...

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Anonymous Coward

>If y'man seriously wants us to revert to some form of third world agro economy

He probably does, but that would also require a massive reduction in population.

I doubt he'd advocate that, these neo-luddite uber hippies always want a billion offspring.

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Thumb Down

WWF appear to be Marxists

Equality of outcome, by it's very definition, implies that we are going to have to drop our standard of living considerably in order to bring everyone in the world to the same "standard of living", except of course for those special Plane Stupid people who absolutely need to fly around the globe because they are doing such worthy things.

Communism failed because the people subjected to such ideologies got fed up of being told how to live their lives, so the chances of Western consumers willingly giving up their lifestyle en masse is, I would say, quite close to zero.

We could of course all kill ourselves, and dispose of ourselves in an environmentally acceptable way, but since China has a population of 1.3bn, and a growth rate of 0.629%, that country alone could replace the whole UK in under 10 years. India is growing even faster - population of 1.1bn and growth rate of 1.578%, giving a yearly increase of over 18 million people. Then we have Africa to consider...

So yes, it's all very well lefty dictator types saying we should be doing this and not doing that, but the plain facts are that whatever we do is pissing in the wind, given these countries' population growth and rising standard of living.

If spreading our wealth more evenly means these people having one TV between 4 people, that's an awful lot of TVs that will need powering. Perhaps WWF would rather no-one had a TV or a car or anything else that consumed electricity? Perhaps only the truly enlightened should be alowed access to such resources, with the rest of us, and especially the deniers, kept in our place (literally).

Come on WWF, stop whining and come up with something constructive for a change. Something with reall numbers that takes in to account the limits of what can be done within the democratic process.

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Anonymous Coward

Renewables.

I was watching a program the other day about farming. There was a section on burning willow at Drax. It produces 7% of the UKs power, and to run it on willow you would need to cover the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside in the stuff... Just something to think on.

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Stop

Oh look...

another barking mad Eco-Nazi.

This guy, clearly, needs a reality check.

Yes, we've all heard the " but if you don't do something NOW it WILL be all "log cabin with goose fat lamps" and hair shirts, eating lentils" arguments. They don't wash with the masses, as Mr Wray so eloquently points out.

I'm sure that we'd almost all like to be a little more "environmentally friendly", but if you try and herd me into YOUR version of a 'Green Utopia' with a big (sustainably sourced) stick, I'm going to take said stick and insert it in one of your bodily orifices where the sun don't shine.

Thank you for listening.

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Happy

It's alright...

The markets will solve it using magic market pixie dust. Just like they always do.

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Paris Hilton

Loose interpretation

> nuclear-fusion power, so far harnessed only in the form of H-Bombs.

That's a fairly loose interpretation of the word "harnessed", isn't it? As in, "not really harnessed at all".

Paris, because she knows all about loose interpretations.

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Bronze badge

Nuclear is a Good Option

The consequences of unchecked global warming are severe. While there are many unknowns, given that the environment does react to higher carbon dioxide levels by absorbing more carbon dioxide, but in some cases in ways that may not continue, there is plenty of reason for concern.

Reducing wealth, though, is not an option that people are going to approve. Fortunately, nuclear power is a way out, particularly if nuclear fuel is used efficiently (breeder reactors, and the Thorium breeder) while we wait for fusion power to become possible.

The volume - and net toxicity - of nuclear waste is so small compared to the amount of toxic waste produced by other forms of energy production that it's a non-issue used to scare people.

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Alert

People getting richer isn't the problem

It's the variant in off-the-balance-sheet reporting that means exporting the manufacturing and carbon emissions but only importing the manufactured goods.

The chutzpah of some countries' "Why bother, China and India are just going to keep on emitting..." stance is truly spectacular.

And I still can't see why we can't send nuclear waste into space to blow it up at New Years.

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Paris Hilton

yup, that's why I love the greens

The problem here is that he is probably right in terms of emissions - developed countries will have to take them down, way down. And that includes not offshoring emissions elsewhere. Personally, I try to limit my own lifestyle choices to cut down on CO2. Primarily that has meant little driving and avoiding aircrafts. Otherwise, yes, you could consider me well off and I don't exactly feel like I am living in a cave.

But... and this is where these guys shoot themselves in the foot, they come across as typical class-war, anti-capitalist zealots telling everyone they should live like them. I happen to think that wealth and emissions can be uncoupled, given appropriate carbon taxes and just plainly a reduction in the social acceptance of particularly wasteful lifestyles. Limiting wealth across the board will cut down on technology fixes, which I believe are key.

In other words, playing Doom 6 on your 40" LCD will be OK, but not flying to Vegas every other weekend with all the other losers. He believes that I should read by candlelight - screw him.

Paris, because she wants a simple life.

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Silver badge

Problem solved!

This is excellent news - we're responsible for the CO2 emitted by our trading partners. That must mean that they're to blame for the carbon we burn to provide them with the goods and services they get from us. Further, since we use "good" energy - with less CO2 per kWH, then we don't even need a trading surplus to be in the black - global warming wise.

No.

I'm responsible for the emissions (burp!) I make . You have the choice to emit, or not, as you like. You have to be a particularly determined activist to pile the whole world's woes on the UK. Nice try, but this kind of double-think will only work on numerically illiterate and uneducated politicians ..... what am I saying?

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I'd hate to be one of his kids...

"Dad, can I have an iPod for my birthday?"

"No - they're far to un-green. You can have a hula-hoop instead. But don't use it too much or you'll breath out too much Carbon Dioxide".

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Boffin

China's emissions are China's emissions

There seems to be this inescapable idea that if we pay China to make stuff then the emissions from making that stuff are "our fault" or responsibility.

This doesn't quite seem right. We run (mostly) a service economy in this country and much of our exports are in the form of services. But we count office lighting, heating, computers, driving to work, etc. in our *own* emissions, even if the services are exported.

Why is it any different for China?

I think the Green Army are trying to double-charge us for emissions. You can't count export-related emissions *and* import-related emissions as belonging to a country without double-accounting for all emissions that relate to import/export worldwide. And that's a lot of emissions.

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Bronze badge

He's a proper socialist

I.e. "I've got fuck all, and I want to share it with you".

I'm as green as the next guy (i.e. I go through the motions), but this just makes me want to go out and buy a Range Rover just to annoy him.

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Black Helicopters

Politics...

Men-driven warming and impact of men-produced CO2 on Earth climate are not the same category of facts as say the shape of Earth or the fact that Sir Elton is gay as a meatball. Some scientists agree, some not; but since it became soooo political these days, the ones that support this theory (sic) tend to shout louder.

How freaking convenient - no more Russian Evil Empire to scare the shit out of people, so we have to come up with alternative source to pump up some fear in our political engine. After Al Qaeda fall disappointingly flat we just had to find something else...

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Flame

H-Bombs

If we're going to go to all the trouble of building immense, massively strong underground storage caves for fission waste, why not just let off H-bombs in them to power on-site turbines? Sort of "DIY geothermal".

Sorry, it's Friday.

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Flame

+1 to Nukes

@John Savard.

Toxicity and waste are one thing. But so are risks to human life from nuclear accidents. Chernobyl, as anyone knows.

But... wait... wasn't this article supposed to promote across the board thinking? So, let's add up all the deaths over the last 50 years in oil-related conflicts. Starting with Iran-Iraq - they wouldn't have had such a good time killing each other on camelback, would they? They needed oil to pay for their hardware. Heck prorate this depending on how central the oil was to the various wars.

So, if you do that, you'll see that oil is way more expensive in terms of human life compared to nukes. The risks to life and limb are just distributed elsewhere in countries far away.

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Stop

Some things don't quite add up...

If wealth equals = increased emmisions answer this.

Should I NOT buy new A rated appliances and stick with a knackered old one?

Spend money on energy effecient bulbs, but use cheaper ones?

Stick with my old CRT and not change to an LCD?

Use a 20 year old £100 banger and not a modern car?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in order to be "Green" we actually need money (wealth) to pay for it?

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@People getting richer isn't the problem

"And I still can't see why we can't send nuclear waste into space to blow it up at New Years."

For some reason, the general public got rather jittery when NASA planned to launch rockets where the payload was pwered by radioactive means (RTGs), something to do with what happens if the rocket blows up. Launching several hundred tons of contaminated waste strapped ot the front of a big firework might not go down (or up) to well!

And no-one said the West shouldn't do anything because of China/india etc. What has to be done is to get them on side without preventing them from improving the living standards of their people. You're not going to restrict China's quest for more electricity generation - it's a sovereign state which doesn't have the greatest regard to being told what to do.

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Happy

Don't worry, be happy...

I used to rage at SUV drivers. Didn't they know they were destroying the planet?

Now I just think 'poor schmucks'.

http://www.theoildrum.com/

Hula-hoops are good exercise. My wife just bought one for each of our kids...

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ian

Why panic, there are other options

Technology will actually solve the problem. Geothermal has, until recently, not been viable, but america are about to switch on a huge one. Solar panel efficiency is improving all the time, and places like Africa and India could benefit hugely from giant farms of the things. Fusion isn't quite on the cards, but give it time, and we've still got nukes, the newer ones are far more efficient

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Go

nuclear... go thorium

http://thoriumenergy.blogspot.com/

Thorium Salt reactors seem (according to the guy above) like something of a panacea... no production of trans-uranics (for weapons) and reactors that fail safely (melt plug in base of reactor; runoff into sub-critical pools) are two talking points.

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Alert

Horrendous Beardy Weirdies

HBW's like this muppet from WWF just make me want to burn more CO2. Especially since anthropegenic climate warming (or cooling) is just a big huge monster of a myth.

I'll make sure I spray dirt in his face if I drive past him in my Range Rover.

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Coat

Is it wrong of me...

...to wonder if the WWF's Mr. Bond insists that his Brie be shipped across the channel by sailboat and delivered by oxcart...?

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Anonymous Coward

the other thing about nuclear

The other thing about nuclear that you don't have with fossil fuels is that 100 years down the line if we havn't come up with something new we could just mine asteroid belts and other planets for radioactives. I mean never say never, 100 years ago we were still riding around on horses for the most part. When we did go around anyway.

Other futuristic options are mass solar collectors outside of the atmosphere sending the power down to stations on Earth via microwave energy.

Of course geothermal, but then again what's the risk of drilling down too far?

Thing is most of this still needs energy to get to the point where it's viable, so we'll need to keep utilising gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro and bio matter for some time yet.

But we need energy, if we stop moving forward and broadening our horizons we will collapse in on ourselves and we will finally see a third world conflict erupt out of countless bush wars, and that will be something unlike any conflict that has come before. WW2 was a harrowing affair but people didn't have intercontinental war heads, stealth bombers, nuclear weapons, submarines and war fleets that can stay at sea for years. No a third world war is something nobody wants. But lack of energy will cause one.

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Flame

Nukes are problematical

Nuclear power has to be of the breeder type otherwise there's not enough fuel to last. Uranium is a genuinely limited resource in the way that coal, say, is not (we've enough coal for centuries of consumption).

As for Chernobyl, it was pretty bad for the first responders who had to dump bags of sand on the exposed core, but subsequent deaths over a wider area are almost statistically undetectable. And that accident is the only one of its type ever to have occurred.

The Green fascists are among the most repellent people on the planet. If tomorrow a non-polluting, abundant energy source was discovered, they'd be horrified. At heart they just don't like people very much.

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Paris Hilton

But it has started already

Your standard of living is already reducing,rising energy prices are already making ordinary people cut back.

Go buy your stupid Range Rover- even you wiil soon be unable to afford fuel for it!

China and India will, amongst others, strip Africa, South America, Indonesia, the Arctic, and the Antarctic of all natural resources long before the West stop posturing about "Reducing Carbon" and actually do anything about it.

Then war and starvation, (and sterility of "Caucasians") will reduce our "Carbon Based Species" to the desired level.

Paris , because like most of recent contributors, she nknows about posturing.

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Stop

@Horrendous Beardy Weirdies

I don't have time for these guys who have no real solutions to the worlds problems, but to say that anthropegenic climate change it a myth just isn't logical. The degree of it of course is debatable (and constantly is!). Do you beleive that 100 additional volcanoes on Earth could change the climate? Well they produce roughly the same CO2 per year that humans do now. Unfortunately 10% of all human CO2 emissions have been produced in the last 6 years so that has to be considered when looking at historical data. It's a moot point anyway since fossil fuel resources a finite we're going to need alternatives whatever the reason.

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IT Angle

Somehow I got the relation wrong

To me WWF (World Wrestling Federation) is: http://www.wwe.com . The thing is that they call themselves "entertainment" (which it is!). The wildlife bozos should also be classified as entertainment when they talk about the absurd ways they are going to "solve" the "crisis".

Yes, crises get the money! Somebody needs to get it to keep up their lifestyle.

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Flame

solar via satellite

At last! I thought I was the only one left advocating for solar power via satellite with microwave antenna farms.

My thanks to the Anoncow re: the other thing about nuclear.

I suppose our other options are to farm for firewood on Mars, as there's not sufficient land area here at home. After all, there's plenty of water up there, so it's just a matter of time (hence the icon).

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Geothermal?!

"Of course geothermal, but then again what's the risk of drilling down too far?"

First risk that comes to my mind of course is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balrog

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Anonymous Coward

@ Eddie Edwards

"There seems to be this inescapable idea that if we pay China to make stuff then the emissions from making that stuff are "our fault" or responsibility."

If we (the UK) don't buy it from them then they won't make so many emissions - not difficult to understand. If we (the west) don't buy it from them, then that's most of their emissions cut. Most people don't realise the amount of goods that come from china these days.

Also, you seem to forget that China isn't in an airtight bubble. What they produce in emissions affects us, so if we get them to produce less for us then we are all better off.

Getting someone else to do your dirty work doesn't leave your hands clean.

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Anonymous Coward

wealth

It's not "money is the root of all evil" it's "the love of money is the root of all evil".

No one seems to be condemning wealth, just the all consuming pursuit of more of it.

After all, the only reason china is mentioned in this discussion, is due to it making stuff for us. Why are they doing that ?

Well, some profit making companies discovered that they could make even more profit by getting china to do it for less. And now the games up because the difference in profit is being eaten away by REAL WORLD costs, and prices will now have to rise to keep the companies profits at their inflated level.

So the pursuit of greater profits has put us in this situation. Maybe some of those profits should make sure that the manufacturing process (where ever that takes place) is as clean as possible.

Britain used to be known as the Dirty Man of Europe but we cleaned our act up. Apparently by getting other countries to do what we were chastised for. The world equivalent of being told to tidy your room, and your mother finds it all under the bed.

The real issue is this. Traditional dirty industry has been chased all over the world as the costs have risen. China is just about the last place left to do things on this scale. What if China cleans up completely ? You think their prices are going to stay cheap ? There is just nowhere to get the stuff done cheaper so we will have to deal with this issue sooner or later.

I say we should accept our share of the responsibility and use a proportion of the extra profit made by buying Chinese goods, to help them get cleaned up. This way we can keep the emission sources small and deal with them more efficiently. This is the whole idea behind the electric car - less sources to deal with.

No one has to suffer, nobody goes out of business (except the usual suspects), no "wealth" is lost. Just slightly less profit, for a relatively short amount of time.

BTW, remember the chinese toys with lead in the paint ?

Imported by British firms because they were cheap - more profit.

Lead in the paint or poison in the air, we have a responsibilty, to ourselves if no one else.

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Silver badge

Communism doesn't work ...

... because people like to own stuff. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)

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Gotta love hippies

Reduce your greenhouse gases at home!

"Ok, we'll outsource our manufacturing to Asia"

Reduce your importation of greenhouse gases in the form of TVs and cheap apparel!

"Ok, we'll stop buying stuff from developing nations"

Share the wealth witdeveloping nations!

"Um, wait a second. How are we going to do that if you dont want us buying stuff from overseas? Screw it, we'll just build nuke plants"

No Nukes!!!!!!

"OK, we'll shut down all the coal, nuclear and petroleum infrastrtucture. Now we're enjoying a 19th century standard of living."

The WWF is announcing its annual fundraising drive--please give generously!!

"I'd love to, but I got fired from work because I had to stay home with cholera"

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Anonymous Coward

>but people didn't have intercontinental war heads

Yes they did, the US used a warhead that came from North America (Continent A) and arrived in Asia (Continent B).

The next really big killing war won't be with nukes, it'll be with machete's like the last one in Rwanda that we all ignored.

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Environmentalists

Why do articles on vaguely green issues bring out the foaming madmen?

I take it the debate on global warming is over as tilting at windmills appears to the order of the day. Rather than look at the real issues and consider solutions, far too tricky, the jerk reaction appears to be invent an enemy (Hippies, lefties, commies, aliens, immigrunts "neo-luddite uber hippies"); invent their position ("log cabin with goose fat lamps and hair shirts, eating lentils"; "19th century standard of living") and then add a demented rant with as many CAPS and variable punctuation as can be added!!!!!!

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Stop

A BIG Mistake

Mr. Bond made a big mistake in his statements to the author: he showed his true agenda.

"Bond also considered it essential that limited wealth and resources be distributed more equitably around the world."

What "wealth"? What "resources"? To whom would they be "distributed"? How would they be "distributed"? What counts as "equitable"? Who decides what is "equitable"?

"The continued pursuit of GDP, of economic growth - that is a mantra that we must question. ... That's going to mean a very large cut - 80, 90 per cent - in emissions, within 40 years."

Here Mr. Bond reveals that he wants to eliminate industrial society. For those of you who think I'm exaggerating or putting words in his mouth, consider this: do you believe that there are methods out there that would make industry and transportation (the two largest sources of carbon emissions) more efficient so that their emissions would be reduced by 80 to 90 percent? Very unlikely. How then to achieve that ambitious reduction? Think there might be some factory closures up his sleeve?

"economic wealth isn't the same as happiness or directly linked to quality of life ..."

That is Mr. Bond's consolation prize for you. He knows that you'll be happier without all the trappings of modern industrial society than you are with it. The lack of electricity and food, medicine and clothing will lead to a greater "quality of life" for you and yours. Aren't you glad Mr. Bond and the sociologists who publish such rubbish are there for you?

And how does Mr. Bond see this world coming to be? Through government force, naturally. "[T]he government and Britain in general needs to ... act to reduce [domestic and exported carbon emissions] rather than just the emissions which occur on UK territory." Combine this with his tacit admission that no one in Britain actually wants to do this: "Consumers' consumption of goods is the driver of emissions." Sounds like a perfect recipe for jackbooted troops being dispatched to ensure that no errant carbon is produced.

I just can't wait to live in the world Mr. Bond sees!

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Anonymous Coward

@Matt Eagles

I didn't invent an enemy, he is my enemy, I believe in free trade and that wealth is a good thing for everybody improving our lives.

I didn't "invent his position" the man is anti growth, with all that comes with that.

He wants me to live in poverty, with bad food and limited health care the fear of famine, of disease. He wants to make sure I don't see the world I live on.

Yeah, that's my enemy.

Oh, and I did suggest the alternative solution, but you skipped over that. It seems that the foaming madmen are on both sides.

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Coat

The madmen…

… are, indeed, well infoamed.

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Flame

mass-scale depopulation

people needn't worry about cutting back on their consumption (power, food, water, fuel etc)... the climate changes causing drought or floods will result in massive depopulation and the death of millions of people. Once sufficient people have died so that mankind's ability to de-stabilise the planet is gone, the planet can achieve a new equilibrium. We just have to hope that it's not an ice age or total planetary desertification.

well, ok, you do need to worry a little bit, that you and your family will be amongst the survivors! time to start stockpiling food and drinking water, and maybe build an ark too!

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Joke

Can't believe no-one's sunk to this level yet

Does he think that we can keep the current population levels and lower our carbon emmissions?

No- Mr Bond, he expects you to die.

It's the one in the DB5.

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Grey Power

Hey, never mind the Range Rover I can leave it at home 'cos I got a Bus Pass now I is old. Cool! so now I can travel all over the country all day, every day, how green is that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: China's emissions are China's emissions

@Eddie Edwards

"There seems to be this inescapable idea that if we pay China to make stuff then the emissions from making that stuff are "our fault" or responsibility.

This doesn't quite seem right. We run (mostly) a service economy in this country and much of our exports are in the form of services. But we count office lighting, heating, computers, driving to work, etc. in our *own* emissions, even if the services are exported."

Yeah? Well what if we stop counting our emissions-for-export and started counting emissions-for-import? Would the figures go up or down?

Whether you love or loathe the guys saying this, the logic is there. If we're talking about free markets, the buyer is essentially responsible for the manufacture -- caveat emptor et cetera.

Government intervention has always focused on the producer and not the consumer. What we have to understand is that this is a pragmatic logistical decision, not an ideological one. There are less producers, so they are easier to regulate than consumers.

This paradigm fails dramatically in a global market -- the producers are now beyond the government's reach, yet we are so used to regulation being for producers that we are reluctant to allow regulation of consumers.

The market will judge us by what we consume, not what we produce.

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Anonymous Coward

It's easy...

to knock the more extreme suggestions by the "for" side of the human-caused climate change argument, and then use that as "evidence" as to why all climate change science is bad. Unfortunately, the majority of science suggests that we are causing climate change and that it is something we need to do something about. It's not the people who support human-caused climate change shouting louder, there's just a lot more of them. Unfortunately, there's a large contingent of people who will look at any negative evidence with fervour and use any opportunity to put that evidence forward to 'disprove' climate change because not believing in it makes it easier to justify their high-waste lifestyles. As it is with most overzealous believers, instead of arguing against the pro evidence, they put forward theirs and assume that they're right until someone can disprove what they're saying, regardless that the majority of evidence is by far in favour of climate change.

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Mass Death

These guys are really talking about mass deaths.

Quite simply there are too many of us to go back to some airy-fairy magical hippy agrarian wonderland.

In roman times, italy had a population of about 11 million with Rome having a population of one million. Italy is about the same size as the UK.

Assume we are just slightly more knowledgeable than the Romans and maybe we could have 10 million on our little island with less than meditarranean climate conditions. So the other fifty million have to bugger off elsewhere.

Fact of the matter is, even if we all volutarilly agreed to be skint, we need five out of six of us to be dead, unless we use the evil magic technology.

Luckily the tech is here, despite what the neo-luddites say.

The magical market pixie dust has (just in time) produced scientific advances in batteries so that we may continue to be stuck in commuter traffic (in little yellow electric cars) on the M4 till we are due to don cloth caps and collect our inflated-to-nothing pensions in 2040 or so...

And the leccy can come from windmills, nuclear, wave, solar panels and, wait for it... COAL!!!

Right then. Down the winchester.

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Boffin

An 'H'-Bomb is hardly "harnessing" power.

It is true that our economy (local, national and global) hinges directly on growth... without growth there is only a brief period of financial momentum before the entire system collapses (see "great depression"). Businesses can only remain viable if they can open up new markets (customers and clients), new (and cheaper) suppliers, cost savings (via cheaper shipping, manufacturing, labour, utilities etc). We can only make a profit by taking (from somewhere or from someone...) Our economy "grows" as we make profits. This situation is not stable however, and is usually associated with a ten-year cycle of "boom" followed by "bust". The last "bust" period was about a decade ago (hense my disgust when th@ tw@ Broon claims to have been responsible for such "good" years). Well, it's "bust" time again (resisting the obligatory reference to a well stacked member of staff or the odd celebrity silicon) and don't you know it - the government is pretending to be surprised. Our economy has been sold off, our utilities have been sold off; our work force now lives in China and Tiawan; our food comes from New Zealand; our call centres are in India and our heads are so far up our arses that we can almost see daylight again. That's not daylight... it's an oncoming train. The only control left to us is at the helm of the Bank of England and it's a fairly insignificant one too - interest rates. This style of economics is not a long-term solution. The good ship Brittania is full steam ahead and lacking a rudder.

There is, however, one other choice. But you really aren't going to like it. No, seriously, you really will not like this one little bit and will want me under the lash by sundown for suggesting such a stupid idea but think about it - consider this alternative. Stagnation. It sounds bad, it smells bad and OMG it is the worst possible news for any country, company or individual that puts creedence in continual growth and making money because there is no room for that sort of thing (booo! down with that sort of thing). BUT, like a stagnant pond, a stagnant economy is not dead - merely able to support a different variety of species. Fat cats are no longer able to prosper for example, only the very leanest and efficient (ah - that kind of fucks this country then, forget what I said - quick - someone - star a war).

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Greens against the carbon scrubber too

There was recently an article about a prototype carbon scrubber (Guardian) - if successful, it could "economically capture a tonne of CO2 a day from the air." Naturally, Greenpeace et.al are dead-set against it -- they argue that quitting fossil fuels should be our goal. They're saying, literally, that unless we adopt punitive measures (as per the twits in this article) they oppose it. As the gent above put it: what planet are these people from? And how do we get them to go back there?

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