Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.
It’s been party conference season and their is all sorts of rhetoric flying around about what is best for the country and what each political party will do (or would if they were in power). I’m not going to link to any of it, however the one bit that did really grate on me was a Tory minister saying that all the promises / statements made during the EU referendum were meaningless and had no impact on the overall result. Whilst I accept that no one can be held to those promises, to say they had no impact on the result is one of the most naive and stupid things I’ve heard in a long time. This is the minister who is responsible for negotiating our exit from the EU. We’re all screwed.
Still on the subject of Brexit this article in The Guardian and this one by author Charles Stross talk about some of the potential stark realities if the Government get the negotiations wrong. Both mention potential crisis with food, and the possible future cost of food imports. We currently import 40% of our food, and although I don’t agree completely with the comment in one of the articles about our ability to “grow our own” – and I mean this on a commercial scale, not a domestic self-sufficiency one – I think we could do much better and with the right education about seasonal foods, waste reduction and other areas where we are currently weak and mean that we don’t maximise our current production levels; the picture is a worrying one. I have no confidence in those in charge of this set of negotiations and their ability to deliver the best deal possible.
Nigel: my family and other dogs by Monty Don [GoodReads] I finished this just before I posted, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, savouring it.
Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer: 2 (The Journals of Thomas Merton) by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]. Having finished the first volume of journals not that long ago, I started the second volume more or less straight away.
Here’s a short piece I wrote somewhere else – mostly to get the thoughts off my chest:
Yesterday it was fracking, a few weeks ago nuclear power. From an energy perspective Theresa May’s government has been the government of missed opportunities so far. Each time an opportunity to respond in a sustainable manner to current and future energy needs, and restart the mistakes made by successive previous governments it’s been passed over for something “easier”.
In truth we know very little about the true economic costs of fracking in the UK. If exploration in Lancashire does go ahead – there are still hurdles to be overcome before it can start – then perhaps the one thing that might come out of it is a proper economic assessment of it. Widely touted as a boon of cheap gas, I think the reality will be somewhat different, unlikely to be cheaper than imported gas and renewables, it may well turn out to be another expensive white elephant.
The same with Hinkley Point and it’s strike price (although perhaps it will take so long to build that this might be cheap?) There are viable renewable solutions here and now that could be deployed for the same cost and produce the same amount of energy.
When Theresa May announced her Cabinet she erased DECC and formed BEIS, many people commented that the loss of “Climate Change” from a department title was a bad thing. At the time I was willing to sit on the fence about this, but it seems that those people were right. Another missed opportunity to put a response to climate change at the heart of government and in doing so push it to the back of Minister’s minds.