Wednesday, 27 September 2023

It might have been better to educate them

Climate change: Six young activists take on 32 governments in court case which could be legal 'game-changer'

The largest climate case ever heard by the European Court of Human Rights has opened in Strasbourg. The "unprecedented" case could force governments to accelerate their climate change efforts and set a precedent for future legal battles.

The six activists - aged between 11 and 24 - have filed the case against the 27 EU member states as well as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Russia and Turkey.

Impeach the mutt

Joe Biden's dog bites another Secret Service agent - for an 11th time

Joe Biden's dog has bitten yet another member of the US Secret Service - the 11th time such an incident has happened.

The US president's German shepherd attacked the agent at the White House on Monday evening, a Secret Service spokesperson said.

The female officer needed medical treatment on site after the incident but is now "doing just fine", according to the Service's chief of communications, Anthony Guglielmi.

Tuesday, 26 September 2023

In thrall to St Greta

Roger Watson has an interesting TCW piece on the increasingly woke nature of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic Church is in thrall to St Greta

IF anyone reading this can afford it, could they please pay the money to whoever it is who has captured the Roman Catholic Church and is holding it to ransom?

The past two years have seen an increasing level of politically charged nonsense from CAFOD (Catholic Fund for Overseas Development) — of which the Catholic Church increasingly seems like the religious bit that is tagged on — on climate change and families (which was also about climate change).

Leaving Mass on Sunday morning, I noticed a pile of glossy leaflets and picked one up. I wish I hadn’t. This leaflet described ‘An environmental policy for our diocese’ (Middlesbrough).

As I walked home before reading it, I made a mental note of some ‘trigger’ words and phrases that would get my goat and, sure enough, they were all there. Thus, the reader is treated to the evils of ‘capitalist economies’, ‘global warming’, ‘green energy’, ‘disinvest[ment] from fossil fuels’, ‘solar panels’, ‘consumption of meat’ and questioning ‘whether we need to fly’. And there was more.

Even for outsiders the whole piece is worth reading as a reminder of a more general issue, the issue of leaders who follow instead of leading. As if many modern leaders have been inserted into their positions because of that politically useful characteristic.

Of course, we should ‘reduce our consumption of meat’ and ‘give careful consideration to whether we really need to fly’. It seems that the Catholic Church really has been captured by left-wing environmental activists who simply want to make life more miserable for everybody. I don’t suggest for a minute that the Church should ‘stay in its lane’. But, instead of issuing advice, much it based on dodgy data, it should be providing a balanced view of social and political issues, including environmental issues, and get back to telling us how to be, rather than what to do.

How to stay warm during those dark winter evenings

Fossil fuels ‘becoming obsolete’ as solar panel prices plummet

Solar costs down nearly 90 per cent over last decade in huge boost for renewable energy

The falling costs of batteries and other renewable technologies could also help supercharge the trend towards cleaner energy and meeting climate targets.

“Some calculations even suggest that the world’s entire energy consumption in 2050 could be completely and cost-effectively covered by solar technology and other renewables,” said Felix Creutzig, who led the research.

An image too far

Lib Dem with their tails in the air? That's an image too far for me.

Lib Dems have their tails in the air once again - just don't mention Brexit | Beth Rigby

The Lib Dems have struggled at general elections since their coalition with the Conservatives in 2010, but they are daring to dream of becoming Westminster's third-biggest party once more when voters next go to the polls.

Monday, 25 September 2023

In an impassioned debate

Her feeling of defiance had reached such a pitch that she preferred that no one should understand. She was content to be justified by the impassioned sincerity of her desires.

F. Scott Fitzgerald – All the Sad Young Men (1926)

Lib Dem members defy leadership on housing target

Liberal Democrat members have defied the party leadership by voting to keep the party's housebuilding target for England.

Party bosses had wanted to shelve the 380,000 annual target, arguing it had failed to deliver necessary new homes.

But members backed a motion from younger activists to keep it at the party's conference in Bournemouth.

In an impassioned debate, the activists said ditching an overall target risked alienating younger voters.

It's not dissimilar to playing poker with buttons. Those younger activists want to play with more buttons. Oh well - it passes the time and there are no real consequences. Hence the impassioned debate, it's what Lib Dems do.

Back to the pre industrial age

Derrick Berthelsen has a useful Critic piece on the inescapable consequences of Net Zero. Nothing we don't know, but worth saying again and again.

The new normal of net zero

A dash to net zero requires significant lifestyle changes

Last week, PM Rishi Sunak made a speech on the UK’s net zero policies. The BBC described it as an overhaul of the government’s green commitments, designed to meet net zero targets the UK has made internationally.

Rishi himself has been quick to make clear that nothing in these changes reduces his commitment to reach net zero by 2050, however. Despite one of the stand out policies being a delay to the end of petrol and diesel car sales in the UK from 2030 to 2035 (moving to be in line with the EU), motor industry sources have been informed that government plans to force manufacturers to meet minimum targets for selling electric cars will still come into effect from next year.

In other words, the changes appear to be more about presentation than a fundamental shift in Government policy. It is clear that the policy will require significant lifestyle changes if it is to be achieved.

The whole piece is well worth reading as a reminder that eventually we will be expected to accept and build our lives around an intermittent electricity supply which largely depends on the wind blowing and the sun shining.

People should be completely clear what this means. We are looking at a world where energy use returns to the pre industrial age: dependent on the weather. People may not be able to have a cup of tea or a shower when they want. Watch the TV when they want. Wash their clothes when they want. Put the heating on when they want. People may have to run their lives around when the wind blows or the sun shines. It could take society back to a time when the weather ruled over our energy use and life choices.

Sunak may be making presentational changes to his policies, but the plan is still the same. He claims he wants to be honest with people about what the plan means. If so, he should start by telling people the truth — that the dash to net zero before the technology exists means significant changes to the way people live their lives.

Is that what you want? What you voted for?