Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: KEITH HANN

SO far the annual party conference season seems to have been dominated by issues of energy.

Whether those be Labour's promise of a short-term gas and electricity price freeze, or the Tories' efforts to energise the longterm unemployed back into work. A cynic might observe that a key driver of the high energy prices charged to consumers has been the generous subsidies introduced for basically uneconomic forms of electricity generation like wind turbines and solar farms.

All founded on a policy of "carbon taxation" that was powerfully reinforced on the watch of a certain Labour Energy Secretary called Ed Miliband.

But it would be unfair to make this a party political point. Because everyone outside the always entertaining UKIP circus seems to take huge delight in pointing out what a brilliant job Britain has done in reducing its carbon emissions; while conveniently forgetting to mention that we have only achieved this by exporting most of our manufacturing industry to China.

Which may, in turn, have some bearing on the numbers of longterm unemployed.

In the overall scheme of things, taking credit for this makes about as much sense as a man boasting that he has eliminated his overdraft, while omitting to mention he has put it in his wife's name instead.

Reading the acres of coverage of last week's UN report about the 95% certainty of manmade climate change, I found myself reminded of a friend who kept going back to her doctor with a debilitating chronic ailment. Fed up with the lack of action to cure her, she finally asked in no uncertain terms why medical science was letting her down so badly.

At which the doctor outlined in great detail the courses of treatment potentially available to her. "But those sound even worse than my disease!" she protested.

"Exactly," her GP calmly replied.

We can all observe that the climate is changing, as it always has, and we may accept that human activity is a factor. But where is the evidence that requires us to spray money like an unmanned fire hose in a futile attempt to cure the problem? …

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