Now that grabbed your attention didn’t it?! I’m sure no-one would expect me to be a believer in the right-wing theory that it’s all bollocks and just a trojan horse for the environmentalist lobby. Bear with me, I have not suddenly had a Road to Damascus (Texas) conversion!
What is quite clear is that there are those from a scientific perspective who say that climate change is a real threat and is either caused by, or exacerbated by the emissions and profligacy of humans. There are also those who claim that climate change either does not exist or is merely a cyclical meteorological pattern that has existed for as long as the Earth has and will continue to change the base climate regardless of the actions of the beasts living on the planet. What I do not understand is how this can have been the prevailing argument for so long when it could be rendered easily redundant. What this has in fact done is given the neo-liberals and neo-capitalists a chance to fudge the issue and spend endless years comparing the science and statistics of various positions, which the politicians have then picked up on and postulated at the relevant summits in order to not actually do anything about it.

What remains an issue without contention is the fact that we are running out of the substances that currently form the backbone of our energy provision. There is no science to suggest that this has been a hoax, the debate is merely over just how long each substance will last until it is exhausted. For some of us it will be within our lifetime, for others it may be in the lifetime of our children.

There are many potential reasons for this obfuscation of the real problem. Firstly for the corporations that have a vested interest in the energy industries their agenda is to maximise their profit for as long as possible whilst at the same time allowing themselves time to put the feelers out into other markets that they may be able to control to the same extent as they do at present. If one believes in a capitalist system of business, profit and market economics one can hardly blame them for this, to do anything else would be not to be fulfilling their mandate to maximise the companies profits.

[Some might say that this is an over-simplification and that companies have a vested interest in making research and development key in order to continue their dominance of the market but this is, in my opinion, not to take account of the very basic facts that the heart of capitalist ethic is to take more out than you put in, this is profit. The less you can put in and the more correspondingly you can take out the better the profit and the higher the sense of success. In times when money and industry abound inward investment may be seen as a good idea but in times of economic downturn the demands of the shareholders do not decrease as their purses are stretched but the company’s access to money will diminish. The pressures therefore to take higher risks are dramatically increased, as again can be seen from the example of the banks.]

In addition to the corporational involvement one must consider the governmental angle in this. For the United States the demise of oil will be something of an economic catastrophe and not simply because they run larger and less fuel-efficient cars than anyone else. The US economy is propped up by the very fact that oil is generally traded in dollars, this trade is one of the principle reasons why confidence has remained in the US economy and the US is more than a little keen to preserve this as can be seen by the measures they will go to in order to protect this trade. Already the US has declared oil fields legitimate military targets, it has engaged in war on Afghanistan on dubious premises in order to protect the Caspian oil and gas pipeline and then shored up control of the Iraqi oilfields by illegal regime change and the installation of a puppet state. It has declared as an ‘axis of evil’ those states that have attempted to switch their oil trading currency to Euros. It is true that much of the reason for the change in these countries policies is to be specifically antagonistic to the US but that in itself is not a crime, and neither is their choice of currency. However without the trade in oil there will be less investment in dollars, without that investment the US economy will no longer have sufficient confidence to hold the debts it is currently allowed to hold and loans will be called in. It is on a larger scale again the same situation as has happened to many of the banks over the last twelve months.

The cost of not changing the methods by which we power our economies is that we will enter a period of drastic inflation of energy prices without the wherewithal for most ordinary people to be able to source their energy from elsewhere. This means that the energy shortage will hit the poorest the worst. As the debates continue so the time within which to do something about it diminishes and therefore the costs to actually make a wholescale change in time rise substantially. It is worth remembering that it is not merely individuals that will suffer from massively higher energy prices, so too the small business will become less and less viable as their smaller profits will be eaten up by larger overheads. We are likely to be left with the larger conglomerates that have, at least in the short-term, the profit margins to absorb some of these increases. Of course the conglomerates will have more of a monopoly at this point and will be able to pass on price rises to the customers, the lesser choice coupled with the likely rationing of fuel will make customers far more hamstrung than they are used to being now.

One of the critical things that illustrates graphically that people in power have not grasped the true nature of the problem is that the main governmental force for an energy replacement is nuclear power. It may well be that nuclear power is a lower-carbon method of power generation but this reduction comes at an extremely high price. The dangers of nuclear waste and potential for nuclear meltdown are well-known and in their worst case scenario quite catastrophic, one must add to this the security risks of nuclear weapons and also the fact that if using Uranium there is a finite resource, if Plutonium then the resource is less finite but the risks higher.

Why is it therefore that each new house is not being built with solar panels on its roof? Why are the larger rivers and estuaries not being looked at for tidal, and why critically are schemes such as large scale solar panel development in the Mediterranean or Atlantic which could power much of Europe not being given cross-national funding in order to be online as soon as possible. Instead people are being asked if they like windfarms and many communities have responded that they do not and do not wish such ‘eyesores’ to be in their vicinity. One does wonder how many of said communities would prefer a nuclear reactor blocking the skyline? Furthermore it is quite clear that these communities are being allowed to take a purely selfish view, or the smaller picture of the view through their window rather than looking at the bigger picture of whether a country’s economy survives and all the comforts they are used to alongside it. In my view communities that wish to ensure they are not in the target areas for sources of renewable energy should be allowed to remove themselves from the national grid and be responsible for sourcing their own power. If they produce a net surplus then they may choose to sell this back to the national grid thus not only creating a disincentive for disassociation but perhaps an incentive for very small areas that do wish to be progressive. Areas such as these would remove further pressures on the national grid itself and give impetus to communities looking at being ahead of the game. A community that is self-sufficinet in power terms is far more likely to be able to withstand the further pressures (should there be any) of global warming.

For industrial purposes it is not feasible solely for each community to generate power for its inhabitants and there needs to be a greater range of solutions to cater for the larger users. These should be looked at where possible in offshore solutions. Companies that pay money to research and development of renewable sources of energy provision should be given subsidised energy prices for any of such energy that is generated. Companies that do not can pay tax on the fossil fuel generated energy that can and should solely be used for further development and construction of renewable sources of energy.

In the case of transport infrastructure must be replaced and set up to ensure that those who do not wish to use cars should have a viable alternative both financially and logistically. Those using cars where such an alternative exists can be taxed and this revenue ring-fenced for transport spending to increase and improve the network. Transport must however come under the umbrella of local government, it must have as its primary function the service provision and not that of making a profit. Each town must have a railway station and each village at the very least a regular bus service to the nearest amenities including hospital, schools, shopping, railway station and industrial parks.

In the case of foodstuffs it is ridiculous for farmers in Africa to be growing cash crops that are transported by air to western countries whilst millions on the continent go hungry. this must be seen as a supra-national problem and not an “I’m all right jack” situation. The West must look after its own food needs and we should all get more used to eating the food that is seasonal and can be transported short distances easily. There are many methods by which such food can be saved throughout the year so as to vary diet.

You may be under the impression that renewable energy cannot sustain large economies and is therefore only feasible as a part of the solution, but this is information generally fed by an ill-informed media and those with an agenda, whether hidden or otherwise. Scientists have in fact calculated that a large solar panel development in the Western Med/Atlantic could generate most of the power for the whole of Europe. of course politically this would necessitate an interesting set of compromises but nevertheless it proves that such methods can be employed were the will and then the finance there to support them.

It is likely that at present we still have another fossil fuels left that we have the ability to make up the shortfall whilst we increase renewable energy to take over full capacity, there will however be a tipping point at which there will not be enough left to do this. I am at present at a loss to see just how a move to a renewable economy is in any way a bad idea, it completely transcends the climate change argument because it makes long-term social and economic sense, if therefore it could be implemented we would see the results of the climate change argument from the position of already having safeguarded our economies and development. Where is this not a win-win?

Song Of The Day ~ Nubla – Nada Se Olvida