A list of words that most accurate describe the qualities of British energy policy debates: special pleading, vacuity, irrationality, wishful thinking, inconsistency, stupidity, innumeracy, and ultimately nimbyism. There really is nothing positive to be said for the whole business.
The answer to all of our problems is to just say no. No to nuclear. No to coal. No to wind turbines blighting the view of our mythical countryside. No to fracking. No to solar farms. The only thing we aren’t willing to say “no” to is gas and oil from Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern tyrants with a willingness to fund Islamist barbarism.
No, of course, is always wrapped up in fake reasoning.
Environmentalists who despise nuclear energy because of an irrational dread of radiation wear the cloak of economic rationale. Nuclear power is horridly expensive. We should not build it. We should however build any piece of renewable kit, no matter how expensive it is, and no matter how much more expensive it happens to be than nuclear power. Special pleading has never looked finer. The concern environmental groups have for the economics of energy can be easily grasped. Compile a list of renewable energy projects opposed by environmentalists on the basis of cost. It will be a rather terse list.
The Tory Party has its own version of this.
NIMBYism and an instinctive dislike of wind turbines is dressed up – you can see a pattern – in a similar economic garb.
Britain is now to cut down on the costs of renewable energy by attacking the cheapest forms of renewable energy. Yes, this effectively is how the Tory Party plans to cut the costs of renewables, by increasing them.
Don’t build “expensive” wind farms onshore, build more expensive wind farms in the middle of the North Sea. Don’t put solar panels in fields, put them on roofs at much greater expense. Regardless of your views of renewable energy, it is impossible to believe this is really a spendthrift action to save money.
Energy bills will now rise so that rich Tory voters in the shire can have a nicer view.
And this is where we are going. Forget NIMBYs. We have moved into the era of the BANANA. Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. Eventually, we will act like, China and erect an island in the North Sea – near Dogger Bank perhaps – where everything will be done out of sight, out of mind. No one must now see how things are made in the country of the Industrial Revolution.