Warning: Like the policies advocated, the text is poisonous.
The main policy advocated is that the UK abandon any attempt to reduce emissions and instead focus on using on the cheapest possible fuels to generate electricity. Avoiding any mention of coal, he advocates a switch to extensive extraction of Shale Gas, a technology which (as I mentioned previously) is
- not sustainable,
- as polluting as any other source of gas,
- available in unknown quantities,
- causes small earthquakes, (See here for the more shocking local story)
- has unknown consequences for water quality.
I hesitate to draw attention to the views of a former ‘boom and bust’ chancellor on this important issue. But a browse through the comments on his article reveals that his views are popular amongst readers of the Daily Mail. A view across European countries shows that national energy policies are the result of politics and history as much as they are the result of rational planning, and the Daily Mail is – still – politically powerful.
The reality is that Climate Change poses a risk of unknown magnitude, and we really need to discuss whether we want to attempt to do something about it. If we choose openly and democratically to ignore this threat – which is essentially the view of Lord Lawson – then so be it. The selling point of such a policy is cheaper electricity now – this is a very attractive selling point. However, it is invidious to advocate such a policy without being clear about its political, economic and environmental consequences – including the damaging bridges.