All entries for Thursday 18 May 2006

May 18, 2006

The little book of New Labour sleaze

Writing about web page http://www.politicos.co.uk/item.jsp?ID=5678

For those who enjoy reading such things, I'm pleased to announce that Iain Dale's "The little book of New Labour sleaze" has been released. The project, which has taken form entirely over the last 18 days from concept to publish, is basically a guide to 101 of Labour's sleaze moments since getting to power in 1997 (from the party that promised an end to sleaze, political dig!). The concept was to publish a list of Labour sleaze scandals (it stated out as 50 but quickly grew to over 100) and for any blogger who wanted to contribute to write the entry for that incident. Iain and Guido Fawkes jointly edited it. As the book states on the cover: At 7.99 it's cheaper than a peerage and much, much funnier. I intend to get my copy soon from Waterstones, but you can also order it through Politico's at the above page.

The who what now?

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4985332.stm

Forgive me if I'm being daft, I'm sleep deprived and in the middle of my finals (and hard at work as you can tell) but I really don't understand the above link, which is complaining about carbon trading. I'll put the headlines here for those that don't follow the link:

"But the latest figures for the ETS (that's European Trading Scheme, which trades carbon emissions on the open market)– started in January 2005 and heralded as a template for such schemes – revealed that 21 of the 25 member states produced 2.5% less CO2 in 2005 than participants had forecast."

Right. Great news surely? Apparently not…

""The whole point of any [carbon trading] scheme is that what is given out is less than what would have been released," said James Wilde, head of strategy at the Carbon Trust, which helps organisations cut their carbon emissions."

Ok. So what's been said here is that we're trading carbon and trying to combat climate change, yet actually we don't have enough carbon emissions to make the trading system to work as well as it should. So we can now meet more reductions in the knowledge that we're emitting less than we forecast. Can someone please explain why emitting less carbon is a bad thing!

The article then goes on to claim that trading schemes "fail to encourage meaningful investment in carbon reducing technologies" (despite the fact that our emissions are 2.5% down on predictions). The article finishes by suggesting that China is not obliged to cut carbon dioxide emissions by any international agreement (a fact, but I hear no suggestions as to what we should do about this from anyone) and that we're in denial about climate change and carbon emissions.

Let's examine the facts. Emissions are down on predictions. That's the news. Therefore for whatever reason, we are emitting less carbon than we thought we would. This can scientifically only be a good thing, if CO2 emissions are proportional to global temperature rises and climate change (although not quite such good news if the reductions aren't happening fast enough, but I see nothing in this article that really argues that). By reasoning I don't at all understand, this is bad and shows we're not doing out bit, and that carbon trading is a failure and we need to change our habits and blah blah blah.

If anyone ever needed compelling evidence that ecomentalists are desperate to find things to moan about and won't be satisfied until we're all living in caves, it's right here.


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