Guardian: The human tragedy is that there is no connection between what we know and what we do. Almost everyone is now at least vaguely aware that we face the greatest catastrophe our species has ever confronted. Yet scarcely anyone alters their behaviour in response: above all, their driving, flying and consumption of meat and dairy.
During the most serious of all crises, the UK elected the least serious of all governments. Both the Westminster government and local authorities continue to build roads and expand airports. An analysis by conservation charity WWF suggests that, while the last UK budget allocated £145m for environmental measures, it dedicated £40bn to policies that will increase emissions.
Astonishingly, it is still government policy to “maximise economic recovery” of oil and gas from the UK’s continental shelf. According to the government’s energy white paper, promoting their extraction ensures that “the UK remains an attractive destination for global capital”, which is “the best way to secure an orderly and successful transition away from traditional fossil fuels”. It’s hard to imagine a more perverse argument. But when you pursue incompatible aims, the first casualty is logic.
So, as our house burns, the government sends in the tanker trucks to spray petrol on the flames. Doubtless unswayed by the donations the Conservative party has received from oil and gas companies, Boris Johnson appears to be on the point of approving the development of a new oilfield – the Cambo – in the North Sea. Yet, as climate scientists have long explained, there is no realistic prospect of preventing more than 1.5C of global heating unless all new fossil fuel development is stopped. Read more..