Samstag, 8. September 2007

The chocolate problem ...

I lobbied Hilary Benn earlier this year to stop spending taxpayers money on funding disasterous coal plants in Asia in the name of "development". He didn't budge, but he had his rhetoric justifying tying developing countries further into a carbon-dependent future down to a fine art.
Recently he got shifted to the environment portfolio. You can tell that he has not yet been there very long. At a speech to the local groups conference of Friends of the Earth last night, he was open and direct. But he was not as good in fielding difficult questions as he had become at DfID.
Particularly, he stumbled over the "chocolate problem". Asked whether the UK's government plans to set emission limits without including emissions from flying was like "going on a diet while continuing to eat chocolate", he suggested that that is indeed the government's plans. You can continue to eat chocolate, he claimed, as long as you make sure you do not eat other things so that you do not exceed your calories limit. Brilliant. Just do without all the fruit and potatoes and you can occasionally sneak into the sweets cupboard and gorge yourself. Sounds attractive. Only, this way to solve the "chocolate problem" would make you sick. Very sick. Nutrients and vitamins would be prominent only thourgh their basence in this special Hilary Benn diet ...
Now, I love chocolate and I plan to go on no diet in the forseeable future. But it is fairly obvious that Hilary Benn will have to think of a better excuse to not tackle run away emissions from flying. Let's hope it is better than his excuse for supporting dangerous, expensive and - as far as fighting climate change is concerned - outright useless nuclear power. For all he had to say on that is that "you have to look at all the arguments and then you need to look at the issue again". Sure. And then you need to realize that nuclear power is madness. - Come on, Hilary, you can do better than that!

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