Poor old Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees: our future on a hotter planet, who once thrust custard pies into the faces of people who dared to question environmental orthodoxies. He now finds himself on the receiving end of eco-dogma. Fancy that.
Just a month ago I had a Damascene conversion: the Green case against nuclear power is based largely on myth and dogma. […] The backlash to my first magazine article on the subject prompted my inbox to collapse, the blogs to drip with venom, the dirty looks to multiply.
In August, Lynas wrote an article for the New Statesman magazine, How nuclear power can save the planet. Citing eco-prophet Dr. James Hansen’s shrill and attention-seeking mission to persuade world leaders to give up coal (and defend vandals in courts), Lynas concluded that:
Deployed entirely in tandem with renewables, fourth-generation nuclear could offer a complete decarbonisation of the world’s electricity supply – and on the sort of timetable that Dr Hansen and his fellow climatologists demand.
Lynas’s conversion isn’t all that spectacular, nor even newsworthy. Author of the Gaia Hypothesis, James Lovelock, has long been an advocate of atomic energy, as this interview with the Guardian in 2000 revealed:
This answer, Lovelock says, is ecologically clean and tidy and has a very bad press. It is nuclear power. “I can envisage somewhere about 2050, when the greenhouse really begins to bite, when people will start looking back and saying: whose fault was all this? And they will settle on the Greens and say: ‘if those damn people hadn’t stopped us building nuclear power stations we wouldn’t be in this mess’. […]
“I have told the BNFL, or whoever it was, that I would happily take the full output of one of their big power stations. I think the high-level waste is a stainless steel cube of about a metre in size and I would be very happy to have a concrete pit that they would dig – I wouldn’t dig it – that they would put it in.” He says he would use the waste for two purposes. “One would be home heating. You would get free home heat from it. And the other would be to sterilise the stuff from the supermarket, the chicken and whatnot, full of salmonella. Just drop it down through a hole. I’m not saying this tongue-in-cheek. I am quite serious…”
Although Lovelock’s attitude to atomic energy raised eyebrows and caused a bit of a debate, it didn’t seem to influence the environmental movement much. This is because science is only interesting to environmentalists when it is saying something is dangerous. When it says something is safe (or rather, it puts risks into some greater perspective), it is generally ignored. After all, Caroline Lucas, the new Leader of the UK’s Green Party is very much ‘for science’ when it appears to lend her ideas about Apocalypse some credibility. However, the rest of the time, she seems to be very much against it.
Take, for instance, her claims earlier this year that ‘Around 75 per cent of all cancers are caused by environmental factors, mainly chemicals…’, and that EU legislation designed to stop ‘chemicals’ was being undermined by a conspiracy between the major parties and industry.
Or, how about her efforts last year to ensure that ‘alternative’ ‘medicine’ was ‘recognised’ by European health agencies? ‘It wasn’t easy persuading the governments’ negotiators to accept […] the importance and relevance of alternative medicine – but we have managed it, which should serve as a tool towards a broader and indeed holistic approach to public health.’ So much for evidence-based medicine, then.
And on the subject of medicine, consider her attempts to ban animal research in the EU, on the basis that ‘Animal research is not only cruel, it also has significant scientific limitations which mean it can never be relied on to guarantee human health or safety.’ She neglects to tell us how ‘alternatives’ to medicine – such as staying ill, perhaps – guarantee human health and safety. Presumably, it’s better to be dead than unsafe. Whatever… clearly the decision to use animals in the development of therapies to cure and alleviate human suffering from conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis, cancer, and the rest is not undertaken by scientists on the basis that there is no better alternative to the animal model, but because they are sadists, who enjoy using them.
‘What has Lucas got to do with any of this?’, we hear you ask. Well, first, we never like to miss an opportunity to point out what a total lunatic the new leader of the Green Party is. Second, Lucas was on BBC’s Radio 4’s Today program last week, arguing with Lynas about whether atomic power was really Green or not. A bun-fight between two of our favourite subjects. Here it is.
Lynas’s discovery that ‘a lot of the environmentalist’s anti-nuclear case was based on myths’ seems to have taken him by surprise. We can only hope there is more to come. Lucas’s response is of course simply irrational. After claiming that inefficiencies in the current system could be effectively converted into supply, she then claimed that atomic energy is no solution because there simply isn’t time to install new nuclear power stations, because the time it takes to plan and build them. The risks of nuclear are too great and too expensive. She won’t entertain the prospect, no matter what the ‘science’ says is possible, because the risks are simply to great. Terrorism, accidents, nuclear proliferation… It’s all just too impossible.
And here lies the problem for Lucas… (we’ll return to Lynas in a moment)… She can’t consider the possibilities that abundant centralised energy – green or otherwise – might create because it would totally undermine her ethics and her political edge. It would turn all climate problems into engineering problems rather than moral ones. In her view, today’s troubled geopolitics is created principally by the capitalist system’s need for growth, and cheap fuel. This in turn creates the terrorists she seems to imagine have designs on our atomic energy infrastructure. (Never mind that power plants are designed to withstand such attacks). It creates also the very antagonism between countries that moves them to seek ways to establish their muscle on the world stage by acquiring nuclear weapons. There is a causal relationship, in her view, between the satisfaction of your dirty desire to eat burgers from McDonald’s, global warming, terrorism, the war on terror and Iraq, and nuclear proliferation. The only solution to this is the mitigation of climate change, through mediating material aspirations and desires. But if science can produce a clean and cheap form of power, then the relationship ends. The fuel of capitalist growth ceases to cause climate change. Geopolitics is no longer ‘all about oil’. And what’s worse, this engineering solution can be realised by either the politics of the Left, or the Right. Lucas therefore looses her political capital, even if the discussion of atomic energy is only hypothetical. Lucas needs nuclear to be necessarily a totally unworkable, implausible, terrifying technology. It needs to be worse than carbon. Because if it’s better than carbon, then it is a solution.
This is Green dogma. It defends itself in this way. Any deviation from its tenets results in Armageddon, apocalypse, catastrophe, damnation. Lynas has seen this in a rare moment of sanity, according to him on some kind of road to Damascus, but in truth this conversion bears less resemblence to the Story of St. Paul – Lynas was already a Believer – than it does to the Reformation, and it is founded on ideas just as sloppy as Lucas’.
Lynas’s change of mind came at the same time as another high priest of environmentalism was undergoing a similar epiphany. George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian a couple of days before Lynas that, ‘…I no longer care whether or not the answer is nuclear. Let it happen…’.
We wrote at the time that the Green’s were ‘Split Over the Atom‘, a situation that was made all the more absurd by the presence of Arthur Scargill at the Climate Camp. This rift deepened, a few days later when Ewa Jasiewicz, a ‘writer, journalist, human rights activist and union organiser’ took issue with Monbiot’s pragmatism about the possibility of ‘solving climate change’ within the framework of conventional politics. ‘Changing our sources of energy without changing our sources of economic and political power will not make a difference. Neither coal nor nuclear are the “solution”, we need a revolution.’, She said, and called for something resembling an anarchist revolution.
In response, Monbiot misconceived identity politics as political identity, as though espousing a political philosophy – such as anarchism, in this case – was some kind of equivalent to being black, gay, female, physically disabled, or whatever. This form of politics, he said, was what had beset the radical movements of the 1990s in their attempts to change the world, forgetting, it seemed, that Monbiot’s own shrill protests in the 1990s, and well into the 2000s were very similar to Jasiewicz’s today.
As we also pointed out, Monbiot’s change of heart about the necessity of dismantling capitalism in order to achieve climate stability – or, as he put it, ‘Stopping runaway climate change must take precedence over every other aim’ – reflected very closely Lynas’s own sentiments that ‘The struggle for equity within the human species must take second place to the struggle for the survival of an intact and functioning biosphere’.
The task of the saving of souls, it seems, must take precedence over the politics of soul-saving.
The logic of risk, precaution, necessity and pragmatism have seemingly been extended by Monbiot and Lynas, to undermine the foundations of environmental politics. The Green Party was established with the intention of being a new axis from which to challenge the Left and Right, to form a politics ‘as if nature mattered’, on the basis that it was the only way to save the human race from annihilating itself. But it seems that, now, even that axis is impeding the very job it was set up to achieve. Behind the Protestant Reformation lay political interests, as it was at least as much about politics as it was theology. The dominance of Rome (Club of Rome?) prevented European elites from expressing their power as they wished. Similarly, the establishment, whilst absorbing environmentalism to the extent that for them, ‘climate change is the defining issue of our time’ (Sir David King, former chief scientific advisor to the UK Government), cannot accommodate calls for social revolution. For example, while Conservatives such as Tory leader, David Cameron and his aristocratic, Etonite eco-chums are happy to agree that there is something wrong and environmentally destructive with capitalism, Jasiewicz’s anarcho-syndicalism just isn’t their cup of tea. And it’s certainly not cricket. The environmental movement has long shared the ambitions of the political establishment to dampen the masses’ expectations, but perhaps this unholy alliance of convenience between the establishment and the scruffy eco-warriors has served its purpose.
It is no surprise that Monbiot’s and Lynas’s conversions have happened as their relationship with the establishment has become more cosy. As we reported last year, former president of the Royal Society, Lord May of Oxford, favourably reviewed Monbiot’s book, Heat, in the TLS, and in the process reinvented his organisation’s motto, ‘nullius in verba’, from ‘on the words of no one’ to ‘respect the facts’. The Royal Socety’s creed, too, has undergone a transformation, it seems. Earlier this year, we reported that Lynas had won an award for science writing from the RS, now headed by Sir Martin Rees, who himself wrote Our Final Century: Will the Human Race Survive the Twenty-first Century? As we said at the time:
There is a peculiar symbiosis, in which, Lynas and his ilk give the scientific establishment authority by constructing nightmare visions of the future, which are given credibility by figures such as Sir Martin Rees and Lord May. The service that Lynas does for the Royal Society is to connect this institution to our everyday fears and anxieties, to give it relevance at a time when, as with politicians, it struggles to define its purpose.
The fact that eco-theologans such as Lynas and Monbiot are breaking away from the orthodoxy of the environmental movement to create their own, establishment-friendly orthodoxy should not be seen as progressive. As with the protestant reformation, it made little difference to ordinary people in the C16th whether they worshiped a Catholic god, or a Protestant one – they had no choice. Similarly, environmental politics is estranged from human values, it’s not as if people have any choice about what the new theologians decide for them, and Monbiot and Lynas do not put humans and their interests any closer to the establishment’s agenda. It’s all about the polar bears.
The potential of atomic energy should not be discussed in environmental terms. The predominance of nonsense about ‘solving climate change’ causes people to lose sight of what the purpose of power stations actually is: to enable people to live more comfortable and more fulfilling lives. Once this has been forgotten, providing energy is reduced to a balancing act between administrating sheer necessity – keeping the lights on – against a fictional catastrophe – the end of the world. There should be more power stations, atomic, coal-fired, gas, oil, geothermal, renewable… It really doesn’t matter. What matters is the potential they create for people to determine their own lives, rather than have it determined by eco-zealots.
“And here lies the problem for Lucas… […] … She can’t consider the possibilities that abundant centralised energy – green or otherwise – might create because it would totally undermine her ethics and her political edge. It would turn all climate problems into engineering problems rather than moral ones. […] Lucas needs nuclear to be necessarily a totally unworkable, implausible, terrifying technology. It needs to be worse than carbon. Because if it’s better than carbon, then it is a solution.”
It makes it rather obvious that for people of Lucas’ ilk [and similar people here in Canada, for example], that, when it comes down to it, they really *DON’T* want “global warming” or “climate change” to be solved. Solving global warming/climate change means there’s no more problem. Everything’s fine and rosy and there’s no more need for the Lucas’ of the world.
Which has to be a terrifying thought for her.
What do you do when you’re no longer relevant or needed?
Well, you can start by insisting that every solution put forward will “never work”, for example, that nuclear and clean coal and whatever will never solve the problems we face.
Heck, I have to wonder if she knows just how inefficient energy sources like wind are, and she’s championing them not because they’ll “fix the problem”, but because they’re unreliable, and thus creates its own problems, thus keeping the Greens relevant both today AND tomorrow.
Ditto drawing humanity back into a mud hut existence. Making humanity vulnerable to a temperamental environment keeps the Greens and their ideology relevant present-and-future, too.
Without calamity, they really do have nothing to offer.
The Global Warming cult is a complete ideology from end to end. It has its own answers not just for the warming…but for almost everything.
You may start by being rational, as I think I often am.
I will say things like: well, maybe we can’t agree about the warming being manmade, but lets agree we should cut Co2 by making really efficient technology.
Nope. They won’t have it. You have to “believe” in AGW or else they won’t listen to you.
Ok, how about alternative fuels. We all want that right? Well…with the Global Warmers it has to be a specific answer. It has to be hybrid cars. They all drive Priuses. It can’t be an American car (even though the Aveo gets 35 mpg without having two engines). It has to be a Prius.
How about hydrogen? Nope. The retort is “Hydrogen is not a fuel, it’s a storage medium”. You will see this posted in blog after blog by the Gorebots. What does it mean? I’m not sure. But did you know what we currently have the infrastructure to supply 110 million hydrogen fuel cell cars? That’s because we make hydrogen to put into gasoline to boost octane. It’s all there waiting for us to use.
But the Greens won’t have it. Even if you tell them you could make the hydrogen from water, they then say it’s inefficient. You then say you could use Solar or Wind. Nope — they’d rather charge batteries for 8 hours than refuel in seconds. They’d rather a Prius with a battery that weighs as much empty as full than a simple tank of hydrogen.
It goes on and on: certain clothing good, certain foods, types of bicycles and so on. And you can challenge any of them and they’ll all repeat the same programmed answer — it’s quite frightening when I argue online that you’ll see the exact same sentences being used to retort an argument — like someone is sending them Xeroxed cheat sheets in the mail!
It’s interesting to compare Green politics with other areas of human belief where deep polarities and schisms form. I remember a good TV documentary called The Power of Nightmares a few years ago, about the war on terror, which mentioned an extremist group called the GIA in Algeria. This group ended up being led by a fundamentalist chicken farmer called Zouabri, who basically killed everyone who disagreed with him; in his final communique, he announced that the whole of Algerian society should be killed except for the few surviving members of his band of followers. (Ironically, this was an anti-alarmist documentary broadcast by the BBC, who seem to take a somewhat different tack towards climate-related alarmism.) What might occur, I suppose, would be a gradual splitting up of the Green cause into a number of small cliques or splinter groups, which would form temporary alliances on issues where certain of their beliefs coincided, e.g. some would be anti-coal, others mainly anti-roads, others for or against projects like the Severn barrage, etc. Each one would consider itself the one true way, of course.
The excellent “People’s Front of Judea” scene in Life of Brian, also comes to mind.
“Heck, I have to wonder if she knows just how inefficient energy sources like wind are, and she’s championing them not because they’ll “fix the problem”, but because they’re unreliable, and thus creates its own problems, thus keeping the Greens relevant both today AND tomorrow.”
Just like the Pope being against all forms of birth control except the rhythm method, as it doesn’t work.
Alex, no doubt the GIA, like Pol Pot and many other revolutionary movements, went bonkers and “devoured their children”. But the GIA was a useful propaganda tool for the Algerian military junta and the French government, who backed their coup d’état when Algeria’s first democratic election threatened to put a moderate Islamic party into power. There was good evidence on French TV that some of the worst “GIA” atrocities were committed by government troops wearing “Islamic” false beards. When this evidence was handed to a European Parliamentary fact-finding mission by Algerian human rights campaigners, they tore it up in front of the TV cameras. Prominent in the mission was Dany Cohn-Bendit, leader of the European Green MEPs.
Anyway, the Greens aren’t there, yet. But while we’re on the subject of black operations, if I were MI5, I’d think it a pretty cool move if I could infiltrate Anarchists and other far left groups and deflect them from destroying capitalism towards painting slogans on power stations – sort of tilting with windmills…
“Just like the Pope being against all forms of birth control except the rhythm method, as it doesn’t work.”
Birth control: “Well, it might stop unwanted pregnancies, and that’s good, but, if the populace started using birth control, well, they might start having sex any time they wanted it, with anyone they wanted–consequence-free. And that’s even worse!”
Stopping GW/CC with better technology: “Well, it might halt/reverse GG/CC, but then people would think that the new technology would give them a license to consume like there’s no tomorrow! They’d buy stuff they don’t really need, like iPods and HDTVs and $500 pairs of shoes and diamond-encrusted watches and expensive cars and forty room houses and take expensive first-class-only trips to the Bahamas or Australia or Japan! And everyone could do it–even formerly-miserable-because-of-poverty Africans! And that’s even worse!”
6 degrees …(of separation)
Mark Lynas has made the first step along the way to seeing the bigger picture. Logic dictates nuclear as part of any energy/low carbon future.
In his new ‘at odds’ position, I reckon about 12-18 months before he makes the next logical step to realise that the whole AGW thing is over-hyped, ecochondria.
Along the way he’ll realise several other home truths including the scale of the impact of China and the inconsequential Co2 impact of UK plans and the sheer irrational hostility of the deep greens to coal and adaptaption/mitigation e.g. carbon capture.
Lucas’ position reminds me of this spoof:
Geoff, that’s interesting about the GIA and the Dany Cohn-Bendit connection; I hadn’t known about that (I’m not surprised though, at the way certain governments have found the war on terror very useful for their purposes.) Also I wouldn’t be surprised if MI5 did have dossiers on anarchist and anti-capitalist groups (as they certainly did on CND members), and had moles in place, as you say. Interesting times we live in!
CND was a pro-Soviet fifth column organization.
That’s why they opposed nuclear power as well as nuclear weapons (in order to guarantee a market for Soviet natural gas).
Even in the post-Soviet era, traitors like Gerhard Schroeder are doing Russia’s bidding by opposing nuclear power in Europe.
Do we really need to invent bullshit McCarthyite conspiracy theories in the past to understand environmentalism in the present?
Alex. The Power of Nightmares was indeed an excellent series. It was produced by Adam Curtis, and he puts forward a very interesting argument in episode 3:
ADAM CURTIS: What Blair argued was that faced by the new threat of a global terror network, the politician’s role was now to look into the future and imagine the worst that might happen and then act ahead of time to prevent it. In doing this, Blair was embracing an idea that had actually been developed by the Green movement: it was called the “precautionary principle.” Back in the 1980s, thinkers within the ecology movement believed the world was being threatened by global warming, but at the time there was little scientific evidence to prove this. So they put forward the radical idea that governments had a higher duty: they couldn’t wait for the evidence, because by then it would be too late; they had to act imaginatively, on intuition, in order to save the world from a looming catastrophe.
BILL DURODIE : In essence, the precautionary principle says that not having the evidence that something might be a problem is not a reason for not taking action as if it were a problem. That’s a very famous triple-negative phrase that effectively says that action without evidence is justified. It requires imagining what the worst might be and applying that imagination upon the worst evidence that currently exists.
TONY BLAIR : Would Al Qaeda buy weapons of mass destruction if they could? Certainly. Does it have the financial resources? Probably. Would it use such weapons? Definitely.
BILL DURODIE : But once you start imagining what could happen, then—then there’s no limit. What if they had access to it? What if they could effectively deploy it? What if we weren’t prepared? What it is is a shift from the scientific, “what is” evidence-based decision making to this speculative, imaginary, “what if”-based, worst case scenario.
ADAM CURTIS: And it was this principle that now began to shape government policy in the war on terror. In both America and Britain, individuals were detained in high-security prisons, not for any crimes they had committed, but because the politicians believed—or imagined—that they might commit an atrocity in the future, even though there was no evidence they intended to do this. The American attorney general explained this shift to what he called the “paradigm of prevention.”
Lucas clearly demonstrates the worst of the precautionary principle. The future is constrained, not just because of the problems she has imagined, but because solutions to them raise their own ‘what ifs’. As much as she stood loudly and against the War on Terror, she’s happy to buy into the logic of the people she imagines lay behind it.
The precautionary principle is a characteristic of contemporary politics. This is one of the reasons we’ve argued here that the environmental movement does not divide on Left/Right lines. As it happens, neither does the War on Terror. Plenty of individuals on the Left have stood in favour of military intervention against dictators such as Saddam Hussein, most notably, Christopher Hitchens. Similarly, many on the Right – particularly the libertarian Right – are against it. As Curtis shows, the rise of radical Islamic politics, and the rise of the Neo-cons were responses that owed less to new circumstances than their own exhaustion.
Curtis unfortunately makes ‘the politics of fear’ look slightly like a deliberate and conscious effort to control the world, but the struggle to give meaning and purpose to directionless political projects is the product of directionless leaders struggling to make sense of anything, rather than succeeding in controlling it, bringing the logic of catastrophe to their functions. Crisis therefore becomes the only way to define themselves, rather than, as Curtis seems to suggest, a powerful tool of manipulation. The difference is between a necessity and a desire. If we explain things as a desire to control, then we are forced to speculate about people’s intentions. If we say they have no other option, then we can begin to take responsibility for sorting out the problems we perceive without conspiracy-mongering.
Curtis made a number of other very interesting films. Firstly, Pandora’s Box, which was a five part series looking at the relationship between science and politics. The first episode is about the rise and fall of the estimations of industrial chemists in the popular imagination, chiefly told around the story of DDT. Curtis avoids attaching himself to any side in the debate quite skilfully.
His most recent series – The Trap: Whatever happened to Our Dream of Freedom – looks at the way politics has changed over recent decades. Well worth a watch, and usually on google video, or youtube.
Well now…Even though he now belatedly see’s what some of us have seen for a long time concerning nuclear power, I will not forgive him his former stance.
Its his (and others like him) fault that we are where we are with warnings of power shortages this winter.
Now if only he would have the same ‘Damascene conversion’about AGW, and see it for what it is ..’Natural climate change’…..I might forgive him, but I suspect the planet will have to continue to go colder now that we are 10 years into a cooling, and people may die of cold should we enter into another ‘little ice age Maunder minimum. When he too will wish he had pushed for nuclear sooner to keep us all warm
Editors, you assert that: “There should be more power stations, atomic, coal-fired, gas, oil, geothermal, renewable… It really doesn’t matter.”
This seems to me a statement of remarkable silliness. Do you really believe it? Are factors such as efficiency, reliability and safety simply irrelevant?
By contrast to your usual blend of hyperbole, ad hominem rhetoric and short-sighted consumptionist ideology, Lynas’s well-informed discussion of nuclear power seems eminently sensible.
Readers of this blog who fancy a breath of fresh air might even be interested to look at the debate on the issue carried on by Lynas and various critics (environmentalist and otherwise) on his blog at http://www.marklynas.org/2008/9/19/why-greens-must-learn-to-love-nuclear-power#comments
They probably ought to be warned, however, that this might involve discovering that environmentalists – even those opposed to nuclear power – are very far from being the technophobic misanthropes that you’d like to paint them as. Those who find this sort of caricature easier to deal with would be well advised not to change their comforting diet of overheated, under-researched verbiage.
Talisker, Welcome back. We missed you.
You ask “Are factors such as efficiency, reliability and safety simply irrelevant?”
If civil engineers deliberately set out to make inefficient, unreliable, and unsafe power stations, then absolutely not.
But we don’t think engineers are all that keen on inefficiency, unreliability, and unsafety.
As for Greens being ‘very far from being the technophobic misanthropes’, as we have unfairly portrayed them, Lucas’ words are fairly consistent with technophobia.
Greens advocate energy rationing not just efficiency.
In the absence of rationing, improved efficiency means a higher standard of living (with the same energy consumption), not a lower energy consumption.
This is well worth watching…(about why we are at this state)
Interesting video Paul, but wouldn’t it be better to repeal those loony policies in Brussels (thus solving the problem Europe-wide), rather than withdrawing from the EU, which would only fix Britain and not the Continent?
thank you so much for taking the time to watch the Video
Yes they are indeed looney polices. and as such seems to be the way of the EU. I do not believe they to ‘want ‘ to repeal them.
However If Britain did quty the EU I believe we couls ‘show the way by example.
Ps. I am a member of UKIP
I’m not convinced on the idea of withdrawing from the EU, as I feel that a Britain outside the EU would be highly vulnerable to American bullying.
Do you believe that the Eurocrats are deluded? Or do you think some of them have more sinister agendas on energy, or perhaps that (like Gerhard Schroeder) they have been bought by Gazprom?
Hello again George
I don’t hold with ‘conspiracy theories’ nor do I think that the eurocrats are deluded.
I do think though that what ‘motivates’ them, is that they have their noses in a bottomless
trough of our money…as an example Britain ‘gives’ the EU over one million pounds per HOUR
just to be a member of the EU
And fraud costs us on top of this….see here
Enough money that we could soon build and run each of those Nuclear power stations
The EU has some 400 million citizens…But the British commonwealth (which still exists) has one and a half BILLION people in it. We should be able to trade with them, as well as the EU if we were to Quit.
If the Eurocrats aren’t in the pocket of Gazprom or other natural gas suppliers (wind and solar expansion means a greater demand for gas, because coal and nuclear cannot throttle up quickly enough to be used efficiently as backup for those unreliable energy sources), how would they personally profit from the unachievable renewables target?
Here’s my attempt at a propaganda poster attacking the German nuclear phase-out…
I think you were right about corruption being a big motivator behind renewables-obligation laws. This article (unfortunately it’s in German) documents how the old military-industrial complex in Germany morphed into an “ecological-industrial complex” of renewable-energy industries, with close ties to politicians in all of Germany’s major political parties.
I think that this information can be political dynamite – the Greens have ruthlessly exploited popular distrust of Big Business in order to hijack the Left: this could be the way to turn the tables on them.
I still don’t understand your comments about Britain’s contributions to the EU though: if you are arguing that money contributed to the EU by the UK (or any other EU member state) is being stolen by corrupt eurocrats, then that would be happening irrespective of whether or not the EU was imposing any renewables targets.
In terms of politics, “corrupt” means “supports bad policies for reasons of personal gain”. Therefore, to show that any policy is the result of corruption you need to show exactly how the policy’s supporters stand to profit from it.