They say you only start bailing when your feet get wet. On that basis is it time for Middle Britain to get involved in climate change? No kidding, we’re getting excess WIND and WATER much faster than us boozy baby boomers anticipated. We’d hoped it would be for the kids to sort out but dammit, we’re up to our necks in it and I wouldn’t depend on the energy fat cats to keep our heads above water.
I’ve been looking into it – there’s money in not saving the planet, and since we’re going to need 40% more energy over the next 20 years, you might want to get down and dirty with it as well.
Just a handful of energy chiefs trousered more than £12m in salaries last year. While you were contemplating wearing a wooly bonnet in bed, Sam Laidlaw, former boss of Centrica, was apparently applying for a second swimming pool at his Cotswold mansion.
Getting that carbon pumping into the atmos is a great little earner so I’d be inclined to stand down Greenpeace and get Tony Soprano onto the job of telling oil giants like BP they can’t drill 80% of the resources they own because of the catastrophic 2 degree rise in global temperature it will trigger.
Neither should you feel reassured about the surreally enormous costs of Hinkley Point nuclear power station. I can guarantee no swimming pool will be sacrificed to raise the £20bn bill, and the predicted Return on Investment for its French owned developers EDF is ‘economically insane’ says think tank Liberium Capital, ‘well in excess of 20% and possibly as much as 35%,’ according to their commentary on Wikipedia. It makes your piddly little Building Society interest look a little inadequate n’est pas?
So you see, although geopolitics has driven the price of oil down to something akin to Irnbru, the future for energy – as robots replace people and software replaces machines – is too good for big business to get squeamish about rising tides or radioactive leaks. Energy is fast becoming the single biggest requirement for manufacturing success. Witness China taking out our steel industry this week – guess what, the Chinese are opening new coal-fired power stations at the rate of ONE A WEEK!
No believe me, energy oligarchs aren’t rushing to drive their renewables division swathed in Buddhist prayer flags. It’s not yet possible to own sunshine or wind…. they have no value on the company balance sheet so margins are restricted to the means of generation – borrrrrring.
Tell you what we should do, we should get local and get green – the sunshine tariff initiative in Cornwall is a great example. Wind, wave, solar, tidal, ground source….generate it and buy it from ourselves. I’m not advocating socialism – far from it, we should all be capitalists, our snouts crammed into that energy trough and saving the planet. Goddamit even Africa is more effective than us at this.
There’s no doubt we need to get more switched on. Apparently we can’t grasp the Smartmeter technology designed to minimize our energy use and we have issues with it. A NESTA conference was told that if the heating is adjusted match our personal needs, our dogs complain. A dissatisfied cockerpoo is standing between us and the preservation of our planet.
So our strategy is to do nothing and allow the same types that kebabbed the banking system, to be in charge of planet’s climate. Maybe it’s why Energy Secretary Amber Rudd feels the risk of Russia taking the hump and turning off our gas, will deter us from voting for Brexit. Actually we only get 13% of our supply from them – we could ask Weybridge to go easy on the patio heaters and cover it. Putin is hard pushed to shift the stuff at all at current prices. We should be pressing the Kremlin for a loyalty card rather than worrying about security and if there is a second Cold War – fine, let’s get it from the USA. They have oodles of it now, and in any case, given our current complacency you can bet your bottom dollar if the lights go out during XFactor we’ll frack our own faster than you can say ‘It’s a yes from me’.
Isn’t it time for an energy revolution? – Isn’t it time for us to start bailing?