Nick King's Blog

I've done some pretty cool things, but nothing's as cool as creating our family

Climate Change?

I noticed a story this morning about the opening of Africa's largest wind farm in South Africa.  An enormous undertaking and a major achievement.  Apparently even bigger solar farms are under construction according to the article.

It left me to start thinking about climate change.  How it has dissipated both as a media and political issue.  How regardless of your view the underlying principal remains an important one.  One we should not and can not ignore.

 

When I was a candidate during the last general election I was lobbied by many on both sides of the Climate Change argument. 

Proponents urged me to watch 'An Inconvenient Truth' and other documentaries and films warning loudly. clearly of the danger faced by our planet if we avoided tackling the issue head on.  

At the same time Roger Helmer, the UKIP MEP, has appeared in the Independent saying climate change is 'open to question'.  His argument is not dissimilar to that of those sceptics who sent me tomes from academics on their side of the argument in the period before 2010.

 

I've always explained to anyone who has approached me over the issue that my position remains clear.  

I'm not a proponent of climate change.  Nor do I actively oppose the argument.  I think the jury is out as to whether the changes in weather patters over the past 20-30 years has been caused by human development.  

Industrialisation and the burning of fossil fuels could be the cause.  Or it could simply be that we are going through one of those periods of weather change that periodically affect us.

 

In either event the argument about climate change, I think, misses the point.

Our world has finite resources.  Resources that will used up increasingly quickly as our we try to meet the needs of our fast rising population.  And in particular the demands of the proportion of humans living in 'industrialised' societies. 

I believe it's contingent on us all to conserve as many resources as we can for future generations.  We also need to invest in technology that meets our needs.  Prepares for the needs of future generations.  Ensures a sustainable future.  

A future that uses as few of our natural resources as possible.  That preserves. Conserves.  That provides our children and grandchildren with a clean environment. 

 

This means investing in renewable energy.  Encouraging recycling.  Pushing technological boundaries to support our aims.

Most of all we need to encourage cross border cooperation.  Integrate our networks.  

I was once told by an engineer friend the only barrier to providing much of Europe's energy needs through solar farms in the Sahara, was the almost impossible task of transferring it through the myriad of networks in North African and European countries.

Commercial pressures may well eventually bring about the change that is needed to enable this.

In the meantime international cooperation and planning could go a long way to preparing and facilitating such change.  A perfect and useful area for an organisation like the EU.  The kind of European Cooperation we should be involved with.  Sadly, we hear nothing about it. 

 

I think we need therefore to be the catalyst for change ourselves.  We can force change through taxation.  That's the process Labour and more recently the Lib Dems in government have favoured.

I disagree.  Change very rarely comes about when tax is used as the 'stick'.  Why not, instead, use the 'carrot' of enablement.  

I'm delighted the councils in Dorset, all Conservative run, began to show the way through the Dorset Waste Partnership.  

Creating a system that's common.  Understood.  Well used. For recycling in the County is a superb goal.  That's how change is affected.  Not through charges.  Not through taxation. 

My experience is that people, regardless of their opinion of climate change, really are keen to recycle.  Keen to do what they can to conserve our resources.  Conserve the environment.  

It's Government's job to make it easier for them.