Skip to content

UK government creates the Department for Energy and Climate Change

October 8, 2008

On October 3rd Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced, among other things, the creation of the new Department for Energy and Climate Change. This is the first substantial public recognition from the UK government that energy and climate change are inextricably linked and need to be addressed as such in government policy. The tiny blurb on the DECC website states that the newly formed department

will be able to give an even greater focus to solving the twin challenges of climate change and energy supply.

On the one hand this is an immensely positive and altogether necessary step. On the other it does somewhat fall into the ‘too little too late’ category as it really should have happened twenty to thirty years ago at the latest.

We will be hearing a lot more about peak oil, renewable energy, transition towns and the potentially devastating impacts of climate change in the coming months. On October 8 the BBC website reported that there are now

plans to power 45,000 homes with wind and hydro-electric turbines along Britain’s historic canals and rivers.

On October 7 the following article appeared on the BBC website

The UK government’s official climate change advisers have raised the bar on ambitions to cut emissions.

…as did this

Climate change may hasten the spread of diseases that can move from wild animals to humans, warns the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in a report.

That same day on the Guardian website the following surfaced

Plans for new heavily polluting coal-fired power stations were dealt a blow when MEPs voted for tough regulations which would force companies to fit expensive equipment to trap the emission

and on the DECC’s very first day in operation Ed Miliband had this to contend with:

Climate change and energy policies lack cohesion, says Oxfam report.

Unfortunately there is still no public acknowledgement whatsoever by the world’s governments or mainstream media of the underlying connection between energy availability and the financial meltdown. A satisfactory alternative explanation of the financial crisis has not been forthcoming. People are aware that there is far too much debt on a national and international level but why hasn’t this been a problem until now? There had been a relative, short term certainty that debt could continue to be repaid in the near future. The problem lies in part with a decline in future economic growth and in part on the fact that there is far more debt than real wealth thanks to the uncontrolled abstraction of financial assets. As to the former, the world economy is powered by fossil fuels. The global economy is continually expanding and relies totally on the increasing availability of fossil fuels in order to do so. If the availability of fossil fuels was to decline rather than increase then the global financial system would collapse. What we are experiencing now is the early stages of this decline. The central banks, oil companies and member states of the UN Security Council all know this. Some average citizens know this as well, the information is actually not that difficult to retrieve.

The global economy will collapse and it needs to. The economic growth doctrine upon which we’ve based our entire global society has brought us to this point for a reason. It benefits a very small number of people at the great expense of the rest. It has allowed the greed of a small group to take precedence over life itself: the health of the planet and the lives of all creatures upon it. In the name of this economic doctrine we have allowed much of the beauty of our world to be destroyed or defiled and have sacrificed our own freedom for its sake. We will all pay for that now and we should because we are all responsible for letting it happen. When the turmoil subsides however I hope that we will have awoken from this absurd slumber and create a new, sustainable existence for ourselves as we should have been doing from the beginning.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: