Thursday, October 25, 2007


Today's FT has an interesting article about the tension between Defra and Dberr (Dept for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) over the EU proposal that 20% of our energy should come from renewable sources by 2020. Dberr sees this as a threat to investment in UK nuclear energy. Defra supports investment in both nuclear and renewables as a means of creating a low carbon economy.
Defra's track record in environmemtal matters has not been good. In 04/5 it submitted a proposal to the EU which would have led to British businesses cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The DTI (Dberr's predecessor) forced the proposal to be revised. In November 05 Defra wanted new rules to require companies to report on the environmental impact of their business. GB scrapped this requirement at the last minute. This year, Defra supported New Home Information Packs on the basis that a report on a property's energy efficiency would help tackle climate change, but the Govt backed down on this as well and this week Sir David King, the Govt's chief scientist, infuriated environmentalists by calling for huge numbers of badgers to be killed in order to control the spread of bovine TB in cattle. Brown is not the new green.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've lost me here, WW - are you saying that a badger cull would not be a good thing ?? How is controlling bovine TB not a good thing ??

11:30 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

I'm just relaying the FT here: it says that environmentalists don't want a badger cull. I think that cows are having a bad year and that bovine TB should be controlled. Whether the way forward is to kill hundreds of badgers, I have no idea but I presume King knows what he's talking about.

11:48 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

King is an idiot - although not on this particular issue. Do you not remember David Archer getting into trouble about this? King has actually brought UK science into disrepute where it counts - amongts other scientists not in the UK. As a result, quite a lot of UK science graduates are having a really serious problem getting overseas jobs. You might think that's far-fetched, but it's true

10:59 pm  
Anonymous Ellee said...

I've met a dairy farmer who has suffered considerably because of badgers with TB. A cull has to be done.
Defra is the most incompetent govt dept. I remember one MP telling me that all their civil servants are the left overs, they have applied for other depts and been rejected, Defra is always their last choice.
Beckett was the most disgraceful Env Sec, and I did have hopes that Milliband would be better, but he has left and we have Hilary Benn to faff about.
Defra is clueless, it doesn't know how to make important decisions, it just constantly consults and wastes thousands of pounds.

10:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, I've also changed my mind over the past year about nuclear energy having spoken to and read the views of various scientists. James Lovelock's book 'The Revenge of Gaia' is a particular wake-up call to action. He has a very circumspect view, and is not as dogmatically opposed to big business as many environmentalists. In particular, he sees nuclear power as very important to effecting a 'managed retreat' from the unsustainable life we are living, is opposed to wind power as the answer to our problems, and is not anti-technology.

Highly recommended, and at fewer than 200 pages, highly readable.

And even if we don't listen to him and the human race disappears, no doubt another species will rise like a phoenix from the flames..

10:53 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

He's definitely not, is he? I didn't know they'd backed down on the HIPs: what is the position now, WW?

7:36 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

I think the whole idea's been abandoned, WL

8:18 am  

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