In the past, wealthy Romans used powdered mouse brains for toothpaste. During the 19th Century, King Ludwig II of Bavaria spent all of his personal funds on the construction of fairy tale castles.
Sultan Ibrahim l of the Ottomans tried to force feed his fish with money. And Ivan IV, Tsar of Russia spent his spare time torturing small animals. What madness, you’d think people in power would know better, wouldn’t you?
And then this letter arrived …
I’ve been amazed at crazy behaviour of this present Government. In the last few weeks the following has been announced:
1.The Zero Carbon Homes standard set out in 2006 for all new houses to be net zero carbon by 2016 has been scrapped. So we can still build the leaky energy inefficient new houses like we have been building. The homeowner’s costs will be higher as well as the GreenHouse Gas (GHG) costs.
2.The climate change levy exemption for renewable energy has been scrapped from 1st Aug 2015 – this means that the renewable energy industry now has to pay for the carbon produced by the rest of the fossil fuel industry. About £1billion per year by 2020. Significant financially and ethically.
3.New Onshore Wind has been effectively stalled due to the subsidies to encourage it being removed. The Gov. admits that this will certainly reduce the volume of our cheapest large-scale renewable energy (Onshore Wind) and so we will not meet the 2025 targets. The UK still pays £28 Billion per year in Fossil Fuel subsidies (although it was promised to phase this out from 2010)
4.The Department for Energy and Climate change (DECC) has seen its budget cut by £70M, with staffing levels likely to be cut by 90%. Since the majority of its budget is used for trying to clear up the Sellafield nuclear mess there will not be much left for anything related to climate change.
5.Low Emission vehicles will now be charged the same road tax as standard cars. Good for Chelsea tractors.
6.The long awaited Green Deal for households to reduce their fossil fuel energy consumption has been cancelled.
7.Meanwhile the fracking situation seems increasingly undemocratic
8.And the latest news is that the Solar PV feed in tariffs will be suddenly reduced (again) by 85% at the end of December, and if this happens to cause a sudden rush to install (as it has already) then they have introduced the caveat that the FITS will suddenly be ended completely in January. No exemption for any community energy projects.
When challenged with the 20,000 job losses likely, Amber Rudd simply said ‘ Employment levels were not in their evaluations’
All the above was actually described as ‘Totally Bonkers’ by other members of parliament.
Fortunately I’ve just returned charged up with optimism following a workshop at the Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT) on the Zero Carbon Britain model and how this links to over 120 other countries similar work. Information in this letter comes from their Autumn 2015 issue of their magazine, Clean Slate.
Thanks Gordon, great letter.
Rachel Francis, http://www.sharpeningpencils.co.uk
First published in Broad Sheep Oct 2015 edition
Have you signed this petition asking DECC to urgently review the current approach to the solar feed in tariff? https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106791?reveal_response=yes