Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roundup: credibility, carbon and wind contracts

Chris Huhne is Energy Secretary and battling on carbon reduction targets

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Scottish Greens flatline, Aussie Greens abandon target

Hopes, created by opinion polls, that the Greens might gain eight seats in the Scottish Parliament were dashed at the Scottish election last Thursday.  Again standing only for the list, they obtained 4.4% of the votes in that poll - slightly up from four years earlier when they polled 4%.   On both occasions the vote translated into two of the 129 seats.

Joining Patrick Harvey MSP is Alison Johnstone MSP.  Alison is undoubtedly one of the more moderate and pragmatic Scottish Greens (I have served alongside her as a councillor on Edinburgh Council for the last four years).  But whether she will have the ability to revive the faltering Green cause in Scotland, is, I suggest unlikely.

The broader environment is becoming more unfavourable, exemplified by this report from Australia's Brisbane Times, where Greens became kingmakers in the last election.  It notes that the Greens there have dropped their insistence on a reduction of 40% in emissions by 2020.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Elections: Green star rising or falling

Unintended consequencies?
Polls predict the Greens will do well in Thursday's Holyrood election.  I spoke with a buoyant Green friend a couple of days ago who is expecting 8 MSPs.

Greens electoral fortunes can be an indication of how the anthropogenic global warming message is faring.  The truth is very mixed.  In the March German state elections the Greens did very well gaining their first ever premier in Baden-Wurtemburg.  However, in Ireland they were wiped out in February, losing all six members of the Dail, having triggered the election in the first place.  From having two cabinet ministers they went to 1.8% share of the national vote.

What of the Green Party in Canada in yesterday's elections?  Elizabeth May, their leader was elected - their first ever MP.  A triumph?   Well not quite.  Provisional results indicate their vote share nationally was down from 6.8% to 3.91% - a reduction of 42% on the 2008 result - and her election is widely attributed to the implosion of Liberal votes in her riding.   However, perhaps the Conservative Government of Stephen Harper, now with a clear majority, will send opponents to the Greens over the next few years.

Back in Scotland, at a hustings we shared last week, Kenny McAskill, SNP Justice Secretary in the last SNP government,  managed to (falsely) call me a 'climate change denier' and trotted out the now rather old canard  that people are fleeing man made floods in Pacific islands and Bangladesh as evidence that we must reduce our CO2 emissions in Scotland.

However it cannot be long before Scotland wakes up to the reality of the folly of some of the 'green' policies which have been visited upon us.  As one example, it is rather extraordinary that Scottish wind farms companies were paid over £300,000 to STOP producing electricity during a couple of days in early April because of the crazy subsidy system operated under the guise of kick starting the renewables industry.  See the full  story from the BBC here.

Another example of supposed green actions having unintended consequences.