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Saturday, January 17, 2009

uk conservatives gone green.

This shouldn't be news to anyone who pays regular attention to the politics of the United Kingdom (as I know many of this blog's readers do), but I found this article about the U.K. Conservatives move towards greener policies quite interesting.

Though it's only an ocean away, the contrasts between the British Tories and North American Conservatives on environmental issues seems quite stark.



Jane said...

The UK Conservatives have always had a green wing. In fact the Environmental Party (as I think it was called) -- the forerunner of the UK Green Party, was founded by ex-Conservatives. Margaret Thatcher was convinced of global warming well ahead of most politicians, although she did very little about it.

UK environmentalists are currently feeling very let down by the Labour Party, with good reason, and making rumblings about voting Tory. Zak Goldsmith has joined the Tories and is now a parliamentary candidate. George Monbiot recently indicated in the Guardian that he was thinking of voting Conservative.

Jane said...

The forerunner of the Green Party was called the Ecology Party. Sorry -- senior moment.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Each of Canada's parties' ideological mates over in the UK have always been greener than our guys--to a one.

Kyle G. Olsen said...

One thing the UK Tories support whole heartedly is Nuclear Power! Where do you think they get all the electricity for their electric cars!

Pretty much their entire platform is right on the money, besides the huge biogas proposal for natural gas. Not sure anyone produces enough waste to create that much gas. (plus the cost will likely be much higher than importing incredibly abundant LNG)

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Jane said...

I'm not sure what you mean by "incredibly abundant LNG". Europe's problems with its natural gas supply have been making headlines recently. Currently 40% of Europe's gas is being piped from Russia. That percentage is going to grow and eventually the UK will be as reliant on it as Eastern Europe is now, unless alternatives are found. There is therefore a national security issue as well as an environmental issue in freeing the UK from dependency on fossil fuels.

I agree with the Conservatives on the issue of nuclear power. So does Mark Lynas (author of "Six Degrees"), and even George Monbiot has conceded that using nuclear power is better than global warming.

Kyle G. Olsen said...

Oh, LNG isn't abundant in Britain, but it is in places that aren't Russia (which is the real issue).

You could import from any of the middle eastern countries, all you need is a long term supply contract (to justify building the capital facilities).

There is so much natural gas in the world it isn't even funny, the only problem is it isn't very near consuming markets.

tjk said...

CNG cars Mr. Olsen? I like what I've seen and would really like to try a Civic GX.

This is a debate I'd have appreciated having along with our NDP co-radio-star during the election. There is plenty of common ground and exciting ideas in this field.

Kyle G. Olsen said...

Yeah, Utah is really pressing CNG cars, and I think our province should aswell. I think it is realistic to set a target in the province of 50% by 2020. In Alberta at least, a CNG car is much cleaner than an electric car (not at the tail pipe, but in total). From what I have read you can have a dual fuel CNG and gasoline car, which would allow for flexibility and portability.

Along with a plan to slowly transition from coal, Alberta could become an environmental leader even with the oilsands trebling in size, while protecting the economy and avoiding stupid CCS spending.

Jane said...

Kyle said: You could import from any of the middle eastern countries, all you need is a long term supply contract (to justify building the capital facilities).

Errm. Middle Eastern countries. Like Iraq? Israel? Lebanon? Iran? Syria? No security questions there then. Piece of cake.

Robert Vollman said...

Didn't Mulroney have progressive views on the environment, and wasn't he awarded our greenest PM?

The Liberals may talk the talk, but their record in office on the environment was terrible.

I think the old "Conservatives are enemies of the environment" is just rhetoric, just like "Liberals are no good with money", etc.