Friday, 31 July 2009

Mental arithmetic

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister:
"I am determined that Britain will be at the forefront of the transition to low-carbon societies. Not only because it is our moral duty to future generations and because climate change, caused largely by the richest nations, hits the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. But because this new approach will underpin our push towards economic recovery - providing new growth, new jobs, new industries and new opportunities."
Isle of Wight:
Unemployment is double the average for the south-east of England.

Vestas, manufacturer of wind turbines on the IOW:
Vestas announced it expected to lay off approximately 1,900 employees, primarily in Denmark and the UK.  As a result of current market conditions in Northern Europe and the planning process in the UK [my emphasis], the company has decided not to move forward with plans to convert the factory in the Isle of Wight.

Car cash-back scheme

The Chancellor announced in the Budget on 22nd April 2009, a voluntary discount scheme under which motor dealers will give motorists £2,000 or more towards a new vehicle if they trade in a car or van over 10 years old for scrap.  The scheme is intended to provide a boost to demand and immediate support on a short-term basis to the car industry and its supply chain in the wake of falling sales.

Somewhere, something doesn't add up.  If they can support the car manufacturers and dealers, why no help for manufacturers of clean energy?

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  1. They have that car thing here too, called "cash for clunkers", intended to get older cars off the streets and help people buy newer cars which are presumably more environmentally friendly, emissions-wise. That's not true, though. Cars 10 years ago got better gas mileage than new cars today. 10 years ago is only 1999. So they are really only helping the car dealers, as you say.

    And I'm not convinced it is the "richest nations" causing all the pollution. Pay a visit to Mexico City or Calcutta and you may agree with me. And those countries are "developing" and thus exempt from the carbon rules.

    We need to get serious. As you say, it doesn't add up.

  2. No, I'm not saying the richest nations cause the pollution, that was Gordon Brown. I didn't want to edit out for effect. :)

  3. Car manufactures and the spin of companies, employ more people and an election looms!
    Not all companies can be helped by handouts, whether eco or not.

    Just a shame the ones at the top of the companies usually do all right while the workers are dumped on!

  4. I just read this morning that the cash for clunkers program is already bogged down by its own popularity and they may be suspending it. Which is a shame, because we were about to trade in our 1987 F-150 (12 miles a gallon) for a Jeep patriot (23 city, 28 highway). Unfortunately, we require a 4x4 to get up our driveway, which eliminates a lot of the higher mileage options. The clunker program gives you 3500 to 4500 depending on things I forget now, but you have to be buying a vehicle that gets at least 5 mph COMBINED higher mileage than the vehicle you're trading. We may have missed that boat however.

  5. @Adullamite, yes, the car lobby is a powerful one with the approaching election. Still, I did think Gordon Brown's fine words might be put into a bit of action for the poor old Isle of Wight. The unemployment rate there is so high. Friends who live there are terrified of losing jobs because they despair of getting another.

    @Janet, I believe our system has a finite amount of cash too, and once used up that will be it. I've heard that they are working on finding new funding for your clunkers program though, so you may be all right in the end.

  6. We had a similar letdown in Texas. An oilman decided we should have a wind farm in west Texas. It was an excellent idea. Unfortunately, he did not diversify his portfolio out of oil, so he is now out of money.

  7. Lip service, we know how it works, we put our lips together and blow... we don't need turbines then, do we? :(

    Good post.

  8. The car cash back scheme is just a case of the government wanting to appear to be doing something about a problem while completely ignoring the underlying issues. :-(

    Also, I can't understand why something as important as alternative energy can't be fast tracked through planning. I'd rather not see them in areas of outstanding natural beauty, but if someone wants to put them right outside my house, that's fine by me.

  9. @CyberCelt, I'd love to see governments do more to help these ideas along.

    @Ken, we wouldn't need heating either, with the hot air.

    @John, true, just window dressing. In France you see turbines all over the place, frequently alongside motorways. That seems quite a good position to me.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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