Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Conservatives in Britain Break Pledge to Support Environmentally Friendly Government Programs

Not Just in U. S. That Conservatives Hate the Environment

When Britain’s Conservative Coalition Government came to power, the Prime Minister David Cameron announced that this was going to be “new and better” Conservatives.  One of his programs was that

In his first week as Prime Minister, Mr Cameron told civil servants at the Department for Energy and Climate Change: "I want us to be the greenest government ever – a very simple ambition and one that I'm absolutely committed to achieving."

But environmentally friendly programs and Conservatism just don’t mix, they are like an oil spill and water.  Green political philosophy says that government must and should take an active role in protecting the environment, that current society should conserve the environment, which certainly sounds like Conservative policy.  But the reality of today’s Conservatives is that they see natural resources as something to be exploited for enrichment of the rich, and if that results in more pollution, well that to them is just the cost of progress.

So it should be of no surprise that the Conservatives in Britain has largely renounced their plans to be environmentally supportive.  Their most recent action has been to halve the amount paid to homes and businesses that have solar panel that generate more electricity than they use. 

A typical solar panel installation costs around £12,000, meaning homeowners have to wait eight years under the feed-in-tariff rate of 43p per kwh to earn the money back. This would double to 16 years' payback time under the new 21p rate. . . .

The feed-in tariff scheme is one of the most popular environmental measures introduced by any government. It has already been adopted by 100,000 private and housing association homes, and was championed by David Cameron within weeks of him becoming Conservative leader.

The reversal by Mr Cameron has generated a substantial backlash against the government.

A letter by a broad alliance – from the Federation of Small Businesses and house-building organisations to council leaders from all three political parties, as well as the Town and Country Planning Association – has been organised by Friends of the Earth and the Cut Don't Kill campaign, which is pressing for the Government to temper the reforms. Mr Cameron and Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, are also under pressure from the Confederation of British Industry, whose chief, John Cridland, said the measure was an "own goal". Mr Huhne has also been warned that 20 Liberal Democrat MPs – more than a third of the parliamentary party – are fighting the proposals.

But not to worry fans of Conservatives, the government won’t back down after backing down on its original position.

But Greg Barker, Climate Change minister, said: "My priority is to put the solar industry on a firm footing so that it can remain a successful and prosperous part of the green economy, and so that it doesn't fall victim to boom and bust."

although exactly how cutting support in half will put an industry on “firm footing” is something only Conservatives can expect, since it goes against all logic of economics.

The report by The Independent goes on to list a large number of  anti-environmental policies and programs by the government that pledge to be the greenest ever.  But Conservatives can legitimately complain of being mis-understood.  When they talk about “green” policies they really mean policies that will provide more “green” to the wealthy.  That’s what Conservatives do.

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