Pro-peace, pro-soldier

Service Personnel abuse allegations:
Oppose the war, but don’t abuse the troops
Green Party Lead candidate for the 2009 European Elections makes clear there is no excuse for verbally abusing service men and women
Allegations have been made that RAF men and women in Eastern Region (specifically, service men and women from RAF Wittering, near Peterborough) have been verbally abused by some local residents unhappy about the fact that British forces are occupying Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Green Party has been very active in the peace movement and in opposing the wars. Cllr. Rupert Read, Lead candidate for the 2009 European Elections in Eastern Region, made clear this morning that opposing war and opposing aggression against British service personnel are two sides of the same coin:
“The Green Party is anti-war, pro-peace, but also believes that people should be treated fairly. Service personnel are doing what the Government has sent them to do, in extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances. Most of the community understands that and recognises the situation they are in. Hopefully the stories of verbal abuse actually relate to very limited incidents.
Service men and women should never be personally attacked for bad decisions made by those in charge. It is not the troops who should be taking the rap for the disasters continuing to unfold in Iraq and Afghanistan – it is those in Downing Street who persist in sending them into counter-productive occupation and war situations, who should take the blame.”
Eastern Region Green Party Press Office 01376 584576 mobile 07951 923073
Euro 2009 Lead Candidate Cllr. Dr. Rupert Read 01603 219294 mobile 07946 459066
For more Green News please visit

There is no techno-fix, for flying

My colleague on Norwich City Council, Steve Morphew of Labour, had a letter in the INDY a couple of days ago (you can see it here: ), in which he suggests massive reductions in the amount of CO2 pollution generated by airplanes in order to make flying ‘sustainable’. Sounds great! Only one problem: It simply can’t be done, except by flying less. The most optimistic predictions of improvement in the efficiency of air transport in this century is a reduction in CO2 emissions of about 30%. We would need 90-95% efficiencies – within the next few years! – for the rapidly-expanding air transport sector to become sustainable.

Research from Norwich’s Tyndall Centre has shown that air transport is the one sector of our entire economy where, in order to prevent ourselves from permanently destabilising the climate, we are going to HAVE to simply tighten our belts.

There is no biofuels-based techno-fix either. Reports of recent peer-reviewed science papers in the _Independent_ have shown that biofuels are mostly more climate-dangerous than the petrofuels they pretend to replace.

For the sake of all our tomorrows, we are just going to have to fly less.

My windfall tax on energy companies idea picks up steam!

I was intrigued to see that the Guardian’s front page story yesterday (see also ) reveals that Drax, British Gas et al are arguing against a windfall tax on their obscene profits, on the grounds that such a tax would allegedly prevent them investing in measures to ‘green’ their activities. They quote a spokesman for British Gas as saying that such ‘green’ technologies are very expensive, far more so than burning fossil fuels.
When and how are these corporations going to get the message that not investing in greener technologies will not only literally cost the earth, but will also cost them dear? It seems that the answer to that question is: Only if they are made to pay. In other words: the government must make it expensive to rely on burning fossil fuels. By, for example, levying every year — and not just this year — a swingeing tax on any profits made from burning these fast-depleting resources that are polluting our planetary life-support system…

20’s plenty…

[Further to my earlier posts on this matter:]

It is obvious that introducing 20mph limits for residential streets in Norwich would reduce traffic casualties. And what could be more important than that?

But not only that; if we reduced the speed limit, we would reduce CO2 emissions, at the same time. Here’s why:
‘Modal shift’ is the key to red
ucing carbon emissions. Cars driving too fast (and resultantly dangerous streets) is the
key reason why people do not shift to getting about by bike and foot. Ergo:
reducing speed
limits is the key to reducing emissions.

[Here are some good links on the emerging cameras technology that will enable 20mph zones to be policed properly: