OTF (Own Two Feet) Party, Part Nine

Energy Policy & The Environment


I think most of us accept that the world climate is mostly out of our control and the sun will do what the sun wants to do.

There are local changes, but these are not due to CO2, in fact CO2 probably helps fight it, but from poor land use.

Grasslands – our ancestral lands: animals, mimicking wild herds is the answer to recovering the world’s grasslands, and to push back the encroaching deserts. When I say our ancestral lands, we evolved to live by eating ruminants and recently we started to harvest grass seeds, which are the staple of most people’s diets. There are even scientists looking to remove the birch ‘deserts’ (only birch and insects exist) of Siberia and replace it with tundra.

Tropical forests. These are now safe-ish, certainly from the West. Tropical timber gives forests a value that saves it from being cleared and most timber is now harvested sustainably. In Chinese-controlled areas this isn’t necessarily the case but luckily we hear stories about Extinction Rebellion & Greenpeace holding protests in China, bringing traffic to a halt in her biggest cities – or maybe not…

Anyway, onto focusing on what we can do for ourselves.

Environmental damage from energy production

We cannot just have a free for all. Coal causes acid rain is one example that we have to be aware of and mitigate if we were to keep using it.

However, renewables are not without their problems

Windmills require the clearing of vast space, kill thousands of birds, and produce very little energy for the space they utilise. After a short lifespan they need to be disposed of in landfill.
Solar panels do not last long either, if they break, can cause a lot of pollution, and like wind, also provide very little energy for the space.
Hydroelectric isn’t really possible in the UK.
Batteries create a lot of environmental damage while being produced and are very limited in the power they provide.

Best source

Surprisingly, the best source for energy in many regards is nuclear. It has the lowest death toll of any energy source, even after accounting for Chernobyl & Fukushima etc, etc. It also has the lowest land usage as well.

Even on price, it is competitive. There is plenty of enriched uranium in warheads that can be used as fuel for ages. And the main reason uranium is used is because of enriching it for nuclear bombs. There is a much better fuel source, which leaves hardly any long-term waste to deal with, thorium. India is the first country to go down this route seriously. If we are sensible we should allow research and production of these nuclear reactors too, before more of the world steals another march on us

Free market in energy

Until then let’s make use of gas from the North Sea and by fracking. Without cheap, secure energy we cannot stay economically viable on the world stage. Renewables will be free to compete and prove their worth on a level playing field.

Oil still needs to be drilled regardless. It is used in literally everything nowadays.

There is a case for taxing production of oil and gas as a national resource – as it is now. This would then go towards running of the central government, maybe some welfare provision, especially old age pensions and child services. The balance could be used to build a reserve of wealth to use in case of national emergency.

Damage of carbon credits and climidiots

Another worldwide attempt to meddle in the affairs of everyone that benefits the wealthy.

We are losing a lot of farmland to a pincer movement. On one hand, the wealthy corporations are buying up farmland and planting trees to virtue signal how good they are. With the other, governments are making it uneconomic to farm, and even buying farmers off their land. The rank stupidity of all this takes some believing. Sri Lanka shows us where this is headed if not countered very quickly.

Worldwide, industrialised farming has already reduced the amount of farmed land naturally. We feed the global population on less land now than we fed a population of 2-3 billion less 40 years ago. Interference by governments isn’t needed.

Finally, I think it goes without saying, all green taxes and subsidies would be scrapped.

Air pollution – the case for diesel cars

It isn’t just about saving the planet. As I said at the top, we need to ensure that we don’t kill ourselves in the process. That means using any energy source as long as poisonous chemicals are controlled. For example, we don’t want to go back to pea soup fogs that would kill thousands.

One interesting aside is that if environmentalists were genuine about doing what’s best and not just emotions, they would insist on all new cars to be diesel. Modern diesel cars pump out air cleaner than the air they pull in to burn. With the lack of capacity in our national grid, there is a case for banning electric cars.

Local planning and the environment – waste collection – quality of localities

This is about local government. And would cover most of their role other than social care.

For generations it was understood that it was better to collect rubbish for free than to suffer the consequences of people getting rid of their rubbish anywhere they could. Therefore let’s get back to weekly bin collections and return to the freedom to use council tips to get rid of rubbish, even residential building waste. From my observation it could make sense to have separate places to take garden waste, but that would be down to waste operatives to determine if that would be commercially viable.

Also people need green spaces. We should revitalise our town and city parks. People are known to be far more mentally well balanced when among greenery. Possibly this could even be voluntary? But should involve more gardeners & less council oversight of said gardeners.

If we want places to flourish then we have to curtail nimbyism. If you look at areas in Wales and Yorkshire, they are rural idylls that were once mines etc. Time heals. Industry has to go somewhere and it needs to operate competitively. Without it, we would still be in the stone age. As long as people have a right to light and protection against air & noise pollution then whatever a person wishes to do with their land should be granted. OK, it may not be quite that easy and I think I may have just lost a lot of votes…

We have many fine buildings that have evolved over hundreds of years. Imagine having to keep them as originally built. We must trust that most guardians of buildings will be sympathetic to them, or even if root and branch changes are made, with the passage of time, they will stand out in their own right. No more mad regulations controlling what someone can do to their home because some obscure person designed its staircase or a doorway etc etc.

Waterways would come back to local control – it would be up to councils to ensure rivers were dredged and flood defences sufficient.

Policy ideas

  • Free for all in energy production – local environmental issues allowing.
  • In particular – push to build thorium nuclear reactors – maybe the modular designs could be used?
  • No green taxes or subsidies.
  • Farmland to be freed from interference – mixed pastoral farming to be welcomed.
  • No subsidies for vehicles – diesels to be welcomed again.
  • Weekly bin collections. Leave it to private collection companies to recycle what they can in a commercial setting.
  • Waterways, back to local control.
  • Local planning to only refuse planning on minor areas such as a right to light for a house.
  • Parks to be revitalised as delights to walk in.
  • Grade listing of most, if not all, buildings to be abolished.

Next up – Taking away the power to use your own data to take advantage of you:

Part 10 – Your data as a property right.


© Jerry Mandarin 2022