Clean Coal and George Monbiot: enough with the conspiracy theories
George Monbiot has laid into the Government’s plans for clean coal plants announced today accusing it of a cynical decision resulting from lobbying by the energy generation industry. Maybe George Monbiot should consider the possibility that there is actually a reasonable case for clean coal plants as a way to cut emissions and the Government agrees with that. It’s not a watertight case but then there isn’t a watertight case for reliance on renewables alone or any particular mix of sources either.
I accept that Monbiot knows a vast amount about the climate debate and that he has done a great deal to assert the cause but that doesn’t mean he is right on everything. If someone disagrees with him it might not be because they have retreated from rationality towards venality. The Budget yesterday announced money and support for the offshore wind industry but I assume George thinks this is the result of good green common sense rather than any pressure from the renewables industry (or the energy industry itself which has quite an investment in renewables now anyway).
In truth, if the Government was responding only to pressure from industry they would probably have taken this decision years ago. The reason it has happened now has more to do with a major shift in Government thinking towards the acceptance that the state will have to intervene and stump up some of the cash for the shift to a low carbon economy.
By the way, if you read Monbiot’s article, do follow the link to “the Guardian’s new revelations” about the Government’s collusion with the energy industry. I thought it would be an article about secret policy breakfasts and jobs for civil servants on energy company boards. In fact, it’s about information being passed to E.ON about the climate camp protest outside their Kingsnorth power plant. Hardly convincing.