Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

More emails from Phillip Taylor, Lib Dem Concillor at Gloucester

Contact me at kevsclimatecolumn@btinternet.com


Dear Mr. Taylor,

I am sorry if I have upset your feelings on the issue of your support for Staverton Airport .

My comparison with the situation in Germany before the war was not targeted at you specifically. I use the analogy to compare the unquestioning acceptance of the benefits that the German population initially gained through confiscating Jewish and Eastern European properties with the unquestioning acceptance that many people have of the benefits of our consumerist society whilst condemning the rest of the planet and future generations to environmental oblivion. I will leave it to you to decide where you stand on this comparison by judging your own actions.

You point out that you are “a student of history and well aware of the results of adopting an extreme stance and zealously sweeping aside the views of those who are prepared to consider the possibility that there might be another way forward.” I would suggest that you read you history books a little further. Before making statements like this, you should be absolutely clear by what you mean by an extreme stance. I believe that your support of Staverton Airport in the face of the scientific evidence of the high risk of catastrophic climate chance is an incredibly extreme stance and that you are zealously sweeping aside the views of the scientific community. As you read your history books further, you will realise that horrific results do not come about by a minority adopting extreme stances; they come about by the failure of the representatives of the people to debate critical issues or through environmental degradation, or a combination of both. The zealots simply emerge from the chaos.

You go on to say, “The science community has given us the benefit of its detailed research but, regrettably, does not appear to have matched it with a practical solution as to how to deal with the massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions it is calling for.” I find it difficult to believe that you are unable to realise the scientific community has not come up with a practical solution because there is not one. You almost imply here that the scientific community just can not be bothered to think up a solution.

Contrary to your opinion that the scientific community has not come up with any ideas on what to do, it has actually been extremely clear on what we must do. We must reduce our emissions, and that means stopping airports, power stations, roads, etc. That is a hard message to swallow.

You further go on to say you “would venture to suggest that I am being somewhat naive if I think that my approach could be brought about without commensurately massive economic and social problems.” I can assure you, I am not. I would suggest alternatively, that you are far more naive than I if you think that the economy will continue expanding and the world will continue to become a better place in the face of climate change, and that severe social upheaval will not result as a consequence. If you still do not believe me, I would suggest that you spend some time becoming a student of game theory.

You again say, “I am being naive if I think that China , India and the USA are going to pay any attention to what the UK does, let alone what goes on in Gloucester . Those countries will act in the interests - or perceived interests - of their country and would be quite content to see us carry out an act of economic self-immolation and drive the UK into penury.” Maybe I am, but if by taking action on Staverton, I can encourage hundreds more naive people to do the same in this country and abroad, then effective global action may ultimately result. I will hold on to this hope, and consider that you are more naive than me if you think that emerging economies like China and India will do anything if we are simply going to allow our carbon foot print to continue expanding.

Finally, and most importantly, you have requested that I do not contact you until I have a solution. I will not accept or respect your wishes on this. The only solution to global warming is to persuade people like you not to support things like airports. You are in an elected position; you sought this position out and did not get it by accident of birth. If the narrow minded and short term position that you are taking for your electoral gain is going to affect my children’s future, then I have every right to publicly challenge your position.

I would again suggest that you re-read your history books and abide by your parties manifesto position on opposing all airport expansions.

Regards,
Kevin Lister

Phillip Taylor wrote:

Dear Mr Lister,

You are clearly very knowledgeable on this subject, but I fear that you are very different to me in your view of how this very serious issue should be dealt with. Your accusations about my approach to this are distasteful and gratuitous, as was your decision to draw upon horrific events prior to and during World War Two. As a student of history I am well aware of the results of adopting an extreme stance and zealously sweeping aside the views of those who are prepared to consider the possibility that there might be another way forward. The science community has given us the benefit of its detailed research but, regrettably, does not appear to have matched it with a practical solution as to how to deal with the massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions it is calling for. I would venture to suggest that you are being somewhat naive if you think that your approach could be brought about without commensurately massive economic and social problems. You are also being naive if you think that China, India and the USA are going to pay any attention to what the UK does, let alone what goes on in Gloucester. Those countries will act in the interests - or perceived interests - of their country and would be quite content to see us carry out an act of economic self-immolation and drive the UK into penury.

Thank you for bringing your views to my attention; it has been interesting. However, until your detailed knowledge of how we are heading for Armageddon is matched with detailed, well-researched ways of how we might implement your approach without bringing this county and country to its knees, I would be grateful if you did not contact me in future.

Yours Sincerely,

Phil Taylor
Post a Comment