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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Letter to David Drew MP - following Climate Camp at Kingsnorth Power Station

Dear David,
I was at the climate camp last week. As you may have seen on the news, the police response was completely totally over the top and was blatant oppression. We had helicopters over us during the night to stop us sleeping, we had helicopters over us during the day to stop us talking. We were searched when entering and leaving the camp. The camp was frequently attacked by riot police at 5:00 am. This is a disaster for free speech and could be taken out of the worst nightmares from George Orwell.

As you are aware, climate change is going to become a bigger and bigger issue and it will become more contentious. The authorities, who are clearly frightened were this will lead, are taking the worst possible approach to this by driving us towards a police state.
Further to this, Eon has been successful in getting a misleading message across about how clean the new power station will be compared to the existing station that they plan to replace. They have kept reiterating that the new power plant will be 20% more efficient that the existing. However, in Eon's environment statement it says that the power plant operates at 37% efficiency, so the 20% improvement will merely raise the efficiency to 45%. So the absolute improvement is only 8%. Furthermore, the existing power plant is rated at 450MW and the new power is 800MW, representing an increase in emissions of 77% . With their projected increase in efficiency, the total emissions from the power plant will increase by 63%. This picture of massively increasing emissions is completely counter to that presented by Eon and is disastrous when we now face the prospect of catastrophic climate change.

I would therefore like the following question to be asked to the either John Hutton, or Malcom Wicks:

"Can ministers confirm that the absolute increase in efficiency at Kingsnorth Power station is only 8%, based on Eons environment statement (page 4). Also given that the output of the new plant is planned to be 77% higher that the existing plant, then the total CO2 emission increase is 63% once the efficiency improvement is taken into account. Can ministers explain how this is justified in light of the government's climate change bill?"

Also you may have seen the article in the Guardian by Prof Watson, the chief advisor to DEFRA, who states that the fight against climate change is now lost and that we should focus on adapting to a 4 deg C increase. Adaptation to a 4 deg C increase will be done by dieing in our billions and taking the natural world down with us. To give the lie that we can adapt to a change of this order, is the worst spin that has yet been thrown at us.

If no questions have been asked on this, could you ask:

"Can ministers explain what adaptation is possible if we get the 4 deg C temperature increase that Prof Watson warns, given that our cities will be flooded, our food chains will have collapsed and we will be managing a massive environmental refugee crisis. Is is not better to ban the building of more fossil fuel power stations, such as Kingsnorth, to invest in nuclear and renewables, and immediately start the implementation of a carbon rationing scheme?"

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