Politics

Greens pledge to replace fracking with renewables

GreenParty manifesto image

As expected, the Green Party has promised to replace fracking, coal-fired power stations and nuclear with renewables.

Its manifesto launched today also included a commitment to phase out subsidies to fossil fuels and to invest in community-owned energy.

Green Party manifesto

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas tweeted this afternoon: “The UK’s £6bn+ fossil fuel subsidies must end. Greens will challenge handouts to dirty fossil fuels & invest in renewable energy”

Caroline Lucas tweet

She also told Sky News long-term solutions were needed to the energy crisis:

“If we are serious about ensuring that people are not having to have hugely expensive energy bills into the future what we need is a massive programme of home insulation, something we’ve been calling for years. If you were to insulate every home in Britain you would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, you would get people’s fuel bills down, you would be tackling climate change too.”

Green Party candidates in front line constituencies

In the latest in DrillOrDrop’s review of shale gas constituencies we look at three Green Party candidates

tina-rotheryTina Rothery, Fylde

Tina Rothery is a leading anti-fracking campaigner nationally and in the Fylde constituency, where Cuadrilla has its Preston New Road shale gas site. The company is expected to start drilling next month and fracking in early 2018.

Ms Rothery said she has been part of the anti-fracking movement since 2011 when fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall well led to small earthquakes.

She said:

“The subject has opened my eyes fully to the flaws in the system of government that we live under and I have a sense of urgency for change.”

In December 2016, the Greens gave Ms Rothery lifetime membership of the party when a case against her was dismissed following a long legal dispute with Cuadrilla over court costs. She had faced a prison term when she refused to give details of her finances to the court.

In the 2015 election, Ms Rothery stood against the then chancellor, George Osborne, in Tatton. She came fifth with 3.8% of the vote.

In Fylde in 2015, the Greens were just pipped into sixth place by the Lib Dems, with 3.2% of the vote.

Martin BramptonMartin Brampton, Thirsk and Malton

Software engineer, Martin Brampton, is standing against six candidates in the constituency where Third Energy has permission to frack its existing well at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.

Mr Brampton was pictured by the Gazette and Herald at the start of an anti-fracking protest walk in March from Kirby Misperton to Preston New Road in Blackpool. Last week he tweeted that he had signed the petition against fracking in Sherwood Forest

In 2015, the Greens came fifth in Thirsk and Malton with 2,404 votes and 4.6% of the vote, behind UKIP and the Lib Dems.

david-kestevenDavid Kesteven, North East Derbyshire

David Kesteven is standing for a second time in the constituency where INEOS Shale has applied for permission to drill a vertical shale gas well.

He is chairman of Eckington Against Fracking, one of the groups opposing INEOS’s plans. He told The Derbyshire Times

“They have picked the wrong village and we are going to fight back”.

Mr Kesteven, head gardener at Renishaw Hall, stood in the 2015 election when he polled 2.2% of the vote, coming fifth, ahead of the Independent, Rob Lane.

  • Green Party isn’t standing in Bassetlaw, where IGas has permission to explore, but not frack, for shale gas. In 2015, its candidate came fifth out of five, with 1,006 votes and a 2% share.

Other parties

Links to DrillOrDrop posts on the other party manifestos and candidates.

Conservatives

Labour

Lib Dem

UKIP

33 replies »

  1. In other news, the Green party has also promised to eliminate cancer, to make ice cream healthy, and to make all consumer products free to the public. You have to love optimism that won’t be bothered by the minor inconveniences of facts and logic.

  2. You can have anything you want in your mainfesto if you know you have zero chance of winning the election.

    “In March 2016, the total amount of debt owed by English students and EU students studying in England was £76.3bn.

    To write off this debt, the Greens would have to pay out that amount from the public purse or find some other way of funding it.”

    Brilliant!

    • Seeing as this money has been loaned by the government to pay outrageous tuition fees to business ‘Education plc’ and that a large proportion will never be paid back anyway for reasons of decreasing pay scales, lack of ‘graduate’ jobs and loans made to EU nationals for which payment in unlikely to be enforceable when we finally cut the umbilical to the EU, I would be surprised if the payback is anything more than 30% of the total outstanding.

      Where I support the abolition of tuition fees and refunds to the ripped off students who took them, I would be minded to go one further and cap the amount the universities can charge. Each course should be costed individually and realistic fees charged accordingly.

      Universities have had over 15 years of stashing the next generation’s money in private student accommodation, state of the art over the top buildings and ridiculous pay scales for the hierarchy.

      Our kids have been ripped off! Time to bump down to earth……

      • I agree Sherwulfe, the whole tuition fee fiasco is a scam to trap students into serving the job slave market, rather than allowing them to think and act for themselves and to find innovative ways to drag this poor polluted planet into a brighter future. But instead its “keep your head down, find a good well paid job and then pay the government for the privilege of suffering the indignity of the process in the first place.”
        The young have to waste the most creative time of their lives on just paying back the debt, trapped in jobs they dont want to do just to pay the bills. That is not the way to forge ahead its just a trap into the present oligarchic hegemony, if we just teach people to be the best they can be, no matter what that is, without judgemental means tests and crippling debt and straight laced tight boxed limited demands on their creativity whilst stifling independent thought.
        Teach our kids how to be human beings first with a body and mind that is free from constraints, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s can come later.
        How can we have come so far as a species, only to fail so miserably at the last hurdle? Que bono is the question we should be asking ourselves.

        • Surprisingly I agree with both of you on this. What I object to is the way the Green Party are telling us they will pay it all off.

          The problem is that there are too many University places, too many degrees, too many people coming out of Uni with a degree which will never be used. And standards are much lower, such that a lot of employers no longer use the Degree qualification as a definitive method for employment selection. A lot of companies have resorted to only selecting candidates from specific Universities and having their own selection and academic testing process.

          The number of places should be significantly reduced, it should be more difficult to get on a Degree course and the courses should be more relevant and fit for purpose. And the State should pay the course fees and the cost of living should be means tested and help provided where necessary from the State.

          But I also think we should go back to Grammer Schools and increase apprenticeship schemes for the over 16s…..

          • I am sure we all are horrified by yesterdays events regardless where we stand on any subject. Our children deserve better in every possible meaning of the word, and not just in this country but across the entire planet.
            We have fallen too far too fast.
            For all families, all children everywhere to all governments, all businesses, all peoples we must turn this around, we must do that now, no more failures to agree, no more differences, find common ground, we must do better, as adults we have all allowed this to happen, we must get together and agree, never, ever, ever again.

  3. No surprises from the Greens. I thought they gonna promise some sort of miracle energy plan that is all paid for by the EU buddy.

    • Thankyou for at least replying on the topic TW, rather than trying to divert onto something safer, regarding miracles, it is always interesting to look at the alternatives to fossil fuels, i rather like the dome storage idea and advances in batteries and Tesla generators, artificial leaf technology, advances in cheap and efficient solar panels and many others, i posted plenty of links to those before, these were of course followed by the usual silence provided, perhaps they would care to examine those before going off half fracked on off topic issues?
      But i expect not, far too dangerous ground.

      As GottaRexOther?? collectively says, wait for the storm….

      • While the Green 100% renewables promise is not a miracle it is still a dream. An impossible dream. But life is dead without a dream.

        • Even nature cant provide 100% efficiency, the nearest it can get is photosynthesis, which only happens because it uses quantum physics to allow the photons to take every possible path at once and then choose the only path which leads to 95% conversion. If we could get even close to that, we have basically solved at least 60+% of our energy needs the rest may come along sooner or later, but we must start that now, we are stuck with fossil fuels for the moment, but it is sheer insanity not to spend at least as much time and energy on investigating the alternatives and moving towards them, if global warming is anything to go by, we may not have much time left to make the choice.

          https://phys.org/news/2013-06-uncovering-quantum-secret-photosynthesis.html

          An odd but inspiring video here:
          Looks like Polish subtitles for some reason, that should please martin.

      • Storage is the way forward for renewables, the problem is scale and cost. The Welsh battery scheme is an example – ” 22MW plant, the battery equivalent of 450 BMW i3 electric cars”. Huge cost for an insignificant amount of storage. But a start.

        Of course this and similar schemes are heavily subsidised by the consumer as they are becoming essential to help balance the grid and maintain 50hz – a task which is increasingly difficult the more intermittent renewables are added to the grid.

        The wind farm recives subsidies of around 100% of the sale price of the electricity sold, the storage of the same electricity receives subsidies, win win for the owners, lose lose for the consumers.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/21/charging-ahead-welsh-battery-scheme-may-aid-growth-of-green-energy

        • “Renewables” will continue to provide a growing share of electricity production, but they are naturally capped at their capacity factor for a number of reasons that I won’t get into here. Even outside those factors, batteries are not the answer that many renewable proponents want you to believe. Were they ever to become cost competitive, you could not practically make installed capacity large enough to correct for the intermittency of these sources. Sometimes the wind won’t blow and the sun won’t shine for weeks on end over large areas. This is not to mention the fact that installing such battery capacity would require mining on a scale the world has never experienced. Very little “renewable” in that idea. Regardless, cost will always be an issue because renewables will always be burdened with prohibitive amounts of backup power.

  4. All these alternatives are worth considering and developing, if feasible. What is needed, however, is in the short term is to have provision for secure, cost effective energy. There is far too much panic, including the Greens, to gallop head long into projects that are not fully thought through and extremely expensive. Whilst I like the IDEA of tidal lagoons why should the tax payer fund £1 billion for a scheme that might work? Make sure it is going to work first, and make sure it is economical against other alternatives-or get the developer to take the risk.
    This country, like it or not, will shortly be competing with the rest of the world and outside the protectionist market that is the EU. The UK needs an efficiency and productivity drive to be able to compete. If that is being attempted against a backdrop of excessively expensive energy there is no hope.

  5. Something odd going on in Michigan and across America has anyone noticed that there are few flies or baby ducks a geese this year?

    Is this global warming, increased UV due to decreased ozone layer? Or is it something to do with pesticides, increase in CO2/methane?
    Anyone who drives should notice that your car used to be specked with insect impacts every spring, I have not noticed even one impact last year or this year, has anyone else noticed the same thing?
    Insects are the foundation of wildlife proliferation, as bees are for pollination, without them the entire ecosystem collapses.
    Speculation anyone?

    • You should consult your master of conspiracy theory Mr Ian Crane. This is right up his alley I think. He should be able to share his wisdom on this.

      • I expected better from you TW, to label anything you dont want discussed as conspiracy is no better than troll behaviour. Do try to discuss things sensibly rather than the usual character assassination.
        The question is have you noticed a reduction, or absence of insects this year. Last year there was only a couple of wasps in the garden, normally they are all over the fallen fruit, and no flies on the car bonnet at all, have you noticed the same?

        • Lots of bumble bees, solitary bees and other insects around, no obvious reductions here. Wasps – too early for us but last year we had the usual two wasp nests in the garden. A major problem for wasps is that people are scared of them and insist on them being destroyed.

            • I have been trying to send you guys a message, it may be a wasted effort, but I will try one more time.
              We have all seen what conflict does, there are seventy families in Manchester who know that. Its pointless, destructive and stupid. We will probably never agree on fracking, we have different priorities, but to continue sniping at each other like some silly game is simply a waste of time and space. Fracking and oil and gas extraction by whatever means is a fact of life, it wont always be, and you must know that. Our problem is deregulation of what few laws there are to prevent pollution that not a victory, that is a failure for all of us. Our collective enemy is imminent climate change. I suggest we turn our attention to dealing with the problems and we will work towards new sources of energy. Lets leave this childish sniping behind us where it belongs.
              Comprende?

            • I thought you wanted to know if we had any insects and ducks up here? The answer is yes, plenty, as I have explained above. Lots on my car windscreen as well (insects not ducks). So perhaps you have a localised problem wherever you live, I assume you don’t live in Michigan?

              You are very hard to keep up with.

    • Not sure about Michigan. Here in North Lancs we have plenty of ducklings hatching but they are being eaten by otters, a natural process. No problems with the fly hatch either. Dairy and corn farming near water courses are bad for fly hatch. Sea trout fishing is currently excellent. Pied Flycatchers here have moved to higher altitudes than where they used to nest due to climate change. The caterpillars they feed their young on are hatching earlier in their historic breeding grounds, before the birds arrive back here, so they have moved up to the lower moors, where ever the oaks the caterpillars need are. For bees you may find this useful copied below. Our own honey bees are doing okay, they originated from wild colonies 5or 6 years ago, colonies that were never treated with anything. We have continued this and believe that our stock has built up a natural resistance to Varroa. We also leave them alone, no weekly checks etc., we let them swarm naturally and if we capture a swarm we start a new colony, if not we hope they will live in the wild and help the population. We take enough honey for ourselves for 12 months and leave the rest with the bees:

      “Poor management practices have enabled spread of bee pathogens, bee researcher argues.” In a recently published research essay Robert Owen, an Australian researcher argues that human activity is a key driver in the spread of pathogens afflicting the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) – the species primarily responsible for pollination and honey production around the world – and recommends a series of collective actions necessary to stem their spread. While some research seeks a “magic bullet” solution to honey bee maladies such as Colony Collapse Disorder, “many of the problems are caused by human action and can only be mitigated by changes in human behaviour,” Owen says. In his essay in the Journal of Economic Entomology, he outlines an array of human-driven factors that have enabled the spread of honey bee pathogens: • Regular, large-scale, and loosely regulated movement of bee colonies for commercial pollination. (For instance, in February 2016 alone, of the 2.66 million managed bee colonies in the United States, 1.8 million were transported to California for almond crop pollination). • Carelessness in the application of integrated pest management principles leading to overuse of pesticides and antibiotics, resulting in increased resistance to them among honey bee parasites and pathogens such as the Varroa destructor mite and the American Foul Brood bacterium (Paenibacillus larvae). • The international trade in honey bees and honey bee products that has enabled the global spread of pathogens such as Varroa destructor, tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi), Nosema cerana, Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida ), and the fungal disease chalkbrood (Ascosphaera apis). • Lack of skill or dedication among hobbyist beekeepers to adequately inspect and manage colonies for disease. Owen offers several suggestions for changes in human behaviour to improve honey bee health, including: • Stronger regulation both of global transport of honey bees and bee products and of migratory beekeeping practices within countries for commercial pollination. • Greater adherence to integrated pest management practices among both commercial and hobbyist beekeepers. • Increased education of beekeepers on pathogen management (perhaps requiring such education for registration as a beekeeper). • Deeper support networks for hobby beekeepers, aided by scientists, beekeeping associations, and government. “The problems facing honey bees today are complex and will not be easy to mitigate,” says Owen. “The role of inappropriate human action in the spread of pathogens and the resulting high numbers of colony losses needs to be brought into the fore of management and policy decisions if we are to reduce colony losses to acceptable levels.”

  6. Down here in the south, plenty of insects. Good job the swallows arrived very early. My conservatory will require a venus fly trap shortly.

    Masses of bees and far more wasps than last year. One of my next jobs is to find out where they are coming from. Not seen any hornets yet, but they always seem a bit later. Very few butterflies yet, but suspect the sharp frost we had around 10 days ago may have set them back-it certainly burnt a lot of soft foliage. Vet says ticks are early and a big problem this year, which is linked to the increase in the deer population as well as the weather.

    Was hoping to see what extra bugs appeared locally as the elm tree re-establishment project was developing. However, as is usual the great local democracy failed to tell the council workers where these trees had been planted and noticed this am they had cut one down, during their prune back of a pathway. Markings were removed some years ago as the local yobs saw them as a signal to pull the trees out. Saplings were over £100 each, and these were much larger when planted. Local democracy, you have to admire it, don’t you.

  7. Talking about democracies, I see that fracking in the US is so strong, Trump is suggesting cutting the strategic oil reserve in half, which would save over $16 billion over the next decade. Can drain a lot of swamps for $16 billion!

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