It’s been one of those days where just opening a single newspaper has highlighted why the UK’s ‘green’ movement simply isn’t fit for purpose. They’re more part of the problem, not the solution. I say this with a huge amount of regret as I see myself as someone with a real concern for the environment with a fear of what we’re doing to the planet, but the past few years has seen me look at these groups with fresh eyes.
Let me explain. I saw a paper copy of yesterday’s Guardian earlier. On one page it carried a story reporting on a new report from the Office of National Statistics that says traffic on our roads has increased by 33% in the past 30 years. Here’s a link.
The article by Gwen Topham quoted someone called Jenny Bates, from (what are supposedly) ‘Friends of the Earth’, who said “Despite noise made by vehicle manufacturers about cleaner petrol and diesel technology, transport is still the most climate-polluting sector and it’s clear petrol and diesel sales have to stop as soon as possible…The only way to stop transport from leading us to further climate breakdown is to drastically cut the miles travelled by car. Cleaner options such as bicycles, buses and trains need to be made more accessible and more affordable” .
Perhaps FoE could explain exactly how they propose we can do this when they actively oppose building the high-speed 2 railway (HS2), the only way our increasingly overcrowded rail network will ever be able to cope with a modal shift from road to rail?
To add insult to injury and highlight just how much environmental groups in the UK have totally lost the plot, the opposite page carried a piece on how the Woodland Trust have secured delays to clearing some of the tiny pockets of UK woodland that will have to be cut down to make way for HS2!
I mean, seriously? They’re going to take the fundamentalist approach that ignores the bigger picture? Every single tree and patch of UK woodland is inviolable. Forget tackling global climate change if it means a single hectare here has to be sacrificed for the greater good…
This is why I’ve no time for UK environmental groups like the Woodland Trust or ‘Friends’ of the Earth. They’re not part of the solution, they’re part of the problem. They’ve no real answers to anything. In fact, they oppose the only workable solution we have to vastly increase capacity on our railways and tackle Co2 emissions from transport! This is through the looking-glass stuff! The road lobby and oil companies must be pissing themselves laughing at the way ‘Green’ groups are doing their job for them. What annoys me is the mealy-mouthed statements we get from these groups, where they say “Oh, we’re not opposed to high-speed rail in principle” (just don’t ever try to build it in practice, because we’ll scream blue murder!).
I’ve written about the hypocrisy of the Woodland Trust in this matter before here. Since then, myself and a few other people have been doing some digging and it turns out their hypocrisy verges on the downright dishonest. I’ll be blogging about that in greater detail soon. So, next time you get bombarded with requests for money from these people via Facebook or whatever, just pause for a moment and wonder, are they really offering any solutions, or are these campaigns just a cynical way to raise more money?
Meanwhile, here’s an illustration of the problem. These are the Medway viaducts in Kent, where the M2 crosses next to HS1.
The M2 requires two massive viaducts, each one far wider than that used by HS1. In the background you see an electric train capable of 140 mph that can carry 352 people seated (and many more standing). Unlike the 60-70mph vehicles on the motorway, it can be carbon-neutral. Yet (supposedly) green groups oppose this as a way to link our major cities! Madness, utter madness…