Thursday, March 30, 2006

oh, this is really encouraging

a succint burst of frustration in yesterday's Guardian Diary...

"We are not in the least bit amused to hear that Margaret Beckett's ministerial Jag warmed its engine for fully 15 minutes yesterday while waiting for the environment secretary to emerge from a climate-change review press conference. We are positively grumpy to hear that when MPs on the Commons environment, food and rural affairs committee flew to California last week to learn about its approach to climate change, they travelled to the airport in individual chauffeur-driven limousines. And we are downright discomposed to learn that, when Tony Blair and his party of 50 flew to Oz last week, they did so on an 18-hour 45-minute charter flight (a record) in a Boeing 777 with 220 seats. This 9,200-mile jaunt, the Diary's indefatigable Saleem Vaillancourt reckons, consumed 120 tonnes of jet fuel and produced 2.32 tonnes of CO2. Four days after it landed, TB was off to New Zealand for talks on the environment. Sod off the bleedin' lot of you, frankly."

...was followed by a qualifying statement today:

"OK, so we (or rather the Diary's hopelessly incompetent Saleem) were wrong. When TB flew with 50 others in a chartered 220-seat jet to Australasia last week to discuss global warming, the flight produced 373 tonnes of CO2, not (as we said) 2.32 tonnes. That, it seems, was Tony's personal contribution to the greenhouse effect".

Good to hear that the government is taking climate change seriously.


Saleem said...

We sought to clarify whether Blair paid any offsets for his flight; it turns out he did, or at least will, within the Kyoto protocol mechanisms.

But it might be a fun project, for a few greenies to log all the flights taken by green-friendly politicians, and then send them a bill to compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions by paying offsets.

Paul G said...

"Offsetting" (that is a made up word, isn't it?) is, of course, in this context, completely useless. The idea that anyone is able to "offset" their evironmental destruction is ludicrous. The only solution to the current (and ongoing) environmental crisis is for everyone to make radical changes. Let's start with never using a car again?