Thursday, June 05, 2008

Caroline Lucas, MEP

I just received this email (another in the series I wrote to 'green celebrities' regarding the climate change conversation).

Dear Joe,

Thank you for your email about the stark and difficult decisions that need to be made with regard to climate change. Caroline has asked me to respond on her behalf and please excuse the delay in doing.

The Green Party strongly agrees that there is a moral imperative to act to tackle climate change. Caroline works closely with organisations such as Christian Aid and War on Want to highlight that this not just an environmental crisis we face but also a social one – and one that will impact on the poorest people first, and worst.

Her approach is very much focused on the idea that individuals need to take action to reduce their own impact but that the greater need is for government to put in place a legislative framework that will enable the kind of personal and consumer decision making that is necessary. So, for example, she argues that pricing of transport should facilitate the promotion of sustainable options. The Green Party also advocate a carbon ration – an allowance that each individual can spend as they choose each year but which cannot be exceeded. The ration could be traded and, as evidence suggests that those on lower incomes tend to be more carbon efficient they could chose to gain financially for their behaviour. The crucial element of such a scheme is that although the wealthiest people could afford to buy the right to emit carbon this would have a cap. The Green Party also supports a related scheme that would work on a global level, called contraction and convergence. This too has a strong social element and seeks to impose an overall cap on emissions per capita.

As you note, failure to curb greenhouse gas emissions will probably lead to any number of nightmare scenarios unfolding across the globe. Caroline would argue that the current rise in food and oil prices is an early manifestation of the kind of social breakdown that occurs when the global population lives beyond its environmental capacity. In 2006 she wrote to government and the EU to enquire what measures were in place to plan for peak oil – the point at which demand outstrips the possibility of supply – and resulting high oil prices. The unanimous response was ‘this will not happen’. Caroline disagrees and this year’s rocketing oil prices are evidence that the world is not equipped to manage a growing scarcity of fossil fuels and all that implies. Nor, she would argue, is it equipped to deal with eg hyper inflation or mass internal migration as sea levels rise. The Green Party believes it has policies that can prevent such scenarios becoming a reality but whilst the focus remains on finding ways to continue business as usual via investment in eg carbon capture and storage or a switch to biofuels, it is a struggle for these to gain ground.

Please be assured that Caroline and the Green Party are utterly aware of the need to put in place a strategy based on assuming the worst – namely that CO2 levels are not kept within 350ppm and we go past the point of no return with regard a changing climate. Her work at European level involves striking a balance between this and more positive work on ways to prevent it happening. She will also continue to keep up the pressure on the national government to properly consider its response to the likely consequences of passing that point of no return.

Thank you for taking the time to write to Caroline and you can read more about her work at

Kind regards,


Cath Miller

Constituency Coordinator and Researcher

Office of Dr Caroline Lucas

Green Party MEP for SE England

Suite 58, The Hop Exchange

24 Southwark Street

London SE1 1TY

Tel: 020 7407 6281


You have automatically been signed up to receive bimonthly email bulletins from Caroline. Please respond to this message putting INFO as the subject header if you do NOT want to receive these bulletins.

Nice to know that I've also signed up for bimonthly email bulletins, wouldn't you say?

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Blogger Ken said...

I really admired your recent post at the DE blog site, so I 'followed you' ver here to get to know you a little better.

Regarding this post:

I am so comforted to know that there are elite groups out there who truly know what's best for the 6.7 billion people they share this planet with and how to accomplish doing it.

That is a mighty ambitious undertaking!!!

I really like the idea of redistribution of wealth through manipulating the totally unproven theories surrounding global warming and man's ignorance or disrespect being the cause of it. Never pass up the opportunity to play on catasrophic threats in order to funnel wealth (and skim off what you can in the process).

Now that you will be receiving the latest updates on this unprecedented and heroic effort, please keep us informed. (But PLEASE don't give her my email address!)

7:33 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

On the contrary, climate change is one of the best proven bits of science in existence. The shocking thing is that so few really want to consider the implications to our lives.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

There is no doubt about climate change - the doubt (argument) is whether it is being caused by mankind's abuses - there are at least as many very credible scientific evidences against this theory as there are for it.

And being that it is unproven (or even a clear consesus), I am highly skeptical about political activities that use the rue to collect and distribute private wealth - because to my knowledge there is nor ever has been any government program that does not require a bureaucracy that fattens and feeds itself from the money being run through it. And, I have have no recollection of any bureaucracy that has tried to 'work itself out of the job it was intended to do' by solving the issue it was created to solve and then dissolve itself.

Can you?

9:50 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Ken, that is total - and may I say fairly offensive - rubbish. The consensus encompasses 99% of climate scientists. In a recent effort, skeptics found it hard to cobble together 200 scientists who disagreed with the IPCC. Of those, a large proportion were annoyed that they had been included in such a list without being asked for permission and requested that their names be removed because they didn't believe in the claims made on their behalf.

Ask yourself seriously why people would want you to believe that and who is propagating and advertising information that implies you do not have to change your lifestyle. It is fairly simple - those with an economic interest in you continuing with your high carbon lifestyle.

There is a 30% risk that the CO2 levels have already gone beyond the tipping point which would cause catastrophic climate change. Given that an acceptable risk for siteing a nuclear power station is 0.01%, you have to ask yourself why you are not prepared to do something to mitigate something which has a much higher risk. If we do nothing, there is a high change the climate will be adversely changed, dramatically affecting our lifestyles. If we do what we think is necessary and accept that there is a small chance that it wouldn't have happened anyway. This is the nature of insurance after all.

Given the costs of mitigation are far lower than the annual costs of military funding, I know which I think is more godly.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

We obviously listen to different statisticians.

I am not an opponent of reducing carbon emissions. I am an opponent of powerful people with narrow objectives and elitist attitudes attempting massive social engineering tactics. They use gather and use all of the statistics they can to support their ambitious agenda. Many who buy in and follow the flow are very sincere and compassionate people – who are being duped.

The use of hybrid cars is but an example of these tactics. By factoring in the statistics of the production and life-span of the vehicles, they are far more damaging to the environment than the use of a standard vehicle – but these statistics are shielded from the general public by the powerful politicians and media who are trying to drive their ‘green’ agenda. The same with ethanol fuel made from corn. The statistics are all out there, but Joe public has to really dig them out because for some reason they are not being exposed by the mass media.

Why is that?

Why wouldn’t I become a skeptic?

I am not questioning your sincerity or compassion, nor your desire to see things improved to head off more suffering. But I have lived a lot of years and have been in a lot of countries where the social engineers used straw men to drive their political agendas always under the guise of ‘the end justifies the means’. It robbed people of their greatest wealth – liberty, dignity, and ability to use their own gifts and skills in directing their own destinies.

Small groups of powerful elitists are not going to save our planet through social engineering, no matter how pure their motives. There are always small groups of other elitists (often from within the original camp) who are going to seize control of whatever they can for their own ambitious agendas. In the end, the results are more disastrous for the populace than the original threat was.

Statistics can be used in whatever way the elitists want. Get the media behind it, and you begin a movement. Movements pick up momentum as special-interest people buy in and get on board. It’s easier to manipulate a ‘movement’ of a handful of ambitious people than it is millions of people whose time and energies are pretty much invested in living life – working a job to provide income for the families they are raising, paying the bills, getting braces for the kids, taking the daughter to dance lessons, attending parent-teacher conferences, mowing the lawn, painting the garage, and so on … and then using their precious and limited discretionary time for enjoying their relationships with friends and neighbors, etc. These are the folks that the people driving the movement want to control. Get control of any part of the movement, and you have a great tool for power – and power corrupts.

If you want to get involved in ‘grass-roots’ movements, that’s a different story. Bottom up change is evolutionary (sometimes revolutionary), but it flows from collaboration and consensus among the people.
Leaders arise in such movements, but generally they arise out of the movement, they do not begin and drive it from a position of ambition.

I wish I was wrong, but history proves me right.

My initial post was in reaction to the (ambitious, elitist) content of the letter from Caroline and the Green Party, not your views or motives. Their agenda may be different then the ‘Red Party’, but it is just as ambitious, and it uses the same tools.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Yabber, yabber, yabber, Ken.

I have two degrees in Environmental Science, I think I can tell when people are talking justified and evidenced science and when they are not.

Regarding statistics, my wife has a doctorate in statistics and teaches at a university.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

Impressive - I admire your educational status and your commitment to your convictions.

Try googling 'global warming statistics' and see how many educated and degreed people of high standing disagree with you. They are just as commited to their convictions. Why are yours right and theirs wrong?

I must confess, I am quite ignorant. I only have a high school degree (graduated from a small town HS in 1966) - so you could probably argue circles around me in politics, concepts, philosophies and various other abstracts. My 'higher education' was gained in the trenches, dealing in the more concrete things of life. I have been in some of the most depressed areas of the world (socially and economically) and listened to the stories, held dying babies, wept with widows and orphans, vomited from things no human eye should see, smelled abject poverty, witnessed hollow people who hadn't a glimmer of hope ... things you will never learn in a classroom studying statistics. These people of which I speak ARE the statistics - not of global warming, but of social engineering by ambitious people with agendas.

You may think I am yabbering - but it's not generated from high ideals that I gained sitting in front of professors of who I believe many consider themselves associated with the elite. I am yabbering about the invisible people, the victims of ideologies, people who God loves and who (at least our forefathers believed) have inalienable rights (that means they aren't to be transfreed to another). But they were transferred - to educated power-people who believed they knew what was better for the masses than the masses knew for themselves.

I am not an opponent of higher education. I applaud it and encouraged my sons through college. What I am opposed to is people who believe their education and position gives them a right to overrule the rights of others through political manipulation.

"... the greater need is for government to put in place a legislative framework that will enable the kind of personal and consumer decision making that is necessary" ... a barely couched statement indicating that the consumers are not smart enough to make decision on their own.

"The Green Party also supports a related scheme that would work on a global level, called contraction and convergence. This too has a strong social element and seeks to impose an overall cap on emissions per capita." ... you tell me this isn't ambitious and overreaching. And if history has taught us anything, it is a safe bet that the elite who oversee such schemes will not be held accountable to follow the rules. They are the exceptions because they are the elite. (Big houses, heated pools, private limos, big SUVs, private jets, etc.) Did you ever read 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell? Or don't they offer such fare in colleges educational courses?

Instead of accusing me of yabbering, google 'corn ethonol' and look at the overwhelming opinions of educated people stating what a disaster corn ethonol REALLY is ... but that's probably the only place you will get such overwhelming opinion because the mass media and the politicains are still pursuing it as a 'green' product and a viable alternate fuel.

Why is that?

Their agenda is messing up a whole lot of things for a whole lot of people all over the world - who have no choice in the matter. If the government wasn't manipulating it with farm subsidies and a steady stream of propagnda - it would never have attained the level of damage that it has. Unfortunately, it has now gotten roots deeply embedded in the bureaucracy and too many people are profiting from it.

"...this not just an environmental crisis we face but also a social one – and one that will impact on the poorest people first, and worst"... it has!

Why doesn't Green Party go after shutting down the production of corn ethonol?

7:33 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Well, I'd certainly agree that biodiesel is no solution to anything.

And I have no faith in the political system, Green Party or any other.

If you read further posts on this blog, you will see I have strong feelings on many of these subjects.

Maybe you ought to do a bit more reading before assuming anything else about me.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Sorry for any percieved knee-jerk reactions that may have offended. I don't have any axes to grind with you. I would rather just sit over a glass of wine or a pint of beer and get to know your story - but the pond's just too big.

Peace on friend. I won't do any more rattling on the subject.

11:40 AM  

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