Such has been the refrain ever since the referendum result, and this week has been no exception. In the one week the government which last year presided over the COP26 conference to tackle the climate crisis has sanctioned the creation of a new coal mine in Cumberland, despite the promises made to reduce the use of fossil fuels and the sanctimonious demands to poorer countries to play their part.
Then in the same week it is announced that the safeguards erected as a result of banking crisis of 2008 which brought the world's monetary system to the brink of collapse are to be relaxed.
Yet again the language seems inadequate to express a sufficient response: outrageous? unbelievable? bizarre? incredible?
The "coal-mine" decision further trashes Britain's international repudiation and credibility, and shows scant regard for future generations. Strange how the Conservatives are so keen to cut public services so as not to "burden" future generations with debt,(which isn't actually true) but are so sanguine about leaving these same generations with an uninhabitable planet.
The second is wrong for three reasons.
1. Britain's involvement in he 2008 financial crash happened through the under-regulation of our banking sector resulting from the "Big Bang" introduced under Margaret Thatcher. Reducing the regulations now increases our vulnerability to any future crash, and next time there may be no-one of the calibre of Gordon Brown to ameliorate its effect.
2. The measures are "sold" under the pretence that we are taking advantage of the "freedoms" gained from leaving the EU. This simply isn't true. The principal features of the regulations, particularly the ring-fencing of "high street " banking funds from "merchant " (ie speculative) banking can be changed in or out of the EU
3.. We need to reduce the UK s reliance on financial services and allow our other services (the arts, education, design, tele-communications, technology, music, marketing, to name but some - and especially those outside London).
4. Much of the banking sector's work is of dubious value, indeed of dubious morality. It seems to be devoted less to long term investment in potentially profitable and useful ventures and more to shuffling paper in the hope of a fast financial gain.
As pointed out among this blog's 22 suggestions for what the next government should concern itself with, there as a strong case for public enquiries into the UK's participation in money laundering and in the maintenance and use of tax-havens in "British" territories (perhaps including Britain itself)
In the one week the government which last year presided over the COP26 conference to tackle the climate crisis has sanctioned the creation of a new coal mine in CumberlandReplyDelete
So do you know a way to make steel without using coal, then? Because if you do I’m sure metallurgists the world over would love to hear it.
As I understand it the two remaining major steel producers in the UK say they don't need it: they us electric arcs (or similar). The output will be largely exported. Whether it is used here or abroad makes little difference: it will still add to carbon contamination. People more concerned to stop the climate crisis point out that there are ample "green energy" projects which could stimulate employment in the areaReplyDelete
As I understand it the two remaining major steel producers in the UK say they don't need it: they us electric arcs (or similar).Delete
They use ‘electric arcs’ to provide carbon for the chemical reaction that removes the oxygen atoms from iron ore? How does that work then?
Go to this site and read all about it:ReplyDelete
‘These furnaces are typically charged with scrap steel.’Delete
That’s steel recycling, not making steel from iron ore.
I can't find the exact quote but here's the gist:ReplyDelete
". . . industry experts insisted that demand for the coal from UK and European steel makers was a myth that had been repeated for years. “The UK steel industry has been clear that the coal from the West Cumbria mine has limited potential due to its high sulphur levels,” said Chris McDonald, chief executive of the Materials Processing Institute, which serves as the UK’s national centre for steel research.
“This, combined with the industry’s drive to decarbonise, means that by the time the mine opens, only one of the UK’s current four blast furnaces is likely to be able to use this coal, meaning that more than 90% of production will be exported.
This, combined with the industry’s drive to decarbonise, means that by the time the mine opens, only one of the UK’s current four blast furnaces is likely to be able to use this coal, meaning that more than 90% of production will be exported.Delete
Yes and? So what? The world needs steel; therefore it needs coking coal. What does it matter whether the blast furnaces are located in the UK or elsewhere? All them being located elsewhere means is that the coal will be exported to them and the the steel they produce re-imported into the UK. But we need that steel, and domestic production (from recycling) isn’t sufficient, so we’ll be importing that steel anyway.
So, I ask again, what?
You make the point yourself: wherever it is used it will add to pollution and the climate crisis. The industry is "driving to decarbonise": they need encouragement, not facilitation of the old polluting methodsReplyDelete