Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On: 'green' Tories, Cameron & Thatcher (and other jokes) ; Mining impacts; Environmentalism; and Our Common Future's 20th anniversary

The Bristol Blogger used my name in one of his headlines yesterday. The story raised some issues that I have commented on via his site (copied, and expanded on a bit, below). Responding to his post (and one commenter) I said...

I'll do my best to stay calm and not rant on at great length about Tories merely talking green when it suits them, to get votes...(not that its working for them at the moment). Or in fact rant on about how there's a lot more to being green than environmentalism. Mind you my 'mate' Dave Cameron does wear a green tie a lot....

Interesting choice of film on mining those 'green' Tories have chosen to show, to say the least!! (Did you know that as well as apallingly dangerous working conditions and pittance pay: to make a single gold wedding ring takes 5-6 tonness of rock, leaving huge holes, tunnels, eroding canyons, leaving 20 tonnes of mine waste; traces of cynanide allowing miners to extract as little as half a gram of mercury from a tonne of rock; mercury used in extraction bioaccumulating in humans and the environment; huge piles of tailings laced with toxic substances; acid mine drainage polluting waterways....all thanks to major transnational companies).

Read the Newsweek article Blogger linked to with interest - not a bad piece really.

SHOCK! Mrs Thatcher and I do have something in common - no we are not both greens - we are both chemistry graduates (my specialism - rubber, Thatcher's - ice cream!!). She did understand and did pick up on climate change as an issue before quite a few other political figures, as far as I can gather. Despite having the scientific knowledge Thatcher cared not one jot about the environment though and took us not one iota in the direction of laying the foundations of a sustainable society - quite the opposite in fact. As an ardent capitalist she was even further from being green than being an environmentalist. Suffice to say I'm not about to 'do a Gordon Brown' and invite her for a photo opportunity outside my house wearing a suitably coloured dress - not that I'd want to or that she'd be the slightest bit interested!!!

There are certainly earlier, better and more lasting contributions to the climate debate from politicians, not least former Norwegian PM Gro Harlem Brundtland, a key figure, active still, in the highly influential report 'Our Common Future' - which is 20yrs old this yr, something which seems to have gone relatively unmarked! See http://www.jonathonporritt.com/pages/2007/09/our_common_future.html

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