Gordon Brown versus the ODT

Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, made a great speech yester’een.

“for the planet, there is no Plan B”.

Great stuff. Well, not according to the ODT. Their recent headline:

“Lignite Bonanza”.

Spot the investigative reporting……..not. I’ve had them on about this, too. It would have taken five reportorial minutes to google sequestration/lignite, and find that there is no answer yet. Instead, we report ‘getting ready for a boom…

She’s a slow haul…..

here’s the excerpt:

Brown told them: “In every era there are only one or two moments when nations come together and reach agreements that make history, because they change the course of history. Copenhagen must be such a time. There are now fewer than 50 days to set the course of the next 50 years and more.

“If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late.”

Brown said that, according to estimates from the intergovernmental panel on climate change, an extra 1.8bn people – a quarter of the world’s population – could be short of water by 2080 as a result of climate change.

And the threat was not confined to people in the developing world, Brown said.

“The extraordinary summer heatwave of 2003 in Europe resulted in over 35,000 extra deaths. On current trends, such an event could become quite routine in Britain in just a few decades’ time,” he said.

“And within the lifetime of our children and grandchildren the intense temperatures of 2003 could become the average temperature experienced throughout much of Europe. In Britain we face the prospect of more frequent droughts and a rising wave of floods.”

Brown said that he thought a deal at Copenhagen was possible. But negotiators were “not getting to agreement quickly enough”, Brown went on, which was why he was appealing for leaders to get involved personally.

“We cannot compromise with the earth, we cannot compromise with the catastrophe of unchecked climate change, so we must compromise with one another,” he said.

“I urge my fellow leaders to work together to reach agreement amongst us, recognising both our common and our differentiated responsibilities – and the dire consequences of failure.

His problem is twofold of course. He needs to address energy depletion, at the same time as he addresses energy impact. The addressing could be done immediately, by stopping consumption of fossil fuels. This, unfortunately, would spell the end of capitalism as we understand it.  What a choice!  Sadly, the propaganda is on the side of Business as Usual – every TV ad is a subliminal message to keep consuming, and that the more you consume, the sexier/happier/more attractive you will be. That’s a powerful lobby, there’s no funding for the contra view – it merely requires moral courage, intelligence, and responsibility.

Don’t hold your breath, then….

p.s.  the only Bonanza I ever fancied was Jellybean (for those old and literate enough to remember her..)


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