Fear of a cack planet

For an area that is one of the most significant Green Party strongholds in the country and a site with a readership regularly caricatured as hand-wringing, planet-botherers, environmental issues haven't played a significant role in any of the discussions during this week's virtual hustings.

So how important will issues like energy policy, green taxes, airport expansion and road pricing be to you when you come to vote? If you're voting Green, how much is it because of their green policies?


Monkeyboy said...

I'm voting Green for Mayor and ward simply because I spoken to them and know that they are commited to improving the area and have some simple and sound ideas. Don't agree all the way down the line of course, life is full of compromises.

For MP? Lib Dem or Green would be great, doubt that's possible. For the main goal of sorting out our voting system - not any deep ideological reasons. I'd like to drift back to Labour but we're going to get a weird result om Friday and that's not right. It's no wonder people don't feel represented when the 33/33/33 (ish) split of the popular vote results in such an odd House of Commons.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Monkeyboy, voting Green because I know them, I like them, and they work damn hard for it. If I ever saw any sight or sound of the other parties in the area outside of election time, I might be more open-minded, but as it is, I think that fundamentally the individuals standing as Green (mainly Dean and Darren, to be honest - Sue's good too, though she's not standing in my area) are doing a good job.

Anonymous said...

Like the others I'm voting green locally because they work hard - actually voting for them despite some of their policies. I'm a commited car driver and always will be.

Anonymous said...

the fakeness of "Climate Change" has made them a joke.

The allegorical retelling of the Christian message : repent your sins, give up your wealth or the end of the world is nigh. In the 70's a new Ice Age today 'Climate Change'.

how can they afford to stand sooooo many candidates in both Local and General Elections.
Is the money you give to save cute little Pandas being siphoned off for their political follies.

Monkeyboy said...

I had no idea Sarah Palin read Brockley Central.

Tamsin said...

Likewise in my local ward I'm voting for the existing councillors who are standing again because I know and like them. The Robin Cross is unfortunately not restanding so the third vote is going begging and since I know and like individual candidates from Labour, Conservative and Green I am not quite sure what to do with it.

In the ward elections the existing Councillors do start with a heck of an advantage whatever their colour if they have done a half way decent job.

On Green principles generally - I recycle, reuse to an extent that almost embarrasses my children, don't waste food (although that is due more to my upbringing "think of the starving Russians") and worry about driving. Although I still do so when it is the more convenient option.

Unknown said...

For me the greens are the only vaguely lefty party left and the only social democratic voice out there. They have strong policies in areas other than environment, that's why I'm behind them

Anonymous said...

Lol @ Monkeyboy - nice comeback!

Anonymous said...

The Greens are just another modern reformulation of the puritan instinct. Their idiotic campaign, and claim to be the main challenger to Ruddock, is probably the only reason I can find, to down the anti-emetics on Thursday and go and vote for her. If they were serious about climate change they would back nuclear power, but they are not serious about anything, except perhaps their own sanctimonious self image and overweening moralism.

Mezzer said...

If you have such strong views, it doesn't sit well to express them anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your advice Mr. Mezzer

Anonymous said...

Voting Green isn't just about the environment.Greens are strong on social and other areas of policy too.
But the best reason locally is the good work they have done in this area (especially Brockley and Ladywell). It would be good if they won a few more councillors this time round though.

Lou Baker said...

The problem with the Greens is that they're wrong on the big policy issues.

Absolutely we should all:
- recycle more
- drive less
- eat less meat
- insulate our homes
- shop locally

And, yes, within twenty years we should pretty much all have solar panels and or wind turbines on our roofs. (Watch the conservation nit wits have kittens over that).

But even on big questions of environmental policy the Greens are wrong - and they're wrong because they assume we live in an ideal world when we don't.

Take airports, for example. The greenest policy is to back a stonking great airport in the Thames Estuary. Why? Because a properly designed modern airport out at sea would have huge amounts of capacity. That would mean planes spend much less time burning fuel on taxiways and while circling and waiting to land. It'd also cut noise pollution and reduce the risk of an accident over London.

Then there are roads. Sometimes we need the car. That's just reality. Encourage alternatives by all means but for those occasions where it just has to be the car make driving as green as it can be. That means building more roads and improving existing ones to boost capacity and reduce traffic jams. The suggestion that building more roads creates more traffic is flawed because it fails to appreciate that traffic is finite. There is a maximum amount of it.

High speed rail? How sensible but not if you're a Green and it involves the disruption of a bit of countryside.

Nice people, perhaps - but don't vote for them.

Anonymous said...

Lou Baker:

The only person suggestion your high CO2 policy of a new Thames airport is Boris Johnson. Not Labour, Not Tory, Not Lib-Dem, just Boris.

Roads: There is not a maximum amount of traffic. If you build more roads you concrete over more green spaces and traffic capacity increases.More traffic = more pollution.

High Speed Rail: the Greens support it.

Lou Baker said...


Don't believe everything you read.

As I said Green policy is based on the assumption we live in an ideal world, when we don't.

Flying is not a green thing to do right now. But years of policies designed to make us fly less have made us fly more. It's better, therefore, to deal with the reality than the ideal.

The reality is that Heathrow is full. Most flights in to it circle needlessly for up to an hour because they've nowhere to land. Most flights leaving it spend up to an hour on the taxiway before they get in the air. Far from creating more Co2 a new properly designed airport in the estuary - which could operate round the clock and largely power itself - would actually cut it. Almost every single flight could end up burning up to two hours less fuel as a result. In the long run that makes environmental sense - particularly if it's combined with tough (and continually toughening) emission targets for aircraft.

It is the same with cars. There is a maximum number of cars there can possibly be on the roads because there is a finite number of people to drive them. If people are going to drive sometimes - and they are - it's better for the environment for that journey to be as congestion free as possible. Burning 10 minutes of fuel for a 10 mile journey is greener than that same journey taking an hour and a half, which it does in London.

And Greens claim to support the idea of high speed rail - but invariably object to the route.

Thank God Lou's a clear thinker.

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - on roads, your clear thinking is a little cloudy. I agree that there is sometimes a case for new roads to be built, eg: the Thames Gateway bridge.

But mostly, we should not be building new roads as adding capacity just encourages more people to take more journeys.

You say people are going to drive "sometimes". Yes they are.

But "sometimes" can mean a lot or a little. It can mean people having a car to make the occasional journey not well covered by public transport or it can mean a daily commute or popping to the shops for very short journeys.

Building new roads encourages more journeys.

You will never eliminate congestion in a city like London, so the best thing to do is manage it. Road pricing, like the C-Charge, works. So too does offering better public transport and encouraging cycling.

Headhunter said...

Lou - All these things are necessary with economics run as they are on a global scale involving mass transit of string beans from Kenya for example, lamb from New Zealand and beef from South America. Also with the ever increasing trend towards massive, out of town shopping complexes like Blue Water and massive car friendly supermarkets increasing use of airports and fossil fuel intensive private transport is inevitable.

We can do without increased airport capacity but not without restructuring how we consume goods. If you look deeper at green policies, they also highlight a need to look locally and decrease reliance on transit by plane of out of season produce etc across the globe and the transit of individuals between ever globally dominant businesses which need to shuttle it's officials around the world. You need to look beyond the headline "we need/do not need more airports and roads", there's far more to green policies than that.

Anonymous said...

We don't need cars, we want them. There is a big difference. The world existed quite happily and productively before anyone had heard of Mr Ford and it will do again.

TJ said...

Go back to a carless country? Why not rollback all advances then. Planes of course, but then let's get to it - all electrical items have a green alternative: toasters, and cookers - let's have open fires instead; washing machines - we can clean our clothes by hand in streams...

It's ridiculous to think of getting rid of cars - there is nothing wrong in wanting to travel in them. The solution is to make them non pollutant. You may not 'like' cars - but I think you'll find that its one stable door that can't be closed.

Concentrate resources on making alternative energy cars - not in trying to force us on to public transport

Tamsin said...

@anon 15.51 Not with the same number of people. One cannot revert to the previous pattern unless there is some serious doomsday scenario readjustments of population levels, quality of life expectations and trade patterns.

Yes, the Eurowest "ought" to survive without bananas, coffee and chocolate - but the present populations of those countries that now depend on these cash crops cannot survive on subsistence farming (the beautiful image of the past from "Poisonwood Bible" food being consumed within 20 miles of where it is produced).

Green alternatives, gradual readjustment, health-care hand in hand with culturally acceptable family planning, has to be the way forward - if, and it's a big if, the World has time.

Monkeyboy said...

Bring back cholera! It was good enough for the Victorians and half the map was pink.

Somekind of personal transport will always be wanted but we could make public transport much better.... Mind you I do work for it so BRING IT ON!

Headhunter said...

I don't think anyone would seriously ask for the complete abandonment of fossil fuels (cars, central heating, planes etc etc), but we are very much over reliant on them now, the global economy in its current form relies on people driving to massive centres of consumption to buy, buy, buy and on planes flying in a constant supply of goods from the China/Asia etc to be sold at these centres of mass consumption. In my view and possibly the Greens, if we tried to move back towards more locally developed economies reliant on local produce we wouldn't need to burn as much coal, oil etc etc.

The current global economic model is unsustainable in the long term as we're increasingly discovering so until we discover nuclear fusion or other emission free energy source, we need to make other adjustments. Pretty obvious really.

Jim Connell said...

"One of the most significant Green Party strongholds in the country...." So you know the result of the election on Thursday, do you?
I reckon that the electors of Ladywell and Brockley wont waste their time returning Green councillors and we'll have Labour Lewisham, a Labour Mayor and a Labour MP.
As for the Government, probably a Labour-Libdem coalition?
And I agree with Anon. at 11.46.
If we want to keep the lights on then we dont have any alternative but to build nuclear power stations, and very soon.

Brockley Nick said...

@Jim Connell - I was stating current facts rather than speculating about the future.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Jim's on, I want some of it.

Anonymous said...

A final plea...
Whoever you vote for MP -
If you live in Brockley or Ladywell please vote Green Party for the council election. It is very important that the Green's keep their 6 councillors.
They have been working really hard for the last 4 years and it would be a real shame for their hard work not to be rewarded.
If you vote Labour/Lib Dem or whatever else for MP please vote Green for the councillors.

Green's are the bookies 2nd favourite to win the Parliamentary seat of Lewisham Deptford too.

But please don't be afraid to split your vote if you aren't voting for a Green MP.

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