Over 16,000 emails, the world's worst accidental oil spill just months before, no spill response plan available to the public... and yet Chris Huhne, the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change just gave the go-ahead to Chevron to drill in a remote, delicate environment.
They will try to find new oil, knowing (as someone whose job is Secreatry of State for Climate Change should) that we can't afford to burn this oil anyway, as George Monbiot explained recently.
The fact is, we should be diverting investemens away from fossil fuels today, towards clean energy and effiency solutions RIGHT NOW. Any effort spent in finding new oil should instead be focused on getting higher fuel efficiency in cars, and developping reliable public tranport, solutions to have less communiters etc. Sounds crazy? These things are being developped right now.
My current favourite is the Solar Impulse, a solar plane that recently flew for 26 hours straight, including nine by night. And while it's still experimental right now, it's projects like this that should be encouraged by governments.
Are we going to fly in solar planes tomorrow? No. Are we telling the world to stop drilling for oil tomorrow. No. The point is, until governments give investors a clear sign that the future will be solar-fuels, not oil-fueled, nothing will change.
The solutions exist, and probably need to be developped further. And that is what the job of a Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change should be doing. Oil industries have been given a free pass for most of the 20th century. Forgive us for wanting to move into the 21st.
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