Are We There Yet?

Man3With the one month to go marker being reached yesterday the media was full of articles about The Scottish Question. A topic that is becoming the political equivalent of The Scottish Play – Alas, poor Alex! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy ...

Many pieces concerned Scotland’s future currency should there be a Yes majority in next month’s referendum. And those with user feedback were full of arguments as to what would be the best – or more likely second-best – solution.

But since Grandad has covered this all before – and the passing of time has not lead to any meaningful progress – it must now be the point to call time and move on.

In another month it will all be over and a result will have been declared. Hopefully one that will stick for a few more hundred years. But if neither side comes out with a clear lead then things could get tricky and the whole issue could drag on and on and on …

China’s Climate Change Leadership

According to a report today on Politics.co.uk China is showing a leadership on climate change which the UK is lacking. This comes from MP Joan Walley (Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North) who chairs the Environmental Audit committee. She is quoted as saying that the Chinese government had a set of plans and the ability to deliver them in contrast to the UK government simply paying lip service to the decarbonisation agenda.

Shanghai1The implication is that China has done more than the UK to clean up its pollution and reduce its impact on the world’s climate. Yet simple observation does not support this politically inspired theory. Any Grandad who remembers British cities – like Stoke on Trent – in the 1950’s will know how much less pollution there is today. And any Grandad who has friends or relatives working in China now will have heard first hand reports on just how bad most Chinese cities are.

Just leaving a window open overnight results in a layer of black dust over everything by morning. Main roads need to be hosed down daily – even in mid winter – to reduce pollution build-up. Government inspectors are charged with checking factory discharges – but only work office hours so factories churn out their worst pollution over night. City pollution levels reach 10’s or even 100’s of times the recommended safe limits. And yet this exemplary Chinese government has plans for 22 additional coal-fired power stations in Guangdong alone. The emissions from which are predicted to cause as many as 16,000 additional deaths in the next 40 years [South China Morning Post].

So as little Britain tries to solve yet another worldwide problem many other countries pursue a self-interest agenda. Perhaps we should learn from them?