The sight of Blair and Brown now acting to save the planet provokes the response “at last”. Instead of embarking in costly and deadly wars, given the steady stream of warnings, a start could have been made a lot sooner. Still we are intent on replacing Trident, but precisely who do we intend to target with it? Bin Laden?
George Monbiot (Guardian 31/10/2006) gives his list of priorities on the grounds that Blair and Brown’s proposals don’t meet the demands of global warming.
Here in the Midlands we are still living in the past, certainly as far as transport is concerned. There are still plans to build a new coach station centrally. The Metro is facing longer delays and ideas of dealing with congestion have run out. Cllr Len “Gridlock” Gregory has set up a “congestion taskforce” which seems to rely on fiddling with a junction here and a junction there. That the problem is the sheer volume of cars coming onto the roads in the absence of even a half decent public transport system eludes him.
Birmingham and the West Midlands is at the heart of the nation, yet any strategies assume it is a regional question. All problems are tackled on a regional, not a national or international scale. The fact that Eurostar is stuck in London has recently been raised in the Birmingham Post with the idea that it should connect Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. At the moment flying has no competition, yet it is said to produce the biggest carbon emission. We don’t seem capable of getting the simplest measures in place, so what hope is there of achieving what is needed to turn things around?