A Green Christmas Carol part two
Which future shall Scrooge choose in 2013?
In part one of a Green Christmas Carol, Scrooge dug his hob-nailed boots in and refused to act on climate change.
Here is part two, in which Scrooge cheers up and changes his ways...
January: A perfect storm for biodiversity: Badger-cull sniper knocked into dying bee-hive by illegal fox hunt in ash die-back wood. Outraged Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail join with NGOs in successful campaign to save UK biodiversity.
February: Twitter news. @pontifex is BLOCKED by @james_delingpole after Pope tweets about new wind turbine on Vatican roof. Later, new rules to give communities a financial stake in windfarms sees Delingpole invest in a 12 turbine farm surrounding his farm. "Wind is clean and it works. Anyone who disagrees with me is a *#&$%*", he tweets.
March: Budget day. A savage winter, high gas bills and a need for "shovel-ready" projects to jump-start the economy sees George Osborne shock-announce a multi-billion pound investment programme for insulating homes. "This will boost jobs, cut bills and reduce our dependence on Qatari gas". Ed Balls is speechless.
April: Polling in marginals indicates widespread swing-voter opposition to fracking. Osborne announces "if we use less gas, we don't need fracking", introduces a fracking ban and doubles the size of his energy efficiency programme. "Is it really the 2nd of April not the 1st?" ask bewildered NGO chiefs.
May: Late Spring flooding and insurance industry refusal to cover homes for future flood damages forces Treasury's hand. Leaked internal memo says: "This will get worse every year. If we keep doing nothing it will kill us in the polls." Government announce four point plan: i) no more building on flood plains, ii) guaranteed cover for existing homes, iii) beefed up flood defences, iv) galvanised national and international action on climate change.
June: Global pension funds issue joint compact to disinvest from all companies with "high climate exposure". Statement says: "We cannot burn more than a tiny fraction of fossil fuel reserves - fossil fuels are no longer an asset, they're an increasingly unusable liability."
July: Home Builders Federation sense changing mood, announcing: "car-dependent five-bedroom detached homes in green-belt rat-run dormitory towns are so last century. We will build green, social housing in cities."
August: Green Investment Bank's funds run out after seven months. Vince Cable breaks off his holiday in Margate to announce the Bank can borrow and lend immediately, as this is "critical to our economic recovery". Friends of the Earth press office searches for dusty thesaurus to try to find another new synonym for 'fantastic'.
September: EdF announce delay to Hinkley decision, says unlinked to news that cost of its new French reactor has spiralled again to £12 billion and that it wants £150/MWh from the UK Treasury. George Osborne ends Parliamentary recess by abseiling into the House of Commons draped in a "Nuclear power? No thanks!" banner.
October: Escalating climate disasters in China and the USA see the two super-states announce a joint moratorium on all new fossil-fuelled power stations, with all investments diverted into solar and other renewables. In a PR coup China trumps the White House's new five wind turbines by putting solar panels across the whole of Tiananmen Square.
November: Social justice campaigners and developing countries score monumental victory as Robin Hood Tax announced on financial speculation, with the revenue going to development and climate protection in the poorest countries. EU/US tax authorities announce tax havens and avoidance are to be sources of next tranche of funding for a Global Energy Revolution - clean, affordable energy for the world's poorest two billion people. Deal brokered by Hugo Chavez and new UN special envoy on climate change Mitt Romney.
December: Cameron and Johnson announce new aviation policy: no more airport expansion. "We've got enough airports. I mean, crumbs! How many trips to Klosters does one need?" says Boris. Michael O'Leary responds with unbroken-chain-of-expletives World Record.
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