Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to The Conversation, if climate activists made more effort to engage with ordinary people in deprived areas, they would reject well paid coal mining jobs.
Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn’t political
March 22, 2019 5.18am AEDT
Researcher in Environmental Policy and Politics, Lancaster University
How can a country with such strong ambitions to reduce carbon emissions, approve a plan to increase them so significantly? My research, which is based on interviews with MPs and looks at how politicians understand and respond to climate change, suggests why such a contradictory situation could have arisen.
Which takes us back to those local politicians in Cumbria who decided to approve the coal mine. Look at it from their point of view. Local authorities have no clear responsibilities or targets to reduce carbon (though it is a factor in planning law). Local politics, in an economically deprived area, is dominated by the need for good employment. Dangle 500 jobs, even high carbon jobs, in front of a local planning committee; make a claim that this is in line with climate commitments; add in the cultural norms that I described above, which make it difficult for politicians to make a political case for climate action; and it’s not surprising that the answer comes out as a yes.
Of course, the local councillors should take responsibility for the decision they have made. But responsibility lies elsewhere as well. National climate policy failed Cumbria in two ways. First, a decade of ambiguity and inconsistency – the price paid for lack of proper debate – means that there is no direct line of sight between carbon targets set at a national level, and individual decisions taken by local councils. And second, climate policy has been top-down and expert-led, with no attempt made to engage citizens or local areas in the need for, and benefits of, the transition to a zero-carbon society.
…Read more: https://theconversation.com/britain-has-its-first-new-deep-coal-mine-in-decades-a-result-of-pretending-climate-change-isnt-political-114028
In my opinion Cumbria exposes the lie that climate activists plan to take care of fossil fuel workers whose livelihoods they intend to destroy. Nobody took care of coal miners in Britain; people living in deprived former British coal mining regions were left to rot.
Now British coal is starting to make a small comeback, only now do activists bother to notice the people they ignored for so long.
Update (EW): Fixed a typo (h/t Bloke down the pub)