Thursday, 4 November 2010

"What the green movement got right"

Tonight Channel 4 are showing "What the green movement got wrong".

Caroline Lucas MP said:

"The green movement welcomes genuine and constructive interrogation of the principles of green politics. However, if anything, the two issues taken up by Channel 4, GM and nuclear, are what we've got right.

"Even if we were to double the number of nuclear power stations in the UK, we’d only cut around 8% of emissions, since nuclear only provides around 4% of the UK’s energy mix. There are much cheaper, safer and crucially, quicker, ways of reducing emissions than by building more centralised nuclear power stations. What we need instead is a nationwide programme of energy efficiency, together with investment in a range of renewable energies, and decentralised Combined Heat and Power.

"With regard to Channel 4's other focus, the public have never had an appetite for GM food. More corporate control of our food system has unfortunately led to what we have predicted: less food diversity and more food speculation. GM technology doesn't necessarily increase crop yields – research has actually shown the opposite can be true. Finally, the green movement was right to push climate change to the top of government concerns. Now, we need to shift from a traditional economic recovery with a few green trimmings to a recovery rooted in social justice and which balances our needs against those of the developing world, the natural world, and those of future generations."

Ecologist says author Mark Lynas thinks environmental groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are 'clinging' to out-dated ideological opposition to solutions like nuclear power. They disagree.

"The documentary promises to reveal a radical new approach to solving the planetary crisis we all face," says Craig Bennett, Director of Policy & Campaigns at Friends of the Earth. "But it pushes the same tired myths about GM crops and nuclear energy being miracle cures." We're always up for having a debate - but this is just misinformation based largely on the views of lobbyists and journalists with books to sell.


A coalition of anti-GM campaigners, including Vandana Shiva have also complained to the makers of the documentary that both the Southern-based commentators speaking out in favour of GM crops in the programme were in employment funded by major biotech companies.

Green campaigners say it was wrong to cast the movement as a failure and pointed out the 'extraordinary' success of campaigns on climate change. The political, corporate and business world had slowly been brought onboard to an agenda that may once have been seen as radical, but was now mainstream. Perhaps we could all do with a few more 'failures' like this.


dazmando said...

I do think the program had a good point on campaigning against nuclear energy, leading to more coal production

Adrian Windisch said...

Greens campaign against coal and nuke, both are too high in emissions. Lets have more renewables instead.