This blog has a lot of time for Michael Gove, by far the ablest minister in Cameron’s government, and in fact the ablest minister in a UK government for some time. He is bright, decent and honest – a most unusual combination.
He did good work as Minister of Education, and then his timely adoption of the Brexit cause was an important waypoint in that campaign.
But oh dear, we read in the Telegraph today that he has been spouting some utter dribble:
A tax of up to 22p could be added to plastic bottles to prevent the tide of rubbish flowing into the oceans, under plans announced by Michael Gove on Wednesday… Announcing the scheme, Environment Secretary Mr Gove said: “We can be in no doubt that plastic is wreaking havoc on our marine environment – killing dolphins, choking turtles and degrading our most precious habitats.
Which brings us to two things:
- Most of the problem plastic in the world is put there by consumers in Africa and South America. Measures like this will do absolutely nothing to resolve the problem.
- I have never thrown away a plastic bottle (as far as I can remember) and the same is true probably for a majority of the population. I carefully crush them and put them out for recycling. This plan would mean that I can no longer do that as it would cost me 22p a time (more than the contents of the bottle in many cases). I or Mrs H will be obliged to fill a box periodically and go and waste an hour of my time getting back our deposits.
It is an insane idea.
The article goes on to say:
It comes amid speculation that Britain could use some of its overseas aid budget to help Commonwealth countries to cut down on plastic pollution.
No fuck off. Let’s cut our overseas aid budget altogether and spend it on our own defence. If these countries want to spend money reducing plastic consumption let them cut down their spending on private jets, swiss bank accounts or nuclear weapons programmes.
A Downing St spokesman said: “Marine pollution, particularly from plastics, is one of the most significant challenges facing the world today and the Commonwealth spread over six Continents is uniquely placed to take transformative action so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is cleaner and greener than we currently find it.
No it’s not. The most serious threat facing the world today is idiots in government wanting to be seen to be virtuous by the kind of people of sign up to Change.org campaigns.
It is that the gains in wealth, wellbeing and freedom over the last centuries of struggle will be squandered by feelgood pinko twats at international conferences.
This blog cares passionately about the environment, and spends its free time working hard to improve the immediate environment around Castello Italicus.
More importantly it recognises that a richer world will be a more environmentally friendly world, as caring for the environment is a luxury afforded only to people who don’t have to worry about where their next meal will come from.
The history of care about the environment is a history of people from rich countries who don’t have to work.
Measures like the ones proposed by Gove will reduce wellbeing and wealth, and therefore their contribution will be perforce negative for the environment.