17/07/2020: Running up the down escalator

Well it continues to be very strange (and of course difficult) times, irrespective of the formal end of lockdown. I am not sure I have worked out what the new normal is yet. But days come and go, and there is definitely lots to do.

On the treadmill

There’s no shortage of energy- and climate-related news to digest and comment on, and most of it continues to be profoundly depressing. Who would have anticipated 100 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in the Arctic, never mind over such a sustained period. This comes on the back of mass wildfires in Australia, Brazil and California last year, and record average temperatures are the norm. After no rain for over a month, we’ve had rain for virtually five days solid.

The political class is beginning to show signs of acknowledging this deterioration. But we remain well-short of a coherent policy response, although the politicians can reasonably claim they have been uniquely distracted by the pandemic. The long-awaited energy white paper seems to have been pushed into mid 2021 at the earliest. And the announcements by the PM on 30 June and the chancellor on 8 July disappointed many of us and do not suggest a commensurate ramping up of net zero policies despite all the rhetoric around a green recovery, and we seem to be stuck back in the old salami slice approach to policy.

Continues here.