The news media love to confine politics to the one dimensional spectrum of left to right, but the days when all issues could be reduced to the rights of workers against the ruling elite are long gone.
I signed up to UKIP not because it is right-wing, but because it is right-thinking, answering to the will of the people where the monochromatic Conservative and Labour parties have left them disenfranchised. With renewed vigour, the 2018 UKIP interim manifesto beats all others hands-down. I am especially pleased with its increased emphasis on the impact of high net migration: stretched public services and especially the loss of green fields to development. That is what drew me to UKIP originally in local politics. Environmental issues have traditionally been the territory of the left, but the left have abandoned reason in their ideologically-based push for globalism and free movement. For me the policies of the UKIP manifesto tick all the right boxes – except one: Energy.
The fight against climate change is now a major cause reserved for the left wing, but that is no reason for UKIP to lurch away from it. Here right or wrong is determined by science, not by political ideology. I know the IPCC has made errors, garbling the message in its scramble to convince politicians, but the underlying logic is correct and the alarm is justified. As a physicist myself I don’t need the IPCC to oversimplify the science. Beyond its complexities, the basic conclusions are clear and sound. The so-called warming pause has ended and the consequences of rising global temperature – driven by the steady accumulation of anthropomorphic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – will be dire. Already we see the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef due to increasing ocean temperatures and acidification. Rising sea levels will hit closer to home in the coming decades.
Sceptics ask why we should act when developing countries have been handed a bye from the United Nations. We are told that we should make bigger sacrifices while they get a chance to catch up. The answer to this question is simple. Many of the bigger developing countries are doing more than us to embrace renewable energy.
Brazil generates 79% of its power from hydroelectricity and other renewable sources. China is the largest producer of renewable energy on the planet as it invests in wind and solar power. They are doing this not because of the fear of climate change, but because they recognise their own need for energy security. So if you won’t admit to the problem of global warming, consider this instead.
The UK is still heavily dependent on gas for generation of electricity and on oil for motor fuel. Our own reserves are running out so we increasingly rely on imports. The largest sources of oil are in the Arabic countries especially Saudi Arabia. We all know that our government bows down to the princes of Saudi Arabia because they control the oil supply we are hooked on. We agree to sell them arms while they act with impunity against human rights.
I still hold to the belief that the vast majority of Muslims who have come to this country are decent people who want a home, a job and a peaceful future for their children, just like the rest of us, but religion is a powerful force in the wrong hands. The Wahhabist Saudis fund mosques where the weak minded are radicalised and the rest are told that their religion requires them to keep quiet. Our government won’t act because our dependence on the Middle East for oil is too much to risk losing.
Extreme Islam is not the only concern. As North Sea gas dwindles, Europe is switching to supplies coming from the huge gas fields of the Russian Steppe. We make some small gestures of defiance against Putin while he carries out assassinations on our soil with only token efforts to hide his culpability. How much more of the Ukraine will he feel free to annex if our reliance on his gas supply becomes crucial?
As for fracking, why are we supporting that? Yes it could give us some home-grown energy for a short while, but mining is dirty and harmful to our countryside and people. The same applies to coal. As the extraction of shale gas begins this year it will soon become a major issue for people in the North. UKIP should stand with them and get their vote.
I acknowledge that wind and solar farms have their negative consequences too, but offshore turbines and solar panels on roofs are relatively harmless compared to the consequences of our dependence on fossil fuels. Nuclear energy can fill the gap when demand exceeds the supply of renewable supply. There are other options we can look at for the future such as geothermal energy from Iceland. Commercial interests are already hoping to bring it to us via North Atlantic cables within 20 years.
Another future option is nuclear fusion energy. An Oxfordshire-based private venture is leading the world to develop the emerging technology for unlimited clean energy. For the price of HS2 we could make fusion power work and regain energy security for good. Pollution from burning hydrocarbons is choking the country and risking great harm to the planet and our children. It’s time to phase it out in favour of sustainable alternatives.
Finally, if you are still an incorrigible climate sceptic, think of it this way – the choice is solar power or Putin power – it’s wind farms vs Saudi mosques. They are preparing their end game and it will not be to our liking. Let’s not be fools for their fuel. We must untie our hands to grab control of our future. No other party can deliver this message. Once again it is up to UKIP to put things right.