back to article Brown pledges to be greener than greens

Are we on the brink of a green revolution? One as world changing as the Industrial Revolution, or the invention of the microprocessor? According to Britain's prime minister, Gordon Brown, we had better be. In yesterday's speech about climate change, Brown took on the question of how we should tackle climate change with a …


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  1. Graham Dawson Silver badge


    Not content with tying the economy in knots while chancellor with his convoluted taxes and money-grabbing schemes, he's now going to issue the coup de grace by basically making just about every sort of productive work so costly in this country that every sane industry will either leave or shut down and on the say-so, not of science or necessity, but bloody loudest most incoherent scaremongers around.

  2. Andy

    brown is less green...

    especially as he is intent at building more and more homes on the green belt land in essex!!! the bloke is an idiot and needs removing from any kind of power

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Start the clean up at home Mr Brown.

    I'll start to take notice what Brown said about climate and other aspects of global warming only after he, the rest of the government, the civil service and all MPs lose their car mileage allowances and start using electric or hybrid cars (and not just when a news camera is in the area.)

  4. Stuart Gray

    Electric/hybrid cars are NOT the answer

    Basic Physics (Fleming's left and right hand rules) should indicate to anyone the wasteful nature of generating electricity from raw fuels, and then using that electricity to generate motion. Optimistic calculations give the overall energy transfer rate for these two processes to be 10%. Electric powered motion only makes sense with mass transport - trams and trains - and for reducing LOCAL pollution (i.e. within a town). The overall pollution, and global warming due to energy use (which nearly always ends up as heat), rises overall in all cases.

    The best way to reduce energy loss is to use mass transport, or individual transport (i.e. a bike or a motorcycle, where you only cart around enough "deadweight" to carry yourself). In terms of energy used per passenger (the best comparison), my diesel Long Wheel Base Land Rover when carrying my whole family (7 of us) beats a hybrid car carrying one person.


  5. breakfast Silver badge


    This statement gave me a little bit of hope. Not a whole lot but at least we have the two major party leaders here talking in terms of the big picture. As far as I can tell our use of planetary resources is a lot like an ocean liner- the quicker we start turning things around the more likely we're going to be able to do it before we hit something that will really scupper us. There are walls in every direction- fossil fuel use, water use, climate change- we're going to run into some of them sooner or later, hopefully our governments will act on what they're talking about soon enough that we don't run into them too hard.

    Life will have to change. We will have to deal with it. There's a good chance that the time we're living in now will be looked back on as a golden age. Contrary to some people's beliefs we won't lose our worthwhile industries - as non-renewable fuels become more scarce transporting products vast distances will become less viable and a degree of localisation will necessarily result. Either that or we'll be living in a sci-fi future with jet packs and instant meal pills (possibly even on Mars) and that will be awesome too so I won't mind too badly being wrong.

  6. Aram

    @Electric/hybrid cars are NOT the answer

    I'm lucky enough to be able to cycle to work 3 or 4 times a week. This saves me a fortune on tube fares (that I probably end up spending on cycling gear!) and keeps me fit.

    I may harbour a strong dislike of 4x4s, but I reckon Stuart Gray's got a point. It really comes down efficient use of cars. Car after car that I pass on my commute has a single person in it. Those cars are mostly at a standstill and still emitting CO2 and everything else (NO2, particulates, etc.).

    Regular cars are also far less complicated to manufacture. We should really concentrate on having cars capable of 150+mpg and persuade people out of their cars and onto alternatives.

    Whatever your view on climate change, we are still definitely talking about a finite resource when it comes to crude oil. It would be prudent to eke out as much use from every drop as possible.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proper Shafting?

    It's frustrating that Brown seems to feel that every solution to Green issues has to be tax upon tax upon tax.

    There is so little trust in the people of this country to do the right thing by this nanny state government that I can just feel huge tax hikes on the horizon, all in the name of the green.

    It's already been widely reported what a small percentage of these taxes actually go to green research. I'd never dispute that climate change is happening, never try to pretend it's not, but this governement is squandering a real chance to make a difference - and generating a lot of resentment at the same time - by diverting funds taken from us on "green" grounds and frittering it away elsewhere.

    He shafted us for years as Chancellor, now he's trying to play in the big boys club in Europe and it's yet again us who end up picking up the tab.

    Still, at least it's not another oil grabbing illegal war in the middle east... yet.

  8. John A Blackley

    More comedy

    Another masterful piece by Britain's most expensive deadpan comic. Oor Gordon's 'committed" (Yes, well plenty of people think he should be.) to reducing Britain's 'carbon footprint' (Honestly! The nonsense phrases these people dream up and the population soaks up.) by 'x' percentage points by 'y' date.

    And when the comet hurtles toward the site of the former Ealing Studios (Oor Gordon's secret hideaway), no doubt he'll shuck off his suit - revealing his SuperGordo costume - and personally and single-handedly deflect it - probably towards some middle-eastern country.

    Ealing comedies, the model for current British government.

  9. G R Goslin

    plastic shopping bags

    Perhaps someone should point out to Mr Brown that there is usually a lot more plastic wrapping within the shopping bag, which is not re-usable in any way, whereas the Tesco, whatever, shopping bag has myriad uses around the home before it becomes too tattered to be of any further use. Banning the things will mean that we shall have to buy the same object for bin liners, temporary packing, etc..

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Some good ideas

    I'm not one to knock Mr Brown's eco-friendly plans entirely. For one, trying to get rid of the scourge of those tiny plastic bags that litter the country I have to class as a good idea.

    However, it seems that on the whole this is nothing other than another tax-raising effort. If Mr Brown and friends were so serious about green politics, why doesn't he have a stern word with his "good friend" the American president and get him on board too.

    Or maybe this is just so that if it turns out that sea levels will indeed rise due to anthropogenic global warming, we can all be smug in heaven that it wasnae us that drowned us all?

  11. The Sceptic
    Thumb Down

    When do we get the chance to boot Gordon out?

    As stated - yet an other excuse for a tax hike!

    While 'green' land is built on, wars are waged & MP's have a free for all with expenses any statement of this type will raise the dreaded "Where is he going to screw us now?" feeling within.

    I've voted labour the last few elections but now I feel its time for the liberals - or maybe even the conservatives. This is what happens when you put a money man in charge - you end up with a blinkered approach.

    My council refused to take rubish in the wrong bin (cardboard in amongst paper) - I wonder why they had to back track after an uproar from their residents as no one supported all the extra 'green' initiatives?_

  12. druck Silver badge

    Failed gambler

    Like a failed gambler on a loosing streak Brown hasn't a hope of meeting the current targets, so is planning to stealing more money from the tax payer to play double or nothing on ever slimmer odds, by committing us to these ridiculous targets.

    I am not prepared to see my job and lifestyle taxed out of existence, to reduce the emissions of this tiny country by a drastic amount, but which is only equivalent to China's increase in a couple of months. All on the basis of fundamentally flawed climate modelling techniques, and well funded bullshit.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Did you know as humans we are only contributing something like 9% CO2 emissions.

    I mean cows burping cause more damage than we do.

    Also did you know what contributes to about 66% of this?

    Its water vapour.

    We live off these, basically its just an excuse for these people to get more money. They are convincing everybody that we are to blame, we shouldn't flatter ourselves that we can destroy a planet.

    Thats my veiw.

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