As Christmas fades into memory I reflect on those family games that emerge- if at all, as they struggle to survive alongside more modern equivalents – at this time of year, and my mind turns to the question of who I would have at a dinner party.
Lord Lawson, Donald Trump, Stephen Hawking & Elon Musk would be candidates.
I would take up Stephen Hawkins offer “Next time you meet a climate denier,” he said, “tell them to take a trip to Venus. I will pay the fare,” and I would prevail upon Mr Musk to help organise the transport. Once Messrs Lawson and Trump were safely on their way Bill Gates and Paul Wheelhouse …….would join us along with whoever is running the UK at the moment.
The end of the meal would see two amazing things – a small fund created that would use debt & equity to do small , hard investments that can transform the way we generate, store, transmit and use our energy and a properly funded long term study with open access to the results that would gather and make available the evidence of the real changes in communities – to health (mental and physical), employment, housing – that having access to and at least shared ownership of, reliable, clean, affordable, locally generated and distributed power can deliver not only to those communities but to the budgets of local and central governments that have to deliver services to them.
For so long as the U.K. seeks to set its energy policy and deliver its market interventions on the basis solely of the “cost to the consumer” – a largely illusory figure that is plucked out of the complex economics of energy generation and delivery – we are doomed to fail; and that failure is against our climate change commitments, will be at the cost of securing new, long term, high growth, exporting industries and will see our grandchildren looking back and shaking their heads at us in despair.
I was in China before Christmas forging links with and speaking to companies looking to invest in sustainable, low carbon and renewable solutions; I see huge effort there to deliver such solutions and to build high growth exporting businesses; I also see – and indeed represent – companies that are turning to China and other jurisdictions for the support and investment that they should be able to get here; and I know that Scotland and the U.K. will, once again, lose out on securing the economic benefits that flow from that support …. and I want to invite to dinner all those who have a hand in that and who could – with a little imagination and leadership – change the direction we are travelling in – and before they eat offer them a look through Stephen Hawkins telescope trained on Venus and ask them if they want a one way ticket……….
…………… thoughts from Deja Blue