Thursday, November 24, 2005
For Richard Lochead MSP to say that an independent Scotland would be able to end fuel poverty by supplying fuel from our own reserves, presumably at zero or artificially reduced costs shows a lack of economic understanding. Independence will not, of itself, increase our extraction rate, indeed the SNP have often suggested reducing it <, so anything used to subsidise heating must come from our export earnings. Robbing Peter to pay Paul doesn't work forever even in government.>
I agree with him that fuel poverty is a serious problem particularly since we are going to lose the 45-55% of our power from nuclear generators & that, apart from replacing them, there is no practical way of avoiding blackouts. Extrapolating from Help the Aged's English figures at least 2,000 pensioners a year currently die because of fuel poverty in Scotland alone < annually, which perhaps puts terrorism in perspective.>
< SNP policy however would not help.> We know that nuclear power costs 2.3p a unit, the cheapest method, while wind costs 5.4p onshore or 7.2p offshore. Yet the SNP oppose nuclear & support "renewables". < In the South of England, where under 20% of power is nuclear, it may be possible to ameliorate blackouts by buying French nuclear, but, because of the distance, this is impractical in Scotland, For a party which trades on their Scots patriotism > their refusal to face the faults in a policy that is causing pensioner deaths < & will shortly cause far more here > is shameful.
On the other hand that we allow it to happen unneccessarily is still shameful.
On the third hand some doctor yesterday was on the air saying how young women going out in short skirts & not taking a coat were risking hypothermia so I guess not being entirely sensible is part of the human condition.