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Saturday, 8 April 2017

Tragic Targets

At the start of what promises to be a most pleasant weekend, I offer just a sad reflection on the way our country, the United Kingdom, has been cheated by its governments time and time again, in many spheres of life.

Just to look at a few of the targets set, with the approval of parliament and allegedly in the general interest, we see:

Targets for treatment in the Health Service being set, slipping, then being breached, then being abandoned. We all know why this sad progression has taken place; because the 2010 and 2015 governments have set conflicting targets for the reduction of the rate of increase of public debt. So not enough money has been given to the NHS: simple!

Targets for the replacement of dirty petrol cars and trucks by 'cleaner' diesel vehicles were set in the light of the most obvious toxic emissions from the two types of vehicle. So superficial 'clean air' targets - conducing to the target to limit the emission of greenhouse gasses - have been met; but now it is generally accepted that other emissions from diesel engines are much more damaging to human health: so diesel is demonised. The Mayor of London is asking the government to part-fund a crash programme of mitigating penalties on the drivers of diesel cars taken into the most polluted areas of the metropolis. Some hope of his getting that past the beancounters in the Treasury!

Targets for the replacement of coal firing by the use of biomass in power stations were seen as a step towards meeting our 'green energy' target, and thus as a step against climate change. In the event, to emissions from such units are recognised to be unhealthy; and Britain can not meet more than a fraction of the electricity generators' demand for wood-chip: so imports of materials that produce toxic emissions add to our balance-of-payments deficit.

Targets for the use of home-grown biomass, in particular low-quality wheat and other cereal crops that the millers do not want [they'd rather import better quality grain, despite the negative effect on the balance of payments] temporarily give farmers a source of - EU subsidised - income that they will loose after Brexit. Needless to say, the particulate matter in the emissions from the plant that burn this fuel are dangerous to human and animal health.

And so on, endlessly....

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