Last week saw a truly momentous defeat for the green lobby groups which, in the past decade, have exercised almost complete control over Britain’s future energy policy. The fact that this took the form of a mighty slapdown for the newly confirmed chairman of the Climate Change Committee, makes it all the more telling.
What makes all this even more significant, however, is that it is taking place against the background of a truly astonishing worldwide energy revolution. As can be seen from the website of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, country after country is now rushing to exploit the shale gas that, in the past four years, has more than halved gas prices in the US. China, Germany, France, Russia, South Africa and others all have immense reserves that promise to provide the world with cheap energy for centuries to come. And, here in Britain, determined moves are at last being made to reverse the Government’s grudging negativity towards our own vast shale gas reserves, led by our new Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, who seems to be winning surprising support for his enthusiasm for shale gas from key officials in his own department and the Environment Agency, which has regulatory responsibility for this new industry.
After years when our energy policy was being dictated by green wishful thinking, by the likes of Lord Deben and by state-subsidised pressure groups such as Friends of the Earth, reality is at long last breaking in. The green make-believe that has cast such a malign spell over our country for far too long is finally on the run. Truly, last week was history being made.