Anti-Drax activists? You must be joking?When I first heard that environmentalists wanted to close down Britain's newest and most efficent coal-fired power station, I thought this must be some sort of sick joke, right? Of course, I soon found out that it wasn't, and that this motley bunch of eco-worriers were deadly serious. What I'd like to know is, supposing the authorities did happen to lose all their marbles and cave in to the wishes of these protesters to shut down the power station on their behalf? What then? Shut down another power station, and another?
Drax provides Britain with some seven per cent of its electricity generating capacity. So, are we to just make do with seven per cent less power? What is their alternative to closing down every single coal-fired power station? One protester argued that closing Drax 'isn't enough to stop climate change but it's a start'. The truth is, these self-appointed protectors of planet Earth haven't got any real alternatives - their answer is to advocate ecological-austerity measures - because, that's what's hiding behind all the talk of switching over to 'sustainable' sources of enegy production like wind farms, even though they won't produce enough energy to meet with the current levels of consumption. So, we would be forced to make do with a lot less energy in the future.
It's certainly how one writer viewed it, he termed it, the New Austerity. As the author quite rightly mentions, environmentalists are not the only ones promoting 'green' austerity measures. From the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone and his phoney 'war on cars', to New Labour's 'eco' ID card, all would like our society to move towards a 'low carbon' economy. If anything, the anti-Drax campaign to close the power station can actually be viewed as a militant endorsement of the government's own 'low carbon' policy.
There is something quite disturbing about politically taking on coal-fired powers stations, because, it is questioning the very building blocks of our society, our energy infrastructure - the eco-activists forget that if we didn't have these power stations, our society would be unable to properly function. When we have power cuts like the ones we had in London in July, our lives pretty much just ground to a halt - but, is that what the anti-Drax activists really want? Do they really want our advanced, modern, technological society to revert back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? To me, that's simply unthinkable - but, it increasingly appears that they are seriously considering just that, up there in Yorkshire, in their camps.
Picture: Anti-Drax protesters. From INDYMEDIA UK