Shock for those in power

The Guardian, 8 February 1996:

One week after the British Antarctic Survey reported the disintegration of the Antarctic ice-fields, the Government cancels £30 million worth of home-insulation grants (Home grants axed to pay for quango, February 3). It is difficult to imagine a more terrifying insight into the cynicism of government policy on global warming.

Claims by Michael Heseltine and other ministers that it is in the best interests of these industries to produce energy in the most efficient way possible obscures the fact that their prime motive is to sell as much energy as possible, not conserve it. Thus the electricity regulator, Stephen Littlechild, has allowed the minuscule expenditure of £1 per household per year on energy conservation, while the gas regulator, Claire Spottiswoode, has blocked energy saving proposals put forward by the Energy Savings Trust. The start-up budget for this government-appointed quango of £6million per annum, should be set against the combined profits of the gas- and electricity-supply industries of £6 billion per annum (1994-95).

(Dr) Robin Russell Jones
St Thomas’ Hospital,
Lambeth Palace Road,
London SE1 7EH