Reality Checkpoint 2021
News from previous year

The prospect of a new coal mine in Cumbria is opposed by many on environmental grounds. However, it seems to me that those who hold this point of view need to explain why they think so.

In what ways is it more environmentally friendly to import coal for steelproduction than it is to use coal mined here?

If steel is not made here, it would need to be imported for such things as the constructiion of wind turbines - would that be more environmentally friendly? If coal and steel are thought, by definition, to be environmentally damaging, then if we think wind turbines are necessary, are we not exporting the problems to other lands?

Howard Curnow, Devon.
Methodist Recorder, 26 Feb 21; reproduced by permission.

A friend of mine recently bought an electric car - a Honda E. He reports after driving it for several months that the range in summer was 100 miles; in winter about 50 miles.

Last week he went to Kettering and back, a round journey of 58 miles. The batteries were fully charged (90%; wouldn't go any higher) when he started out. He cruised at about 60mph; it was cold so he put on enough heat to keep warm. On reaching Kettering, the battery was at 37%.

After 12 miles of the return journey it was clear he wasn't going to get home (battery now 14%) without a recharge. He refuelled with a 15m boost at the Motorway Services, for which he paid 10.

He is now selling the car and getting a vehicle with a decent range.

29 Jan 21

Ian Botham has said (13 Jan) that people from the countryside are tired of the Corporation's virtue-signalling presenters. Botham said that the Corporation was doing particularly badly in the countryside; many country people write to him. They dislike how the Corporation increasingly uses its programmes to promote the narrow 'woke' views of its senior staff. In Botham's words: "They say it abuses its power to push these 'urban progressive' ideas as if they were mainstream".

Lord Botham referred to a recent YouGov poll, which found that only 4% of the British public thought that the BBC had improved in terms of representing their values during 2020. 33% had said that the Corporation had become worse. "This is an organization in big trouble. Any business facing numbers like those would take drastic action".

The BBC has faced mounting criticism over its broadcasting approach, particularly its reporting of Brexit in recent weeks.

Botham went on to say that the nation was fed with Brexit threats by the broadcasters - for example, massive congestion of traffic in Kent and Calais. Those threats were about as serious as the millenium bug 20 years ago; all the freight is operating perfectly smoothly.

Botham directed his criticism at the BBC's new boss, Tim Davie. He said that there is a small army of BBC presenters who use their profiles to push their political and social views. "Mr. Davie pledged to put an end to this abuse, but it hasn't totally stopped. Country people have long been tired of this...yet the BBC just mouths empty platitudes... It appears too big to reform".

The reason I've included this: The BBC has had a similar approach to energy policy over recent years. It refuses to give a balanced picture; electric vehicles and wind turbines are good, it seems, irrespective of cost or effectiveness, and climate change mitigation, if such a thing is possible, is more important than maintaining a stable electricity supply. - ...Ed.

16 Jan 21

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