Some recent reports and trends – the Conservatives propose a happiness index; first UK wave turbine off Cornwall; and Greenspan teases on oil and the war.
The Conservatives’ Study Group on the Quality of Life – which teamed the MP John Gummer and Zac Goldsmith – recommended a raft of environmental taxes. More significantly, though, in terms of emerging trends, the Blueprint for a Green Economy, which runs to 549 pages, also suggests that governments should pay more attention to measuring well-being than economic growth. The coverage has been pretty hostile, not least because of initial reaction from within the Conservative Party, with quite a lot of misrepresentation. This prompted Zac Goldsmith to send a rebuttal of the criticisms to the Our Kingdom blog.
The first UK wave turbine – called the wave hub – is planned 10 miles off the coast of Cornwall. Ecologist News reports that it will serve 7,500 homes and create 1,800 jobs (this must be a mistake unless the homes are paying a quarter of their income on electricity). Surfers have welcomed it but are concerned that it will reduce the size of their waves.
And the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Alan Greenspan, says in his memoirs, The Age of Turbulence, pretty much in passing, that Iraq was a war about oil: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows — the Iraq war is largely about oil.”