Lots in the news about HS2 and how recently even the government is questioning the validity of the project. Go figure! Of course, you have to consider that a general election is on the horizon and that my friends is like blood in the water to sharks.
Is the indecision about the project first proposed by an outgoing Labour government all about the cost in financial terms or is it more about pleasing the potential electorate? Whichever it is there still seems to be no mention of the environmental cost like the impact on ancient woodlands, biodiversity and what little habitat there is left. Obviously money should be an issue too but do we really need to worry about such a human construct as money? They always seem to find the billions when they need them for outlandish projects which is great for the short term profits for BIG Construction. But as George Monbiot says in a recent article:
“At the time, the entire scheme was costed at £25.5bn. Now, if it were all to be built, the exchequer would be unlikely to see change from £100 billion. One estimate suggests it could rise to £150 billion. Think of what you could do with this money. It’s 10 times the cost of refitting all England’s schools. You could use it to build 300 Hospitals or all the social homes required in England for the next 10 years. “
The £150 billion estimated came from Lord Framingham:
“My Lords, the Minister knows very well my views on this worthless, scandalous, vanity project—which I think most of the country now share. In January 2017, I put to this House the opportunity to stop it, but we decided to go ahead. Reliable sources now say that it will cost £150 billion. Is it not the case that, even if we have spent £5 billion, £10 billion or £20 billion so far, sensible accountants always say you do not pour good money after bad? Surely now is the time to put right what we have got wrong, save the money and spend it on areas of the country which badly need their railway networks improved.”
As with many of these long term investments in infrastructure the government is thinking business as usual with no consideration of what the country will truly be like from the effects of climate change and ecological degradation in 50 years.
When is sustainable development not sustainable development?
A few trees cut down here, a few trees cut down there, it won’t be long before there’s concrete everywhere.
One of the best sources of information on the unprecedented scale of so-called sustainable development builds across the UK is the website of The Community Planning Alliance. If you are considering action against a development in your area and are unsure what to do we highly recommend you check them out.
A great example of how local people can take action is the Chidswell Action Group. They have an excellent website that is well worth a look. They are organised and have a rational and well-thought-out argument. They live in a beautiful part of the country and they are working very hard to keep it that way.
More to follow 🌍🌎🌍🌎🌍