Tuesday, May 23, 2006

London desalination plant

Today sees the start of a public inquiry on a water desalination plant for London. This was originally proposed by Thames Water and approval was given by Newham council. However London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, with Green Party support, overturned the decision on the grounds that it would cause an increase in C02 emissions. Now, Thames Water are appealing the decision, arguing that the plant is necessary to supply London and the south east.

Ken Livingstone, and the Green Party come to that, disapprove because they feel we should be cutting back on water usage, cutting back on power consumption and generally leaving less of a 'footprint'. Yes, it would be good to improve fuel efficiency - but only because it means we can continue to use the power we need. Yes we need to improve London's water infrastructure, but that doesn't solve the water problem.

Human progress depends on increasing energy consumption and on a ready supply of clean water. We can get both of these through the use of new technologies. We shouldn't be stopping progress in its tracks. Going backwards won't solve global warming and the other environmental problems we face.

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