### Reader’s Letter to The Guardian, 14th May 2024 ### …

Dear Editor,

I read the EU Climate Chief Wopke Hoekstra’s comments on the EU’s climate policy (article by Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 10th May 2024, link below), including his worry that “populists” would water things down, and was rather bemused …

As far as I can see there isn’t much to be watered down (anyway!) as we seem to be carrying on with “business as usual”. For example: I look out of the window of my flat and see a constant stream of aircraft (many of them freight) on their approach to Cologne-Bonn airport; whenever I go to Brussels I see, to the west of Cologne, the huge, belching plumes from power-stations fed by a cluster of the world’s biggest lignite (dirty “brown-coal”) mines; I see masses of vans and trucks flitting around delivering cut-price “tat” bought online … while normal shops and local communities falter and fail; the streets and motorways are packed with over-powered cars and over-sized trucks with the few electric vehicles which are appearing being obscenely oversized … the list goes on and on.

Then Mr Hoekstra comes with weird and complicated things like the “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism”: As far as I can see this is just another set of smoke-and-mirrors (like “Carbon Trading”) to bamboozle the public and obscure reality.

My faith will not return until our governments have started to aggressively tax and regulate the “damaging factors” (e.g. fuel, pesticides, packaging, long-distance-freight, abuse of antibiotics, air-conditioning, etc.). But I see no sign of that happening.

“Fortunately” we can always blame “the populists” for the disaster that we ourselves are creating.

God help us!

Alan Mitcham

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