Green cause needs right sort of nourishment

The once-flourishing green cause has all the appearances of beginning to wilt.

Punitive fuel bills boosted by mandatory renewable energy charges, wind turbines that hardly anyone wants blighting landscapes and seascapes, rooftops sprouting unsightly solar panels – can anyone wonder why, at the mere mention of renewable energy, many people now want to turn to the wall and pull the duvet over their head?

The fertiliser of cash picked from our pockets whether we like it or not and constant propaganda pumped out with missionary zeal has proved too rich.

That is why measures announced in the Autumn Statement to reduce turbine subsidies and re-examine domestic green charges were widely welcomed, not matter what the political persuasion.

We all want to do our bit for the planet we live on, we all accept that something needs to be done now rather than later to reduce carbon pollution.

But simply obliging energy companies to impose a tax or sticking up turbines that don’t work when there is no wind and don’t work when there is too much, and encouraging installation of solar panels whose cost can take years to recover, are not widely acceptable answers.

What would be would be extending subsidies for home insulation and modern energy-saving boilers, even stricter obligations on builders to make new homes energy efficient, and the same sort of government-initiated help-yourself crusading that has gone into the quite-smoking, cut-alcohol campaigns.

For the green cause to receive universal nurture it needs feeding from the roots upwards, and that means more than spraying it with solutions like taxes and turbines that might be easy to apply but offer no long-term nourishment.