There is nothing of greater long term significance than the health of the planet but the short term costs and the temporary inconveniences of taking action to achieve this have created some astonishingly virulent opposition.
2014 proved to be the hottest year on record in the UK and we know that the levels of carbon dioxide in the air are already at higher levels than at any time in the existence of humanity. We can't possibly know for certain what impact CO2 will have on the climate or on acidification of the oceans. What we do know is that we have created the high levels of CO2. If, as the vast majority of objective scientists believe, weather is becoming increasingly chaotic and volatile as a result, then the long term costs will be extreme.
We have a choice. We can either invest in avoiding climate change at the risk of increased short term costs or we will experience increasing disruption to agriculture and travel. Even relatively small rises in sea levels would risk losing large parts of cities such as London where the Thames barrier is now in use regularly.
With growing populations and increasing wealth in the third world we either spend money on developing new products which consume less energy and improve insulation of homes and workplaces or we have to spend more on fuel. The current decline in price is due to recession and few people expect it to be sustained over the long term. We can either invest in innovative environmental industries, which will help to create healthy competitive employers, or give more of our money to unpleasant regimes and take increasing risks to generate power.
As they discovered in Japan and in Chernobyl, nuclear power comes at a heavy price. The cost of decommissioning nuclear power stations will be with us for generations. Fracking for gas beneath complex geology with many faults, old mine shafts and untraceable underground water routes is highly dangerous in a small island. Even solar, wind and hydro-electric power schemes carry environmental costs and innovative solutions, such as graphene facilitating the cheap production of hydrogen, will need serious investment before they can take off.
Right now the best way to tackle climate change is cut down on the use of energy. We need a massive incentive programme encouraging people and companies to switch to lower energy consumption. The serious improvement in miles per gallon achieved by petrol cars is an example of what can be achieved and there are insulating wallpapers that can save 30% on your fuel bill.
And the response of the current government? You can get a pathetic low interest loan to cover the cost of insulating your home and the tiny amount of actual cash they made available was so oversubscribed that the scheme ran out of money on the first day. Oh and they are licensing fracking of the land beneath beautiful countryside across the north in the hope of going full steam ahead after the election.
We need energy conservation to be at the heart of our economic plan and central to our research and investment programme.
Only one party sees environmental issues as being critical to our long term future and has been prepared to face down short term unpopularity and clearly state that nothing is more important than the health of the planet that we live on. Surely that is worth voting for.
Think about the long term. Vote Green