I happened upon another anti-green article in the Daily Mail the other day (no surprise there), but what I found to be of real interest was the way the reporter cunningly used information from different sources to pile the pressure on his headline subject and twist the story to make it sound like green policies are responsible for much, much more than they actually are.
I’ve also got to say that this article was all over the place. It pulled figures from everywhere and then assembled them in such a higgledy-piggledy way that it was impossible to really make neither head nor tale of the piece. There’s one thing for certain though: it’s anti-green through and through. Still; at least the reporter didn’t hack anyone’s phone to get the scoop… or did he?
Disclaimer: Can I just say that I am not a Daily Mail reader; I just have friends and family who alert me to articles such as this. Thank you.
The article opens by claiming that green polices add 15% to a typical energy bill. Fair enough; they probably do. However, it then subtly starts to pile on the numbers by first saying that “the combination of green taxes and wholesale price rises” could push prices up by 36%. Note the part that says “…and wholesale price rises”. Next we are told of a hypothetical ‘high-price scenario’ included in a Whitehall paper, which would also then push up the numbers. Finally we are informed that, due to these factors, consumers will need to find an extra £500 a year for energy by 2020. Yep, that’s an extra £500 a year – shock, horror, dismay. At this point the reporter cleverly brings green taxes back to centre stage and works in a biased quote from those renowned experts on green policy The TaxPayers Alliance (?!), and hey presto, this £500 extra on your bill is all down to those nasty old green policies.
The article also says these green taxes will help to fund “wind farms, nuclear power stations, more solar panels and a new pylon network.” Erm, hello? Only two of these are ‘green’ technologies. Idiot.
I will give credit, however (much as it pains me) to the fact that the article makes mention of switching your energy supplier to save money, and also that the story ends with a pro-green policy quote from a Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman.
Nevertheless. What bugs me here is the Mail’s blatant attempt to turn its readers against any kind of green policy. This isn’t the first time they’ve done this either (thank goodness, as they keep me supplied with blog material). Joking aside though, why do they feel so strongly that we should not have to pay anything to safeguard our future?
Also let’s not forget: It’s not only climate change we are trying to combat here. We are also trying to give ourselves some energy security. I mean, do we really want to be beholden to Russia and other even more psychopathic regimes for our gas supplies?
And one last thing: Why does the reporter feel that green taxes are any less legitimate than other taxes? If these taxes from energy were used to fund, say, the police instead, would the Daily Mail still be so angry? (of course it would, what am I saying? It’s the Mail).
Protecting our environment and securing a healthy planet for our future generations is not a triviality; and it’s not going to come cheap. Somebody has to pay, and spreading the burden across the populace seems fair to me. It also seems fair that households who couldn’t care less about energy conservation will pay more towards these green policies because the tax is levied as a proportion of your bill. Ergo, families who do try to conserve energy will pay less. Fair indeed.
These green policies are intended reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to shield us from exactly the type of wholesale prices rises the article mentions. Surely the reporter would agree that this is a good thing to aim for, but how exactly does he propose we pay for it, if not with green taxes?
By all means, alert us to the potential rises that have been forecast, but don’t put them under the headline of “green taxes add 15% to your bill”.
Daily Mail readers aren’t known for their ability (or desire) to read between the lines. So – as the reporter is obviously intending – the reader comes away with the image that green taxes are adding £500 to energy bills, which of course, is absolute nonsense.
For a more in depth (and a little more sensible) look at this very story click here…
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