'Better do nothing that the wrong thing.'I was asked to give an example of what I meant. My reply was:
'Ethanol'In the UK and Europe we have legislated to produce 10% of our road fuels from 'renewable' sources by 2020. It is far from clear this will have the claimed effect in environmental terms. This post last week from the BBC's Paul Hudson is instructive.
The situation with US corn production is much more dramatic. 35% of US corn goes on biofuels. This figure is widely seen as one of the reasons for the very significant rise in world food prices in the last year. Corn prices almost doubled between February 2010 and February 2011 driving up the cost of rice and other food staples. 60% of the world's corn comes from the US.
The rush to biofuels has had a devastating effect on the cost of food and this affects the world's poor most of all. Some argue it causes starvation and is immoral.
Our MSPs, in pioneering more stringent targets, may have put Scotland in the 'groundbreaking' category with the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. But their altruistic eagerness to lead, without due diligence on either the science or the consequences of their actions, is looking more like folly every day.
In this case the precautionary principle is the reckless principle.