Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Spaniards are coming

After hearing Carwyn Jones tell AMs last week that they could not set Wales-only carbon-emission targets because not all the "levers" were in the Assembly's grasp, I was going to blog about how climate change will affect this year's election in a way it didn't affect the 2003 poll. I was going to mention that I cannot turn off the radiator in my office - a case of "levers" not being in my grasp - and how I found the experience of snow bucketing down on Cardiff Bay last week uncomfortably hot.

But then on Monday night I heard Rhodri Morgan make a speech about the Welsh economy in which he said if Wales acquires a Spanish-style climate thanks to global warming “it is hardly going to be unhelpful to Wales's competitive position”.

I think what Rhodri was trying to say was that if the whole of the world is going to be knackered because of global warming - and it is, say the scientists - then Wales might be a little bit less knackered than other places. In which case we have to extract what benefit we can from that.

The difficulty for politicians is that they can only say "what I meant was ... " a limited number of times. Like this. Or this. Or this.

If Wales is going to be like Spain and, in Rhodri's words, Spain is going to be like the Sahara, where are all the Spaniards going to go? With such difficult considerations bearing down upon us one might argue that the idea of "competitive position" needs to be completely re-evaluated.

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