In May 2019 Dorset Council declared a Climate Emergency.

In checking on their website ‘What are we already doing to fight climate change?’ there seems precious little to be encouraged by.

With the IPCC report published early August this year, it has become abundantly clear what dire state our world is in.

On Dorset Council’s website (as above) one reads: ‘DC have a strong and proud legacy of environmentally-friendly initiatives, projects and programmes.’ With the IPCC’s stark warnings ‘environmentally-friendly’ does no longer seem to cut the mustard, but it seems good enough to make DC proud. Pride comes before the fall, the saying goes.

Living in Weymouth two apparently ‘environmentally friendly’ projects spring to mind, one now realised, the brand spanking new petrol filling station at Osprey Quay Portland, the other, still in the pipeline of a nearly two years long planning application, the Portland Port Waste Incinerator.

How is it possible that a county, apparently committed to the need for action on climate change, ends up with projects as environmentally-hostile as these?

Is it because ‘Climate Emergency’ is merely an idea, or is it because the council’s planning department hasn’t even heard of this idea, let alone is obliged to act in accordance with it?

That brand new petrol filling station now stands as a gleaming monument to the inanity of our time, we are aware that the writing is on the wall, but we refuse to look at it.

It has dawned on most of us that in order to have a chance at getting out of the mess of our own making, we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels - and fast. Dorset Council, despite its declaration of a Climate Emergency, clearly haven’t understood this, they are still ‘environmentally-friendly’ here, in the case of this filling station, towards a major fossil fuel producing giant. It really is beyond belief and enforces one’s view that it is all about just words. Unfortunately, the crisis we are in won’t be talked away.

Unlike the filling station, the incinerator has not yet been built - but is well on its way to realisation. Why? Because in their endless negotiations with Dorset Council planning, going back to well over two years, the developers have increasingly become more confident in the worth of their pursuing this project.

All this in a county, seemingly looked after by its council with the now empty ringing slogans of their declaration of a Climate Emergency.


Old Castle Road, Weymouth