A look at the dark side

27th Nov 2023


Events of last week caused me to look at the darker side of the decarbonisation debate.

And what I saw was deeply troubling both in the short term for the individuals and businesses targeted and in the longer term for good governance in the UK.

I witnessed a Director of a Big Six energy retailer trying to scare individuals over the risk of using hydrogen in boilers. A well-connected journalist called them out but the damage had been done. Let me just repeat that, a Director of a Big Six company referenced a government trial using language of “crash test dummy” and hydrogen being “4x more explosive than gas”. This wasn’t some small campaign group attention seeking, but one of our biggest energy firms.

And immersing myself further into the murky world of the dark side, it appears a local councillor has been targeted by an individual who encouraged others to “harass” the local politician until they changed their mind about the trial. The councillor in question then made it public that his child’s photograph had been used by this particular individual in their crusade. Am I the only one who finds such behaviour disturbing?

Has such behaviour been condemned by the queue of so-called “experts” who have lent support and worked with this individual? No, it hasn’t. That’s a reflection of who is on the dark side.

But what’s the impact of such actions I hear you ask?

Well aside from the obvious distress caused to the councillor and the impact such scare stories will have on individuals, how will decision-makers respond to the whipped up opposition and ‘rent-a-gob’ outside agitators?

If decision-makers respond by giving in to the demands of individuals like this, then they give the green light to this type of behaviour. The way to put a stop to it, once and for all, is to make it clear that such actions encourage them to do just the opposite – ‘pour encourager les autres’. That way, we might all just escape from descending into the chaos of the dark side.

Mike Foster

EUA's Chief Executive


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