Margaret Thatcher was talking about the threat of climate change in 1988 although she did nothing much about it while rushing for hydrocarbons largely as a tool to shut down mines and neutralise powerful trade unions. Meanwhile, the seabed fortune was squandered by a succession of governments. Where is the trillion-pound sovereign wealth fund that could be invested in green technologies or even just provide cash for future generations?
Oil and gas production from the UKCS has contributed over £300 billion (2011 money) in tax revenues over the last forty years.
What trillion quid?
And, err, we have made rather a saving by not subsidising British Coal for 30 years, have we not?
The real misunderstandings have come from governments (not just this one) failing to grasp the need for an energy policy that looks ahead 30 years and does not leave it all to a market driven by short-term considerations. We need energy ministers who stay in post for more than a dozen months. We need to build low-carbon technology champions. We need an Olympian vision, not a Cameron cock-up.
Politics has failed. Thus we need more politics.