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The £165m Cumbria coal mine is the wrong kind of levelling up


T

he controversy over the proposed £165m Woodhouse Colliery near Whitehaven in Cumbria is a graphic example of the government’s willingness to put short-term political and economic gains over long-term pain. 

The short-term political gains are diminishing. Nasa’s former top climate scientist James Hansen has added to the headache this development is creating through an open letter to the prime minister making note of the UK hosting the UN’s COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow this year.

“In leading the UK, as host to the Cop, you have a chance to change the course of our climate trajectory – or you can stick with business-almost-as-usual and be vilified in the streets of Glasgow, London and around the world,” he wrote. 



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