It would do me good to read enough about Dutch politics to get as riled up as I do when a member of the current government of the UK gets me going.

Today the BBC reports on Environment Secretary Liz Truss and her words about the ugliness of solar energy farms and plans to cut government subsidies for them. (Oddly, later in the article, its said that the subsidies come from EU funds. Might be different subsidies.) Now, I make no secret of the fact that I’m an old-school lefty and think a whole lotta solar power beats the pants off a whole lot more fracking, coal-burning, or oil-drilling. Solar and wind farms are beautiful to me like Monet’s water lilies. That said, Truss makes an argument that the UK should be using its land for agriculture.

“We import two-thirds of our apples, and using more land for solar panels makes it harder to improve that,” she said. It’s a false argument on a number of counts, the most obvious being that the UK started buying cheaper apples from France in the 1970s, decimating (in the modern, not the Roman sense) UK apple cultivation. (I learned this on a BBC show about English apples a couple of years ago. This article cites EEC membership and the low yield of traditional English apple trees as a reason.) Another count? How about including, I don’t know, the secretary for agriculture, maybe, in discussions about agriculture. Ag might actually be in her remit, but I’ve got a feeling it’s not, given that it takes a rather long time to grow an apple orchard. Finally, it might just be poor reportage (wouldn’t be the first time), but when one is suggesting serious change to energy policy, aesthetic considerations should be rather lower on the priorities list.

The article goes on to cite a representative of the Solar Trade Association who says that 95% of solar farm land can still be used for farming and encouraging biodiversity.

To be blunt, I call bullshit on Liz Truss. Renewable energy isn’t good for the bottom lines of her supporters, so she undermines it. Happens all over. Given her title, you might think it otherwise, but in the Bizarro world of the current cabinet, it’s perfectly logical. Think of the recent Education secretary Michael Gove giving tax money to creationist schools and Health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s belief in homeopathy.