Why does hydroelectric power have such a friendlier image compared to other forms of renewable energy? In this week’s magazine cover, our first ever Matt Ridley Prize winner Pippa Cuckson examines why hydroelectricity is not just bad for the taxpayer, but also bad for the environment. In our View from 22 podcast, Fraser Nelson discusses this hidden scandal:

‘The principle of hydroelectric power, which is great for mountains, does not apply England’s green and pleasant lakes. But that hasn’t stopped the government subsidising this because they love the idea so much…every week three hydro-plants are being authorized which pretty much have the power of a candle. They require huge amounts of subsidy but most important of all, they harm the environment.’

Freddy Gray also speaks about this week’s political column, written by blogger Tim Stanley from Florida. Stanley writes that Mitt Romney is still trying to woo over the Tea Party, mostly because they more interesting and likeable than he is. Freddy agrees he needs to harness their popularity:

‘The [British media's] idea is that Romney’s marketing problem is the Tea Party and they are diminishing his brand. Actually in America, the biggest problem is not the Tea Party but Mitt Romney himself. He’s a country club Republican who is desperately unpopular with the masses. What the Tea Party brings to the Republican Convention is a certain amount of colour and working class style. We may find it a little disturbing but it’s undoubtedly lively and rather interesting.’

Clarissa Tan also joins to explain her theory of a correlation between building sky scrapers and approaching economic dissasters. And what does Fraser think of Nick Clegg’s latest proposals for taxing the wealthy? Listen with the embedded player below to hear why he says we need to rally behind George Osborne. You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your machine by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

The View from 22 – 3o August 2012. Length 23:54
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Tags: Environment, Matt Ridley Prize, Mitt Romney, Nick Clegg, Podcast