Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Am I Green or Mean?

Chris Jackson argues on 18 Doughty Street that Global Warming is a threat to our existence, but not for the usual reasons.

"In the past decade Global Warming has become an international issue with global consequence but do the public really care? In a political sphere where parties campaign on a large scale for Green policies are the electorate themselves really that interested?

"Surely the simplest answer to this question is to look at the Green party and their support. The Greens received 250,000 votes at the last election and did not gain a single seat in the UK parliament. Admittedly the bad transfer of votes to seats due to the first past the post system is unhelpful, but only 12% of people between the 2nd and 3rd of May in the 2005 election thought that the environment was an important issue. (YouGov)

"Fundamentally whilst people are aware the world’s climate is changing they are either sceptical about the cause of Global Warming or are simply more concerned with the other issues.The war in Iraq was a big issue for the 2005 General Election but the Labour party still got re-elected.

"If a major party in the next election had no Green agenda but popular policies on Crime, Health, Immigration, Pensions and education I believe they would still win the next election. Now, at this point many advocates of anthropogenic Global Warming would say that these points merely highlight the laziness of the general public and the consumer society that places money above all. With regards to society being lazy it would seem unfair to associate a lack of reaction to being lazy. However it is true that by and large western society seems to be largely driven by money but is this really such a problem? The western world is a capitalist society driven by the demand for goods that fuel industries, provides jobs and funds homes and public projects. Whilst money is certainly not everything it is unfortunately not far off.

"The additional costs for eco-friendly industries will lead to price rises across the economy and for price elastic products this will produce a fall in sales, revenues and ultimately job losses. Naturally such a situation would lead to social unrest and a society divided between the haves and have nots. Furthermore, by forcing developing countries to pay crippling extra costs for eco-friendly industries we would destroy their already fragile economies and increase their global debt. In many respects Global Warming could become one of the greatest disasters of our generation; but not through the effects of climate change which have occurred for over 4 billion years and will continue until the world ends. The threat of Global warming is that people will lose their common sense and become carried away by the Green Lobby which has the power to destroy society as we know it. But luckily people don’t seem to care enough at the moment, let’s just hope it stays that way. "

I totally agree. Conserving energy, looking for alternatives, recycling, etc - all "good". Making people feel guilty because it is "their fault" is a turn off for most people. All this carbon footprint/off-setting stuff is so unrealistic for most people as they go about their daily lives is just not relevant.

For example, I need to travel in a car 30 miles each way to work. The alternative transport by bus or train would take even more time than the current hour or so and would be very much more expensive. What can I do about my carbon footprint?

Move house, uproot my family from an area where we have lived for over 30 years and buy a house within walking distance of my place of work? Would my sacrifice save the planet?

I doubt it and, frankly, I don't care!


pcsolotto said...

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