Sunday, November 08, 2009

not quite on my soap box again

So I'm concerned, worried, scared about the environment. Apparently the science is in and, apart from ignorant non-experts, everyone agrees global warming has reached crisis point. We've really stuffed it up. What I find most troubling is that we madly keep on with wrecking our home, despite the warning signs telling us something is seriously wrong.

There have been some interesting online articles recently, chewing over the reasons for, and implications of our refusal to address this issue. There is some evidence to suggest climate sceptics have fallen prey to an elaborate defence mechanism designed to prevent them from thinking about death. Never mind that avoiding the issue and denying climate change brings us all closer to the end of life as we know it. Just don't think about it. Say it isn't true.

Other climate change, brain function, behavioural scientists think the risks seem too remote for us. The earth is spiralling towards cataclysmic upheaval, rising sea levels, potential ice age, and mass extinction, but it's not happening tomorrow? Oh well. Turn the air-con up, drive don't walk, and eat as much meat as you like - it might never happen!

Then there's the industry lobby. Think of all the profit we'll lose if we don't keep on pumping carbon into the atmosphere! Seriously, the economy will fall apart. We'll all die if we don't have more money. So don't even think about charging tax on carbon emissions. We just can't afford that cost. Too bad that it might kill us all in the long run - economic growth is key.

I find it singularly depressing. No matter what Frank and I do to reduce our carbon footprint, it will never be enough, because too many other people don't care, or they simply love money more.

Shame on you.

But we'll keep plugging away despite all that. We have solar power on the roof. It's even connected now (after 4 months. long story) so we power our house from the sun all day. We've started charging mobile phones and tooth brushes during the day, to save drawing from the grid at night. We walk or ride the bike when we can. Meat makes much less regular appearances on our plate. Just about everything we do is accompanied by a quick calculation of its environmental impact. For example, tonight we cycled to the river front for fish and chips. The calculation runs something like this:
Cycling = carbon neutral. Fish and chips = unsure of stocks of fish we ate therefore unable to calculate accurately. Communal cooking = less environmental impact than heating oil at home to cook fish and chips ourselves. Overall = not too bad, but might be better if we ordered a salad instead.
We like to think it all counts. And of course it does. But is it enough? Only if everyone else gets on board! Come on people - time to make a difference for our planet.

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