Am I the only person about ready to pull their hair out after this week of media bombardment on climate change? I feel like I have been listening to a group of six-year olds trying to explain human reproduction. Some of it makes sense, they seem to have the vague general idea but yet you just know in your heart that so much of it is way, way off base. And you also know that if they go about ‘solving the problem’ in the way they are describing they stand about as much chance of success as the six year olds who believe’ if you do it standing up you won’t get pregnant’.
First of all what exactly is it that they are trying to accomplish? Fix the world? Turn back the hands of time? Errrrrmmmmmm I don’t think so. Richard Branson is offering $25 million to a scientist who can save the planet. That sanctimonious twit that is David Milliband is flapping about tut-tutting for England. A cleric has said he isn’t flying anywhere for a year (whupp-di-do ) and we’ve been told that if we buy leeks from Llanduono rather than kale from Kenya that it will all be ok.
There are some questions in this world that do not have easy answers. How do you solve poverty? Eradicate racism. Fix the NHS – cut taxes while improving services. How can we make sure all our children get an equal education and our older folks live out their days in comfort and security? And what is under Joan Collins’ wig? Well forget all that for now we all have to get cracking on Saving the Planet. The spinmeisters have been at work overtime and we are all taking notes so we can get au fait with ‘carbon footprints’ ‘green crimes’ ‘carbon dioxide emissions’ and all the other terms to describe what is wrong with the planet and what we as individuals need to change to make it all right.
This is a big problem – I am not denying that. But first we need to use the tried and true method for successful problemsolving:
[Properly Identify What the (HELL) the Problem Is]. And in practical terms. No more ‘we are disrespecting our environment in such a fashion that within 60 years the world will no longer resemble…blah-blah-blah’. A few simple, clear-cut statements geared towards the general public not scientists, marketing gurus and politicians.
[Come Up With Workable Solutions That We All Can Affect]
We have known for many years that we needed to change a lot of our habits. Cut down on packaging. Cut down on rubbish. Recycle. More fuel efficient cars. Alternative energy sources etc.etc.etc. Make the changes practical; cut the issue down into bitesize, practical activities that everyone can do.
[The Solutions Need to Be Fair to All]
“With the deepest respect, the farmers in the villages where I come from don’t have televisions, they don’t have refrigerators, they don’t have even one car, let alone two, they don’t have motorbikes, they’ve never even been to our country’s capital let alone flown all over the world on holiday — so don’t ask those farmers to pick up the cost of environmental problems you in the industrialized West have caused.” This was recently said by a gentleman named John Kanjangaile who represents a Tanzanian group called the Kagera Cooperative Union. And truer words were never spoken.
This entire situation reminds me of the 20-stone woman who decides in March that she needs to be bikini-beeyootiful by June. Years of abusing of resources, disregarding of warnings, ignoring of the facts brought her to that place. But somehow she is expecting that somewhere there is a magic wand and a fairy godmother. Against all odds a wand is going to be waved and all will be well in the kingdom.
$25,000,000 is not going to create a miracle. Neither are most of the other ‘solutions’ being bandied about so far. We have to keep in mind that there are economic repercussions for us turning our back on the farmers of sub-Sahara Africa. Over a million lives will be immediately affected if we do that. We also need to be aware that the facts behind this issue are not always as simple as they might seem. There are instances (apparently) where products from Africa might have a smaller carbon footprint (keep up with the lingo J ) than something that we commercially produce in this country or Europe. So let’s be careful when we are being sensible more than virtuous. In Morag’s opinion there seems to be an awful lot of sanctimonious twaddle being bandied about and maybe we need to get to the bottom of it before jumping on the bandwagon – oh and make sure the bandwagon isn’t a 4 x 4.