Politics Magazine

A Little Closer to Destruction

Posted on the 06 June 2013 by Thepoliticalidealist @JackDarrant

Yesterday, British MPs voted down a Bill that would have made the country a world leader. This prudent item of legislation would have been interpreted as a challenge to the rest of the European Union, and probably would have resulted in a real victory against one of the largest problems facing the world today. Have I got your attention?

Yes, the decarbonisation policy has been defeated, and we now have no legal commitment to make our energy supply carbon neutral by 2030. But you might not be as concerned as I am. The chances are, if you’re like 90% of the global population, that you saw that I was talking about the environment and lost interest immediately. And I couldn’t blame anyone for that. After all, climate change is a slowly unfolding problem that it is impossible to spur people into action about. Last decade, environmentalists and scientists succeeded in frightening people about the threat the world is  facing. In principle, most of us are eager to live within ‘ one planet’ resources (If everyone on the planet lived as the average American lives, we’d need five Earths to meet our demands for resources. In the UK, the figure is 3.5 Earths, and for me it is 2 Earths. The ideal is that we live within our planetary means- ‘ one planet’) .

But in practice, the moment these people are asked to give up their foreign holidays, cut out plastic bags, or even wait another year before upgrading their laptops, their firm determination to do their bit falters. And it’s surprisingly difficult to blame them. It’s hard to be motivated to exercise restraint if, as an individual, your actions are offset by a billion or so apathetic materialists in the developed world. And after all, individual consumption only accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions- though this is a somewhat obscure statistic. And unfortunately, there’s an overwhelming majority who believe that environmentalism is a luxury that we cannot afford in times of economic stagnation. This is very dangerous, given that over one decade of activity will be lost, by which time we’ll have insufficient time to bring pollution to acceptable levels.

So ask why the media has ignored this huge error of the Government. Ask why an approaching crisis is being ignored by the global community. And ask if there’s anything you can do to live within ‘ one planet’.

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