Monday, January 29, 2007

Moving away from green

I've been mostly on the side of environmentalists and keeping my surroundings clean and green. Most everything they said would help, I've done (or am doing). Dont use plastic? Ok, I'm trying. Sort your rubbish and recycle? I do. Dont use more power than you need to? I'm trying to cut down. Dont waste water? That's easy enough from a former Chennaivasi - the water conservation gene is inbuilt! Dont fly? ... EFF BLOODY OFF!

I'm beginning to dislike environmentalists now. They're saying that because of the emissions from aircraft, people should stop air travel. The people they're targeting is, but of course, ordinary folks who travel economy. And the government, bless its greedy little heart soul claws, is only too willing because it can hike taxes in the name of environmentalism and everything green.

Okay, so there are carbon emissions every time a flight happens – hundreds of kilos of emissions from hundreds of flights. But isn’t it true that these emissions happen whether the aircraft is full to capacity or carrying just a few passengers? In that case wouldn’t an aircraft full of low-budget passengers be more justified to take to the air than a private jet that carries just one mega-rich person and a few cronies?

If us common people are to curtail air travel (or have it curtailed by increasingly burdensome tax hikes) because of the carbon footprint, so should the super-rich. Let the enviconmentalists take away the private jets from movie stars and stop heads of governments from taking private chartered flights to other countries. Will that ever be an option? Will it hell. All that will happen is that travel will become even more expensive for those who find it difficult enough to afford now. And those who leave the largest footprints will continue to swan around in private jets.

I’m not about to stop air travel. It’s not a fun thing to do, flying economy, but it IS the best and quickest way to get from one country or continent to another. Not just for tourism purposes but because my family and friends are in different countries. I'm not likely to give up seeing them just for the sake of the environment.

It makes me so ANGRY when I think of those vociferous environmentalists who more than likely don’t practise what they preach. And guess what, Prince Charles is my most apt example for exactly such a breach between practice and preaching, flying to Philadelphia to accept an environmental award.
Environment Minister David Miliband said that he should have accepted the Global Environmental Citizen award via videolink. Yes, he should have... except that of course, video link means using electricity and suchlike things, and we're meant to cut down on power consumption. By post, then. Oh no, that uses paper and paper is made from trees, plus it would have to be delivered here by air which brings us back to that carbon emission issue. Hmmm... maybe by carrier pigeon? Yeah, until some animal rights activists start protesting about "wild" birds being used by man, endangering their little lives for our own selfish communication purposes.

I guess what we should all do is stay home, find work only as far away as we can walk or bicycle (or perhaps swim), and give up any idea of travelling anywhere further than a few miles away. Sounds like a fun way to live...

If at all this "saving the environment" effort is to work, the governments of all the countries in the world - and I mean ALL - need to follow the same set of rules.And perhaps environmentalists and governments should put more genuine effort into finding viable alternative fuels or modes of transport, thereby actually being of some use to man and beast!

Anyway, arent we overdue a huge climate change anyway? When was the last Ice Age? If Ice Ages (and more kinder climes) have been taking turns over the last few thousand million years, who are we to try and stop Nature from following her course? Even if, supposedly, human beings have brought on that inevitable course. Que sera sera, and that's how things have always been.

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