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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Gestures

I don't buy into gestures. If you are going to do something about a problem, do something, don't make gestures for the sake of scoring political or ideological points. Don't make pointless gestures which just allow the footsoldiers and the gullible to get that warm cuddly feeling that they have "done something" no matter how pointless. What got me going today?

Simple, a proposal that everyone in England should "turn off all electrical appliances for one hour" this coming Saturday. What will this achieve? According to the organisers, it will "send a message to the government that the people of Britain want an end to energy wastage." Really? So, will the one hour shutdown actually result in any power stations not running for an hour? No, it won't. What it will result in is a massive surge as everyone stupid enough to do this, turns everything back on at the end of the hour.

Climate change is a very complex issue, we are not even completely sure which way its going. Yes, glaciers and ice caps are melting, but parts of the oceans are cooling and the "Atlantic Conveyor" the return flow of cold water to the tropics which balances the Gulf Stream, is slowing. We have just had the coldest few months in 15 years in Britain and parts of Europe are still getting snow, again, the first time in many years it has stayed on the ground this late. In the Southern Hemisphere a heat wave has affected Southern Australia and Southern Africa, but selectively. In the atmosphere, the Ozone hole is closing and probably also contributing to the heat build up the Green lobby are so fond of screaming about.

So how will another little overage hippy "gesture" reverse this trend? Simple answer it won't, but it will give a lot of airheads a nice warm fluffy feeling as they all settle back into their electrically dependent lifestyles, gas heated of course and put on the kettle for another cup of something that has to be shipped to their local supermarket so that they don't have to waste time growing it, drying it and all their other foodstuffs themselves. This is why I am totally opposed to these gestures. They are usually made by people gullible enough to believe that they "make a difference" doing it, yet never actually consider what they really need to give up in order to really make a difference. My short list of things the "developed world" would have to give up completely to cancel the "carbon imbalance" includes -

  • All electrical goods,
  • Central heating,
  • all manufacturing and revert to "cottage" and homemade goods,
  • frozen foods, tinned foods
  • pre-cooked foods
  • clothing bought from stores as finished goods and revert to make your own after spinning and weaving to find the wherewithal,
  • Clean drinking water,
  • flush sanitation
  • cars, trains and buses which use internal combustion engines,
  • travel to anywhere you can't walk,
  • All plastic goods and all synthetic goods,
  • bathing regularly,
  • Deodorant......

In short, we would have to revert to grow it yourself, make it yourself, no modern medicine, no modern conveniences. Fend for yourself. And even if we did, attractive as it might seem to the 1960's hippy generation and their equally stupid offspring, the climate would continue to change.

Gestures are stupid and pointless, what we really need is some positive and sensible ideas to adapt ourselves and make our technology less demanding and damaging. Even in the stone age we were changing the environment - look to Africa and South America and what you see is landscapes denuded of trees and shrubbery to provide fuel for heating and cooking, land for growing food or grazing that most damaging of all livestock - goats.

No I will not be joining in this stupid gesture!

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