Monday, July 17, 2006

Whichever way, the wind blows?

More double entendres in that title than an entire season of Up Pompeii!
And it is inspired by this Cameron's home improvements may be green, but he’ll end up in the red
For now I'll spare commentary on the Honourable Leader of Her Maj's Opposition being a bit of a bandwagon chaser, and restrict myself to the turbine issue, which he in part is responsible for me getting all excited about, and shows that some caution is needed before rushing to be green.
Because to this point, I was pretty convinced these things were not a bad plan, though I had been, and still am, concerned on the ability of a domestic chimney handling the load. This, however, adds another dimension: "Trevor Butler, director of sustainability at the Building Design Partnership, says the kit amounts to little more than expensive gadgetry. “I would estimate the daily output of the turbine at roughly 1 kilowatt-hour per day,” he said. “The average price of electricity in London at the moment is 10p per kilowatt-hour. As the cost of the turbine is £2,600, the payback would be 71 years. The renewables can be seen as expensive gadgets — but they do raise awareness.”
Certainly something to bear in mind.
And just to add a bit more 'to the mix', here's a littel snippet on how your average media news person has fared so far, from Newsnight's 'Ethical Man' series.

Laugh? I could have died. We still can.

I try to keep things in a lighter vein wherever possible, and certainly prefer to avoid gazing at my navel, but something happened the other night that had a profound, and disturbing, effect on me.

I was watching, of all ridiculous things, a comedy quiz show called '8 Out Of 10 Cats'. This is just one of several such shows where it is the taking part, rather than the winning, which is important. Hosted by a witty comedian, Jimmy Carr, it had two teams composed mainly of equally witty folk, most of whom will invite him to be a panelist on their show. So far, so entertaining.

But I guess what struck home was a comment at the end which the host made, and maybe more affecting was everyone's reaction to it. Mr. Carr doesn't tell jokes as such, so it was more observational humor. It was do do with 'environmental types', I guess like me. And while the specifics have dimmed, it was something like 'All these eco-warriors say it's about saving the planet for future generations. Well , I say **** 'em' (I think he meant the future generations - an audience it's hard to offend, yet, by dint of not being around as yet), for which he got a roar of approving laughter from all involved.

And he's not alone. I'm hearing and reading about this view a lot:

New Spin Tactic? Forget scientists... let's use comediansChristian Science Monitor today employs a comedian to battle global warming science, with such insight as: "...we shouldn't worry about the distant future." I guess they figure the PR stall tactics aren't working anymore so they're going to humour us into inaction.

I have taken my family to brink of serious financial compromise by trying to be part (a small one) of a movement that is trying to secure the future by acting today. Neither I nor, I suspect my kids, are going to see any benefit for these actions (or real consequences for failing to act), and in fact are possibly going to suffer a fair bit because of them.

What do I do? I can either go down fighting the good fight, or give up and try and rejoin the very system I abandoned a fair while ago. Right now I don't see I have a choice to ensure the survival of my immediate family, immediately. 

At least will still exist and can go on to do some good (my own personal carbon offset). With luck it will grow and offer some form of return on the investment made to provide for my wife and my futures. 

But having been confronted by attitudes such as those listed above, and simply had enough wasting my time staying on top of hot-air generating, deck-chair-rearranging, well-meaning but ultimately fruitless talkfests such as this - Our wasteful ways will finish us off   - I really think I better re-assign my time a bit better to attending to those closer to home.

I cannot be accused like some of saying '**** you' to my great, great grandkids, but do feel the need to say sorry here and now (my wife and own kids I'll address in person when and if the need arises) for as yet not acheiving for your sake all that I'd hoped. 

At least I tried to do something, and it may yet pan out. 

And we'll have the last laugh.