Monday, May 07, 2007

Studying to death?

I quick Grinch-risking missive to the Beeb:

Dear Sirs,

Re: Antarctic Global Warming Prizes

While the theory behind this initiative, and the ideas it inspired are to be applauded, I have to wonder at the prizes.

Our polar wastelands seem to be getting pretty crowded these days with people traveling there (often with film crews in tow) to 'study the effects', one presumes with certain irony, of people traveling there.

And did I hear right that the runner up prizes were for... travel?

Just watched some winners (with a few non-winners sounding typically much more interesting actual solutions as opposed to TV-friendly gimmicks).

Further to my Grinch views, I thought the comments were telling: 'Well, it is a dilemma flying up there, but at least getting to see it before it goes will be amazing'.

Hmn, indeed. Maybe we should all go up and catch it before it has gone then?

Then I read this:

Binge-flying culture is just beginning. The only way to stop it is a severe tax

As an environmentally-concerned individual, I face the dilemma of being married to a Singaporean with all the family-related annual travel consequences that creates (no flights for several years now, but wife and kids do deserve to see their folks soon). Sadly, time and money preclude the options of other alternatives, unless I can get sponsored on a slow travel blog by some green-minded newspaper. However, unless you are a mate of the editor that may be a dodgy sell, as people may tire of 'I'm spending a year having a hoot doing no work... and getting paid for it' efforts by now.

It does rather seem the travel issue is getting more and more polarised, if you'll forgive the pun... bearing in mind what follows.

Today I watched BBC Breakfast News with what seemed like an excellent initiative to encourage kids to come up with some ideas (a few which that were perhaps less televisual not getting the credit they deserved, IMHO. Chewing gum will sort climate change?) to tackle global warming.

The prize? A trip to see the polar regions before they disappear because, one presumes, of people going to see them before they disappear.

And the runner up prizes were... travel!

There is quite an interesting industry being created in saving, and promoting the saving of this planet.

Shame it seems there is little actual desire or effort to actually get around to actually doing it in favour of hype, spin and a quick slot on the TV.