Monday, October 05, 2009

By example

British public refuse to fly less to reduce their carbon footprint

In many ways the headline is a perfect encapsulation of what I see as a significant issue.

'The British public...' is an odd bunch.

A 'them' that another 'us' seem to see as not cooperating despite near daily nags from those who somehow still don't find it ironic to be constantly climbing aboard (usually to wallow in the front) of aircraft to fly all about (usually to nice places) to either talk about climate, raise 'awareness' or, in the case of many media, stand in front of stuff to decry how flying is doing so much damage.

Even the Guardian is not immune, and of course is famously reluctant to drop lucrative ads suggesting its readers visit far flung places before the actions 'of others' ruin them.

And only yesterday I learn that Dame Ellen MacArthur is to give up sailing for climate change (sic) promotion. I doubt she will be do this exclusively using water-borne free air, which might lead to suggestions of hot air. 'Doing one's job' has consequences, and there is a certain arrogance in a reporter or campaigner (I can concede most pols, though Mr. Prescott took his commitments a tad far... and long) somehow figuring their 'job' is necessary and others are not.

I flew a lot in my Asia days, and I did not do it for fun. Crossing time zones in a stuffy metal tube will never be.

And when it comes to social travel I think we would need to change human nature first. The desire to go other places is ingrained. Which can only mean that the trend will be to making it unaffordable to any but... yes... a grouping I think all ready well represented above. Another social divide that cannot end well.

Just in my personal case, with half our family halfway around the world, it's already an ethical dilemma for those who care about such things, on top of a financial burden enough for those with no choice.

But when the government's latest climate quangocrat reckons he and his family might have to cut back on the long hauls...which they do for fun, annually... there is already a disconnect between the 'do as we says' and the rest. We're saving up to visit in the next few years.

So long as that is not appreciated by the nannies, I don't see much changing.

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