Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Green fatigue

"Oh no, not more melting glaciers and dying polar bears. We saw all that last week. Change the channel, sweetheart, that Keira Knightley film's just starting. I need something entertaining, I've had a bastard of a day."

There's more and more talk of green fatigue, the idea that global warming is too vast and too complex a problem for individuals to do much about. So we just get apathetic and stop thinking about it.

Even if we do everything we're supposed to do, from recycling rubbish to turning the heating down, becoming neurotic fussbags in the process, global temperatures just keep on rising and damage to the planet gets worse.

As scientist Susanne Moser puts it, it's like going on a strict diet for months, while other people eat as much as they like, and the only result is you don't gain weight quite as fast. Sooner or later, bang goes the diet.

It doesn't help to see the reeking hypocrisy of politicians and celebrities telling us to curb our extravagant lifestyles while they're jetting round the world and buying yet more luxury mansions. Move into a caravan, Mister, and we might do the same.

The other daunting thing is the neverendingness of it all. It's not a simple matter of sending a tenner and saving a starving child. Just when you think you're on top of the 101 daily routines that need to be made greener (and you're exhausted), some poxy environmentalist comes along with half a dozen more to think about. What about cruise ships? What about mobile phones? Aaarrgh!

No wonder people give up in despair. Stopping global warming has become a full-time job and we're not even getting paid for it. Of course I care as much as anybody - but isn't there a simpler way?


Wisewebwoman said...

I'm with you Nick..
Unless change is legislated (and very toughly too!) the majority will remain overloaded and apathetic, jetting to sun-soaks (tho won't have to in another few years), driving their Hummers to Walmart and watering their lawns incessantly.
A friend who goes to Greenland all the time on work assignment tells me the situation is far, far worse than we've been led to believe. He sees it first hand and in the past three years the topographical change in Greenland is frightening.
.....Where are we going and why am I in a handbasket?........

Nick said...

There was an article about Greenland in the London Independent, www, which explained how worried Greenlanders were about the situation. Ironically the ice is retreating so fast they now have access to oil and gas deposits which if exploited will of course add to global warming.

Medbh said...

The part that bugs me is aaaaaallll the articles on what the individual has to do when that gets completely cancelled out by the destruction on said planet by the multinationals.

Nick said...

Exactly, Medbh. It makes you feel your own tiny actions are completely futile. What's particularly galling is the multinationals falling over themselves to tell you how green they are while quietly carrying on with all the pollution. Like the massive supermarket juggernauts ploughing up and down the motorways.

gayƩ said...

I think it is appropriate to put this analogy down.
Governments get on the cases of civil servants, small business owners and the like about taxes. So they are like vultures on the few hundred dollars/euros etc from each little man/woman but are completely laid-back when it comes to multi-billion dollar companies. If they were charged the tax they should pay out of all their profits, it would be many times more than the total of everyone else.
I still believe we should do our little bit but I completely agree with you Nick and understand how you feel about it. Our little bits altogether has very little positive impact compared to the damage done by huge corporations, industrial enterprises, etc. Yet again, brilliant post.
PS: If you would like to delete the little note on my brief disappearence I wouldn't be offended, now that I am back :) Only the linkage won't work as I have a new one, just ONE BLOG though.

Nick said...

Well said, Gaye, about the big companies and their massive government-aided tax dodging. If they paid the amount of tax they should do, the public services would be awash with money instead of watching every penny and having to ration everything from textbooks to heart operations.