Monday, March 23, 2009

~ boots on throats

There have been some disturbing things appearing in the news lately. [And when are there not. I ask?]

We are being informed repeatedly that once the new carbon trading regime is instigated, individuals’ efforts to reduce their emissions will only serve to take the boot off the throats of the big emitters – because the nation’s reductions will be calculated as a whole. Check today’s Age, if you want an example.

What a cynical, disingenuous tack to be taking. For a start, Prime Minister Rudd has stated that households will be excluded from the calculations – so the whole idea, probably generated by his political opposition, is likely to be a piece of very unhelpful and meaningless political manoeuvring.

But forget the minutiae. Now is hardly the time to be reading in the newspaper that individual efforts are futile. My God! It’s the very last, last thing people ought be told. I hate trotting out clichés, but there is a whole lot of truth in the maxim: ‘think globally, act locally’.

We, the people, the mass of civilisation, composed entirely of – yes - individuals, are the producers of one hundred per cent of the country’s anthropogenic air pollution. The big emitters are big emitters because an agglomeration of individuals employs their services. If those individuals bought green electricity, hydrogen fuel cell cars and stopped eating beef etc, then those big emitters – if they still existed – would no longer be big emitters, would they?

There is no ‘big emitter’ in this world, [bar volcanoes and bushfires], which does not depend on the choices of individuals for its existence. So, please, you purblind, suicidal nutcases out there, stop getting in the way of people’s efforts to save our civilisation!

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Ann oDyne said...

What you said.
Succinct and accurate.

Every time I see that 'black balloons' advert, I ponder that hundreds of them were created in the production of the damn thing.

Act locally everybody.

Van said...

As for the 'big emitters' let's not forget earthquakes, hurricanes and other Godly acts, speaking of which we must also include wars.
While I agree with your underlying sentiments, I've got to say that it sounds a little sanctimonious and disingenous to appeal for people to go buy hybrid cars, solar paneling and the like when most of the average citizens of the 'first world' can't afford it. Recycle, reuse, reinvent .... most of us can deal with that. Go buy or outfit yourself with new technology? I think these kinds of exhortations just exhaust people into passivity. Individually people need to vociferate without pause, that this is what they want.
The focus must be on government to make it possible/affordable/ideal to buy that hybrid, solar panel the house, etc. Then perhaps we'll get somewhere.

Ann oDyne said...

Dear Sam - wishing you a most excellent day, and many happy returns of it. X X X

Sam Sejavka said...


thanks for your comment. Wars! It never occurred to me, but wars must be huge emitters, all the way down the track, from bullet-factory to bloodshed.

Re: the sanctimonious thing, I suppose I've got the per capita thing locked in my mind. One person's efforts in Aust or the US, given the disparity of carbon footprints, is going to have a lot more of an effect than the efforts of a person in a poorer country who is producing little carbon to begin with.

It's a huge issue, I know, so I'll keep it short. I'm basically trying to work on a moral level. I'm trying to reduce my own emissions and to to convince others likewise. Sometimes I'll stray down the wrong track with bad info or lopsided thinking, but I'm doing my best and working on what I'm convinced is the right side.

I'm with you on the exhaustion and passivity deal. Governments need to act, but there's also got to be a deep change in people's thinking. Hopefully, it will come with time.

Sam Sejavka said...

Thanks, Miss O'Dyne.

I'm sure, when everything is totalled up, the black balloons ad will be well into the negative carbon wise.

As opposed to that crazy Planet Ark Christmas card scheme [which I don't think operated this last season]. Collect your cards, put them in a specially produced enveloped, post them somewhere to be recycled - instead of just dropping them in your own recycle bin. Compare the carbon tallies on those two options!