Politicians need to show greater courage and leadership if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a panel of eminent environmentalists said last night.Translation: ‘Crikey, the peasants don’t fancy toiling in the fields before coming home to a mud hut and shivering round a fire eating turnips! Better see if their feudal rulers will force them into it…’
Sorry, chaps. We have elections now.
Consumers, however, must acknowledge they are not only the "victims" but the "villains" of global warming and work towards a dramatic shift in life style.Oh, yeah? We must, eh?
Who will make us? Politicians, who have to be elected by us?
‘Vote for me, I’ll make your lives harder and more stressful, for the glory of Gaia!’. It’s not really a rousing election campaign strategy, is it?
Needless to say, the tiny handful of ecofreaks attending this shindig were all in favour of electing a new populace, since the old one shows no signs of bending to their will:
Tom Burke, of green think-tank E3G said: "We have no shortage of the technology we need to sort out this problem. This really comes down to politics. We are not getting anything like the political leadership we need."The problem is, Burke, that the technology you’ve so far come up with turns out to be utterly useless. Wind power? Wave power? Solar power?
None of them do the job…
Julian Rush, environment correspondent for Channel 4 News said: "If you are going to try and change social attitudes to energy consumption, you are on a very, very long-term project.Indeed. How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, once they’ve seen gay Paree, eh, Julian?
"People in Africa, India and China living very poor, very difficult, very rough lives, see our lives and think: 'I want some of that'. It is going to be very, very hard to convince them they should have a different ambition."
Some home truths did emerge, however:
David Hone, Shell's senior climate change advisor, spoke about its controversial exploitation of the tar sands in Alberta, Canada. "The public questions why we go to oil sands, but it is also a public that demands more energy and lower energy prices," he said.Quite! And the reaction of the ecoloons is to insist that the public need to change to suit their narrow vision, or Armageddon will surely be upon us.
Mr Burke added: "[The public] are both victims and villains. We have to come up with complicated answers to what is quite simply a question of why are we doing something as stupid as tar sands."He’s just told you. Because the public needs to buy the oil to heat their homes, run their cars and businesses, etc.
Others simply whine that the only grown-ups at the affair shouldn’t be allowed to speak at all, because it spoils their fun:
Tom Jackson of the Manchester Climate Action group said: "It is pretty outrageous that Shell is involved in this discussion at all... given its environmental track record."Newsflash, Tom: even Obama’s White House spinmeisters couldn’t sustain that particular fiction when it applied to BP for long.
So why should we believe you about Shell?
And why should we listen to you when it’s patently obvious that the leading lights of your organisation are the ultimate hypocrites, expecting us all to accept a lower standard of living in fear of a non-existent threat while they themselves do no such thing?