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  • Camp for Climate Action


    by Sunny
    1st August, 2007 at 3:37 pm    

    Is anyone of our readers going to this? In some shape or form, I am. May be good to meet up with fellow environmentalists there. Down with the BAA injunction!


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    53 Comments below   |  

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    1. AsifB — on 1st August, 2007 at 4:32 pm  

      I’ve camped at Terminal 3 too often for this, so er no. Are you hoping to meet someone nice there?

      Silly BAA lawyer trying to injunct the National Trust though so I hope they get what they deserve!

      Can’t be as much fun as Reclaim the Streets was in its heyday- 10000 people partying on the M41 near Shepherds Bush on a Saturday afternoon. (Ah the days of John Major… i’ll get my coat)

    2. Rumbold — on 1st August, 2007 at 4:33 pm  

      Perhaps all the activists will be eating museli. How long are you going there for?

    3. Bleh — on 1st August, 2007 at 4:52 pm  

      Until the museli runs out?

      Maybe they’ll then start on the grass.

    4. Rumbold — on 1st August, 2007 at 4:57 pm  

      Organic grass though Bleh. Purchased from a health food shop. Not the stuff you find at the edge of ariports.

    5. Bleh — on 1st August, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

      I’ve known people who could hardly tell the difference though. If it burnt, they tried to smoke it.

    6. Bleh — on 1st August, 2007 at 5:00 pm  

      Usually with no consequences other than a severe migraine, mind you.

    7. Dave S — on 2nd August, 2007 at 1:50 am  

      Yep, I’m going. Went last year and it was amazing - totally changed my life (for quite a few reasons, all of them good).

      You’ll have an ace time - hope to meet you there!

      Though I did think you were based in Canada, Sunny… or is that one of the other contributors?

    8. Sunny — on 2nd August, 2007 at 2:28 am  

      Nope, based in London! Must be someone else you were thinking of.

    9. Devil's Kitchen — on 2nd August, 2007 at 9:46 am  

      How will we cut emissions and end inequality?

      What a revealing sentence that is, eh? I wonder what the solution might be: tax the rich, feed the poor and hooray for Communism?

      I do hope lots of people turn up so that when I call in the airstrike we don’t waste too much high-explosive…

      Would anyone like to tell these hippies that there hasn’t been any warming since 1998?

      DK

    10. Sunny — on 2nd August, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

      Would anyone like to tell these hippies that there hasn’t been any warming since 1998?

      Is that your newest theory DK, now that the ‘Sun is the cause of global warming‘ theory is looking a bit thin?

    11. Bleh — on 2nd August, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

      Err, not really Sunny, the recent hoohah was a total con job by AGW propagandists.

    12. Calvin Jones — on 3rd August, 2007 at 2:02 am  

      I`ll see you there…if the consecutive Independent front pages haven’t made the whole thing so massive that we don’t meet.

      Looking forward to it, should be good.

      Also, just on the off chance, are you taking a video camera? I`m going to be helping to document the workshops…we could do with more camcorders. Also planning to make a dvd of it.

    13. Rumbold — on 3rd August, 2007 at 9:44 am  

      “I`ll see you there…if the consecutive Independent front pages haven’t made the whole thing so massive that we don’t meet.”

      Because millions of people read the Independent.

    14. DavidG — on 3rd August, 2007 at 4:28 pm  

      No holidays this year then Sunny - unlike last year when you jetted around the Americas ? Still musn’t let hypocricy get in the way of preventing other people’s travel must we ?

    15. Dave S — on 8th August, 2007 at 6:51 pm  

      “How will we cut emissions and end inequality?”

      It’s called “Contraction and Convergence”. Info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_and_Convergence

      Basically: we in the “developed” world reduce (contract) our emissions to a sustainable per-capita level, while allowing those in the “developing” world to increase theirs to the same per-capita level (convergence).

      Of course, it’ll never happen while capitalism is still alive and well, because the entire basis of consumerist society depends on keeping the vast majority of people in poverty so a minority can stay rich. (National borders and immigration controls are an integral part of this system - which is just another reason why they must be dismantled.)

      Any such scheme to allow equal quality of life and free movement for all people worldwide would undermine the very basis of capitalism, which is why politicians and businesses would rather blame immigrants, talk about emissions trading and completely unworkable, non-existant techno-”fixes”, since that avoids actually having to do anything.

      Or they’ll quite likely just drop the pretense and ignore the issue altogether until we wipe ourselves and all other life out… I mean, it’s not like they’ll care, because they’ll be the last ones to die, so it’s in their interests that the rest of us wipe ourselves out first.

      When will selfish people realise that it’s actually in our own self-interest to act and do something about climate change? Probably when their own friends and family start becoming it’s latest victims… because empathising with the 160,000 people already dying every year due to climate change (World Health Organisation figure) means nothing to them as long as it’s only some poor foreigners who die.

      Well, we need to wake up and realise that it’s not just strangers in some far off land who are screwed if we do nothing, but all of us. They need our solidarity and action, because ultimately we are all in the same boat: they die, we die next.

      Sorry if I’m sounding rather jaded today, but I’m getting increasingly pissed off with the number of me-me-me people around who are demonstrating beyond any shadow of a doubt that they absolutely could not give a flying fuck if other people’s lives actually end, as long as they themselves can continue their “cushy” lifestyles.

      But in actual fact, the “cushy” life that these gluttons hold so dear equates to nothing more than an extremely boring, pointless waste of an existence.

      If life in the West wasn’t so mind-numbingly dull (9-5 job, pension plan, mortgage, consuming products made by some faceless corporation, zero connection to our food, little connection to our true emotions, living in isolated boxes with virtually no sense of community) we wouldn’t slave away for 48 weeks of the year just so we can escape on a plane for the remaining few.

      When every day could be enjoyable, exciting and free (as in “freedom”), right where you are, right now… who the hell would need a holiday?

      That’s the kind of crap deal you have been sold, and swallowed hook, line and sinker - working your whole life as a cog in a giant machine so you can kick back for a few weeks a year, and retire when you’re too old to do anything anyway.

      Screw that! Why not just live your life now, and make every single day the sort of day that you’d love to get up for? It’s possible - in fact, I’m already doing it!

      I’m self employed. I do a little bit of work for a little bit of money (just enough to get by), then I bake some bread or tend to my vegetables (which I swap with friends for other food), then I do something I enjoy like writing music, or spending time with my friends, sometimes working on collective community projects. In fact, I’ve hardly done any paid work since April, and won’t be doing any until the beginning of September. I’m not signing on. It’s been tight and I’m now at the end of my saved earnings from earlier in the year, but I’m having a great time.

      All you have to do is stop consuming (buying crap you don’t need), refuse to believe the lies about what the purpose of your life is, and start creating your own everything (food, entertainment, culture, transport, whatever).

      Holidays (at least in the traditional sense of getting on a plane and going somewhere hot) are boring and stressful compared to my everyday life… and it’s simply because I refuse to be a (net) consumer.

      This is not some kind of unrealistic dream - anybody can do this, and the more who do, the more it becomes easier to help everyone do it. In fact, living a “less is more” existence is considerably less hardship than driving to work at some crappy job every day, and I certainly wouldn’t swap places with (say) Bill Gates - no way!

      I consider that I’ve had a lucky escape, realising this at around the age of 25 (a couple of years ago), and compared to what I’m going to be getting up to in the next few years, where I’m at now is nothing.

      So, you can keep your jobs, cars, pension plans and measly few weeks of “freedom” per year (yeah right, keep telling yourself that as you count down the days until it’s back to work), because I’m pretty skint and extremely happy that way.

      In fact, truth be told, I still have way more crap than I actually need, but getting rid of things takes time. Still, here’s a few unnecessary things I’ve got rid of or gladly given up: car, TV and TV license, credit card, pension plan (narrow escape there - took me four months to realise what a con it was), insurance (total scam), trips to the supermarket (a dull, expensive type of hell-on-earth).

      Why have a job so you can have all that unnecessary crap, when you could just sack the whole lot off and have an actual life instead?

      There isn’t a job good enough for me, or you, or anybody - you’re just selling your time to buy the time that other people sold. Who’s the winner there? Certainly not you!

      It’s the mother of all pyramid schemes, in which virtually everybody loses (and we destroy the planet in the process)… and yet somehow you’re so convinced of your own “freedom” that you can’t even see that your life is passing you by.

      Well, whatever, be a sucker if you like - I don’t really mind how you spend your time, but if there’s anything likely to result in humanity “living in caves”, it’s consuming resources and destroying the planet at the rate we are now.

      What’s really pissing me off is that I am a pretty free person with far too many interesting things happening to be wasting my time with something as pointless as a 9-5 job, and I’d like it to be able to continue that way until I drop dead - which it could, easily.

      But you folks consuming resources that belong to your grandchildren, and trying to escape the tedium of your daily lives for a few weeks a year are literally going to destroy the life support system that allows us all to stay here.

      I mean, literally, you could save the world and have a great time in the process just by jacking in your job and doing something else.

      So go ahead and call me “unrealistic” but I’m living proof that this is doable, and I know plenty of others who are also testament to the same.

      We aren’t half as unrealistic or cloud-cuckoo-land as those of you who eat the Earth alive and poison the air we all breathe just so you can live in a state of denial about how much more interesting your life could be if you’d just seize it by the horns and REALLY do whatever you want to do (instead of just pretending to do that for a couple of weeks a year).

      Rant over.

      The Climate Camp is about a lot more than just protesting at an airport or finding out new ways to reduce our carbon emissions. It’s about discovering ways we can expand the horizons of our lives, and coming together to build a permanently sustainable culture that brings us all health, wealth (as in personal and collective fulfilment) and happiness, without destroying the planet in the process.

      It’s fun and it’s easy, and you can do it whenever and wherever you want, because you are actually the answer!

      In this day and age, taking control of your life and realising your own power for change is the ultimate subversive act.

      See you there!

    16. DavidG — on 8th August, 2007 at 7:54 pm  

      Would you like to have a calm reasoned debate about the perception by most people that GW is just dodgy science being used by people like you to suit your own political ends ?

      Because, actually what I couldn’t give a flying fuck about is your hectoring, shouting, marxist, statist, dictatorial attitude which was last seen represented weekly in the pages of the Socialist Worker.

    17. Dave S — on 8th August, 2007 at 9:28 pm  

      Oh the irony, DavidG.

      The perception of “most people” does not meet up with the perception of most scientists (indeed, the largest scientific consensus in history as far as I’m aware), though it conveniently does meet up with the perception pushed by certain arms of the media, who are as much a part of the big business money making machine as the airline industry and politicians.

      You’re pretty happy to trust the work of a handful of scientists when it comes to the Internet and aeroplane technology, but more than happy to ignore the facts professed by thousands upon thousands of scientists when it comes to something that disagrees with your own preconceived world-view, aren’t you?

      It couldn’t possibly be because to acknowledge what they are saying would require you to change your ways if you had any shred of conscience, could it?

      But the Internet and aeroplanes are rather convenient, don’t you think! Perhaps you just cherry pick the bits of science that suit your own needs, and ignore the rest?

      Could we really expect big business (and thus the opinions passed on to the public) to accurately and truthfully portray the rampant damage that is being done by big business? Pull the other one!

      The mainstream media cannot be trusted in the slightest, because they are in the business of packaging up the news and selling it to us as yet another commodity. Even the “lefty” arms of the media are every bit as much a part of the capitalist machine.

      Anyway, I’m an anarchist through and through - “libertarian communist” if you must - I am an anti-authoritarian, with green and social tendencies.

      Not Marxist (though I guess we agree on the basic analysis about society, but that’s where it ends), and most definitely not statist or dictatorial.

      How you can accuse me of being statist when I’m suggesting dismantling national borders is beyond me!? I wish to see the end of all states, because they are nothing more than imaginary lines drawn up and enforced by those with a vested interest in keeping the human race divided and pitted against one another, in order that they can rule over us for their own gain.

      I don’t have the solutions - nobody does, and that is the point. Everybody needs to be allowed to arrive at their own localised solutions that work for them within the context of their community, wherever they are. This is not possible under a society that dictates the way of the world from a central point, and violently suppresses anyone who disagrees (using the police and army, and increasingly private corporate mercenaries such as those who have been used in Iraq).

      There is nothing dictatorial about what I or anyone at the Climate Camp is saying - far from it, we are anti-dictatorial.

      The entire camp is run on the consensus process (do you even know what that means?), with all decisions being made by the people they will affect. Last year this was carried out on the scale of the whole camp, with 600+ people making collective decisions about the direction of the entire camp.

      No leaders, no dictation, no central point of view even… we discuss and work out our differences (and there are many), and arrive at something that is mutually agreeable to everyone.

      I don’t think you even have any concept of what you are talking about - just throwing a bunch of words around that sound insulting, but your knowledge of the subject matter is clearly very limited. I suggest you might like to consider getting a clue.

      If anything, you trying to make me out as some kind of dictatorial extremist gives the key to your own point of view.

      You simply refuse to acknowledge that what I am standing up for is the right of all peoples everywhere to live a life that is free from the dictation of the West (by way of our rampant destruction of the environment, and our “liberation” of other countries in order to steal their resources), which is currently killing communities and people all over the world without giving them any say in the matter whatsoever.

      You should count yourself lucky that you have been born somewhere where you actually DO have some sort of choice about the direction of your life, because if you’d been born elsewhere, then selfish scumbags such as yourself would be shouting down people like me for trying to speak up on your behalf.

      Maybe one day the shoe will be on the other foot, and then you’ll get it - though it’ll probably be too late by then.

      Regardless of the whole climate change issue (if you can ignore enough facts), do you actually think it’s a sensible idea to be rapidly using up a known finite resource (oil) just so that a minority of wealthy people (yes, even “poor” people in the UK are comparatively wealthy on the global scale) can go on cheap, short distance flights to Spain?

      The oil is going to run out in our lifetimes.

      Ask yourself whether your cheap flights and plastic packaging were worth it, as you struggle to grow any food on the soil that has been desecrated by years and years of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

      So far from me being the dictator - I throw that accusation right back at you.

      It is people with attitudes like yours who are the real dictators, giving not the faintest of a shit what happens to people all over the world, or the world itself, as long as you don’t have to make any changes to your lifestyle.

      You use your position of power (thanks to your good luck of being in the rich minority) to suit your own political ends - that of having your cake and eating it, while 160,000 people a year die indirectly because of your selfish actions.

      You could not give a flying fuck about those people’s lives, could you DavidG?

      160,000 people a year. Can you even visualise what 160,000 people look like? I can’t.

      Well, be glad you aren’t (yet) on the receiving end of the actions of irresponsible Earth-wrecking parasites such as yourself.

      Take some fucking responsibility for your own actions in life, and come back when you have even the slightest of a clue what you are talking about - not to mention a shred of compassion for your fellow living creatures.

      That you don’t see the link between others and yourself is hardly surprising. You are nothing more than another turkey so stupid as to vote for Christmas.

    18. DavidG — on 9th August, 2007 at 9:02 am  

      point proved.

    19. Dave S — on 9th August, 2007 at 10:00 am  

      Perhaps you’d like to actually respond to my points DavidG, instead of just being a smug dickhead?

    20. douglas clark — on 9th August, 2007 at 10:38 am  

      DavidG,

      Out of curiosity, could you point me to the clearly massive shift in scientific opinion that supports your contention that AGW is dodgy? I seem to have missed it.

    21. Aeroplanes = Freedom — on 9th August, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

      Nothing would disrupt my holiday plans like my own death - which is a bit of an inconvenience for the 160,000 people per year already dying from climate change, according to those greedy scientists at the World Health Organisation - whoever they are!?

      But that’s just a made up figure anyway, isn’t it? I haven’t seen any facts to support it - the whole thing’s a myth pushed by killjoy lentil munchers.

      Who cares about thousands of poor people (who probably aren’t even real anyway) as long as we can still fly to Spain and top up our tans for a fiver, eh?

      Who’d want to live in a mud hut and spend all day looking for food and water, when instead they could be kicking back around a swimming pool in Malaga? Poor people are so odd!

      Maybe if they just stopped whinging about “global warming” all the time, they’d have more time to relax and enjoy the sun!

      Still, each to their own - I’m free to do whatever I want and so are they!

    22. ChrisC — on 9th August, 2007 at 12:40 pm  

      People like DaveS secretly - maybe not so secretly - enjoy the prospect of global warming, just as they love it whenever the stockmarket falls and so on - because it somehow “proves” to them the evils of capitalism.

      Of course only the looniest of loons still fails to appreciate how capitalism is raising living standards across the developing world at a much faster rate than our own are now rising - so we are getting “convergence”. It is global capitalism which is bringing it about and at a faster rate than ever before.

      If you want to convince people in the developed world about the “contraction” bit - with which I have some sympathy by the way - it would be best to cut the anti-capitalist gibberish out first.

    23. Dave S — on 9th August, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

      ChrisC:

      Would that we could all enjoy the many “benefits” of globalised capitalism, where we can all become richer than each other! But didn’t you know that we’d need the resources of 8 Earths to all live as we Westerners do now?

      Your vision of capitalism raising living standards worldwide is a total illusion, based on the idea that limitless growth is possible in world of finite resources. Money only makes us rich because some of us have it and others don’t.

      In the type of world I would like to see - which is based on equality and freedom for all - people would have the means to raise their own living standards by themselves, without having to kowtow to parasites like the IMF and WTO.

      The reason so many people live in poverty is these days largely because capitalism keeps them there (and uses war to enforce itself), so that we in the minority can remain rich and powerful.

      Get over your delusions of altruism! Their living standards may have improved slightly, but only because we so graciously allow them to eat the crumbs that fall off our table.

      Do you really think those formerly self-sufficient peasants are delighted they can now work in soul-destroying factories making goods that they could never afford themselves, but that we can buy for peanuts here? What fulfilling lives they must lead!

      No, if you really want to raise the living standards of people worldwide, abolish capitalism right now and live your life according to the principles of mutual aid, because you actually care about helping other people.

      If you really want to help people improve their lives, instead of trying to maximise profits (capitalism), why not just create a world based on equality?

      You can call me a loony as much as you want, but considering the number of people capitalism exploits, displaces and kills worldwide, I think you’ll find it’s actually yourself who is in the minority who fail to recognise the truth.

      The reason I won’t just drop the “anti-capitalist gibberish” is because it is fundamental to the problem.

      Try a day in the life of a starving Ethiopian or displaced Chinese peasant, and then tell me how great capitalism is again as rich Westerners wipe you off the bottoms of their boots.

    24. douglas clark — on 9th August, 2007 at 2:03 pm  

      ChrisC,

      I happen to think that we could move away from a carbon economy, without a major impact on living standards. But we have to commit to ramping up the R&D spend pretty soon. In terms of delivery of a non carbon economy, I would have thought capitalists should be rubbing their hands in glee. There is a huge opportunity here. Perhaps not the petrol companies, although they all seem to be rebranding themselves as energy companies these days.

    25. ChrisC — on 9th August, 2007 at 2:21 pm  

      DaveS - there you go, you’re losing me.
      You’re going to need to drop the Dave Spart act if you’re going to win many people over to your way of thinking.
      But I don’t think, at heart, that’s what you’re really interested in, is it? Much more satisfying to dance around in your “climate camp” feeling so superior to the rest of us. How terrible it would be if we were to agree with you. Where would you find your moral high ground then?

      As you may (not) know - the “peasants” as you call them are queueing up for the factory jobs which are cleaner, safer and pay far better (with manufacturing wages rising at double digit rates in China now) than any of the other options previously open to them.
      How strange that the wages of the poor are rising so fast given that - according to you - all we want to is grind them down. Not doing a very good job, are we?

    26. kt — on 9th August, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

      ChrisC:

      Can you tell us where you got your information from about people in China queueing up for factory jobs? And about the wages?

      I’d just like to know what your sources are so I can do some research of my own.

    27. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

      ChrisC, you can produce all the evidence you want about India and China lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty thanks to their growing economies, but some people will never listen. They believe that workers in poor countries had some sort of utopian existance on a farm, not realising that the reason workers migrate to cities is because farm life is so hard, and whether you eat or not depends on your crops growing- weather, disease and other ailments can end that hope.

      The number of people dying of hunger in Europe was drastically reduced when the Dutch started to ship food by sea from the grain fields of the Baltic states. Before then Europe experienced frequent famines, even though most of its population was peasants. The desire for profit drove the Dutch, so less starved, and this would not have happened in Dave S’s proposed world.

    28. Sunny — on 9th August, 2007 at 3:19 pm  

      Of course only the looniest of loons still fails to appreciate how capitalism is raising living standards across the developing world at a much faster rate than our own are now rising - so we are getting “convergence”. It is global capitalism which is bringing it about and at a faster rate than ever before.

      This is a false dichotomy.

      The market can help lift people out of poverty by providing better paying jobs, but unfettered capitalism can also lead to abuse of human rights, bad working conditions and a deterioration of living standards. Just visit a shanty town in capitalist Mumbai.

      I’m for sustainable markets and sustainable living. That means pollution should be taxed properly and companies should pay for negative externalities they release (dumping in rivers, releases gases into the air).

      The market isn’t the problem - it’s the way its regulated that’s the proble.

    29. kt — on 9th August, 2007 at 3:25 pm  

      No, ChrisC and Rumbold- seriously- can you point me in the direction of where you get your info from? Because I’d like to know!

      Rumbold- what you say about people not listening when you produce evidence is just generalising bulls**t.

      I read things and then make an opinion based on attempting to get a balance, whilst keeping a sense of the fact that unless I have a first person experience of things, I can’t ever completely know anything.

      As it happens, from the masses of stuff I’ve read about capitalism, globalisation, climate change, desertification, declining food security etc, etc (plus seeing the drawbacks of capitalism in our own society with my own eyes) then yes, I agree with what DaveS says.

      But don’t be so cocky as to assume that I don’t want to hear other sides of the debate. I need to do this so as to be well informed.

      So, again, ChrisC, please give your sources.

    30. ChrisC — on 9th August, 2007 at 3:50 pm  

      I’m sure you can use the internet for yourself, but here is just one of many sources:

      http://www.forbes.com/markets/2007/07/02/china-wage-growth-markets-econ-cx_jc_0702markets1.html

      So: manufacturing wages double; agricultural wages stagnate.
      Hence the rush to those “soul destroying” factory jobs…

      I agree with Sunny on the externalities, a huge problem especially in China where there is of course no democratic accountability.

      No excuse for the capitalists, but the old communist states of E Europe and the USSR were far and away the worst polluters…again, the lack of democratic control.

    31. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

      Kt: Sorry about that, the barb was directed at Dave S.

      http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/0,,contentMDK:20634060~pagePK:64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469382,00.html

      “Across China, there were over 400 million fewer people living in extreme poverty in 2001 than 20 years previously.”

      Sunny:

      Like ChrisC, I agree with you on externalities, but I am not sure what you mean by a “sustainable economy”. Regulation can go too far, and restrict growth and jobs, something I am sure that you will remember from your economics lessons.

    32. sahil — on 9th August, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

      “Like ChrisC, I agree with you on externalities, but I am not sure what you mean by a “sustainable economy”. Regulation can go too far, and restrict growth and jobs, something I am sure that you will remember from your economics lessons.”

      Yes, but that’s should be all part of the social cost analysis. I know there is this entire argument about what is the optimal level of pollution, but guys for gods sake the actual evidence pointing to MAN MADE global warming is massive. Why the fighting??

    33. Sunny — on 9th August, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

      “Regulation can go too far, and restrict growth and jobs, something I am sure that you will remember from your economics lessons.”

      Growth is not inherently good in itself unless it raises living standards and improves the quality of life.

      So if the impact of having cleaner air and a cleaner environment is that growth is somewhat restricted, I think that is a decision that should be weighed up.

      When I say sustainable living, I mean that ensuring that we are not destroying natural resources at a speed that makes them impossible to enjoy a few decades down the line. Investment in renewable energy, ensuring that companies cannot destroy natural resources without abandon, or cannot take consumers for a ride - that should all be part of good governance.

      My problem isn’t capitalism, my problem is that our stupid government is in thrall to stupid economists who believe growth should take precedence over everything. And then these same dimwits complain about falling quality of life in this country.

    34. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

      Sahil:

      How much does man contribute to global warming though? And do camps like this help, apart from to increase the smugness of the participants? They would be better off staying at home and reducing their carbon footprint, and not causing further disruption to the residents of the Boroughs of Hillingdon and Hounslow.

    35. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2007 at 4:17 pm  

      Sunny:

      You agree that we have to invest in nuclear power then? Good. I do not want to destroy all the world’s resources either, but economic growth makes a real difference to most poor people’s lives. In India, people are discovering electricity for the first time, and protestors in this country (yourself excluded) seem to want them to return to the dark ages, literally.

      Obviously, most protestors do not actually want Indians and Chinese to be dirt poor (though Dave S seems content with that outcome), but the impact of Asia slashing its growth will lead to just this outcome. At least India is increasing its civilian nuclear output. I would like to see less dependence on oil and natural gas, partly because this would reduce the power of states like Russia.

    36. Sunny — on 9th August, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

      You agree that we have to invest in nuclear power then?

      Well, it depends on whether you want to take into account the full cost of re-processing, storing and dealing with all the waste. Not including the cost of building stations and taking into account the potential hazard and danger to local populations if it all goes bad. On balance, I would rather invest in renewable energy for the long term.

      Us environmentalists like to think long-term :)

      In India, people are discovering electricity for the first time, and protestors in this country

      India has a chronic energy shortage, exacerbated by poor investment, corruption and people stealing each other’s power supplies. The problem isn’t that the government is not being capitalist enough, but of poor governance and not caring about poor people who have no voting rights.

      You worry about providing people with electricity. I agree. But a bigger problem may be that the govt keeps demolishing their houses and refusing to provide them with proper housing… primarily because it can ignore them politically.

      Saying environmentalists want to send them to the dark ages is a poor reduction of what is a complicated problem.

    37. kt — on 9th August, 2007 at 4:35 pm  

      Thankyou for that ChrisC (even if you are being sarky) and Rumbold.

      Rumbold, if you want to find out more about what a sustainable economy could be, then have a look at the New Economics Foundation website.

      As for barbs… *sigh*… I can get pretty angry sometimes about situations where it seems as if people are too much ‘in it for themselves’. Conversely, this critisism is frequently levelled at ‘environmentalists’, as from others’ point of view, we’re just doing it to have the high moral ground or feel pious or something.

      I can assure you, speaking personally, that is not why I get passionate about activism, campaigning or voicing my frustration and raising awareness of some of the shit that’s going on. It’s because I want to communicate with my fellow human beings about problems which we face in this increasingly inter-dependant global community. I don’t feel that this can be done sufficiently well through the mainstream media.

      But why is it, when there are problems with a system, and people point this out- why does it have to descend into a slanging match? Why do we have to personally insult each other? Or assume things, perpetuate stereotypes, reinforce generalisations etc etc?

      I can understand the ire that comes from defending our (DaveS and I) stance on these issues, because you can’t deny that people are suffering and dying due to inequality. The gap between rich and poor is growing, not shrinking.

      So, at the risk of being ignorant, can you tell me why this issue makes you so angry that you want to pull other people down for caring about the welfare of others? I’m not being facetious- I’d like to hear your comments.

      Here is an intersting quote on capitalism and ecology from the anarchist writer Bookchin. I don’t profess to have read him widely, so can’t say I subscribe to his views entirely. But nevertheless, this is a strong argument, I would say:

      “Capitalism is inherently anti-ecological. Competition and accumulation constitute its very law of life, a law . . . summarised in the phrase, ‘production for the sake of production.’ Anything, however hallowed or rare, ‘has its price’ and is fair game for the marketplace. In a society of this kind, nature is necessarily treated as a mere resource to be plundered and exploited. The destruction of the natural world, far being the result of mere hubristic blunders, follows inexorably from the very logic of capitalist production.”

      Given that we live on a concretely material, not virtual planet with finite resources(can anyone argue otherwise?), and that- correct me if I’m wrong- modern traditional economics seems to be based on an abstract notion of unlimited growth; isn’t there a case for going back to the drawing board?

    38. douglas clark — on 9th August, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

      Kt,

      I read what ChrisC had to say and found this article, which I think gives a fairly clear idea of the massive movements that are taking place in China:

      http://www.moneyweek.com/file/16715/what-chinas-changing-labour-market-means-for-the-west.html

      There are lots more. The Economist is a particularily good resource.

      I think you’ll also find that China is looking at pebble bed nuclear reactors as a way of meeting their energy needs. So, it isn’t all doom and gloom.

      I personally do not want the future of the human race to be a few survivors living a short and brutish hunter gatherer existence.

    39. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2007 at 4:50 pm  

      Sunny:

      If renewable energy could supply our needs at a resonable cost, I would support it. I am aware that nuclear power requires huge subsidies but we know that it can generate enough power in the end- can renewable, even with massive investment.

      I agree with you about India’s problems, and recognise that unfettered capitalism is not going to solve everything. Restricting growth however would just make matters worse.

      Kt:

      I believe you when you say that you are an environmentalist because you care about the poor. I do not believe Dave S however, because his writings hark back to the age of doctrinal Marxism, when the only thing that mattered was theory and if people lost out as a result, then tough.

      “You can’t deny that people are suffering and dying due to inequality.”

      I am denying it because it is not true in the first place. People die because they do not have enough, not because others have more. An example:

      There are ten people. Under a communist system, they are each allocated a slice of bread per week for food. They are all equal, but all die from hunger. Under a capitalist system, they each get ten loaves of bread a week, apart from one person, who gets a thousand loaves. This is an unequal system, but nobody has died from hunger.

      (Incredibly simplistic I know but I was just trying to explain what I meant).

      “isn’t there a case for going back to the drawing board?”

      We do need to invest in other sources of energy, and I think that taxpayers’ money should be spent on investigating all the options. We also need to spend more on investigating the possibility of moving to another planet.

    40. douglas clark — on 9th August, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

      Rumbold,

      There are quite a few exciting developments in renewables in the pipeline. I particularily liked this:

      http://www.engadget.com/2007/05/04/spanish-solar-tower-could-eventually-power-an-entire-city/

      (off topic, it looks quite like a religious icon in the wee picture does it not?)

      or this:

      http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Solar_Tower

      Though perhaps Bangladesh should be looking at hydro power solutions, to be honest.

    41. kt — on 9th August, 2007 at 6:00 pm  

      Rumbold,

      I am currently munching my way through some (rather dense) stuff on economics and global inequality. It’s going to take some time, but it’s good that I’ve joined this debate and you guys have given me some things to read so I can give my views more of a work-out, as I said before.

      I think you misunderstood me when I said ‘back to the drawing board’, as I wasn’t talking about energy. I would like to know what you thought about Bookchin’s quote about the nature of capitalism.

      Incidentally, I am against nuclear power for many reasons, some of which given by Sunny above. Another one is that nuclear power would only tackle our electricity generation. And seeing as it comes with many problems and at great expense, I think it is as waste of time, money and resources. Also, world supplies of uranium would rapidly run out if we were to ramp up demand. Fast breeder reactors look like a no-go. And, new power plants would take 15 years roughly to build, by which time if we carry on as we are now, it will be too late. Remember the warming in average global temperatures we are experiencing now are from the 70′s, as there is a 30 year time lag between carbon released and its warming effect.

      Also I don’t think renewables can supply our current demand either, but we’ll have to address the demand problem (and the waste through inefficiency). I don’t think this means going back to living in caves.

      Finally, although DaveS was angry in his original post, he didn’t directly insult anyone. If you believe, which I realise some of you don’t, that the lifestyle of rich, heavily CO2 producing countries is causing the breakdown of the eco system on which we all depend, and that thousands of people are actually dying in poor countries due to climate change- then can’t you understand the frustration? I don’t think you have been fair to him and as he pointed out, he is an anarchist, not a Marxist. You say that his writings hark back to doctrinal Marxism when “the only thing that mattered was theory and if people lost out as a result, then tough”

      But as he pointed out he, and his friends and wider community, are actually living some of the solutions he espouses, and is happier for it. I would argue that it is the current dominant economic system that does exactly as you quoted above (perhaps with the subtitution of theory with profit).

      But maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. It’s been interesting to discuss this with you. I will carry on reading the ‘other side of the debate’. I am going to ignore the comment you made about moving to another planet! ;P

      Take care everyone, I’m going to get some veg from me back yard and enjoy the sunshine!

      Katy

    42. soru — on 9th August, 2007 at 6:04 pm  

      How you can accuse me of being statist when I’m suggesting dismantling national borders is beyond me!?

      That means little, Hitler was in favour of dismantling the Polish border too.

      Quite frankly, I would rather take my chances with boiling seas than let some jumped up totalitarian like you gain one single ounce of power. At least we would all die together, rather than whenever we displeased our eco-overlords.

      Global warming is a scientifically-derived and very likely true statement about the planet. As such, it has no particular connection to political ideologies matters like capitalism or anti-capitalism.

    43. Calvin Jones — on 9th August, 2007 at 6:06 pm  

      From the 14 to the 21 of August 2007 people from all over the UK will come together to form the Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow airport. Described last year as ‘Glastonbury, science seminar and protest all in one’(1), we clearly have a lot to live up to. Last year this mixture of education, protest and entertainment captured the media imagination with the camp receiving unheard of news coverage for a climate change protest. At that time we focused on dirty coal(2), this year the focus has changed to the ever expanding aviation industry.

      Deciding to highlight aviation growth with this years climate camp was not an easy decision. But we asked ourselves: ‘Where are government policies on climate change weakest or most badly needed?’. The answer is clearly the aviation industry: a heavy polluter that is highly subsidised and growing fast. Just imagine would could be done with the £9 Billion in subsides given to aviation(3). That is a lot of hospitals, schools…or tax cuts!

      The government has climate policies that exclude aviation and aviation policies that exclude any consideration of climate change. According to a cross-party group of MPs who looked at this conflict, growth in aviation emissions are likely to entirely destroy progress made elsewhere(4). Whereas the government has shown it’s rhetoric to outshine it’s performance the Camp for Climate Action seeks to lead by example. The week long event will have a strong emphasis on learning, both about low carbon living and about communicating climate change. Renewable energy such as Solar and Wind will power the event, including on-site internet access, projectors and lighting(5).

      Heathrow was chosen as the symbol of aviation due to it’s international profile and it’s vast carbon footprint—larger than many countries(6). It was also important to us that many local people are already strongly resisting the expansion of Heathrow, we felt a strong desire to strengthen their fight.
      We have three aims:

      1. To highlight government hypocrisy in pursuing both a climate plan and an entirely inconsistent airport expansion plan.

      2. To support local communities i there struggle against loosing homes under the ever expanding tarmac of Heathrow.

      3. To educate ourselves and all those who join us about low carbon living.

      We do all this with a simple philosophy:

      Climate change is our generations challenge, it must not be left to burden our children. As governments fail us the realisation is clear, action is our responsibility: we are the ones who we have been waiting for.

      References:
      1.http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/johann_hari/article1359823.ece
      2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_for_Climate_Action
      3. AEF, Hidden Cost of Flying, 2003
      4. Environmental Audit Committee, 2002-2004, 9th Report (Budget 2003 and Aviation)
      5. http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/aims.php
      6.http://bristlingbadger.blogspot.com/2007/05/heathrow-uks-worst-emitter.html

    44. Sunny — on 9th August, 2007 at 6:09 pm  

      I am aware that nuclear power requires huge subsidies but we know that it can generate enough power in the end- can renewable, even with massive investment.

      And what indication is there that if we didn’t invest similar amounts of money into renewable sources they wouldn’t generate energy?

      Compare the mind-boggling huge investment into nuclear energy for DECADES and the puny investment into renewable sources over the past few years. And then look at how expensive nuclear energy still is.

      You’re not comparing like with like in terms of what can be achieved.

      If market forces determined investment into energy, there would be no reason to fund nuclear energy.

    45. douglas clark — on 9th August, 2007 at 6:51 pm  

      Sunny,

      I don’t think that analysis is quite right. The problem we’ve had over the last fifty years or so is that per kilowatt hour coal, oil, and gas, have been cheaper than nuclear. Or even most renewables - not sure about hydro. Which means that there was an incentive to be a polluter.

      The issue is whether with dwindling supplies of fossil fuels there will be an early crossover in the costs per kilowatt hour between nuclear / renewables and fossil fuels or not. The earlier the better, obviously as the economics would then be on the side of the non polluting electricity generators. And I have, quite deliberately, included nuclear in the non polluting sector.

      If that cost advantage were maintained, I could see a time in the not too distant future where renewables plus nuclear were giving us more electricity than we actually ‘need’. That would foreground, in turn, the prospects or a hydrogen based transport infrastructure.

      Meanwhile we should continue to invest heavily in fusion research which seems to me to be medium term answer.

      Voila! No more anthropogenic global warming.

      Then we can do what Rumbold says and colonise Mars.

    46. Don — on 9th August, 2007 at 6:55 pm  

      I used to strongly oppose nuclear power, even went on a few demos, but I’m reluctantly being persuaded that a combination of nuclear and renewable power will be our only option within a generation or two. So we had better start making decisions now.

      Many of my mates take Dave S’s position, and I can see the attraction, but the pig-headed selfishness of those who squeal at the prospect of giving up even a fragment of their resource-hungry self-indulgence is as a real a factor as the melting ice-caps. Let’s call it the Clarkson Factor; ‘I like my toys, so you are a smelly hippy, nah nah nyah nyah nah.’

      From a selfish point of view, some of us are in a position to prepare for a shift from a cheap, abundant energy economy to an expensive, energy poor economy because we have margins. But that’s only a minority. I know several people who have wind turbines and solar panels, and one who heats his home/business through geo-thermals. They all have one thing in common; they are prosperous and middle class. OK, that’s two things.

      But the vast majority of people simply can’t make those choices. You work, you pay your bills, you take what they give you. I no longer believe that such things as climate camps or whatever will make any significant impact, but good luck anyway.

      PS. Will Hawkwind be there?

    47. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2007 at 9:42 pm  

      My point about trying to colonise other planets was not meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I think that it is an option worth exploring. It does sound quite funny though.

      Douglas:

      Renewables are a nice idea, in theory, but often the projections rely on there being no cloud ever, or always strong winds or suchlike. If it works, good.

      Kt:

      Good to have you on board (at Pickled Politics, not with my views).

      I disagree that capitalism is inherently anti-environment, because that assumes that nobody is willing to pay to save the environment. If people (say) purchased 10% of the Amazon rainforest and decreed that it will never be chopped down, then that is a victory for the capitalist principle.

      You have brought some interesting arguments to the table and have not delivered them with the sort of messianic relish that I increasingly encounter. It would be good if you stuck around.

      I do think that rich countries are damaging the environment, which is why we have to put our own houses in order before we can even think about lecturing India and China. Take Al Gore (please). He flies around the world, his house emits 12 times the carbon of an average American’s, and he lectures you and I. I consider myself ‘green’; I do not drive, I have flown once in the past four years, and I bring a bag to the supermarket to take home my shopping. I resent being harangued by climate change activists (not yourself obviously) who probably emit far more carbon dioxide then me. That is what annoys ordinary people so much.

      Calvin Jones:

      I presume that you are all going to emit a great deal of carbon to get to Heathrow. Remember, offsetting does not work- it is like punching someone then giving them £10 to buy a few drinks to make them feel better. Better to set an example and just stay at home. Moreover, though most local residents do not see the need for a third runway, Heathrow itself is tolerated, as it provides plenty of jobs. Somebody has to live near an airport anyway.

      Don:

      “I know several people who have wind turbines and solar panels, and one who heats his home/business through geo-thermals. They all have one thing in common; they are prosperous and middle class. OK, that’s two things.

      But the vast majority of people simply can’t make those choices. You work, you pay your bills, you take what they give you.”

      Spot on Don. It is the patriarchal class lecturing the plebs all over again. They can afford to do it.

    48. Sunny — on 10th August, 2007 at 12:15 am  

      Spot on Don. It is the patriarchal class lecturing the plebs all over again. They can afford to do it.

      I don’t disagree at all. Which is why we have to lobby the government to change its behaviour and its incentives. But part of that process is to make people aware of the danger the environment is in, make the issue more of a hot topic and then force the politicians to change.

      Politicians unfortunately don’t seem to pass legislation for the long-term good, only on what people harass them on.

    49. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2007 at 1:49 am  

      Rumbold,

      “My point about trying to colonise other planets was not meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I think that it is an option worth exploring. It does sound quite funny though.”

      My reply was not tongue in cheek either. I happen to agree with you. If we agree that the human race is worthwhile, a moot point but, hey, it is obvious that we have to get off this planet and colonise others if we are to survive in the longer term. This planet is a vulnerable thing.

      Whilst it is our only environment, we are obligated to look after it. I think, on that, you and I agree

      Not all renewables rely on no cloud cover, although the extractable ones like geo thermal are difficult. I was not joking about Bangladesh having the potential to use tidal or river power to it’s advantage though. The dams and such that it would need to make that work would have flood control benefits too. Think ancient Egypt.

      Not a complete answer, I grant you. Bangladesh is likely to be the first major victim of Western and Eastern indifference, if we don’t get our act out.

      Personally, I’d like to go to some of the islands in the Indian Ocean before some coal merchant inundates them, but hey, he’s rich and I’m not. The global is the local these days.

      I take it you too have read optomistic Science Fiction writers? There is too much negativity about the future. Mainly from folk that have never heard of Arthur C Clarke or Olaf Stapledon.

    50. Rumbold — on 10th August, 2007 at 12:07 pm  

      Sunny:

      “Politicians unfortunately don’t seem to pass legislation for the long-term good, only on what people harass them on.”

      And most legislation is bad for society.

      Douglas:

      It would be good if Bangladesh could harvest the power of the wave. If it could do it properly the power generated by hydro stations could be exported to India and China, making it a nice little earner.

      Space travel is desirable, but we must also start to develop more powerful weapons to fight whatever is out there. Otherwise we might be conquered. Science fiction at its best is inspiring, and I do think that there are too many works that are bleak.

    51. kt — on 10th August, 2007 at 2:57 pm  

      Afternoon all,

      Firstly, I apologise in advance for the length of this post. Most of it is relevant to the climate camp. All of it is in response to previous posts!

      Soru:
      “Quite frankly, I would rather take my chances with boiling seas than let some jumped up totalitarian like you gain one single ounce of power. At least we would all die together, rather than whenever we displeased our eco-overlords.”

      Arg! Have you properly read Dave S’s post at all? Why is it that this kind of debate makes people get tunnel vision? Once again- Dave S is an anarchist. So am I. It was at Climate Camp last year that I found out that anarchy doesn’t mean violence or chaos. There are many strains of anarchist thought (in fact, you could argue that there as many as there are anarchists) but the one I have follows the principles of: self-governance; and with that comes a degree of personal responsibility, community, organisation with small groups, mutual aid, decentralisation of power- indeed going as far as to say that no person has any actual power over anyone but themselves. For this to work, it needs a large amount of trust in your fellow human beings.

      I actually know Dave personally, and I can tell you now that he is completely anti-totalitarian. He believes in the principles that I have outlined above, which would mean that he would never wish to gain any power other than that to live his own life. Never any power over another human being. We have had worried discussions about the way government is using the protection of the environment to increase their surveillance of us. He is also uncomfortable with the idea of banning things and taxation, because they can atrophy people’s ability to take personal responsibility.

      Any of you who are concerned about misuse of power and the drift towards a totalitarian, police state, need look no further than what New Labour have been doing over the last 10 years. I recommend a film that came out recently called ‘Taking Liberties’ or a documentary that was broadcast on more4 called ‘Suspect Nation’.

      And global warming is not ‘scientifically derived’- the ways of measuring it are. It is human behaviour derived. Although climate change is about science- in that we need to use science to understand what is happening- of course the solutions are political as well as scientific. Politics is about how we live our lives, which in turn affects the physical world in which we live- hence we now are disturbing the eco system and the climate.

      Don and Rumbold:

      The climate camp will have people of many different backgrounds and classes coming together to discuss solutions in the kinds of ways outlined above. There will be scientists, artists, electricians, plumbers, academics, parents, children, grandparents, locals, activists and just concerned ordinary people! We’re looking for solutions that aren’t based on your ability to pay for expensive techno-fixes- quite the opposite! There are workshops on how to build your own wind turbine, and I could tell you how to make a perfectly functioning solar water heater out of an old radiator. Yes, I’m sure there are some wealthy middle class people who splash out on all the expensive kit and expect everyone to do the same regardless of income (although I’ve never met one personally). I wish you were both coming to the camp. Most of the people who have been involved in organising it (I know a few of them) are people like me and Dave- and if you look at the aims and view pages on the climate camp website, you will see that the camp isn’t about lecturing from on high, it’s about discussion and organising from below.

      Rumbold,

      Hello. Thank you for your kind words. I have enjoyed debating with you and I will indeed stick around. : )

      I can understand that you resent being harangued- I do too! But the feeling of being harangued can be sometimes as much about the mood and thoughts of the harangee as the motives of the haranguer, and the perceived intent of the alleged haranguer…. If that makes sense! It’s subjective.

      Often I get defensive when I reckon someone is judging me without cause or that someone is making allegations about me without knowing the facts, that someone is insulting my intelligence or talking down to me (clearly I get defensive quite a bit!). I guess this is where a lot of the misunderstanding or anger comes from when these discussions occur or when any person tries to make other people aware of environmental problem or the need to change our behaviour.

      But without wanting to sound preachy- we’re all just people. Fallible, human beings. No one has all the answers. And I have met hardly any people within the environmental movement who claim that they do. The ones who do are generally tolerated but kept at arms length. Even Dave S, who you seem to have put in the ‘haranguer’ category, knows he doesn’t have all the answers-

      ‘I don’t have the solutions - nobody does, and that is the point. Everybody needs to be allowed to arrive at their own localised solutions that work for them within the context of their community, wherever they are.’

      I admit- I have sometimes grouped people together and accused them in my mind of not caring or being ignorant- and I should never make blanket accusations. You and this thread have reminded me of this, for which I am grateful. But I still stand behind the opinions of Dave S in general because I think they are sound, and I recognise his justified anger, as I do yours for feeling patronised.

      Just a few more little points- I promise!! Sorry for my long rambling posts!

      ‘I presume that you are all going to emit a great deal of carbon to get to Heathrow. Better to set an example and just stay at home.’

      Yes, there will be some carbon emitted in travel (many people are travelling by train, cycle or car sharing). But due to the situation we find ourselves in, we all emit carbon in many spheres of our lives. You could use the same argument for not going to work (which sounds fine to me!) or on holiday. The people travelling to the camp see the purpose as I, DaveS and Calvin have outlined above to be very important. As important as the people spending their hard earned money and time going abroad by plane from Heathrow feel their holiday is- perhaps even more. How will staying at home set an example? The camp changed many people’s lives for the better last year, including mine. The possibility of many more people coming this year means that it is a worthwhile thing to travel for, because the movement is growing. I believe next time, there are going to be multiple regional camps so people won’t have to travel so far.

      Also, one of the main purposes of the camp is to spur people into action in their own lives, in their own communities. That happened from last year- I have come together with lots of people since to do stuff where we live. Some of them have already been doing that for years, like community allotments and things.

      ‘Moreover, though most local residents do not see the need for a third runway, Heathrow itself is tolerated, as it provides plenty of jobs. Somebody has to live near an airport anyway.’

      Actually, almost the entire village of Sipson will be demolished if the 3rd runway gets built. The locals have been lied to by BAA for decades on it’s plans for expansion. There is massive support from the local community. Here’s an article about a local meeting held about the camp:

      http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/07/376601.html

      The local MP has formally welcomed the camp.

      Also, not everyone at climate camp would think that the whole aviation industry should be scrapped- even Plane Stupid, the group that has got the most press coverage recently doesn’t argue for that:

      ‘Plane Stupid demands a fundamental rethink of the government’s 2003 Aviation White Paper which predicts that air travel will treble by 2030: an increase in annual plane journeys from 180 million to 501 million.
      We want to see airport expansion plans scrapped, a tax on aviation fuel and an end to short haul flights.’

      I think the measures you are taking to reduce your impact on the environment are great. I took a short haul flight about 3 years ago. I have made the decision never to do it again, except for some kind of emergency involving illness or death (god forbid). I have decided to only ever take one return long haul flight, and that would be to South America.

      I don’t expect everyone to do this. But I do expect that people make it their responsibility to learn about the impacts of their travel options in order to weigh up the implications. Is that too much to ask? Having said that- doing this is pretty difficult nowadays, with all the misinformation and distractions the mainstream media put out, and the government and vested interests. So again, no one always get it right. But I wish people wouldn’t then get indignant when others try to point the implications out. We’re not trying to inflate our egos. We’re trying to change things for the better. Oh, and you’re right about offsetting!

      ‘Spot on Don. It is the patriarchal class lecturing the plebs all over again. They can afford to do it.’

      Given your thoughts on the ability to pay (or not) for solar panels, wind turbines etc, don’t you think then perhaps that capitalism is not the answer in all cases? I can’t really foresee a time when these things are dirt cheap, even within the mechanisms of the market. Far better, given the urgency of the situation, for people to make their own, cheap solutions- the low cost, low-tech option? But the problem is, that that doesn’t make much money for the economy, so it only gets pushed by concerned people from the grassroots- not the market, not the government (who are, in my opinion, the patriarchal class).

      “I disagree that capitalism is inherently anti-environment, because that assumes that nobody is willing to pay to save the environment. If people (say) purchased 10% of the Amazon rainforest and decreed that it will never be chopped down, then that is a victory for the capitalist principle.”

      I think you might have a point there. Except I would rather people saved the environment because it necessary to do so, rather than paying for it. It implies that things are only safe if they have been paid for, and I personally don’t like a dollar or pound sign being attached to everything- especially things which don’t really belong to us alone. I believe in things like natural resources and the atmosphere to be held in common. Perhaps you think that’s unrealistic.

      I’d like to debate more specifically on the pros and cons of capitalism on another thread, so as not to go too far off topic (although I think that it’s important to the issue of climate change and the climate camp). Perhaps I could write something or start a topic on this site? I’ll look into it. But just quickly: the article link that you posted for me on China’s economy from the World Bank actually has some stuff in it about inequality if you read further. As I said though, this is perhaps for another thread!

      Thanks, Rumbold and whoever has read all this, for taking the time to do so!!!

      Love,

      kt

    52. Rumbold — on 10th August, 2007 at 3:36 pm  

      Kt:

      If all environmentalists were like you I think that more people would listen to your views, because you explain them calmly and rationally and do not adopt a hectoring tone. Thank you for the invite to the climate camp, but I am afraid that I might have to decline, as I am considering starting my own ‘pro-Heathrow’ protest. Just joking. Interesting enough, despite being the in the Borough of Hillingdon, Heathrow actually derives its name from Hounslow Heath (once the most dangerous place in England).

      “I think the measures you are taking to reduce your impact on the environment are great. I took a short haul flight about 3 years ago.”

      I have been acting this way all my life. Cars are a hassle, and out of principle I take my own bags to the supermarket. It is cheapness, rather than environmental concern. Often it is the older generation (not me) who are the most environmentally friendly, simply because they have a mentality of staying in this country, not throwing things away and never wasting things. The spotlight should be focused on how they live as an example.

      “There is massive support from the local community.”

      Yes and no. There is a vocal minority that staunchly opposes Heathrow’s expansion and a majority that do not want it but are not too bothered. I do not see a need for a third runway, and think that BAA should concentrate on improving existing services at Heathrow. However, I do not feel strongly enough about it to go and demonstrate. Do not put too much faith in the proclaimations of the local MPs. Will the Keens vote against the Darling Brown budget that contains airline subsidies? I doubt it. That is the real test.

      With regards capitalism, perhaps it is best to save it for another thread, but as I said before I do not think that inequality in itself is a bad thing, but it can be if it causes social unrest (which I suppose it is doing in China).

      I do think that some things should be protected governments, but if they are not, then one way is for people to protect them with their own money, which is capitalism in action. It is not perfect obviously, and I do sometimes worry about the commercialisation of everything.

      Anyway, I am glad that you have landed on this site, and you are a breath of fresh air regarding the environmental debate. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    53. Rumbold — on 10th August, 2007 at 7:40 pm  

      David Millward has an article on climate change worth reading in today’s Daily Telegraph. His argument is that climate change protestors should demonstrate against more immigration, because of the environmental impact (people flying back and forth from Poland). I do not agree, but it is an interesting way of looking at it:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/08/10/do1003.xml

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