Environmentalists have been shouting into the hurricane for a long time – 50 years in my case. Today, 40 years after people like me were asking why all the money was going into oil extraction and internal combustion engines, BMW ran a 4-page ad for their new electric car. Whoopee! However the only problem is that during the past 40 years, humans have trashed their planet to a horrible extent and continue to do so.
So us sandal-wearing bearded weirdies and spoil-sports have been right all along about cars: so what about:
– The Fossil Fuel Economy. If we burn fossil fuels in increasing quantities, the atmospheric CO2 will increase and the climate will become less benign and more unstable. Research was being done and articles were written about this through the 80s and 90s, and it was recognised at the 1989 Rio Summit (the first of many, none of which has resulted in decisions being implemented). It’s all happening now, with weird weather everywhere and forests burning on every continent. But the deniers still pedal their rubbish (which is, oddly, recycled a great deal).
– Industrial farming Spreading poisons and replacing all natural habitats with monoculture will reduce biodiversity, deplete soil fertility and jeopardise our own futures. Now we are experiencing the most rapid mass extinction ever, (apart from when a meteor hit the Earth), bees are in decline and the desertification is spreading.
– Recycling. When I have mentioned that we should consume less and recycle more, the wise owls have told me that it is a waste of time and money and probably a scam (deniers are still saying that about global warming). Now, even my region in the UK, which is one of the most reactionary, has realised that recycling is essential and that landfill is not the answer. It has taken a long time to get this far, and no-one (especially the UK Government) seem interested in reducing packaging and waste.
– If we use lots of plastic it will end up polluting and littering the planet: have you looked at a quiet beach lately? They are ALL littered with plastic and other human rubbish. And the Pacific ocean has millions of tons of the stuff floating.
I could go on.
The point is, humans are taking some measures to mitigate environmental damage, but it is too little and very late in the day. So why don’t we learn from our mistakes and get together (another summit, somewhere nice hopefully!) and actually do something about it?
The answer to that question is probably one given to me by a friend in a conversation about all this: “Doug, maybe we just don’t care as much as you do.”