Our environment is of central interest to us all, as it always has been. From keeping house, through gardening, Keeping Britain Tidy, planning regulations, investment in research and technology - on we go, making our world in our own image.
How ironic that as concern about the environment increases with our numbers we find the agenda has been hi-jacked by at least two kinds of nutters: tax-seeking politicians and apocalyptic killjoys. Both groups display a nasty turn towards authoritarianism and direct action. So instead of rational and co-operative choices and actions directed to continuing our natural inclination to care for our world, from closest to us, to further away, to distant but interacting, we are pitched into a battle over what often feels like controlling the universe.
So yes, my house is insulated so well there's total silence from the outside world, yes it uses solar and electricity generating panels, yes it's got the reed beds and the falling levels of waste disposal (not too clear about that but the engineer knew what he was at), yes it has a woodburning stove and a chipper (no, not that kind, though I would like one)and burns every kind of agricultural by-product. And the government gives tax relief on installing all this, in the countryside or in towns, isolated houses or blocks of flats. Everyone is putting it in as fast as circumstances permit - soon there won't be a tree left standing and we'll be herding the oxen back into the open plan kitchen at night to keep us warm upstairs.
And no, I won't be without a car, our life-styles are premised on having a car, no I won't accept wind farms and their disfiguring of the landscape (or seascape) and the skyline, nuclear power stations ditto and dangerous with it with safety and waste disposal problems that can best be summed as Think Chernobyl. No I won't stop flying round Europe no matter how many prance about in Hatfield forest at dawn.
Nick Stern is a nice man and so, no doubt, is Al Gore. But they have axes to grind and I'm not going back to axe-grinding on their say so and propaganda. We want to be warm, mobile, and electrified. As usual it's the reasonable, the concerned, the dealable-with who are getting the aggro, not the unreasonable, the savage depletors of planetary resources; just like with taxes - go for the middle classes.
Before lowering my standard of living I want to see all the climate nutters dealing with the United States' refusal to accommodate the slightest interference in its energy use, China required to clean up its industrial act, India and the former Soviet empire prevented from tearing and ripping at the ground and at the sky.
And slack-jawed, slack-minded, slack-moralled if not mad New Labour and its Leader are infinitely less convincing in their environmental agenda than Mr Berlusconi (which is quite a benchmark to fall below).
Arizona State Re-starts PhD program
3 hours ago