Sunday, December 13, 2009

Voluntarily lower my standard of living? Sure, why not.

Some regular followers of local political blogs may recall debates on abortion, in which people who wrote in to say how awful it is that the govt funds clinics where children are murdered were sometimes called on it (I think usually by Ryan Sproull of Born on SH1 or Danyl of the Dim Post) with the rhetorical question that if they really did believe the govt was murdering children, wouldn't they be doing a bit more about it than writing angry letters to the editor?

I've been reminded of this by the feel-good blather recently about pushing the govt to do more in response to climate change.

In the comments thread of my post on the Copenhagen circus spectacular, deitynigel6888 wrote "I'll believe there's a crisis when the people telling us there's a crisis start acting like there's a crisis."

I believe it's a thought very much worth keeping in mind when considering climate change alarmism. It was directed at the fat cat politicians turning up in Copenhagen with their fleets of private jets and limousines, but could be equally well addressed to all the climate change "activists," including the scientists.

According to top climate scientists Lucy Lawless and other celebrities, we need to cut our carbon emissions by a minimum of 40%. This goal has achieved widespread public support, on the basis that it's up to the govt to do something about it. Well, yeah - if we're serious about this, the govt will have to take action. But if you personally are serious about it, why the hell aren't you taking some action yourself?

Talk to the average climate change worrier, and they are taking what they consider to be "action." They've installed compact fluorescent light bulbs; they've lowered the temperature on their hot water cylinder; they're using a bike or a bus more often; they're eating less meat; and so on. Er, yes. And these trivial reductions, a matter of a few percent, are in response to a supposedly desperate crisis, the last chance to prevent millions of people dying, the "moral equivalent of WW2," in which our only shot is to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 40 fucking percent? Really?

If you really do believe we're on a last chance bid to save humanity, act like it. That car's going to have to go. Likewise, the cellphone and computers. It's no good selling them, because that would simply pass the emissions on to someone else. What needs to happen is that the carbon in them is returned to the earth. I suggest burying them. Please don't use a digger to bury your car, that would emit a lot of CO2 - I suggest using a shovel. Maybe your equally progressive friends will help. Your typical poorly-insulated, single-glazed NZ piece-o'shit house that leaks heat everywhere and gets its power from the national grid needs a lot of expensive work: insulation, double-glazing, water-capture from the roof into tanks, some kind of independent power supply, composting toilet. You'll need to become a vegan - sure, it's bad for your health and really difficult to get enough nutrition if you don't eat the right kinds of food, but apparently meat and dairy are carbon-intensive. These are just off the top of my head, probably there's a lot more you could do. Certainly, you won't want to fly anywhere ever again (and don't give me that bullshit about paying some scammers who claim to plant trees on your behalf - we're talking about drastic reductions in your emissions here, not "offsets.") Once you've got started on those, come back with the "last chance to save humanity" stuff and maybe someone will take it seriously.


Barnsley Bill said...

More far right ranting from PM!
Well said sir.

democracymym said...

I agree completely. Have been wondering the same thing myself.
The ETS itself is a nonsense, whether or not you believe in climate change.

Johnboy said...

Bloody brilliant post PM.

(Christ I am developing new respect for you since you have become sensible).

Helen and Rajendra are probably shredding their next years supply of airline tickets right now (using their teeth of course, not the UN office shredder as it runs on hated carbon producing electricity).

They will be dubbining up their tramping boots to get round the next hectic round of UN junkets in a carbon neutral manner namely shanks's pony.

Psycho Milt said...

BB, you stirrer - there's nothing far-right about not wanting to see your tax dollars biffed at a financial scam or handed over to Third World dictators so they can spend it on new armoured limos and torture equipment.

The ETS itself is a nonsense, whether or not you believe in climate change.

Yes, I believe it's exactly as I've described it to Barnsley Bill above. I don't have an issue with govts taking steps to force environmental costs of production onto present-day consumers - after all, future generations aren't here themselves to bill us for the costs of cleaning up the mess, so it's reasonable that someone should act on their behalf. But it's impossible to come up with a system that can't be gamed, and it's impossible to enforce if it's not international (otherwise, production moves to territories outside the agreements). I think it's more important the politicians do it properly than that they do it quickly.

Anonymous said...

"we're talking about drastic reductions in your emissions here"

No...not quite right...the wonks in Copenhagen have got that sorted by suggesting that the developing nations forgo their development so that the West can enjoy theirs.

Andrei said...

The problem is that the lowered standard of living that is being planned for us is anything but voluntary

Anonymous said...

There's no problem with Global Warming that can't be solved by a few LGM-30s

Psycho Milt said...

The problem is that the lowered standard of living that is being planned for us is anything but voluntary

That's what really pisses me off about these alarmists - they haven't the bollocks to take the necessary action themselves, but don't hesitate to demand govts inflict it forcibly on the rest of us. Fuck 'em.

Anonymous said...

Hell, a lefty being reasonable and sensible. I'm stunned.
Well said.


Now, now, PM is one of those rare creatures- an intelligent lefty.
Hence, he's a great assett to No Minister as he sees sense and does not toe any party line.
Another brilliant post, PM.

maxwell said...

A 40% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020 is actually a 64% reduction from todays levels. Reduce our emissions by 2/3 in 10 years ? Yeah, that's going to happen.

Socrates said...

If we spent a quarter of the amount we do on generating hot air talking about climate change and investigating artificial economic systems like the ETS, I am sure we could actually do something useful like inventing carbon scrubbers to filter CO2 from exhausts, and maybe large scale scrubbers that could strip the pollutants right out of the air.

After all we can send people to live in a completely self contained environments in space and the bottom of the sea.

It can't be that difficult.