Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Save the Planet. Yes, but do it right!

According to the Guardian on Wednesday Bush is a "renegade rightwing extremist". That's a good one! I couldn't have put it better myself.

Then after some reflection I started wondering: OK, but how progressive is the wooden victor Gore from 2000, whose defeat was declared by the Supreme Court, even though he got more votes than Bush?

Well, he would probably in some ways have become a better president. But how progressive is he? He is called an environmental activist, but take a look at his concrete proposals, as they are reported by the Guardian:

From activism to energy-efficiency: Al Gore's top tips for saving the planet
1. Insist that politicians in all parties make this planetary emergency their top priority; this is crucial
2. Think about conservation and efficiency in the way you use resources in your own life, eg:
· drive less (every mile not driven saves one pound of CO2)
· fly less
· recycle more
· keep your tyres properly inflated
· use less hot water
· use a clothesline instead of a tumble-dryer
· insulate your home
· avoid products with a lot of packaging
· turn down the thermostat by 2C
· plant a tree (one tree absorbs one tonne of CO2 over its lifetime)
· turn off electronic devices when they are not in use
3. Be a conscious consumer with regard to everything you buy, both in the marketplace and in the investments you make, eg:
· switch to green power
· buy locally grown food, and organic where possible
· buy fresh food over frozen
· buy less meat
· offset your impact on the planet's resources by investing in renewable energy projects For more information go to

These tips are not going to "save the planet".
OK, these initiatives are not bad, but how much do they really help?
I must remember to breathe less when I bicycle to work. And keep the tyres of the bike properly inflated!! And I have already turned down the thermostat by 2 degrees. And how much did it help?

Who are the big sinners, when it comes to emission of greenhouse gases?
It is not only consumers and life style that are the culprits. It is also business. In order to effectively combat pollution and get a more environmentally fit globe it is necessary for the state to pass much more restrictive legislation and change society in fundamental ways. Al Gore does not talk so much about what it'll really take to develop a society in ecological balance.


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