Monday, October 30, 2006

As entrepreneurs take over the Green movement, where will the hair shirt brigade go next?

The Guardian fretted on Saturday’s front page about Europe’s failure to meet its "targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions" and the Indy’s leader, as usual, blamed our government. But there were more upbeat environmental thoughts in the Times first leader. Under the headline "Green is good" it pointed out that "The green rush is no longer the preserve of idealistic inventors, but of smart money-men and large institutions."

Having for many years been a member or on the fringes of various groups attempting to promote worthy ideals, I’ve reached the not very startling conclusion that you won't get far in a lobbying campaign unless there's a group with a commercial interest backing your cause.

For example, all my (few and feeble) attempts to promote walking as the best form of transport in towns have been miserable failures to judge by its decline. I’m a member of ‘Living Streets’ which used to be called the Pedestrians’ Association before the image consultants moved in. But, with an annual turnover of about 89 pence and no companies that profit from people walking to sponsor it, it’s not making much headway.

So it must be good news for those of us genuinely concerned, although not hysterically so, about climate change that businessmen are moving in. They are our best hope for some real action rather than waffle.

Bad tidings however for the sort of fundamentalist ‘greens’ who love wallowing in gloom and doom especially if America and/or ‘big business’ can be blamed. It has given them plenty of excuses to dream about imposing draconian restrictions on the lives of their fellow creatures especially those who seems to be enjoying life a little too much.

Of course there are still worries. Some businesses will sell stuff based on highly questionable ‘green’ credentials. We’ve already had leaflets trying to sell us solar heating devices that would never generate a worthwhile return on their cost nor, almost certainly, in terms of the greenhouse gases used in their manufacturer and installation (about which their suppliers are silent).

So it’s good news that, according to the Times the "Advertising Standards Authority [is considering] issuing guidelines on what businesses can say about the practice of carbon offsetting". But, in a world dominated by scientific ignoramuses there will, no doubt, be loadsa money to be made out of the well-intentioned gullible...


At 00:31, Blogger Phantom of the Labour Party said...

“Wondering Labour Party, so lost, so helpless, yearning for my guidance…”

At 10:10, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Oh dear


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