Reply To: Green out the window

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Happy New Year all

In the run up to Copenhagen, everyone got super excited about the world coming together to solve these important environmental issues, but now it is the new year and we have had Christmas and New Year festivities – all that was discussed seems a long way away.

I don’t want to be a cynic but I don’t think enough will come out of the summit. It would be good if at least the carbon emissions from everyone travelling to the summit were neutralised but with all the airlines, bottled water and hotel rooms I think even that is going to be a push.

The problem is that as we all know we are inherently selfish and the arguments just won’t stand up when money and power are involved. We have all agreed that there is a problem but to actually stand up and solve that problem is going to take a lot of action – not just words.

The main issue is that, for example, in the case of business travel, we will always travel and as with leisure travel- it is only affected by monetary concern, not concern for the environment. Airlines I am sure will do what they have to do – not what they want to do – and new, more environmentally friendly aircraft are a good start but lets not kid ourselves that this is anything to do with the environment. It will save airlines money in the longrun.

To solve a problem you need to understand it. It’s like people who say to smokers “why do you smoke? It’s bad for you”. This argument will never work because smokers don’t smoke because it is bad for them. They smoke because they are addicted.

If the same is applied to environmental issues then the question should not be “why are we travelling when it is bad for the world?” – we are not doing it becasue it is bad for the world, we are doing it because we want to make money and make connections with other people. So by that logic we need to address this behaviour – and unfortunately it is in human nature to want to be ahead and make money and human nature to want to connect with other people.

It is as frustrating – we all know what we should do but this is a case of what we want to do and as such the real issues will go out of the window.

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