There is an idea out there that climate change is something being done by them to us. This is of course drivel, it’s us doing it. We, we consumers, like to have cooked food, warm houses, go travel, blah, blah. So, the emissions that come from cooking, warming, travelling, come from us, us consumers. It is thus us consumers who need to change our ways in order to reduce emissions and so slow or cease climate change.
Of course, it’s possible to say that climate change isn’t happening and thus there’s no problem. Or that there is a problem – no other method will enable us to continue to have civilisation so we’re stuck with Flipper being BBQ’d on the remains of the last Greenlandic ice in 500 years time.
But slip inside the idea that it is happening and it is us causing it. Who is the us causing it?
Second, it wants consumers to be blamed. The message is that it is not the industrial complex that gives us no choice but consume carbon that is to blame for the mess that we are in. It’s all our fault.
But that’s drivel, isn’t it? Aged porkers in Ely do have options. They could, for example, only eat food grown within a cycle ride of Ely. Could use the garden of their end of terrace des res to grow their own food – no cows or dairy allowed of course, methane. Never fly to those so important conferences on how the world must become greener. Insist that all steam railways in the country be closed immediately – there is no carbon capture on a choo choo.
These choices face all 7 billion of us. And the entire climate change problem is that we don’t face, in our consumption choices, the full price of the costs that we impose upon others by those choices. That’s it, that’s the whole problem.
The fault isn’t in the industrial complex nor even capitalism. And it’s not that lust for profit either – something that exists independently of whatever form of economic organisation we have. For as we can note as we, as consumers, start to demand different products made in different ways then people pop up to profit from our demands. There is no explanation for Lush other than that. No explanation for the Fair Tax Mark other than that of course – entrepreneurs spot a consumer desire and work to sate it. If consumers really did desire to know that a retired accountant from Wandsworth approved of the way that taxes were accounted for then all companies would cough up for the imprimatur.
So too if all consumers desired to warm themselves while not broiling Flipper then they’d pay to do so. We don’t – thus our problem.
Blaming them, there, over behind the tree, hiding among the rocks, who are to blame is to become almost Koranic in the assignation of blame, isn’t it? Or, as we might put it, drivel.