I’ve no desire to get political. This blog is supposed to be about cycling after all. But hey – one of the many reasons I ride a bike is because I give a hoot about the environment.
I watched the BBCs outstanding Frozen Planet last night. It’s the kind of program which restores one’s belief in the power of television. Attenburgh showed us that the rate of polar melting has accelerated at an astonishing rate over the last few decades. Watch it if you haven’t (This isn’t a debate about whether climate change is real or not, or man made or not. Anyone who still doubts that made made climate change is real and upon us really should get their head out of their behind and look at the evidence). If you’ve been following the climate change story at all this will not come as a surprise, but that makes it no less shocking and no less terrifying.
One of last week’s top news stories featured our Prime Minister visiting the Land Rover and Jaguar car plant, basking in the ‘good news for the economy’ that they were taking on 1000 workers to cope with demand. The week before that it was the same story from the UK’s Toyota plant. And nestled inbetween was the little story that the government wants to build more motorways. More motorways. Peak oil anyone?
My pet theory, that our species is prone to ‘Large Family Syndrome’ where we all make a mad dash grab for whatever resources we can and to hell with everyone else – whether it’s chocolate chip cookies or oil reserves – is going to leave our progeny and their progeny with nothing. Not even a planet they can call home if the worst case scenario predictions are true.
My school books in the seventies warned about the dangers of population growth. We did nothing about that either. I know that the story of the suicidal lemmings is bogus but the analogy can’t be beat. We really are, all of us, rushing headlong towards a precipice.
So to hear today’s news from the conference in South Africa that the US , the world’s biggest polluter, is trying to defer any action on climate change until 2020 just makes me want to weep.
What brought it home to me was the sight this morning of a jacked-up, macho-man Land Rover Defender 4×4 tearing through the village with the phrase ‘One life – Live it!’ stuck to his visor. So wrong, seven billion lives at last count.
A little less macho posturing and selfishness is required from each and every of us, individuals and countries alike, if our children are going to avoid being sent back to the dark ages. It beats me why the people who we elect to represent us cant see it.