I am not a hippie. I will not descend into the idea of the Earth as 'mother'. I will not personify the poor little creatures that are affected by the effects of climate change. I will not pretend that I look whistfully into the future and imagine a post-apocalyptic dystopia where my decendents scratch a living from the bare Earth and faces turned skywards scream 'why didn't you turn the heating down one fucking degree?'
Becuase I, like all other hairless apes, don't look beyond the temporal horizon that extends one week beyond our faces.
You see the problem with climate change is that it doesn't affect us directly. Not like fixing the toaster. Or terrorism. It is a nebulous idea. Scientific in explanation that seems a million miles away. We nod and agree and recycle before jumping in our cars to drive to heated houses before turning on the 55'' plasma T.V. and watching a four hour episode of 'Strictly Come Dancing', turning on all the lights, chucking the washing in the tumble dryer, leaving the fridge door open, roasting a 56kg whole pig for two, sitting down at a computer with wireless connection to spend 3 hours writing a blog about climate change.
You see the issue of climate change exposes us at our most degraded. It seems so far away so we don't really bother. Oh, we pay lipservice to it but when anything big is done about it we fail.
I'll give you an example. About a year ago the Government suggested that it would be a good idea to monitor the amount of waste that goes into our bins using a microchip. The ultimate goal was no doubt to start to charge people for the amount of waste people threw away.
Did the fine people of this great nation accept such a forward thinking and fair way of trying to reduce the amount of waste mindlessly chucked out?
Did they fuck!
Allusions were drawn from 1984 because it was an attack on the rights of every British person to have their own four acres of landfill without the intrusion of a Big Brother government.
This is from the country with the most CCTV cameras per capita in the world.
I wish that we could change. I wish that the soviet experiment showed that we can move beyond the self interested actions and do something alturistic. Not because of any form of vicarious motivation, nor because of the threat of mass flooding, starvation and death.
But because it is the right thing to do.