I had to nip out to the White Lion yesterday and didn't quite finish what I was saying about saving the planet. A good thing, too, as I was starting to sound a bit despondent. It's easy to get despondent when thinking about such issues. Anthropogenic climate change is a huge issue affecting billions of humans and we are a small group of people with a shared interest in philosophy poetry and bartending, how are we supposed to save the world? Well, I say to you: if not us then whom? By which I mean: to win this fight, we need everyone and that includes us.
Step 1. Identifying the Enemy
As I started to say yesterday, we cannot hope to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases without identifying the major polluters. Happily, they are nearby. Take a look in the mirror. The Western lifestyle is an energy hungry lifestyle. However, it is not written in stone that energy must be created by burning fossil fuels. We can all take steps to reduce our energy consumption, but we can also insist that energy companies invest in renewable sources of energy: wind, solar, geothermal.
Step 2. Insistence is Useless (unless backed by legislation)
It is no good me writing to the head of BP or whoever and saying:
"Dear Sir, I insist that you start investing in renewable energy! Regards, Finnginn." Even if the letter was signed by all sixty of you that bother to read these polemical posts or even all 200 of you that read the funny anecdotal posts. That is not enough. To force their hand we need legislation.
I know what you are thinking: "But Finnginn, you are an anarcho-syndicalist, why are you suddenly waving the flag for state power?" And I reply: You have to fight the battles that are immediately in front of you. And you have to use the weapons that are to hand. The only institutions over which we have some minimal amount of democratic control are the institutions of government and we must use them to fight back against the unelected corporations that are poisoning our atmosphere.
Step 3. Do your Research.
Find out where your elected representatives stand on these issues. Check their voting records (They Work for You is a good resource for this in the UK) Challenge them. And if you don't like what they have done: throw them out at the next election.
As I hinted at in the rhyming triplets in yesterday's blog, these issues transcend party allegiances.
Red flag or Blue,
All you who recycle and watch X Factor
Who once was tired, but tried to warn you.
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10 months ago