Sunday, March 18, 2007

'It's (Not) Easy being Green' - Politicians (or is that the Muppets?) go to the Movies

In today's Scotsman is an article about the hypocrisy of our political leaders over the Green issues - written before the news of Dave’s 93 mile flight. It concerns the ‘greeness’ of the various Scottish political party's buildings after the Scotsman took thermal images to show how they were leaking heat.

I have for a long while felt that our politicians have hijacked the debate on the environment to show that they are more caring than their opposition. But frankly this nonsense in the Scotsman takes the biscuit. It reduces the argument to a level that is absurd. Clearly in this country most of our old buildings are not built in such a way as to as energy efficient as we would like. The Scotsman is merely being mischievous.

Of course we have climate change, of course we should be doing something about it and of course it's right that it's on the political agenda. However, don't you just feel it has a lot more to do with political point scoring than truly being something that the main parties really want to tackle. To me the issues of the NHS, the pensions crisis, the mounting personal debt mountain, the money we are spending as the World's policeman (along with America) and a host of other issues are by definition far more difficult to address than abstract debate about saving the planet. Politician's like many in business today are on a revolving cycle in which most of what they say and do never comes home to roost. Next to nothing that the politicians are suggesting will be able to be measured. The setting of targets in environmental issues is much like targets in the NHS or for the police. More time is spent debating who has the best set of figures than whether something positive is happening. The whole carbon offset thing is turning into a business at which people are earning large chunks of change and it's set to increase. Bliar's comments about setting an example are about as useless a remark as he's ever made. Does he really think anyone takes any notice of us?

Far better to be doing more real things to help save energy and deal with things on a micro level rather than on a global-political level. Some might argue that's exactly what the debate on airlines and flights is all about but that's equally as daft. More on that later.

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