Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Strange mood

I'm in one of those moods where I seem to just idly drift through the day doing sod all. I have a deadline next week, but clearly that's too far away right now to inspire me to start work on it. Instead, I'm left idly surfing the Internet getting depressed about mankind's seeming inability to wake up to the very real dangers of climate change. Somewhere I read that runaway climate change could wipe 20 per cent off the world's economies. Excuse me? Where the hell do you get that figure from, if you haven't plucked it from thin air?

It seems the whole world is in a mass state of denial still. We're judging everything on an economic system that is now well past its sell-by date. You cannot double the world's population in the space of a generation and expect to enjoy unfettered economic growth without serious consequences down the line. History has taught us that major civilisation collapses have often been accompanied by severe environmental catastrophes - it's what happened in central America, and it's often overlooked that the decline of the Roman Empire began with the encroaching Sahara desert wiping out a large proportion of the empire's grain supply. You can quote facts and figures and pluck random numbers out of the air, but at the end of the day you and I can't do anything without a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. If you can't guarantee where the next meal is coming from, you're not really going to worry about what's happening on Big Brother or where your next retail fix is coming from.

Sadly, it appears Gordon Brown won't be the leader to start waking people up to the real dangers of climate change. Johann Hari reports that Brown is set to make a decision on whether or not to greenlight a new generation of coal-fired power stations (see here). I already know his decision - after all, if you're in the pocket of big business, who will you back: the entrepreneur who can give you a renewable form of energy 24/7, or the large corporation looking at its own bottom line ahead of any other considerations?

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