Thursday, December 07, 2006

Yes, YOU can stop climate Chaos

The freak tornado in London makes you wonder if the world's coming to an end. If you care about climate chaos, you should go to and get involved.

But here's a secret. I care about the environment. But at times I just want to throw my hands up in the air like Dorothy Zbornak in the opening credits of the Golden Girls and say "oh what the hell".

In my own pathetically grudging way I try. I recycle my newspapers. I don't let the tap run when I'm brushing my teeth. I turn my tv off at the wall at night-time. I walk everywhere (but only because I live in a place where everything's close by). I use trains (but only because it's stressful to drive and you get stuck in traffic jams). I won't go on buses because the other passengers sometimes depress or scare me. At least on a train you can go and sit in another carriage. And I won't get a bicycle because I used to have one and was always getting into near-scrapes with motorists who'd drive too close to you.

A lot of my friends are far more into the environment than I am. Over the last 10 years or so it's become a theme, a regularly occurring topic of conversation that I can't really engage with (like Radio 4 or football). Some of my friends have wryly commented that I use air travel a lot, even Ryanair and Easyjet, so I must have a massive "carbon footprint".

My local council gave us all some nice recycling bins and then cut refuse collection down to once a fortnight rather than once a week, so now we all have smelly bins full of rotting food.
I tried to take a defunct tv to my local recycling centre, but was told the council wouldn't accept it because you could only dump things IF YOU WERE IN A CAR! I shop at an organic shop and always say I don't need a plastic bag, which sometimes gets a wintery smile out of the miserable assistants who work there, but it's very expensive, and it'd be cheaper to go elsewhere.

The worthy earnestness of it all and the scare tactics get on my nerves a bit. I often feel like Green is the new religion, and I'm the barely tolerated sinner. I hate being told what to do - I'm so childish that it makes me want to do the exact opposite! And I know that any personal changes I make will have hardly any impact, so it all seems pointless at times. And even if everyone in the UK converts to "green", then what about America (who's gonna make them change!), what about China and all the 2nd and 3rd world countries. Will it be too late by then? Why not just join in the big Consumption Party and at least enjoy the last few decades (years, months, seconds?) that we have left, rather than spend a lifetime being careful and then the planet going down the toilet anyway.

Life's depressing enough sometimes and if I add environmental worry to my already enormous list of things I continually worry about then I think I'd end up topping myself. And sometimes I think "so what" if we screw up the planet and then we all die. Most people get on my nerves anyway. Maybe we should let mutant nuclear cockroaches have their turn. And ultimately I tend towards optimistm in such situations. Hopefully some clever scientist will come up with a solution to it all in time, or we can go and live in a big dome on Mars or something for a few thousand years so the planet will recover.

So I'll go on recyling, and doing my bit where I can and feeling guilty. But my heart's not really in it.

Oh dear, I'm having a bit of a cynical "episode" this afternoon.


matty said...

Oh, I try to be "green" but it simply ISN'T possible!

Lubin said...

Is that the quote from Miranda Richardson in Absolutely Fabulous? I think I was channelling her when I wrote that piece above!