MediaLens ask “In the media’s coverage of climate change, are we really still stuck on square one of some ghastly board game?” (The Empty Press Room – How Corporate Journalism Happily Lost Interest in Climate Change, 26 January 2011).
rippon asks on the MediaLens Message Board, “Is the problem, then, that mainstream media are so deeply embedded with capitalism that this simple argument becomes impossible to digest, let alone relay to viewers/readers? And is another problem that the public is so deeply indoctrinated by consumerism that they, similarly, find it impossible to digest the message (from, say, Annie Leonard, ‘The Story of Stuff’)?: stop buying stuff…Isn’t the problem that people very much define their purpose and identity through what they buy and how much money they’re making. Then the environmentalists come along and basically say to them: actually, your life has no purpose and is meaningless (because all you do is shop). Therefore, wouldn’t any self-respecting shopper decide: okay, even if what those sandal-wearing greens are saying about my fashionable stilletos is true, I’m having none of it! How dare they say they’re better than me! I say, ‘Live fast, die young.’…”
I think that everyone should be free to do exactly as they please.
I also believe that all the options available to people should be green.
So if people want to wear damaging stilettos and travel abroad for their holidays, they can do so. Except the shoes won’t be made my starving children in Vietnam and the transport won’t be aeroplanes.
My colleague’s neighbour will never, even be told to cut down his energy consumption. He will continue to burn fuel to keep the house tropical, drive his classic cars for hundreds of miles around the regions at the weekend and leave all the lights on at home.
However, if all those behaviours are low carbon, what’s the problem ?
The problem is not consumption, per se. Oops. Jargon. The problem is not consumption in itself. The problem is carbon consumption.
If all the electricity companies sell green power, and all the gas in the grid is BioMethane, then you can switch on and burn up all you want.
If you can afford it.