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Somebody Else’s Problem

Image Credit : Thames Water

Some people appear to be incensed that Thames Water have declared a drought in the South East of England and called for a hosepipe ban.

Others, more pragmatic.

There are still commentators who are convinced that the drought problem should be addressed by Thames Water – that the problem would be solved if Thames Water fixed leaking mains water pipes.

Most people, however, appear to accept that the low water availability is being caused by factors beyond the control of Thames Water.

Thames Water appear to be acting, and they are asking their consumers to act as well.

This is a situation that appears to be in deep contrast to the climate change issue. All the public information leads to calls for action directed towards the ordinary citizen householder, and there is no call for a word of commitment from the major energy producers.

When governments and campaigners call on ordinary energy billpayers to “cut the carbon”, the energy industry just made climate change Somebody Else’s Problem.

Let’s try to gauge the emotional reaction to this evasion of responsibility by looking at a couple of advertisements from London Transport.

First, the Cabwise campaign.

The posters for this campaign made my blood boil when I first saw them. I have seen many comments made about them, including angry messages scrawled on the printed posters all across the London travel network. The big question is : where are the advertisements telling unlicensed taxi-cab drivers not to assault women ? That would seem to be the most effective way of preventing the problem, to my mind. Surely we could expect adult men to act with responsibility, if urged ?

And what about the Stop. Think. Live! campaign ? It was bad before, but now it’s just getting ridiculous :-

Where, I ask you, are the posters demanding that truck, van, car and bus drivers act with more responsiblity, and stop knocking down and injuring innocent child pedestrians (and cyclists, of course) ? Surely that’s the source of the problem, isn’t it ? The road users are driving the streets in several tonnes of steel and glass – surely they should be more in control of their vehicles ?

So, besides the advertisements calling for me and my fellow citizens to cut back on our driving and energy use, where are the advertisements calling on the world’s largest oil and gas companies and countries to roll up their sleeves and start building wind farms and solar roofs ?

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