Monday, July 6, 2009

to hell in a carbon neutral hand basket

Single, familied, young, old – I know the demographic doesn’t define us and within each there will be those who go out of there way to conserve water and reduce their carbon footprint and those who won’t.

But when I seen my octogenarian neighbour invest thousands in solar panels or talk to 40-something single women who delight in the pleasures of bathing but have denied themselves a bath for over a year I wonder, “Why bother?”

It’s not about “us” and “them” but when it comes to those who will inherit this ailing earth, breeders take note – it is your children who will feel the direct impact of your carbon excess wantonness and your grandchildren who won’t know what it is like to have a leisurely shower let alone a long soak in the bath. The earth is going to hell in a hand basket. Stephen Fielding may head a political party called “Family First” but is a climate change denier. How can some people love and defend their own family so much but treat the environment with such disrespect?

So when I shiver a little and put on another jumper rather than turn the heater on during the day, walk and tram more often than drive a car, bucket the vegetable washing water to feed the plants, pay more for organic produce, don’t eat meat, cut out unnecessary air travel – I do so because I want there to be a healthier environment for your children. Not my own. I don’t have any.

I do have some friends with families who are much more eco-conscious than me but the worst offenders to date are also parents and intelligent ones at that. They drive 4x4 from suburb to suburb, eat meat excessively, top up their swimming pools with potable water and then throw a bunch of chemicals in. You don’t find them ripping out the plastic window in envelopes to separate the recyclables from landfill, carrying linen bags when they shop or caring about the provenance of their food. These people love their kids, would do anything for their children – other than take responsibility for the earth that they will inherit.

So why do I bother?