I am not hopeful.
Today the latest session of the COP circus starts in earnest and yet again it’s another extravagant jamboree. Will it make any difference at all to what the world needs? Very unlikely. The commitments made at COP21 (Paris) have not been fulfilled. COP26 (Glasgow) was not the success the UK government portrayed it to be (but then it was always going to hyped up as a starling success). And COP27. Another gathering of thousands of people in, spookily enough, another go-to-destination.
Hypocrisy from the government
The hypocrisy is rife and appalling. Let’s look at the UK ‘delegation’. After all, according to the current government, we’re world leaders. Not true of course. But our prime minister Rishi Sunak will be there. Bad decision. Firstly, he’s there because…? Because Boris Johnson is there, and Sunak doesn’t want Johnson to take the limelight. And why is Johnson there? Purely because he wants to continue to be seen as a player on the national and international ‘stage’. If Sunak wanted to take a lead, he would have called out the hypocrisy of flying to Egypt and attend by doing his (apparently) keynote speech via zoom or other online conferencing.
But Sunak has stopped fracking I hear apologists say. Yes, he has; but then Jeremy Hunt’s constituency has/had been identified as a prime fracking site. And we know Sunak needs, for his own political career, to not fall out with Hunt. Or the middle-England Tory voters. At least Johnson had a cabinet member for climate change (Alok Sharma). One of Sunak’s first cabinet decisions was to relegate Sharma and his climate change portfolio from the cabinet. Not that Air-miles Sharma has actually achieved anything.
Let’s look at the actions of some other ‘notables’. Our current home secretary (Suella Braverman) elected to take a helicopter (and a large Chinook at that, not a smaller police helicopter) to travel 19 miles from Manston to Dover. Initially, the home office had no comment; until they came up with the excuse she was seeing the border force (in an army Chinook?) in action. Our political governors demonstrate their hypocrisy every day. Keep looking at what they do rather than what they say. And sadly the Labour leadership is not much better.
And now good old King Charles. He’s an environmentalist, isn’t he? No. He is for others, but again look at how he travels. Private jets and helicopters. And now he’s King, he says he cannot be environmentally ‘active’ like he was. So, he’s not committed. The biggest problem the world is facing, and he thinks the preservation of the precious monarchy is more important.
It’s up to us
So what. So what can we do? Well firstly let’s recognise that we cannot expect anything from our government. There are seriously compromised by their association with, and in many cases funded by, the oil and gas industry. It has to be us. You and I to make a difference. Stop making excuses for doing nothing. (The most commonly heard and why they’re wrong is here)
The Covid-19 pandemic and our lifestyles during that time showed what we could do. We need to radically alter our own lifestyles. We cannot wait for someone else to do something and for us to carry on as now. The current cost of living crisis and the extortionate price of fuel…let’s use it to change our lifestyles to not need the car, to change how we live so we don’t need to use as much energy in the home. The current high price of oil and gas is blamed on the war in Ukraine. But we need to accept that high fossil fuel costs are here to stay.
My own view is that we need to change our worldwide capitalistic model and move towards a socialist ecologism. But I know I’ll literally empty my bladder into the wind in seeking that. But we must do something to mitigate the ravages that the capitalistic system is wreaking upon the world.
None of us are perfect, we have all Achilles heels. We are all hypocrites to some extent, but I’d rather die having tried to make a difference than choose to deliberately add to the problem. And doing nothing is a choice.
There are some suggestions as to what we can do here. Many more ideas and changes are needed. Please let’s think environment in everything we do.
If you care about the environment, your family, or even yourself; please, I beseech you, try.