Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Climate; doing the things right or doing the right thing?

The climate issue has, for rather good reasons, taken alarmist proportions. We are given advise how to eat, travel, farm, perhaps even love climate-friendly. “Climate friendly” has in a short time become synonymous with environmentally friendly. It is good that GHG emissions finally, after being ignored for more than thirty years (I have books published in the sixties, e.g. by Murray Bookchin and Hans Palmstierna that pointed out the risks of climate change, with surprising accuracy), are getting attention. However, there are many other pressing environmental, and social issues, and there is a risk that they simply get lost and that decisions are made solely to address climate change with potentially serious adverse effects on other important things. Big biofuel schemes can threaten valuables biotopes; the perception that meat is not climate friendly can reduce grazing cattle in Europe with serious effects on landscape and biodiversity; meat consumption is geared towards (grain-fed) chicken instead of beef; that eating prefab foods from the supermarket is more energy efficient than cooking at home (which it is to many's surprise) may lead to further industrialization of our food; chemical pesticides and GMOs are promoted as alternatives to mechanical cultivation; the camp fires of scouts should be banned and we increase our distance to nature a bit more; nuclear power is promoted as a saviour. The list is long, and get longer by the day.

I believe that it would be much better to focus on energy, and the transformation of our society to a society that uses considerable less external energy. That is much more concrete and it tackles the problem of peak oil. It will have a direct measurable effect on climate change as well as on many other environmental problems, as energy use together with mindless consumption and profit are the three main drivers for destruction of nature - and society as well for that matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment