Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Exactly what is "net zero by 2050"

 is something that puzzles me. Yes, I understand that it is supposed to mean that if we put something nasty into the atmosphere we are also supposed to be putting something nice in to negate that.

But don't we need to do more than that? Shouldn't we be aiming to put more of the good stuff in and reducing the amount of nasty stuff we already have there? Is this possible?

It is a topic under constant discussion here, even more so at the moment. Our Prime Minister is supposed to be heading off to Glasgow very shortly. Before he goes he has to have an agreement in place with the other party in the Coalition government. 

There are people in the other party who are holding out on all this. It sounds like madness - until you realise that they come from rural areas where any policies are going to have a likely much greater economic impact.  

And that is the problem, not just here but everywhere. People want to save the planet but they don't want to do it at great economic cost to themselves. People don't really want to change their life styles to suit the planet.  They don't want "ugly solar panels on the roof". They don't want to walk/pedal/use public transport. They want to eat strawberries and bananas all year round - and it doesn't matter how far those things have to travel.

Our local green grocer displays the origin of the things he sells. He sources as locally as possible at all times. He is fighting a (perhaps losing) battle with people who don't understand the concept of "seasonal" fruit and vegetables. The local family run supermarket tries to do the same. Both are up against one of the very big multi-national companies - a company which also sells petrol and liquor. There are enough educated and financially stable people in this district that both green grocer and supermarket have survived. I will regret it if they go or I need to move. At least they are trying to do their bit for "net zero". 

I went past the petrol station yesterday. It was a relief to know I was simply burning kilojoules or calories. Petrol was advertised at $1.85.6 a litre. However I doubt that this will stop people using their cars. They probably don't understand this "net zero" thing any more than I do. 

Perhaps we need to tell people they need to shop locally, eat seasonal foods, walk more, use public transport. If we are going to use solar panels then they need to be made here - as much from locally sourced materials as possible - and we need to find ways of recycling the materials from which they are made.

This "net zero" idea is all very well but I think we can do a lot better than that.

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