Tuesday, 12 October 2021

So are you prepared to pay for "climate change"

or "climate change action" or something else?

Apparently about half of a group of Downunderites surveyed on the issue of climate change said they were not prepared to pay anything extra to achieve the "net zero by 2050" goal. Mind you they apparently still think it is important to do this - but they don't want to pay for it.

We have a particular problem in Downunder. People are addicted to owning cars and using them - often to travel long distances. Of course most of these cars have used fossil fuels in the past. I can only assume that this contributes a lot to our "carbon imprint". 

I went in a car yesterday. It was for a short distance. Normally I would pedal to that location. I felt a little guilty about this - even though Middle Cat was going to the same place and drove less than a kilometre further than she otherwise would have driven.

A "Sunday afternoon drive" used to be the thing in my kittenhood. My maternal grandfather would get behind the wheel and my grandparents would head off up a very winding road into the hills behind us. Papa, as we called him, liked driving. They would wander through the hills and stop somewhere with a view. Nana would take out the thermos and the scones she had made before going to church in the morning. They would sit there and have "afternoon tea". Taking it with you was essential in those days. There were no cafes or tea shops open. 

My paternal grandfather would also get behind the wheel but not nearly so often. He passed his detestation of driving along to his two sons. (The Senior Cat loathed driving.) If Grandpa went out on a Sunday it was because it suited him and the man for whom he was making the suit. Grandma would sometimes go with him if the autumn colours were out in the hills or the summer heat was less up there. Grandpa used the trips to measure and fit his clients - and often to buy bulk fruit from them or someone else. He would leave the fruit at the local orphanage door before arriving home. Grandma would then put the kettle on. 

The difference between my two grandfathers attitude towards the car was as different as you could get. For one it was almost a "toy" and for the other it was strictly a work tool.

If we are going to succeed in reaching that "net zero" goal then we need to take the attitude of my paternal grandfather. That does not mean not going on holiday or not dragging a caravan with it. What it does mean is using public transport to go to work and not using a car if it is not strictly necessarily.  We need to learn to "pay" with extra time and the fare for public transport or the exercise on a bike. It means getting up in time to walk children to school and then catch the bus or the train.

I really think it is that sort of activity which might cause us to fail to reach net zero. We can have all the solar, wind, hydrogen (and even nuclear) power there is but I believe it won't change things unless we change our expectations too - and the effort we put in.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe we can do it all simply and easily. It would be nice to be wrong - but I don't think I am.  

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