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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Opinion: Who are the enviroenergy hypocrites?

Listen to oil and gas industry executives and they will tell you that they are there to provide the country with energy for life and growth. But are they really there to make money for themselves? Are they in fact hypocrites?
Hypocrites by Gustave Dore
Listen to environmental campaigners and they will tell you that they are there to protect the environment for future generations. Yet their consumption is what makes the executives their money? Are they hypocrites?

Is it in fact fair to level these criticisms at either group. Everyone in the UK has to make money for themselves, and we all consume too much at the expense of the environment. We are like small children who always want more, and are now addicted to oil and gas.

The over-indulgent parents who allow us to behave this way are the government, any government. And why? Because we all want the love of our children and some are content to buy it with favours and so to nurture spoiled children. We are all spoiled children with regard to the environment, and love is counted in votes.

It is not surprising that oil company executives say the things they say or do the things they do. It is not surprising that environmental campaigners say or do the things they do, and no one ever expects governments to behave any other way than they do, sadly.

What is surprising is that environmental organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are not behaving as responsible surrogate parents. Look at their web-sites and you will find lots of encouragement to protest and to give money, but no strong encouragement for people to change, to consume less, to forego an iPhone, to give up your car and so on. The true environmentalists in these organisations sold their souls to pragmatism long ago because they see the true battle to reduce consumption as too difficult to fight.

We are all oil and gas addicts and hypocrites in the modern world, and before you say that it is all too big for me to make a difference, remember that small changes by many can be extremely significant. We each need to forgive ourselves a little less and consume a little less while doing a little more and forgiving others a little bit more too (including executives and activists).

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