Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Independent UK: We'll save the planet only if we're forced to

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
 
marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:23 PM
Original message
Independent UK: We'll save the planet only if we're forced to
Johann Hari: We'll save the planet only if we're forced to
Thursday, 21 February 2008


Do you check every item you buy to make sure it is green and planet-friendly? Do you buy carbon offsets every time you fly? Stop. It is time to be honest: green consumerism is at best a draining distraction, and at worst a con. While the planet's fever gets worse by the week, we are guzzling down green-coloured placebos and calling it action. There is another way. Our reaction to global warming has gone in waves. First we were in blank denial: how can releasing an odourless, colourless gas change the climate so dramatically? Now we are in a phase of displacement: we assume we can shop our way out of global warming, by shovelling a few new lightbulbs and some carbon offsets into our shopping basket.

This is a self-harming delusion. It's hard to give a sense of the contrast today between the magnitude of our problem, and the weediness of our response so far. But the best way is offered by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen.

He explains that until 10,000 years ago, the planet's climate would fluctuate violently: sometimes it would veer by 12 degrees centigrade in just a decade. This meant it was impossible to develop agriculture. Crops couldn't be cultivated in this climatic chaos, so human beings were stuck as a tiny smattering of hunter-gatherers.

But then the climate settled down into safe parameters and humans could settle down too. This period is called the Holocene, and it meant that for the first time, we could develop farming and cities. Everything we know as human civilisation is thanks to this unprecedented period of climatic stability.

Today, we are bringing this era to an end. By pumping vast amounts of warming gases into the atmosphere, we are creating a new era: the Anthropocene, in which man makes the weather. There is an imminent danger of it bursting beyond these safe parameters, and bringing about a return to the violent, volatile variations that prevented our ancestors from progressing beyond spears and sticks. ........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johan...



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent article - Recommend. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. Kunstler - "We'll keep behaving the way we do until we can't, and then we won't"
In a nutshell.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yup.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alterfurz Donating Member (723 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...
....after they have exhausted all other possibilities." -- Winston Churchill
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
4. By the time we HAVE to save the planet
It will already be too late.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pooka Fey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. You got that right. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Aug 23rd 2014, 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC