Andrew Simms had an excellent piece in The Guardian on Friday, “The final countdown”. It superbly summarises the basis on which we are fast approaching an irreversible climate crisis before detailing the ways in which we can climb out of the hole we have dug ourselves into. Even without global warming driven climate change there are other imperatives to change: oil is fast running out, air quality remains a serious problem (as Olympic athletes will soon recount I'm sure), cancer rates are soaring and the global population is bigger than ever.
What always strikes me when looking at alternatives to the current 'business as usual' approach is how viable they are. There's nothing impossible about them… the technology is there, the ideas are there, what we are lacking is the leadership and collective willpower. Why aren't we insulating all homes or subsidising alternative sources of energy? Why have we privatised our limited water supplies? Why is our train system so expensive and slow? Why is so much effort being put into expanding Heathrow airport?
The existing political establishment have had their chance to prove their commitment to these issues. But again and again they've failed, whilst delivering extremely fine words of intent — but the last thing we need is more hot air. A greener, low carbon world isn't one of deprivation it's a future with a higher quality of life for all.