Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Saving The World

Save the world.
End poverty.
Cure disease.
End global warming.

For some reason we have been afflicted with all of the above on our collective "to do" -list. It's only fair, after all, we've been blessed with a planet nice enough to tolerate our race of humanity for thousands of years, it's seemingly time to earn our keep. Does anyone else get the feeling we've been staying in a posh hotel for a few weeks only to find out we're stuck with the bill of the last two occupants of our room as well as our own? No? Just me, then.

I am environmentally conscious, of course I am. It's practically impossible to be these days. I recycle, I buy organic, I buy local. At the same time, I buy clothes I know I won't be wearing for more than one season before getting rid of them, I drive to work alone and I -prepare to be shocked- often get the disposable plastic bags when doing my shopping. But it's an expensive business this saving the world, isn't it?

Organic food is always more expensive than food that isn't organic. I'd like to think you can taste the difference, but it could be just my brain trying to justify spending twice as much on organic tomatoes than the bog standard, stores own-brand tomatoes. As much as many of us would like to contribute to this collective task of saving the world, it often proves too expensive. When faced with getting week's worth of potatoes as opposed to two day's worth for the same amount of money, the principal shopper of most families will more than likely opt for the former. And can you blame them?

We're getting the guilt trip for using our cars too much, not sharing lifts, not using public transport and all that comes with it. I wouldn't mind getting public transport to work. Too bad that where I live, it doesn't exist. Cycling surely is an option, but these roads are so badly kept and so narrow that cycling into work carries the risk of losing a limb or your life. It really is not being made easy, is it? This saving the world business.

And it is a business, isn't it? Huge big productions, events and shows are being staged all over the world to draw our attention to the cause du jour. To make us appreciate what we have and share our good luck with those less fortunate. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just think that it should be easier being green and that it shouldn't have to cost us the earth, either. What I'm saying is, that it could be made a lot easier on us.

Could the governments of the world not decide to make it easier to grow organic produce and therefore reduce the cost of the produce to the consumer? Or, instead of guilt-tripping people travelling by aeroplane, guilt-trip the ones who use their private jets to hop over distances that could easily be covered by train? Or while we're on the subject or air travel, I find it utterly ridiculous that travelling by train is often more expensive or not significantly cheaper than travelling the same distance by plane. And while private cars are critisised and public transport being bandied about as the greener way to go, nobody is extending the same comparison to private jets versus commercial airlines.

At a time of a global recession and international debt crisis, everyone is tightening their belts. Is it possible that now is not the time to save the world, but to try and save you own daily life more or less intact while we're waiting for better times? Let's combine the wages of the top 20 Hollywood stars for whatever movie they're filming next with the wages of the top earners of the Premier League footballers for a month and we'll see how much closer to our world-saving target figure we are.

Enough to keep us on track with the saving and curing and ending until we're all back on our feet financially and we can all actually contribute. How about that?

John Bishop has some funny points on the matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment