Friday, June 01, 2007

While my Gaia gently weeps

Visiting England for a few days and some interesting observations. This post from Samizata captures quite well both the state of things here and my own bewilderment at the extent of the lunacy that prevails. Why lunacy? Because, not only are most of the pronouncements unfounded and unworkable, they are largely unsupported by the average Brit -- that at least is cause for optimism. I marvel at the British ability to absorb government, media and NGO pronouncements and let them pass off them like water off a duck's back -- must be the adaptation to the weather I guess.
In addition to the carbon footprint proposal noted above, the past two days have been highlighted by:
  • protests about the "expansion" of Stanstead airport on grounds of climate impact: the proposal adds no new buildings nor runways, just an increase in flights to reduce congestion and ease passenger flow -- the average Brit apparently would like to take advantage of cheap flights and visit other countries. Imagine, people wanting to travel.
  • notices that windfarms in Cornwall and Devon may be "updated" to bigger and newer turbines -- not one mention in any media report on how they have performed thus far, efficiency rates, cost nor alternatives -- all essential elements of any conventional business development proposal. Since when did "green" projects get a pass on good planning? Last time I looked, sustainability meant economic efficiency too.
  • response to George Bush's announcement on a global strategy for carbon emissions -- the media here seem to have missed the point that Bush includes both China and India in his announcement. So much for the British press being the best in the world.
I grew up in Britain and there is still much that I like when I visit now: the countryside is still beautiful, especially where my family lives in Devon, the clotted cream is still to die for and there's no fish and chips quite like English fish and chips. But much seems in flux. And the eco-hysteria seems to be an accepted but ignored part of the landscape.