According to a survey by the Energy Saving Trust, while 80 per cent of the public believe climate change is affecting Britain, almost half are doing nothing to halt its impact.
I predict that I’m like many: I’m concerned about climate change and am willing to do my bit (recycle more, stop leaving electrical appliances on standby, turn lights off when not needed, etc), but I’m reluctant to make major changes to my lifestyle because at the moment I don’t believe it will make any difference. As much as I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to take action, I don’t want to stop taking flights when the opportunities arise, and I would very much like a 50 inch Plasma TV please. The fact is, whatever we do in Britain, it will make no difference unless the attitudes of American and China (and India, Brazil and others) change. Our carbon output is a fraction of theirs.
It seems like the government and the media in this country have finally woken up to the real and present threat of climate change. It’s about time! It’s even starting to become cool to be a tree hugger. What I hate though, is the amount of hypocrisy involved. The BBC, Guardian and others keep preaching to us every day about green issues, but what are they doing to combat climate change? Same with the Government. They’re quick to bring in green taxes but what are the ministers doing personally? I can’t see the ministerial car changing to a Toyota Prius. And what are they doing to force industry into making changes? Why aren’t they forcing building companies to build more carbon neutral homes? Why aren’t they banning the use of traditional light bulbs and forcing everyone to buy energy saving bulbs, like they’re starting to do in Australia? Why aren’t they putting more pressure on the motor industry to produce more hybrid cars? Why aren’t they putting tax on aviation fuel?
For me and Rach, living in Australia will probably reduce our carbon footprint (our heating bill will certainly go down!). Up until we fly back to visit the family in the UK that is, as one long distance flight can apparently blow your entire carbon calories.