Bathtime

This Naomi Klein book is interesting. Yes, it is bathtime once again 😀 .

I have already decided that she’ll need another listen, after I’ve read the others. There are too many details in it, really, to convey in an audiobook.

Last time out, she was talking about a 21-year-old activist, who was given publicity at the time of the Paris talks. I forget her name, although it was mentioned in the book. Again, one for next time around. But she was a lovely human interest story, who was promptly forgotten in favour of…nothing, really.

So Greta is not the first. She’ll be hot news for maybe the next few months or year, then consigned to history. And all the while, habits don’t really change.

Today, Klein was talking about the “metadata”. Forget whether you think man-made climate change is either real or a problem, this was more of a “what if?”. And she kind-of asks the question in reverse.

If you are naturally a left-winger, you will believe that the state should apply a degree of management to the system. Sticks and carrots to make people behave as you think they ought. A recent example in the UK is the tax on single-use plastic bags, which apparently precisely achieved its goal of reduing their use, although we are now learning that sales of “bags for life” (more durable, more expensive, more plastic!) have rocketted. More fundamentally, the state builds hospitals and schools, and society pays taxes to fund them (or not, in the UK. We prefer to buy nuclear missiles.) – because the state recognised that a healthy, educated population has its advantages.

Think about climate change. If it exists, then the problem is solved by that same kind of management. So, Klein’s thinking is that a left-winger is pre-disposed to accept climate change.

By the same token, a right-winger is more inclined toward free market economics. Laissez faire. Again, pre-disposed to believe that there is no need to pull together, no need to manage things.

So, there is an assertion that your overall politics will heavily influence your view on this issue.

She talks about geography – and here the book’s north American origins come to the fore. That in areas heavily reliant on fossil fuel production, a certain percentage of people (just under half) believe that global warming is a big problem. That outside of these areas, that number almost doubles.

And demographics. That the people most likely to believe strongly (I think the word “confident” crops up), one way or the other, are middle-aged white males. Any subject you like.

So, you see, she’s stepping beyond the nitty-gritty. Not really whether you think there’s a problem, but why you come to that conclusion.

I must here declare an interest – I am a middle-aged white male! And I’m pretty opinionated, so maybe there’s something in that?

Extinction Rebellion

I’m hearing about the Extinction Rebellion on the TV News. A day of protests is planned (worldwide) tomorrow.

I must admit, I have mixed feelings about them.

On the one hand, I agree with their cause. Over recent years, I’ve stopped flying and have even become mostly vegetarian, so I feel like I’m playing my part.

On the other hand, I don’t agree with the disruption that they cause for people.

But what do they do? They’re faced with organisations who don’t give a monkey’s about climate change, even now. Petrochems, in particular, pay lip service to climate change while carrying on as they have always done. In Brazil, logging seems to be increasing, not decreasing. In terms of raising awareness, maybe they feel it’s their only option?

Perhaps the environment is a special case, which makes their actions acceptable? Special, because we can all claim an interest. Is it therefore justified to take action, if someone else is harming it?

What do you guys think?