Michael Janke grabs a meter and checks the power consumption of a few household electrical items, chiefly those power blocks we’re now being told to switch off if we want to save the planet. His main conclusion is that they aren’t worth worrying about if you’re still going to run your tumble dryer every day or drive everywhere.
This would appear to be hidden axiom of environ-mentalism: most of the easy actions that people are being urged to take are diddlysquat compared to the difficult actions that companies and nations are under apparently little or no pressure at all to take.
- There’s no point me swapping a few lightbulbs if the giant department store in the next town is lit up like a supernova all night.
- There’s no point me using my hatchback a bit less and walking a bit more when I have large, badly-maintained juggernauts constantly thundering past my house.
- There’s no point me skipping that foreign holiday this year if the company CEO who lives in the big house up the hill is jetting off to Berlin for his second important face-to-face this week.
- There’s no point fitting low-energy bulbs in Downing Street if the leader of the country is going to carry on allowing industry to pollute with impunity while murmuring quietly at climate change summits.
- There’s no point anyone in Britain lifting a finger to reduce carbon emissions while America exists.
For us, the best example of how far the corporate world understands environmentalism was the financial services organisation that held a company away weekend to discuss their new CSR strategy. All the top execs, managers and analysts attended, with transport laid on for them. It was held in Spain. In an area with a great golf course, we hear.
(To be clear: BB does use low-energy lightbulbs (to save money), walks a lot (because we like a stroll) and holidays at home (Wales is lovely), but not in the expectation that sea level will stay where it is.)