Friday, 30 January 2009

Warning! Practice what you preach and ditch the Greenwash

Phillip Clement looks back at Greener times...

Image by CygnusX

I don’t feel that old. I mean when I look back and recall my childhood; it doesn’t seem that different to how things are today. Other than the red corduroy flares and floral, big collared shirts we used to wear, life is more or less the same isn’t it? How many of my friends parents had a car, let alone two, how many went on foreign holidays and had a TV in every room? Well, not many. Actually none!

My parents weren’t poor; we had an average house in an average street, a street that is still there and actually it looks pretty much the same, except it’s different – very different. Life is very different. For those of you who can remember the Bay City Rollers, Smash hits and La-LaLa-Lookin, will remember just how different things were. Cycling was a form of transport not a leisure pursuit and a Raleigh Shopper was the Mercedes ML of its day and did the school-run adequately, with various long-hared, hand-knitted jumper, flare wearing offspring hanging off the seat and handlebars, whilst the mother pushed it along the street, with the intention of visiting the local Spar on the way home to pick up the groceries for that day.

Actually when you look at it we were Green! If we all could go back to the way we were in the 70’s, except the flares, then we’d probably save the planet! And we know we need to. Why? Because Mr Brown and all the other leaders of the free world and some of the leaders of the not so free world (Wales) are telling us that we need to. So you’re turning off your lights, popping on an extra jumper rather than turning up the heating, you’re recycling your milk bottles and some of you are even cycling to work! But it’s not going to be enough, why? Because unfortunately our leaders are not able to lead by example and while we’re busy cutting up cardboard into small enough pieces so that they fit in the green bins that the council come to get once a fortnight, our governments are planning bigger roads approving new runways and building coal-fired power stations. And in a Paul Daniels, slight-of-hand sort of way, putting up a few windmills in the north sea whilst lending billions of pounds to car manufacturers so they can continue to make petrol guzzling tanks of cars for us to take the kids to school in!

So, I have a concern: How long will it take us to tell our governments who are asking us to return to a life of the Reliant Robin (a groovy 3-wheeled motor vehicle of high fashion status in the 70’s), to practice what they preach?

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