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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Green with ennui

A recent article in Lloyd’s List entitled ‘We can’t afford green ambition’ has brought forth an angry riposte from a shipbroker, who describes it as “a very poor piece of journalism” of which he feels “pretty ashamed”.

It was actually a very good piece of journalism, of the type we cannot have enough of in the shipping industry. We need writers who make us think differently about things, and who make us smile. We don’t have to agree with them.

The basic premise of the article was that we should maintain a proper perspective about the warming of the planet, and not believe everything the scientists tell us and start planning pell-mell for a better world in a thousand years’ time. We should take what scientists tell us with a pinch of salt, although not too much because that isn’t good for us.

The author of the article refers to the Green Party having seized control of the council in the town of Brighton, on England’s south coast. Walk the streets of Brighton today and you will see the results of a singular policy on refuse disposal which is only a step away from emptying our chamber pots out of the window.

Of course we cannot ignore scientists. It is obvious, for example, that if you subsist exclusively on a diet of offal and beer, and smoke 200 a day, you might not live long enough to be run over by a bus. But we should keep things in perspective.

There is nothing more tedious than reading wilfully extreme views about the effects of modern living on our planet. (Well, there is, actually, but this is neither the time nor the place).

We can be green without being extreme, and without ruining our own lives.


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