I’m not much given to anger, to be honest. I know a great many people who are usually pretty content with their lot and not at all given to irritation, yet alone anger. It is a very remarkable thing that that’s changing.
The weird notion that we, ordinary people who voted for more Green policymaking, are somehow going to be sorry when they “come for our burgers and our cars” causes eye rolling to an injury inducing degree in me. I am 40 something years old and I find I am mad as hell. Like proper mad. And they want me to care about burgers. I’ve been quiet, law abiding and trusting all my life, and assumed that people in power had some degree of sense when it came to our mutually assured extinction. Continuing to discover that is absolutely not the case is not improving my mood.
I get that people think there’s a bit of a Green bandwagon on here, but seriously, look at the evidence. It’s real evidence from so many, many, many different sources. Even with my only slightly more than passing interest in past years I realise I’ve been told for years that this is how things are and are going, and they’ve been right. Even Exxon mobile KNEW that greenhouse gases would be hitting the levels they are now as much as 40 years ago, when I was a small child ( https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/?redirect=1 ) I can plainly see I genuinely do need to worry about the state of the world my sons are inheriting and their potential families’ long terms chances of living any way well.
Do I give a toss about burgers compared to that? Do I give a flying fuck if I have to wear jumpers indoors? Do you really think I honestly expect to keep my rose tinted everything just because we’d all like to believe we can be millionaires this time next year? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking forward to the carbon tax that seems likely. Interesting though that it seems more likely because main political parties – especially Fine Gael – seem to think it’s an easy “fix” and are quite convinced a few of us naughty householder pulling our socks up regarding recycling would solve *everything* and allow them to get on with squeezing every last penny out of anything remotely saleable. I understand where carbon taxation is coming from though and I’d love to know it’ll be properly handled and collected in proper proportions from the people who should pay it. It is *maddening* that we constantly get the rhetoric that not using plastic straws is going to solve everything that individuals are stupid and it’s all their fault. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making responsible choices, but I’d like my public representatives to act like they understand that 70 % of the World’s greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to 100 companies, (Carbon Majors report by the Climate Accountability Institute.) Tell me how further sealing my already insulated house is going to fix that for the world?
I live in the Midlands. Some of my very excellent friends do not, they instead live many miles away. Public transport is beyond terrible for anyone outside cities and their immediate commuter belts. Did you know that apparently in Ireland nobody needs to use public transport after dinner time? (Social lives apparently only happen to city dwellers not crippled with housing payments of whatever sort.) You need to travel to Limerick for a work meeting? Hope you weren’t dependent on making that connecting bus time. The notion that public transport should be cheaper than, and at least in the vague realm of similarly convenient as, taking a car places is apparently something that happens in Science Fiction novels, and probably not a lot of those. I have a second hand car. It costs me a fortune, the taxes on petrol already are pretty impressive. My bank and credit union tolerate me, but I can’t see them rolling out a red carpet to invite me to take out money to buy an electric car (looking at options all the same) The distances to continue seeing important people and going to work meetings off the public transport system still involve fast charging stations and always working charging points. I want my public representatives to help me make better choices by figuring out how to give me better choices that I actively want to make.
And then I get mad because when I spin out the idea of “individual responsibility” I start thinking about individuals in poorer countries, where the effects of climate change will probably be much much worse. We’ve been “allowed” to exploit our natural resources to a stupid degree but we expect poorer countries not to do so for our mutual benefit and apparently do not think it unjust not to somehow compensate them? They see an immediate opportunity to improve their lives by removing, for example, a patch of rainforest, and the best we can do is scold them for doing exactly what we have done?
I have never thought the Universe owed me anything. I don’t hold with the idea that I can rail about my treatment by … whatever.. as unfair, that’s just nonsense. But I am getting really tired of how spectacularly crap people are to other people for economic advantage. But I am repeating myself. I loop around in this irritated inability to move forward. I am optimistic because election results show a great swing to Greens. I am pessimistic because people will crap all over people genuinely wanting to do their best to improve the world for everyone because the world has to change and will dig their heels in. With every good intention on the part of people trying to save us all, the world is still in serious trouble and a stupid amount of people still think hamburgers matter.