Sunday, 17 August 2008

Crazy horses

Got myself a new motor today. Feeling rather virtuous, although haven't quite reached this level of eco-smugness. (Have I just made that up? Quick Google - no, I haven't).

In fact, before anyone quotes it back at me, here's their definition:

"...the conspicuous aura of self-congratulation that accompanies any act of eco-altruism, no matter how trivial or self-serving, eco-smugness can be seen in everything from Greenfleet bumper stickers (just so everyone knows you're offsetting your automotive emissions) to growing your own vegies - then quietly letting everyone know about it."

Or blogging about getting an greener model of car? Yup, guilty as charged. (Glad to see Cameron getting an honourable mention though).

15 comments:

thebristolblogger said...

Well that's Vowlise's vote in the bag but I'm not sure the Jeremy Clarkson demographic will be so keen.

Glenn Vowles said...

Get my vote? Not likely! I'll be voting for the Green Party candidate in Bristol East.

There is no such thing as a green car. http://vowlesthegreen.blogspot.com/2008/06/green-car-contradiction-in-terms.html

As with many other comparsions of what is or is not green eg Bristol as a 'green' city or Lab/Lib/Tory parties 'green' policies and even 'green' airports/air travel, what is actually being discussed is not green at all but varying degrees of relative unsustainability.

I take no comfort at all, when we need to be making big green strides forward, in the fact that some behaviours, choices or policies still make things worse but just a little more slowly!!

Glenn Vowles said...

Sounds to me like those people who exhibit eco-smugness have 'affluenza' and are treating being green as if its just another trend. 'More eco' can certainly be part of the desire for 'bigger, better, faster...than the Joneses' How genuinely green is this??

thebristolblogger said...

Oh well. Looks like you might as well have got the BMW ...

Vowlsie, will you be putting up another Hare Krishna nut this time? Real vote winner that is.

Hookers And Gin said...

Haha, Mutley Syndrome.

Glenn Vowles said...

The Green Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol East is Martin Cottingham.

http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/east/index.htm

He's a very strong candidate and will get my vote!

Kerry said...

Glenn, you sure you'll actually be in Bristol East come the next election? Can't quite remember where you live, but thought you were in that little bit of Knowle which will be going into Bristol South next time?

Careful readers will note I use the phrase 'greener car', not green. The trouble with talk of 'varying degrees of relative unsustainability' in that people end up thinking they can't make a difference, and they might as well go for that Z3.

And yes, the Green candidate last time was slightly off the wall - kept giving speeches about the sanctity of all life, including animals (no matter what the subject of the debate was). Seemed quite miffed when he discovered I'd trumped him on the vegan cf. vegetarian stakes.

I have no idea what Mutley syndrome is, I just like Wacky Races. And my sister laughs just like him.

Kerry said...

I've now read the Jeremy Clarkson article - he hadn't even seen, let alone driven one! Obviously with Bristol traffic the way it is, the speed at which a car can move from 0-60mph is at best a minor consideration.

Hookers And Gin said...

When you used the picture of Mutley and went on to talk of being virtuous and eco-smug, I thought you were referring to his habit of sticking out his chest and demanding medals. I call it Mutley Syndrome. If memory serves though, it was more of a Stop The Pigeon thing.

My aunt laughs like him too.

Kerry said...

Give him a 'Mutley Medal' - I can see myself using that over and over again - thanks! And yes, it was Stop the Pigeon.

Glenn Vowles said...

Forgot about the boundary change Kerry! In that case I'll be voting for Bristol South Green candidate Cath Slade! I certainly wont be voting for 'Red' Dawn Primarolo not least because she seems to have turned a shade of Tory blue!

What's missing from your comments about 'relative degrees of unsustainability' Kerry is a sense of the scale (and direction) of change that is needed to tackle climate change. Its important for elected representatives to communicate accurately to people what is needed and why - the size of carbon cuts and the consequences of not doing so, the timescale and the base from which cuts need to be made. You are not helping people to get the problem into the right perspective by overstating what individuals can do - but that is exactly what seems to be happening from both individual MPs and from Govt.

I think people are realising the hypocrisy of and contradictions in govt messages eg encourage individuals to drive 'greener' cars or cut home energy use or cut food waste, whilst at the same time favouring massive airport expansion, the construction of hundreds of miles of new roads, the construction of new coal-fired power stations...and there's more! What is needed to really tackle the UK contribution to climate change is consistent and coherent govt leadership and the right kinds of policy and investment - beginning with something like the proposed 'Green New Deal': http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/3493

Kerry said...

And the Climate Change Bill?

Glenn Vowles said...

Believe it or not Kerry publishing a Bill and passing a law does not in itself take carbon out of the air, though it does enable govt and MPs to give us more warm words of concern! You actually have to take proper, consistent and coordinated action on the right scale to take out carbon in large amounts but the govt you support does the opposite. How does building hundreds of miles of new roads, expanding airports, building new coal-fired power stations...tune in with the Climate Change Bill or make us less reliant on increasingly expensive and scarce oil? And what has happened to the annual major investment in tackling climate change that the Stern Report said was needed?

I prefer to judge this govt by what they have done compared to what is needed according to the best scientific evidence from the IPCC. Carbon dioxide emissions need to be cut by 90% from 1990 levels by 2050 in developed countries for instance. What cut in carbon dioxide emissions has the govt achieved?? None! They have in fact risen by 1 or 2% in the last ten yrs or so!!

The Climate Change Bill is far too unambitious and is notable for what it does not cover - the Green Movement has been lobbying hard to get it toughened up. It needs bindng annual emissions reduction targets and much, much tougher reduction targets for 2020, 2030 and 2050. Green MEP Caroline Lucas, likely to be elected party leader in Sept and in a very strong position to become the MP for Brighton Pavillion next time, has said this about the Climate Change Bill,

"For the bill to avoid being just the latest example of fine rhetoric divorced almost entirely from the reality of the problem, it must also be backed by a wholesale review of Government policy, including Labour's commitment to road-building and aviation growth."

"To make real headway on curbing our emissions, we need to act now - we do not have time for yet more commissions and reviews, for more political delay."

Kerry said...

If you keep this up Glenn, I'm going to charge you for advertising space! That's three candidates plugged so far. May get round to responding at some point, but I have a train to catch; have just spent a very green day in Kew Gardens and have to get back to Bristol!

Glenn Vowles said...

Four candidates if you count me Kerry. I'm sure I'll be contesting future elections, most likely the local elections in Knowle in a few yrs!