Another Day, Another Blog

March 13, 2007

The green team

Filed under: what not to say — iamza @ 10:32 am

Green seems to be the new colour of choice for British politicians. How fortunate then that at the end of this week, it is St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, I realize it is not ordinarily a holiday celebrated in England, but perhaps, just this once, Cameron, Blair, Brown and co. will delight the nation by walking about town dressed as leprechauns. Better yet, they’ll find a rainbow, and go off hunting the fabled pot of gold, and forget to come back…

Green tax annoys me. No, I don’t want the Earth to die a horrible death, and I certainly don’t like the idea of being trapped in a planetary sauna, breathing toxic fumes and watching as a sea of sludge creeps towards my front door. At the same time, green tax means that I have less money to pay for luxuries like solar panels or wind generators or environmentally friendly cars like the new diesel Volkswagen.

I do my best to live a green lifestyle. I recycle what I can, and try to minimize kitchen waste by buying as much fresh produce as possible. I intend to build my own composter, so that I can recycle the vegetable matter my local council does not want put into the green bin. I’d like to upgrade the boiler and ensure that all electrical and gas equipment has at least a B energy rating. With the exception of the bathroom, all the rooms in my house have been fitted with energy saving bulbs, and I try to turn off all electrical equipment at the wall, and not just leave things on standby. I try not to fly long-haul flights, but there are times when, because of work, it is unavoidable. Yes, in the summer I will be travelling to Germany to visit with my sister, but it’ll be the first time I’ve seen her in three years. I’m doing my bit, mostly with a smile, because it feels right.

Green tax is a way of forcing people to adhere to a new set of behaviourial guidelines. The thing is, most people don’t like being forced to do anything. Just ask a member of the police force how happy people are when they’re told there are a set of rules that have to be followed. Better yet, ask a nursery school teacher. And, with things the way they are at the moment, my personal feeling is that all the new green taxes recently being bandied about by British politicians are less about saving the Earth, and more about increasing the wealth of an already overwealthy government. 

Group A: “We think low-cost airlines are bad because they’re destroying the planet.”

Group B: “Ha-ha, good one. Now get out of the way–a weekend in Barbados beckons.” 

Group A: “We’ve tried to tell you flying is bad. Now we’ll petition government to hit you where it really hurts–your wallet!”

Group B: “Good luck with that, mate. No, seriously! I’m a member of government, and all those taxes you’re so keen on? They go straight into my wallet.”

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