16 Oct 2006

George Monbiot. Heat, a review

"unless you believe that these activities are worth the sacrifice of the biosphere and the lives of the poor", you won't be flying after reading George's book Heat.

Today you can find the tariffs for crimes about to be committed on noticeboards erected throughout cyberspace. 'Carbon offset' companies promise to redeem the environmental cost of your carbon emissions by means of intercession with the atmosphere: planitng less, funding renewable energy projects in distant nations and doubtless, somewhere, helping Andean villagers to build bridges. Just as in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries you could sleep with your sister, kill and lie without fear of eternal damnation, today you can leave your windows open while the heating is on, drive and fly without endangering the climate, as long as you give your ducats to one of the companies selling indulgences. There is even a provision of the Kyoto Protocl permitting nations to increase theri official production of pollutants by paying for carbon-cutting projects in other countries.* I will not attempt to catalogue the land seizures, conflicts with local people, double counting and downright fraud that has attended these schemes. That has been done elsewhere

I have really enjoyed George's new book, I disliked the previous 'Age of Consent' but this is much more thoughtful and interesting. World parlaiment indeed!

George looks at how we can live in a Britain which cuts CO2 emissions to a sustainable level and gets to grips with all sorts of problems.

George goes for 90%, so no flights to India for him. He also believes that carbon off setting is a con.

This extract looks at the climate hoaxers who are funded by Exxon and similar groups.

Some nice links here from George to lunatic tabliod articles full of climate denial including one from David Bellemy.

There are some surprises, coaches are the best form of passenger travel, home shopping is vital because shops generate so much energy.

Carbon off setting is described as a con, and many forms of reform simply allow us to pollute more...cars are a little cleaner but car use accelerates causing a huge rise in co2 from cars.

My doubts, I am not a technical expert but I wonder how the energy internet works or how we get to the coach stations from East Oxford when they are taken out of town centres and placed on motorways.

Hey George, can the economy grow for ever...no, it will just accelerate to a new form of global catastrophe, the book does not get to grips with capitalism.

Equally it does not look at politics, the rich and the powerful seek to maintain their position and the less powerful pick up the bill...will this happen with George's ideas?

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