6 Nov 2007

Jonathon Porritt argues that he should fly to save planet

The people who really get on my nerves are so-called greens who fly. Jonathan Porritt, ex-Director of Friends of the Earth and Blair's "Sustainability Czar", claims to have taken 42 flights in the last year. If I were to fly anyway to escape the rain this summer, I would (rightly) be in very deep trouble with the Green party and its voters.

argued Dr Wall a while back.

Porritt today argues that the Green Party should go for a single leader in the Guardian, he argues that it was right for him to fly around the world spreading the Green leadership message....I think he has got it wrong on both counts.

Green Party does need strong organisation and speakers but calling for traditional top down leaders will lead to the slide into egotism and generally crazyness, eventually the 'leaders' will justify flying around the world to spread their no flying message.

This is from his blog

Do I feel guilty about all that? Absolutely not. Do I feel responsible for making sure that decisions are taken conscientiously and that the resulting impacts are managed properly? Absolutely! That’s why all three of the organisations mentioned above take offsetting extremely seriously – not as a perfect solution, it has to be said, but not the kind of flaky, guilt-assuaging cop-out that so many people think offsets represent.

JP Flights: July 2006-June 2007

Aberdeen x3
Belfast x4
Edinburgh x2

Oslo x1
Amsterdam x2
Zurich x1
Crete x2
Malaga x1
Berlin x1

Hong Kong / Beijing x1
Houston x1
Vancouver x1
Cape Town x1



John said...

Mr Wall, you are surely the most self-indulgent politician in Britain today. You clearly care more for the purity of your conscience than in concrete improvements to people's lives. Shame on you - no-one's welfare will improve if you are not willing to lose your ideological virginity and exercise a little political maturity. Not only are you an utterly inept communicator, you are incapable of comprehending that compromise, though difficult, leads to far better results for the people who really need help than sheer, bloody-minded purity. That doesn't mean abandoning morals, it just means that real people and their lives are more important. You can do nothing substantial without power, and you cannot get power without compromise. If those with the right principles are unwilling to compromise, people suffer. Nothing is more self-indulgent.

Anonymous said...

You seem to have indulged in a little selective quoting here, not to Jonathan Porritt's advantage. The full post on his blog does not to my mind justify 42 flights, but it is certainly more balanced than this post is!

V weak argument - Jonathan Porritt flew, so we should disregard everything he says, particularly on leadership . . . Hmmm . . .

Paul Maples said...

Hi Derek

How did you get to South America?



Arthur said...

Paul Maples, what a silly thing to say! Derek sailed to South America on a small pedlo; he grew a beard and smoked Cuban cigars given to him by Fidel whilst doing so you should know that! As for him sitting in judgement of people, lacking common sense and maturity and blindly adhering to dogmatic principles as John suggested well I have just one thing to say, he is an academic!

Luke Smalley said...

telling people to cut CO2 emissions whilst unnecessarily increasing your own is a tad hypocritical. and the media rarely take hypocrites seriously, therefore hindering the reputation of the green movement. its quite possible to encourage green politics globally without flying about all over the place, as Derek has demonstrated on numerous occasions.

keep up the 'inept' communication derek! (better than that Johnson bloke)

Miles said...

Porritt comes over as a smug git - but don't we have to concentrate on the smashing system that makes us consume all day long, rather than try to make individuals feel guilty.

Anonymous said...

I see Jonathan's point- that he can do more good by flying than by not. However, if famous environmentalists fly (within the UK and Europe too!) then why should regular Joes abstain from flying?

It's hypocritical and counter-productive to our movement

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