Your dumb eco questions answered

Not so dumb, in fact. This New Scientist piece answering your eco questions is good to read in this age of eco un-rigor. The vagueness which accompanies our current environmental panic is – in the wrong way, in the cynicism sense – an utter turn-off.

The questions are really good – except “Can I save the planet by staying slim?” which is the kind of badly-conceived speculation which gives environmentalists a bad name. You will never hear Lucy Siegle asking such a question – although I thought it was pretty risky to pit pet dogs against pet cats in a recent Observer piece (an incendiary question and not one the New Scientist dares to tackle).

So visit the link above for a potted, if time-sensitive, answer to:

  • What’s greener, paper/cardboard or plastic packaging?
  • If I switch the light on and off every time I enter and leave a room, does this use more energy than leaving it on all evening?
  • How clean does the pizza box have to be for it to be recyclable? Likewise cans and bottles

And others like that.

See also Lucy Siegle’s ethical dilemmas including:

Deniers, other bastards and anybody who has ever backed slowly away from a Deep Green will enjoy Spiked’s series Ask Ethan. On using toilet paper:

“No choice? NO CHOICE?! Saying you have no choice but to use toilet paper is like saying you have no choice but to pick up that little kitten that wanders past your front door, inject petroleum into its eyes and mouth, screw it up into a little screeching furball, and hurl it into the middle of a motorway while screaming ‘Global warming is a myth!’”

Is it ethical to get old, Ethan?

“Who the hell do you think you are? No one needs to live for SEVENTY YEARS. What have you been doing all that bloody time? Let me guess: you grew up in some soil-harming prefab house on the outskirts of London where you and your family lived off tinned food (disgusting) and powdered milk (perverse)…”

Anti-malarial bed-nets? Praying for recession? Using condoms? Laughing at the financial crisis?

That is Spiked. Primarily, they exist to amuse themselves. It must be hard being an acrid revolutionary communist in a suit. Charging a tenner for their events. The Living Marxism‘s genocide denial trial behind them but nothing learnt. There’s a vicious quality to Ethan’s satire which gives me the satisfaction of knowing that he’s probably losing another argument. Ethan is my barometer – as a general rule if it makes him angry then I know I’m going to be roughly 75% in favour of it (voting for the BNP excluded).

The NS piece is via Barkingside 21 (local hero).


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