Eco-warriors are interesting creatures. They are portrayed by the media as the saviours of our planet and get sympathetic treatment all-round because they ‘mean well’; yet many of them haven’t a clue what they really stand for and know nothing about the underlying scientific arguments behind the perceived problem. Though a sceptic myself about anthropogenic global warming, I still respect true scientists who have devoted time to research the issue and decided, independently of peer pressure and media attention, that they believe humans are having a damaging effect on the environment. However I just cannot bring myself to respect the one-sided eco-warrior who has never, and owing to obstinacy never will, hear the other side of the argument, and who, when asked about what evidence there is, flies into a rage and accuses the inquirer of being a sceptic who wants to see the world burn in hell.
The thing about eco-warriors is, as Theo pointed out in a comment to my post on Transport in London, that there is a certain level of idealism involved. It’s interesting that many of them believe electric cars are the solution. OK I admit it’s not true they’re ‘slow and pointless’ – in fact there was a fairly sleek one at the motor show at ExCel recently which had similar specs to a normal fast car in terms of speed, acceleration etc. (fine, about 3 times the price but still…). However the practical aspects are horrifically complicated yet hugely overlooked and few people seem to understand what will happen at about 5pm when all the electric cars recharge at once. England’s electricity infrastructure is crumbly enough as it is, and with a growing energy demand it has been predicted that the recent brown outs will be a regular occurrence in the future. And to be honest I don’t think British Energy is focussed enough on increasing Britain’s electricity production which merely exacerbates the problem; I suspect the company was simply too busy selling out to EDF (and now possibly Centrica) to bother about long-term plans and development, particularly in the area of nuclear energy, which was what EDF was originally supposed to bring.
So in short, the point I’m really making here is that the media and the green community simply do not understand the issue and as a result of their naïveté seem to have blown the perceived problem of man-made global warming so out of proportion that desperate proposed solutions have become positively nonsensical, and that those very nonsensical solutions are getting an uncomfortably wide audience which I fear may result in the future in a disaster which would have been so easily evitable.