Notes from the Green Party MEP for East of England. Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Friday, 4 June 2010

Who is to blame for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

I'm puzzled and rather irritated by the constant stream of outrage from America, from its president to its ordinary citizens, as though they were not themselves to blame for that fact that some companies are drilling for oil in the seas off the coast of America. I mean, if you want to drive gas-guzzling cars, and fly everywhere from state to state, and use fossil fuels to power your air conditioning and heat your water for your daily shower, this is how your needs are supplied. And if you are demanding that oil be drilled off shore, then you are taking the risk (as with all such enterprises) that there will be accidents that cause this kind of spillage.
So what then? Are you prepared to pay more so that the companies that do the drilling can be already prepared, at great expense, for immediately dealing with any kind of accident no matter how rare and unlikely? How much more are you prepared to pay for your gas and air fuel to have that?
Or are you prepared to convert to wind farms and go by train instead of cars and planes? Who ever heard of wind spillages? (And don't tell me Nuclear is the way, because I can tell you that nuclear spillages are MUCH worse).
It's a matter of lifestyle choices isn't it? If you make the right lifestyle choices those sea birds won't be soaked in oil because no one will be demanding oil from the bottom of the sea. If you don't make the lifestyle choices, then don't blame the company that is working to give you what you are asked for at prices you were prepared to pay. They don't do it for fun. They do it because you pay them to do it.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Don't we live in a mad world?

Our leaders throw away billions (our billions) to "protect us" from non-existent risks ("volcanic ash" "swine flu") that appear to be of their own imagining, and whose effects, even if they were as serious as they wrongly suppose, would be far less damaging than the precautions taken to prevent them, while all the time they are ignoring the elephant in the room.
Why not let people, airlines etc, assess for themselves the level of risk they are prepared to take, when there is a potential danger from what they plan to do? Who are you to tell us whether we can or can't carry on our lives in the normal way and risk our lives (as we do whenever we leave the house)?