Ever since I became politically aware, I’ve been aware of environmental issues (greenhouse gases, ozone layer etc.) and tried to modify my behaviour as such.
I recycled my goods, minimized packaging, used green electricity and biked around – although I could never bring myself to be a total vegetarian. I also used to bore people around me on the topic – which just resulted in glazed looks, before they drove away in their gas-guzzler of a car.
The biggest sacrifice I’ve made was not buying a car. Alas, the older I got, I’d get more and more looks of sheer incredulity for revealing my lack of car despite my massive fortune, and occasionally begging for a lift from people to buy a bookshelf. Half the dating questions I got in Cardiff also tended to revolve around what car I drove, which would then lead to a 10-minute explanaition about why I didn’t have a car, where people would just look at me blankly before never calling me again.
After 10 years of trying to persuade people of the ills of having a car, and having absolutely no effect whatsoever (my sister will literally drive to the corner shop. which is a 2 min walk from her house), I gave up. I also figured I might as well have some fun with a car before rising oil prices and sea levels forced a shivering humanity into underground igloos. Oh, and I needed to get to the gym so I could try to get fit and get more dates. (ha bloody ha).
So after some research, I bought the most environmental car I could afford – a second-hand Daewoo Matiz. X-Reg, of course. (Although I dream of a Toyota Prius). Ironically, the day I bought it, the Guardian reported climate fears as carbon levels soar.
Since then, I’ve discovered the freedom of having a car. I can go anywhere, when I want, any time. And it seems dead easy. Plus the Daewoo is very economical on fuel.
Then JoeCas posted a veritable angry rant about Tescos, globalisation, and the laziness of Western society sparked by an advertisment I’d completely glossed over. And she’s totally right.
Now I feel guilty for having bought the car. But you know what –
the planet humanity Western civilisation as we know it is doomed already. Especially if America votes in Bush – although Kerry isn’t that keen on Kyoto either. I might as well try to have some fun before the planet gives up on us.
(Although the good old BBC also suggests that global warming may just be a symptom of the West’s enduring obsession with the end of the world)