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The death of environmental idealism

The death of environmental idealism

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)


  • The planet isn't doomed. We might be, but that isn't the same thing.

    I don't mean to be mean, but how is driving to the gym (however far that may be) less silly than driving to the shop? If you ran to the gym, you wouldn't have to pay to go in, you could just run home again.

    Actually, that is mean, and hypocritical. Sorry.

  • welcome to the world of car freedom

  • The planet will go on long after we have destroyed ourselves, unless of course the DeathStar blows us to pieces then we both will be buggered.

  • I love my car. I wouldn't be without it. We are actually a two car family. However, I don't use it to go everywhere. Since I've been at home, I tend to walk more than I drive.
    In saying all that, I used it to drive to pilates this evening. Cold, dark nights still call for a car. And the Daewoo's are brilliant. Mine is still going strong and taking the arse kicking my driving invokes.
    Enjoy your car. Guilt should only come from irrational usage.
    PS – Thanks for saying it was an "angry rant" – it felt like one!!

  • I am carless! I am a green goddess…!
    I am…I'm…getting splashed by the bus!!!

    People are just morons. If the world ends,
    it will probably be because Christian hypocrites
    have nuked the hell out of Muslim hypocrites,
    thereby facilitating their own Apocalypse.
    Or G*d will go, f—- this…these people have
    absolutely buggered every thing I've created.

    I don't think the world will end because of
    a…Daewoo 😉

  • I haven't seen or heard of a Daewoo before but it's a very smart looking set of wheels, very "European"…perfect for zig zaging all those terrifyingly narrow streets. By the way, how green are the Mini Coopers?

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