Monday, 3 November 2008

It's not easy being green

The whole green agenda is a confusing one, and I think I know why. Saving the planet is a concept that is all black and white. Saving it is good. Destroying it is bad. End of story. But when it comes to taking actions to make that concept a reality things get more complicated. It's not black and white anymore. Many actions with green consequences are frowned on by environmentalists. It's shades of grey.

Take wind turbines. Great for helping prevent climate change. Clean, green energy. Only people don't like the thought of them on the pretty landscape. Oh, and maybe they'll kill a few birds. (Never mind that cats kill millions more.)

Here's another example of this kind of green greyness in a story from the excellent site the Register (though I wish they weren't so busy being ironic they had to use the 'boffin' word). There's a simple technology that will reduce plane fuel consumption and emissions. But the price is that planes are noiser. Difficult one. Worthy of debate. And the story is doubly interesting because it shows how the media can't cope with this kind of thing. What do they do with this important story? Pick up on a passing reference to atomic powered planes that's almost irrelevent and make that central point. It's not.

The real story is this grey nature of doing the right thing. Yes you'll help save the planet from climate change, but you'll make it look less pretty or noisier.

Kermit was right.


  1. So we ... should... kill the cats?

    Don't tell Henry.

  2. I guess it depends if you prefer cats or birds. But I believe Henry has the skewers warming as we speak.