Erm, No Sir Jonathan, No

The fact that low-carbon lifestyles are both healthier and cheaper gives politicians plenty to work with.

If low carbon lifestyles were in fact cheaper then we\’d all be doing it, wouldn\’t we? There wouldn\’t be any fuss about taxes, subsidies, forcing people to do things, legally binding treaties and all the rest.

The incentive to go low carbon would already be there: it\’s cheaper.

The very fact that we have taxes, subsidies, forcing people to do things, legally binding treaties and all the rest is proof perfect that low carbon lifestyles are not cheaper.

Unless, of course, you want to argue that a lower standard of living is cheaper. Something which is both true and jaw droppingly obvious but perhaps not something that you really want to say out loud and thus frighten the voting public.

5 comments on “Erm, No Sir Jonathan, No

  1. Tim,

    That is exactly what they’re saying. Most people who earn £10k a year spend less money than those earning £30k a year. So a poor person’s lifestyle is “cheaper”. In the same way, living with your energy use rationed is “cheaper” because you get less of what you want.

    If you entirely ignore the preferences, tastes and needs of ordinary people, then it kind of makes sense.

    Of course, having gone from the aristocracy, to Eton, to Oxford, to teaching at a grammar school to Director of Friends of the Earth then spending the rest of his life in the environmentalist movement Jonathon Porritt probably doesn’t have much difficulty blinding himself to the tastes, needs and aspirations of ordinary people. He’s been a full-time environmentalist since shortly after I was born. I think that to really understand what he is saying as anything other than idiotic, which I don’t think he is, you’ve got to completely shift your perspective.

    Best,
    Matt

  2. When Sir Jonathan is saying it is a good thing for me to be poor, I think he is rather asserting that I have to work full-time so he can seize the wealth I create, than that I should work part-time and not create it at all.

  3. Presuambly Jonny Porritt is living the dream. A cheaper, happier lifestyle forgoing air travel, synthetic materials and food moved by things with engines. He is walking the walk isn’t he?

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