Monday, 15 October 2007

Blog Action Day: the Environment

Today is blog action day. Bloggers around the web are uniting to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. The organiser's aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

The environment has been selected as the 2007 theme - both for the clarity of its importance and the undeniable urgency that issues like global warming and pollution have. It is an issue that can relate to virtually any subject, any blog and anybody.

I only came across this initiative at the end of last week and had a quick think over the weekend about what I might write, but I have posted on HR's role in supporting green issues fairly recently, and more generally have commented on environmentally friendly initiatives at the Work Clinic. And I'm out of new stuff.

So this evening, I've had a quick look at a very few of the 15,861 blogs which are joining in. A common theme seems to be that, yes, this day is a good idea to increase communications about the environment, but that communications is clearly not enough.

I've already made a commitment to save energy but I know there is a lot more I can do. There is a lot more we can all do, and have to do (I tend to go with Al Gore rather than Stewart Dimmock on this).

My dad's perspective is that the biggest challenge in dealing with environmental risk is that whatever clever technology we invent, and however much we all take personal responsibility for reducing our environmental footprint, we are still very unlikely to be able to have an impact which will be as great as is required. The reason for this is that improving the environment is going to require slowing down our rate of growth - and no political party is ever going to be brave enough to admit this fact (perhaps unless Gore does stand for President in the US?).

So the conclusion of my post is that politicians should look at the number of people who have participated in this communication, and take a risk to tell people what they really believe about the environment and what we will need to do to stabilise it. Current actions (or inactions) are not going to be enough. We need to be much more radical and if necessary, slaughter a few sacred cows.

And I commit that, whichever party does do this (when Gordon Brown finally gets round to calling an election in the UK) will get my vote (even if it is the Lib Dems).