Degrees of co-operation
David Slack’s alter-ego Uncle Dave tackles climate change and comes up with a very commie conclusion.
Loyal readers will know when the going gets really tough this column turns to your old mate Uncle Dave to fix things with a can of CRC, or some duct tape, or liquor. This week we will be needing mostly liquor.
Joe: Hi Uncle Dave, it was all over the news this week that by 2040 we could all be more or less stuffed because of climate change. I was sort of expecting everyone to say woah, this changes everything but Dave, as far as I can see, there were two or three days of worrying and then we went back to talking about the president with toilet paper on his shoe. Am I missing something?
Joe, the sad truth is we are wedged in our La-Z-Boys. You’re right, it’s horrifying. If we don’t stop pumping carbon emissions at the rate we’re going we’re looking at wildfires, heat waves, drought and flooding and huge problems with the world’s food supply inside 20 years. But what we’re hearing mostly is: ‘‘I sure hope someone does something about this.’’ Sarah: What’s wrong with saying that Uncle Dave?
It’s what we’ve been saying for the last 30 years.
Sarah: But it’ll be OK in the end, won’t it?
Plenty of people were still hoping there wouldn’t be a second world war right until the morning the Panzers rolled into Poland, Sarah.
Leighton: Come on Dave, admit it, you just hate cars.
Leighton, it’s your god-given right to drive your V8 all the way down SH1 and think to yourself ‘‘all that petrol and I don’t see any difference, how can I be doing any harm?’’ But just because you can’t see it happen each time you rev your engine doesn’t mean we aren’t ruining everything by burning fossil fuels and pouring it into the atmosphere.
Mike: Yeah but get real, Dave, what does a couple of degrees matter?
At four degrees, global grain yields could be down by half. How do you fancy food crises every year? Do you reckon we’d get through them without any wars, Mike? Sarah: But isn’t the cost of renewable energy coming down?
Yes, but for the moment global carbon emissions are still growing. Mark: So come on then, what can we do about it Dave? And don’t say duct tape.
I’m glad you asked that, Mark, because I want to go all commie on you. Let’s talk a bit more about World War II because once the US became fully involved, boy did they ever crank out the planes and tanks and Jeeps and ships. And you know how they did it? They said ‘‘we’re putting everything we can into this’’ and they did. And the government picked up the tab and it also took charge of production – and if you’ve seen the newsreels of all the tanks and bombers rolling off the production lines in the US and Russia you’ll know what a powerful command economy taking on an existential threat looks like. And you might also think ‘‘I’d like one of those please.’’
Mike: Dave, what’s your point? Are we going to bomb the sky?
My point is: what if we replace every fossil fuel car with an E-vehicle, at super affordable rates? And what if governments were to cover the cost of all that ramped up production and consumption and everything the way it happened in WW2 when they said, we’ll pick up this tab and we’ll sort it out later? And while we’re at it, how about way way more public transport and all of it free?
Mark: Sounds really easy and straightforward. What else have you got, professor?
Personal trainers. People say they want to be good and cut their carbon footprint but they also say it about getting fit, but never get around to it until they have a personal trainer standing over them making them do twenty planks and thirty burpees. So how about a personal trainer to get a group of you together in the park at sunrise and talk over what you’re going to do for the planet for the rest of the day?
Duncan: Dave, you have to admit he looked pretty stupid with the toilet paper on his shoe.
Pollution doesn’t always look so blatant – sometimes it is as simple as starting your car.