Are you one of the 10%?
ANDERSON frequently criticises what he calls “the Climate Glitterati”, those who talk about saving the planet even as they use up their air miles; those who are, for all their talk, among the 10 per cent who are responsible for half the world’s emissions. But these aren’t just the likes of Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, and other household names. They’re the professors, the journalists, the business people, the politicians, and other figures we see in Scottish life.
So, who exactly are the 10 per cent? Many readers of this newspaper will be. Do you run a large car? Do you live in a house rather than a flat? Do you take a return flight more than once a year? You’re likely one of them. In fact, one return flight every year and you’re probably borderline. And, if you’re not, given the demographics of this paper’s readership, you’re probably one of the 20 per cent who produce 70 per cent of the emissions.
This isn’t to say that everyone in Scotland is to blame and that everyone should be reducing their emissions, for Anderson believes that in Scotland, as globally, there are those living in poverty who should be increasing their emissions. Those, in Scotland, on the median income and below, he says, should not be bearing the brunt of what we need to do.
He says: “Those people are relatively low emitters, with very odd exceptions. They’ll be living in small houses, often rented, often not very efficient but they won’t be heating every room. If they have a car it will be a small car and they won’t drive so far. They won’t consume as many goods.
“They’ll probably very seldom if ever fly. Every element of their life is much lower carbon than us professors, or journalists, or business people, who live in larger houses and drive more and fly more and consume more goods and more food. Yet, no politician has as yet been prepared to acknowledge that and say well we need to tailor our policies towards those people who are the high emitters.”