Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

A Green Knight for Europe

It's not often you hear ' cognitive dissonance' as the theme of a rousing political address. Jonathon Porritt managed it yesterday at the launch of the campaign to elect the southwest's first Green member(s) of the European Parliament.

Jonathon is up there with the green gods, as far as I'm concerned. Of necessity his party profile has been been low while he's held a series of top level 'non-party-political' jobs, for most of the last decade as chair of the Sustainable Development Commission. But yesterday he felt free to endorse our list of six candidates hoping to bring some green realism to Brussels - the source of well over half our our legislation.

The realism is where cognitive dissonance comes in. All our reason, all our common sense, all our experience, tells us that climate change crisis is on its way, and that we can and must do something about it urgently. And yet we - well, most of us - carry on pretty much as before. Climate change is, indeed, an inconvenient truth, a discomfort to be dealt with by rationalisation or denial.

That certainly seems to be the case at the Evening Post, whose coverage of the launch was to say the least extremely thin.

Also (a topical example) at 'Carbon Managers' - the consultancy selling green credibility to corporate polluters by planting trees on their behalf and giving them certificates to prove it. Their obvious worries about climate change weren't going to stop four of them flying up to Inverness this week on a two day tree-planting trip!

Also at the G20 summit where the main object seems to be to boost world demand - along, by definition, with all the carbon-producing, resource depleting practices that got us in this mess in the first place.

Also among the West of England road planners.... but I'll get on to that another time.

Meanwhile, since the Post made such a mess of it - let's introduce Ricky Knight, our lead European candidate, clearly far more competent to save the world (and south-west England in particular) than that odd rag-bag of Euro-MPs who represent us at Brussels right now.

I'm not sure about the 'Green Knight for Europe' though! Could it be an Arthurian reference, to give the Greens that vital English 'brand' in the electoral stakes?

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