Fandango’s Provocative Question (23 December 2020)

For today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

Where do you think we should start with respect to climate change? What role should governments play? What can we, as individuals do to help? What steps are you, as an individual, taking? Or do you think climate change is a hoax?

Okay, quite an easy one this week, so I’ll keep this short.

The first step to solving any problem is to understand its scale.

We hear that burning gas is bad. How bad?

We hear that flying is bad. How bad?

We hear that eating meat is bad. How bad?

A few weeks ago, somebody posted on here that food waste is bad. How bad? (Hint – throwing a link at me with the “facts” written on it does not cut the mustard. Whose facts?)

And, only this morning, I read that vapour trails from airliners were bad. How bad?

Do you catch my drift?

The problem is not so much that there are no estimates of these, it’s that there are many. And, each estimate is different. The UK government, for example, will paint a totally different picture to Greenpeace. So, which should we believe? Well, we’ll believe the one that best fits with our pre-conceived political philosophy.

This is the first problem. That everyone sings from a different hymnsheet. Unfortunately, I don’t see a solution to that problem – ever.

Assuming we could agree on this, the role of governments is easy. Use either the tax system, or the legistative system, to encourage good and to discourage bad behaviour.

But in the absense of a solution, we are all left to stick our fingers in the air and to take whatever steps we feel able to take.

For me, this includes:

  • not driving, although I enjoy the occasional use of a car.
  • not flying. The last time I flew was 2013 (London – Majorca) and, before that, 2008 (London – Toulouse).
  • not eating much meat. I eat some because, well, I enjoy it. My point is that farmed animals are, in many cases, an inefficient use of land. You’d find it far easier to count the meals I eat with meat, than those without it.
  • Solar panels. I produce clean electricity which is pumped back into the grid.
  • Woodburner. You might argue that wood smoke is every bit as bad, but it saves heating the place with gas.

…to name a few.


  1. Been at conservation, pollution, things ecological since 1963 that I remember. Folk consider me something of of nutcase but I stick with it. Talk, talk, talk (and a good bit of “see, lookie here, it’s easy”) and by gum, some of it is sinking in. Your points are well put, so we’re left to each make our own assessment and react accordingly. You do (obviously) I do (you’ll have to take my word for it). Trick is to get others to at least consider there are problems to be addressed, then address them. Tough part for me (opinionated as you know I am) is to allow others’ assessments aren’t the same as mine. Example? I remain unconvinced on the animal protein issue.

    Thank you, Sir Bump, for getting it out there so folks without religion can hear the music, join the hymn, or found their own church. Love it when you go deep. Good stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As you say this has been going on since the 60s. Not sure about the legislation here but certainly US-centric literature heralds LBJ for pushing things through to clean up air and water. Even Tricky Dicky played his part. The specific notion of “global warming”, iirc, was first discussed in the late 80s. The EU also did a lot in this area, too. I’m not a fan of them but… credit where it’s due.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed your post. However, it brought to mind that old saying, “the cause of problems is solutions.” Back to our time in Ontario. The provincial govt said we need to cut down on burning fossil fuels: coal and oil. They offered an incentive for home owners to convert to “cleaner” electric heat–and a lot did. Which put such a strain on the power grid, and people now using electric heat saw their rates double. (And I’ve already told about the fiasco of nuclear power.)

    It’s easy to say that plants to table is much more efficient than plants to meat to table — but there are factors not taken into account. Here on the prairies the land was held in place by the wild grass, until the settlers came with their plows. After the resulting dust-bowl of the 30s., govt land promoters realized there’s a lot of land that can’t be seeded to cereal crops because the land just won’t take it. Leave it in pasture for the good of the environment, they finally concluded.

    Historically, when mankind sets out to find quick solutions to various problems, we tend to end up with yet more. As you said, everyone has his idea of what will work — and an acute shortage of foresight. Like artificial political divisions leading to wars and genocide, WWI treaty harshness leading to WWII., etc.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your comments reminded me about the UK government getting us all to buy diesel cars by heavily subsidising diesel. Now, if you have a diesel car you are an environmental enemy. They did a similar thing with wood burning stoves! Quick solutions don’t usually solve anything.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I tink everything is interconnected, I think it is a pity people have not to realised that. The thing I always tried to teach my daughter was that, whatever choice she made, there would be consequences. She is not the only one.

      Liked by 2 people

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