Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Do as you preach – environmental style

I’m not easily swayed by the rather alarmist arguments that come around on global climate change (before: global warming). And while I can argue with scientists and their findings and they usually believe what they say. It is hard to believe the more louder (and often shriller) spokesmen in the media and policy arena.

John Stossel from ABCNews made the same point along the line of “do as you preach”. And he is right that it is at least a bit bizarre that someone like Gore or Friedman live a most eco-unfriendly life-style while they want to foce me to live like the 13th century “hut” dwellers.

They have mansions (not houses) that are more befitting of a 18th century english lord and they speak about conservative usage of natures finite ressources. But what astounds me every time is the fact that the masses are willing to believe them.

I don’t always want to claim that the life-style or the persons means and ways of living have any meaningful influence on their arguments. If they had, then nobody would take Dickens seriously and other people (like Ayn Rand f.e.) would be disregarded outright. However, often it helps to show that you live by your arguments, especially when those arguments are readily applicable in an easy way.

Of course, Gore could say that it is really expensive to do this for his mansion. Indeed, right he is, and he also identified one of the biggest counter-arguments! You can’t ever neglect costs, all in life has a cost, not all is monetary, others cost time. But everything has a price, not even death is without a cost. You could call it the homo-economicus, but it is really just a scientific extension of the decision making everyone faces every day. What do I want? What do I prefer to do with my time? Do I want to work 12 hours a day and get rich, or do I want to just live on a modest salary and enjoy my free time. Is free time with less money now more important than free time later with a lot of money.

But obviously this argument has neither crossed the minds of Gore, nor the minds of most climate scientists (though in all earnesty, it is not really their field of expertise).

So, it would be very nice to at least see a commitment by Gore and Co. towards their proclaimed ideals. Otherwise, I know they have a different price-preference than they proclaim to have.

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