The Whole World's Watching: Decarbonizing the Economy and Saving the World

By Martyn Turner; Brian O'connell | Go to book overview
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4
POWER TO THE PEOPLE

In the blame game there is typically only one rule of thumb, and that is that the individual never bears any responsibility. This is a phenomenal way of thinking, particularly when it relates to global warming. All responsibility can be placed solely on the back of the industrial sector that produces goods such as automobiles and electricity and, in the process, pollutes the atmosphere. No responsibility falls on the back of the innocent individuals that buy the cars or use the electricity, as they are obviously not intelligent enough to know that they are intrinsic to the entire process. They are merely victims in an evil game. Fortunately, this way of thinking is not quite universal. There are certain places in the world where intelligence reigns and individuals take responsibility for their own actions, and this is particularly true if you drive west, just past the Nevada border.

The relationship between companies and individuals is exceedingly simple. Occasionally, perhaps as the result of heavy advertising, we may deviate a fraction, but on the whole companies produce what we want. Put simply, companies are in the business of satisfying our desires. Global warming is really a result of individuals’ desires for convenience and luxury. We want powerful cars rather than efficient cars. We worry

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