Today I was in a short interview on AM640 Toronto Radio together with Clive Doucet, the author of Urban Meltdown. Part of the discussion was about what we can expect from politicians, which role do they play in the entire global warming problem?
My take would be the following. Politicians will never take a leading role in solving this problem, they always act in a reactive mode that is inherent to politics. They only will put environment high on the priority stack when told by us, the electors to do so and then in a massive way. Because politicians take only positions that will bring them votes. And those rare politicians that have the courage to take deviating stands or run ahead of the troops do not matter simply because they are with too few to make an impact.
In his introduction of An Inconvenient Thruth, Al Gore is wondering how it possible that his congress fellow mates do not take immediate (or actually not at all) action when he shows them these loads of quite convincing evidence that something is going wrong with the planet’s climate system. Thus Gore came to the conclusion that he better can show his stuff to the general public and he did that through his movie and his book.
Thus my dear reader, it has to come through us in the first place. Do not wait for the governments. Improve the world but we can start right away with things we control ourselves. Some are as easy as to drive your car at less speed and to drive smaller cars or to replace incandescent bulbs by fluorescent ones. The other one we control ourselves is of course our vote! Because, well understood, for many of the potential improvements we do need the government to take actions in the form of taxes (for instance to alleviate taxes on houses for people that move closer to work), in the form of making infrastructure available (public transportation, non-fossil fuel power generation) etc etc. Realize that even without miracles a lot of improvement is possible now. Best example today is Japan. Japan consumes half of the energy per capita that the US consumes for the same gross national product output per capita!