Climate policy prospects and politeness
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-05-25
The success or failure of politics in the face of climate change can be guessed at by visiting any major railway station, and observe not the quality of the infrastructure, but the actions of people.
In Australia, at least, it doesn’t look good.
We know that it isn’t going to be easy to get people to act (especially vote) responsibly in the face of climate change – because it requires people to curtail their guilty carbon pleasures for the common good.
But what are the chances of useful changes when people won’t act in ways that serve themselves in the short term, as well as everybody else?
Have you tried getting off a train at a major railway station lately? Apart from a few people, most of those wanting to board the train crowd around the doorways, preventing passengers from getting off the train.
Why does this happen? I cannot figure out why people do this, when trying to do this actually slows everyone down, including themselves.
If we lack the sense and courtesy that in this instance provides greater immediate convenience, then there is no hope that we will be able to be more responsible when the payoff is much later.