It is a less-than-reassuring example of humanity’s inability to see beyond the next hill that, within hours of David Attenborough’s end-of-civilisation warning on climate change, the French government suspended eco-fuel tax plans because of three weeks of increasingly violent protests.
Unfortunately, Ireland’s response must be muted, as our Government followed a similar head-in-the-sand policy when it dropped plans to increase carbon taxes in the budget — and did so without even a raised voice, much less a lively riot... Our failure to meet emission targets undermines our position too, as does our delusional rejection of water charges.
As Attenborough’s warnings are fulfilled and become ever-more unavoidable, efforts to avert climate change will be increasingly ineffective but radical. Denying this, as so many world leaders do, puts everything humanity has achieved in jeopardy. Though our Government accepts the reality of climate change it has shown, through its evasions, that it remains more part of the problem than the solution.
French riots were sparked by save-our-world taxes, but many other issues are in play, issues that also resonate in this country. However, those riots push one of the most important, if not the only real question facing us, to the fore. What are we prepared to do. What will we surrender to try to avert Attenborough’s predictions? Surely, at this late stage, we realise that business as usual, is not an option?