WE keep being told that if we just make small adjustments to our lives, carbon emissions will plummet, the dodo will come back to life and the Amazon rainforest will once again hum with vibrancy and colour.
The message is clear: If we only eat meat at weekends, walk to work once in a while and put on a jumper rather than turning up the central heating a notch, then all will be well with the tiny blue space-marble on which we all live.
But I’m afraid the message is wrong. Because the inconvenient truth is small steps just won’t cut it.
Trying to fix an entire planet by buying locally produced raspberries and insulating your loft is like trying to cure a cancer patient by trimming his eyebrows.
We learned this week that during the pandemic, when the world pretty much shut down, concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere actually went UP.
We weren’t using our cars because there was nowhere to go. The skies were emptied of planes. Factories across the world were shut. Demand for power was way down.
Everyone was sitting at home doing nothing but wiping their bottoms on all the lavatory paper they’d bought.
And STILL global warming was getting worse.
That’s scary, because to save the planet, it means we have to go further than shutting everything down. Much further.
Britain is legally obliged to become carbon-neutral, which means if you want to see friends, you will have to use Zoom. Travel will have to be severely limited.
And you’ll have to grow your own food because farms can’t ever be completely green. Meat? Well, you’ll be able to eat a badger that’s been run over by a hydrogen-powered bus. But other than that? Nope.
Joanna Lumley said this week there will have to be food rationing, like we had in the war.
But actually it’ll have to be more drastic than that.
Cows, for sure, will be illegal, along with any other animal that burps methane.
Giraffes, for example.
Here at home, the countryside as we know it now will be gone, replaced completely by a giant forest. No one will live there.
Instead, you’ll be housed, like a hen, in a shared city-centre space where you’ll spend your days turning your faeces into compost so it doesn’t end up in a river.
Clothes will be outlawed because they consume too much material.
And sex? Well, you’ll need per-mission to do that because it might result in a baby and that’ll be a big no-no in the future.
Cutting the population will become a global priority.
It all sounds very terrible, but the truth is massive behavioural shifts have happened before. Twice.
The invention of farming 12,000 years ago allowed mankind to have free time and the Industrial Revolution, 200 years ago, allowed him to fill that time with stuff.
Some are saying the next revolution — a revolution we must have if the planet is to be saved — will be electronic. But I can’t see how that’s going to be possible if we don’t want to emit any carbon at all.
So no, the next revolution, in my mind, will have to undo everything we as a species have done since we discovered fire 1.7million years ago.
I think I’d rather burn.
Join The Sun’s Green Team
THE Sun today encourages its army of readers to make at least one lifestyle change to slow the advance of climate change.
Everyone can get involved.
We’ve teamed up with the global campaign Count Us In to calculate how much carbon you will be saving by ditching old habits.
Remember even small changes help.
Find a step that’s right for you and your family. Keep it up for at least two months and see how you do. It might become a habit.
When you’re ready, try another step. All these will add to change. We’ll get there together.
Visit thesun.co.uk/pledge and pledge to one or more lifestyle changes.
It could save you money and all of your actions will go toward a global goal of getting a billion people to make changes.
1. Eat more plants – Going meat-free for a day brings the same carbon saving as not driving for a month.
2. Cut food waste – The average UK family throws away £700 of food a year.
3. Turn down heating – With energy prices rocketing this will save you money.
4. Insulate your home – Stop heating the sky with heat escaping through your roof.
5. Repair and re-use – We ditch the equivalent of 250 t-shirts a year.
6. Walk or cycle one extra journey a day – petrol cars emit twice as much pollution in their first five minutes of use, so even short journeys add to climate change.
LEWIS' WRONG TURNS
EVERY race weekend, Lewis Hamilton gets out of his car and thanks the crowd – presumably hoping we at home can’t hear them booing.
It happens everywhere he goes, whether he wins or loses.
People love Max Verstappen but they’ve taken a noisy dislike to Lewis. The problem is that Lewis has changed.
When he first came on to the scene he was bright and talented and normal – and everyone loved him.
But then he decided to go woke and right-on and more politically correct than a student union AGM.
After the murder of George Floyd, he had Mercedes paint the cars black, he talks about how he’s now green because he sold his jet and has urged everyone to be vegetarian.
All this might work well on social media but in the real world, where people live, it doesn’t work at all.
And this is a problem for the green movement.
They get Lewis to be a mouthpiece thinking he’ll convert the rest of us.
But instead, we all just want to throw something at him.
SPLIT SPURS US ON
THERE was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from footie fans when the idea of a European Super League was mooted.
But such is the gulf now between the top teams and the also-rans, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s already here.
In the past few days, Chelsea, above, hammered Norwich 7-0, Liverpool thrashed Manchester United 5-0 and Man City demolished Brighton 4-1.
Maybe, then, it would be a good idea to float the cream off to balance up the milky under-bottom of the Premier League.
At the very least, we could all have a good laugh at Spurs every Saturday.
A BBC report on how Afghan parents are selling their children to pay for food was extremely harrowing.
But I’m not sure what can be done because if Western governments send money over there to help out, the Taliban will use it to set up training camps.
And the next thing you know, a 767 will be flying at high speed into the White House.
COP26 CHARGING NIGHTMARE
UESTS attending the COP26 eco summit in Glasgow have asked to be ferried to and from their luxury hotel in electric cars.
Unfortunately, the hotel in question has only one charging point.
So, behind the scenes, the management have installed a bank of diesel generators to help keep up with demand.
BAN IS A PIPE DREAM
FOR the past few weeks, a bunch of Liberal Democrats and vicars have been gluing themselves to the road network to protest about loft insulation.
And we’ve been fairly convinced we’d never see a more ludicrous stunt in all of our lives.
But we were wrong. Because this week, some surfing enthusiasts leapt into the sea with a banner reading: “Say No To Sewage.”
Really? ALL sewage?
So what are we supposed to do when we need to go? Cross our legs?
FIGURES out this week show The Archers, a long-running Radio 4 drama in which nothing ever happens and no one ever does anything, is consistently one of the five most popular BBC shows for young people.
Yes . . . but what the figures DON’T show is what these young people are saying when it’s on.
Because I bet you it’s: “Mum, this is boring. Can you put Radio 1 back on?”
A PADDY WITH PADDY?
THERE were reports this week I have some kind of beef with Paddy McGuinness, who hosts every single show on television.
Not at all. I read an interview he gave last weekend and he seems like a genuinely decent human being.
I would just say, though, he should maybe give A Question Of Sport back to Sue Barker, who is much less shouty.
Then he could concentrate on his other 2,000 shows.
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