Yes, I am a hypocrite.
Which rather begs two questions. Firstly, what is it exactly I’m hypocritical about? Well we’ll come to that soon enough. Secondly, is it better to be a hypocrite and know you are, or to be a hypocrite and not know? Or, in the what is hopefully the last century in which our species can wreck whatever havoc it can on the planet before we consume ourselves into extinction, is it better to be a hypocrite and not even care?
For an answer to that last question, we could try to ask some of US oil executives who featured in the recent BBC documentary series ‘Big Oil versus The World’, which shocked exactly no-one by revealing that ‘Big Oil’ knew conclusively that the burning of fossil fuels was causing the planets temperature to rise, with increasing dire ramifications for humanity if unchecked. And how did they know this? Because they funded the very research that proved it. In much the same way that ‘Big Tobacco’ knew of the link between cancer and smoking, “Big Oil’ sought successfully to discredit science that they knew to be true. And got obscenely rich in the the process. $3 billion obscenities. Daily. We could ask them, if it weren’t for the fact that some of them are dead and those that aren’t, are dead inside. Which brings us neatly onto the hot weather we’re experiencing.
‘Experiencing’, not in a gap year students way, but in the same way an innocent man ascends the gallows. So the news that hosepipe bans and wildfires are increasingly this summers attractions isn’t really a shock to anyone, neither should be the news that the UK water industry loses 2.4 billion gallons a day due to leaks. Equally, it will come as a shock to no-one to learn that these loses haven’t affected boss’s pay, with the boss of Thames Water trousering £3.2 million last year. Makes you really grateful for privatisation, doesn’t it?
But increased water consumption only happens because there are more people to consume it, and one constant theme of my blog is that there are far too many people than the planet can support. That not only should there be euthanasia, but that the government should encourage it as a public good. Posts with such titles as ‘We are breeding ourselves into extinction.’, and references to children as ‘vermin’ and ‘locusts’ may have given the game away. But that didn’t stop me from congratulating my niece when she announced she was pregnant. I have no doubt whatsoever that she’ll be a superb mother, showering her child with love and affection, striving to ensure that her child wants for nothing. But therein lays the problem, the inescapable fact that simply by becoming a parent, one consumes more, uses more, ones priorities change, and that by becoming a parent, one is helping to facilitate our eventual extinction. Don’t think you can get a New Baby’ card that says that.
And if there is a sliding scale of hypocrisy, then hopefully I’m at the opposite end of the scale to Boris’s Johnson. But a hypocrite nonetheless.