My December Reads included a piece by Jan Oberg, which I introduced as “capturing my sense of fear and outrage on what has been done to Syria in the risible name of humanitarianism”.
He’s done it again with a FB post on flying guilt. Me, I’ve renounced the flying game for the mo, but not because I think our environmental problems will be solved by the lifestyle choices of conscience stricken/virtue signalling middle class Westerners. I deemed it bad salesmanship is all, since I’d long intended to write more on eco-madness. In the event I’ve said nothing beyond a couple of reviews, here and here, and occasional allusions to capitalism’s war on nature.
Be that as it may, I’m not only pining for another India or Vietnam trip but questioning whether, even from a propaganda perspective, my stance is useful. Better, perhaps, to carry on insisting that the enemies of environmental sanity are capitalism’s addiction to narrowly defined growth and its concomitant intolerance of anything – do please let this sink in: anything – obstructing its sacred right to pursue the highest returns on investment.
And like Jan Oberg, I regard my challenges to an imperialist warmongering driven by that same addiction and intolerance as challenges to ecocide too. (Indeed, my respect for Greta would go up no end if she and those who promote her were to throw a searchlight on the environmental costs of the Empire’s military machine.)
So for those who hate my political writing but enjoy my travelogues, there might be a chink of light at the end of the tunnel.
Meanwhile, here’s Mr Oberg on the subject of ‘flying shame’. The Beth Gardiner piece he cites is here. In point of fact, neither Jan nor Ms Gardiner go as far as I would – neither explicitly locate the heart of the matter in capitalism’s inexorable logic – but both offer a timely corrective to an individualism very much part of the problem, rather than the solution.
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