Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lib Dem middle of the road mediocrity

Yet another mediocre, middle of the road, Liberal Democrat Party conference making a big thing out of their environmental policies. They say the environment is at the ‘heart of everything’ they do, even though the party is, as the name suggests, built on liberal and social democratic ideas not ecological ones. Apparently they are the ‘only party’ with radical policies to tackle climate change - but their policies are inconsistent, incoherent and contradictory, merely tinkering around the edges of society instead of going to the root of problems.

Their stated aim of a zero carbon society is indeed one we must attain if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate change. However, Lib Dems don’t propose to make changes on the scale or of the consistency needed to achieve this aim – the numbers just don’t add up. Where are all the many and varied changes needed in the ways we do business, live our lives and measure progress?

As long as Lib Dems (and other parties for that matter) remain committed to ongoing economic growth on a finite planet at all costs, and ever-freer global trade, we cant begin to truly build a sustainable (and zero carbon) society, whatever their leaders have said this week.

Policies to address climate change require a different economic world-view. This is to be welcomed not avoided, as Lib Dems and others avoid it. The kind of materialism that is now driven by modern consumer capitalism is leaving people with lower wellbeing well as destroying our ecology. A sustainable, zero-carbon society will be a healthier, happier, society, with warmer homes, better public transport, stronger local communities, more green jobs - and more free time – and is to be strongly advocated and planned for. Policies needed to live good lives are the same policies needed to tackle climate change and achieve a zero-carbon society.

Lib Dem conference site for info. Examples of poor Lib Dem policies in local govt from Green Party conference site.

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