As this morning’s Politico email briefing notes:
British officials fighting climate change reckon that if each person in the U.K. sent one fewer email a day it would cut carbon emissions by 16,000 tons a year — the equivalent of 80,000 people flying from London to Madrid. Apparently Brits generate vast emissions by sending 64 million unnecessary emails each day, saying things like “thank you,” “appreciated,” “cheers” and “lol.” The FT’s George Parker has the story.
So let me call out what is happening here. This is deliberate misinformation. It is part of an anti-environmentalism campaign.
The aim is threefold. First it wants to trivialise the issue.
Second, it wants consumers to be blamed. The message is that it is not the industrial complex that gives us no choice but consume carbon that is to blame for the mess that we are in. It’s all our fault.
And third, it permits token gesture responses that have inconsequential impact to the problem, whilst leaving the profit generating destruction of the planet intact and ongoing.
Saying which, I am not saying that the choices that we make have no consequences. Obviously they do. But reducing flights to Madrid remains more important than cutting emails. And household insulation and overall energy use is vastly more important still. As is transport reform.
But to infantilise the issue with deliberately placed comments like this is part of a plan to to belittle it. And that’s not happening by chance. That is the consequence of having a government that does not believe that this is an issue.