chapter  2
18 Pages

The Scope for Government Action

Democratic governments survive by following the demands of the electorate.Unpopular actions against the wishes of the voters will usually result in ejectionat the next election. Unless a significant and vocal minority of the electorate lobby for action, governments seeking their own survival will never aggressively attack the problem of global warming. The inertia of governments across the world when faced with the evidence of climate change is a palpable demonstration of this truth. Governments will do what their electorates allow them: therefore, responsible individuals need to show by their individual actions that climate change measures are politically acceptable. We won’t get governments to act unless the vanguard shows that it is willing to pay some price to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At present, that willingness to accept substantial actions by our government to reduce carbon emissions is not clear to our leaders. We need to make it absolutely obvious to politicians that we expect significant measures. Without this, governments will continue to engage in token schemes of no real benefit to the atmosphere.