So there I was with my pen hovering over the email address field on the membership form, and I just thought to myself, “what on earth am I doing? I know it’s the wrong thing to do at this point in time.”
It’s difficult sometimes to rationalise an inconsistency between two beliefs. That’s the problem I was having. I wanted to become a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, but I just can’t bring myself to sign on the dotted line because of one glaring issue: the environment. The LDP (and classical libertarianism in general) offers no special consideration to the environment, basically just considering it a tool for the use of humans. A tool that will, hopefully, be treated well by the human community that recognises that the environment is necessary for life. I’m fine with this logic.
Unfortunately, recent events (such as the scrapping of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in Australian federal parliament) show that the community at large is not ready to show the recognition the environment needs in order to sustain human life into the future. Even if some sectors of the community are ready (where I live in southern Tasmania has a fairly Green tinge) others are not (such as highly-polluting corporations and conservative voters) and this latter category is where the balance of power on this matter is currently held.
I think a lot of damage has been done to the environmental cause by pseudo-science and irrational behaviour on the part of the supporters of this cause. An example is the Cleaner Car Rebate, a scheme proposed by Labor in the current federal election campaign [ABC News Story]. It offers $2000 for owners of pre-1995 cars to update to new cars. It’s completely idiotic.
First of all it takes money away from Solar power (which is far from perfect, but a good step in the right direction). More importantly though, it will increase pollution and emissions. It takes a lot of materials to build a car. Steel, Aluminium, Plastic, Leather, Oil, all of which have to be sourced from out of the ground (except the leather, which has to be grown), shipped around the world, assembled, then delivered to the customer. This is a huge amount of emissions. Not to mention the wastage from throwing out the old car. Then there is the fact that once these materials have been built into a car, they then can’t be used again for anything else. Some can be recycled, but a lot can’t.
But all that is largely beside the point. We should be encouraging people to get rid of cars altogether, not replacing them with new ones. We should be encouraging public transport and bicycles and all these good things. Which brings me back to my dilemna. Should I support a party that I otherwise agree with, except for that one of their principles completely fails to take into account the human condition and would therefore be destructive to something I value highly?
Sometimes, there is just something bigger than the self.