Tim Rickman can't see the emperor's new clothes.

The sad case of Transition Llambed

Open letter to George Monbiot

Dear George Monbiot

You clearly honestly want the destruction of the world to stop, or at least to slow down. But you give the impression of getting the most important thing wrong. You are being used, by some of the very people who are to blame, to distract attention away from them.

The people at the climate camps, trying to shut down power stations, appear to be lovely people. But they don't need to be there. Most of them have switches on their walls at home to shut down power stations.

Most of the climate change campaigning that you support is a huge lie. We, the consumers and voters, pretend we want the world saved. Governments pretend (not too hard) to be not listening. In fact, governments pretend to pretend. They have to look like they are obstructing our desire for sustainability, when in fact they are carefully facilitating our lust for consumption. They do their best to look guilty, so we can blame them. In return, we keep voting them in. Business plays a similar role. In a 2003 film, The Corporation, Michael Moore ponders perplexedly about why so many industries allow (and even help) him to distribute films that slag off their activities. But of course big business does not want to hide from the venom directed at it. They love to be blamed for the ills of the world. Admittedly, they prefer to be blamed en masse rather than any of them being singled out for individual criticism, but anything at all is better than the public realising who the real culprits are. For, if the real villains were dealt with, these corporations know their sales and profits (and the destruction) would stop. So big business also tries to look guilty, while protesting (not to effectively, for fear of the consequences) that they are innocent. These industries think they are fairly safe from having their innocence publicly recognised. After all, eloquent people like George Monbiot and Michael Moore are working hard to perpetuate the myth that keeps destructive business in business, and there is an enthusiastic audience of consumers for the rhetoric.

Do people know this? Well, tell them. Oh, that's right - you tried, didn't you. But the Guardian presumably didn't want to print it so it finished up on a Leftist review website. Obviously, no mainstream publication will want to print such a message. It upsets the readers and advertisers. And business and government. Everyone, in fact. It is against everyone's immediate interests, because we all want the world destroyed to keep our standard of living high, and we want someone else to blame. Little wonder environmentalism is suddenly so popular. For the outlay of a reusable carrier bag and occasional attendance of a "radical" film show, we can live a guilt-free and very comfortable life, emitting many times the sustainable equitable threshold of CO2. "Transition" groups live true to their title. They clearly intend to be in transition for ever, never getting around to making any realistic cuts to their lifestyles. In Lampeter, the self-congratulatory Transition group took years to get around to even selecting a logo for itself. It rejected proposed logo designs depicting such things as bicycles, windmills and solar panels, opting instead for a spiral. Thus we are shown, not only where the organisation intends to get, but also the route it intends to take to never quite get there. I remember that, to the innocent eye, when Transition started up in this area it looked like they might actually do something useful. They even got George Monbiot (who seems to really care about the environment) to turn up to the first public meeting and give them some credibility. He'd be so sad if he could see how they've turned out.

Tim Rickman

No one ever is to blame

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