Caught a bit of Sean Lock's act on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow on Saturday and though he was being funny (as comedians tend to be) he raised an interesting point.
I like to think I've become much more thoughtful with regards the mark I'm leaving on the world. I recycle practically everything that I can. I wear about 4 jumpers before I think about sticking the heating on. And even though I own a car, it gets used sparingly - I prefer using the buses to get round Edinburgh. But does it matter? I mean, I was recently doing the recycling at Sainsburys and a woman arrived in a BMW to recycle some glass. She jumped out the car - leaving it running - and chucked the bottles in the recycling bin. If you're going to leave the car running, what's the point of doing any recycling at all?!
Broader point though. Well, the same point, just on a larger scale.
The Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Climate Change (Scotland) Act in June, widely accepted as being one of the most ambitious of its kind (though some didn't think it went far enough). If, as a nation, we're going to stick to this policy and do our bit to reduce our impact on climate change, what difference will it make if other, larger countries - the United States, for example - don't bother their arses? I mean, for all the talk of "change you can believe in", American views on the environment can roughly be translated as "we'll do what the hell we like and screw the rest of you."
I guess my question - to more knowledgeable folks like James and Patrick - is what difference will our small efforts to help the environment make in the grand scheme of things? And has the new Nobel prize winner actually done anything on this score...? And, I guess, will the upcoming Copenhagen summit deliver anything substantial or am I right to be my usual cynical self?