Thursday, 6 October 2011

Being negative all the time?

Yesterday I was at a conference and when I said I had to rush off to do some media work setting up interviews about today's biofuel flight was asked ((I don't remember the exact words) something about being negative and fighting against things all the time.

I was slightly taken aback, because I see Friends of the Earth as a solutions organisation that has a clear idea of a better way to do things and fights for that. The previous high profile media story we had was about Bike Trains which was one of the most positive things we've done and created lots of smiles as well as highlighting some serious issues about Birmingham's road system.

We have also done some really positive work that's gone into the "What a Waste" report that we put together along with the Chamberlain Forum. We have to combine that with pointing out the problems with the way things are done currently and particularly with the Tyseley Incinerator, but there would be no point in fighting against the incinerator and current refuse collection service if we had no idea what would be better to go in its place.

With airlines and countering their greenwash it is a bit more difficult, though, as apart from not flying in the first place, there is no real green alternative. Does that mean we should stay silent and stop campaigning against airport expansion?

Certainly not. It may not be the most fun, rewarding and successful bit of the campaigning we do, but highlighting the extreme stupidity in claiming biofuels are a green solution for aviation really has to be done, because if we don't who will protect the people who need the land for growing food and the species whose habitat is being lost to massive monoculture plantations to feed the West's addiction to flying?

Highlighting the small amount of good practice in sustainability is important to encourage more of it, but stopping the stupidest, worst practice happening is even more important, because the effects of that can be truly devastating on people's lives and the health of the whole planet.

Joe Peacock

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a few of the 'positive campaigns' are mentioned in your blog. You could also mention BFOE's responses to many land use consultations such as for Longbridge where nurturing of small green enterprise was suggested. Again you could mention the positive support of professional transport experts past proposals when BFOE responded to ideas for West Midlands Regional railways.