In Millions of Britons cannot afford to ‘go green’ poll claims (Independent 8/7/20) Emma Elsworthy reported that 59% of 2000 adults said their budget would not allow them to be any ‘greener’. Government policies such as the Climate Change Levy and Green Deal as well as Macron’s disastrous policy have ‘fuelled’ this assumption that going green has a price. We have to strive to show that with Carbon Fee and Dividend this need not be the case, especially now that everyone is arguing that we can not go back to the status quo after the pandemic.

One celebrity who seems to have got this is Lily Cole, who was interviewed in last week’s Observer newspaper, (the Fashion section) in an article entitled We need to be more forgiving.  

Lily has written a book, Who Cares Wins: Reasons for Optimism in Our Changing World.  She divides environmentalists into prophets and wizards…

The Tesla tech whiz Elon Musk is just one of the so-called “Wizards” she has interviewed for her book, Who Cares Wins: Reasons for Optimism in Our Changing World. The Wizards are the people who are using technology in an attempt to innovate us out of the environmental crisis. In the other camp are the “Prophets” who say we must cut back, travel less, consume less, simplify. Cole examines both approaches in the book.

Lily discusses how tree hugging activism can be alienating to people who don’t want to end up in prison, which I presume is most of us, and also recounts a horrifying plane free journey we can all sympathise with! Although she is doing a lot to live out and encourage a sustainable lifestyle Lily has realised that piecemeal individual efforts are not enough and that we need a mechanism to make structural change the no brainer option which benefits rather than penalises society and she describes just that….

What law would she introduce if she were prime minister for the day? “From an environmental point of view? Put a price on pollution.” A similar tax caused uproar in France, when fuel tax riots engulfed Paris in 2018. “But the devil is in the detail right? They didn’t design it in the right way, so it impacted people financially. But there are examples, like Canada, where it’s well designed and doesn’t penalise poorer communities, and can even offer wealth redistribution, with the tax redistributed equally among citizens, so the less you pollute the more you make.”

Here’s hoping that, like Lily,  we can help shift the perception that that going green has to hurt to be effective and get the message across that there is another way….