On the hypocrisy and deviousness of the fossil-fuel companies:
It’s here that British Petroleum, or BP, first promoted and soon successfully popularized the term “carbon footprint" in the early aughts. The company unveiled its “carbon footprint calculator” in 2004 so one could assess how their normal daily life — going to work, buying food, and (gasp) traveling — is largely responsible for heating the globe.
I knew about the anti-litter campaigns being funded by the packaging producers but I didn't know the carbon footprint was a similar industry invention. All created to put the focus on individual responsibility and cloak the oil industry's.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.
A flourishing economy mostly depends on an unsatisfied population and a declining environment.
With the arrival of high speed trains and low-cost airlines, rich and poor are simply swapping long-distance transport modes.
This is exactly the case. I doubt the return of traditional cheaper trains would change much. They did let you carry your bike onto them which is not the case for most high-speed lines today though. As long as airlines are basically subsidised and we all take for granted that we can go anywhere in the world whenever we want to, the situation has little chance of changing.
While we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant.
They've pulled off the best trick ever: making it all about personal responsibility while they happily destroy the planet in the background. We need to attack the issue from all sides: personal change but, more importantly, system change.