Tuesday, 24 March 2009

supersize me

i work in a bank.

there, i said it.

it's not something i'm particularly thrilled about and until yesterday i was very excited to be leaving on friday to start a new job with people who are less responsible for the pig-vomit in which we currently reside. i use the past tense regarding my upcoming job as i have just yesterday discovered i'm a victim of The Crunch before even starting employment, and consequently have nowhere to move to.

anyway, at least i can take some solace in the fact that i'm not directly employed by The Bank, only to work as a contractor for them in their HQ. very little solace, but some at least.

more solace came (past tense again) from the fact that it's one of the very few banks that have performed quite well and haven't taken huge wads of taxpayers' money to prevent liquidation and drive nice cars.

so why the past tense back there?

well, far more important, permanent and damaging to the population of the world than a shortage of money is the fact that we're rapidly approaching the day when we've gone past the point of no return on the whole climate thing. there are a fair few africans who'd suggest we've already done that, but, y'know, it doesn't matter until it reaches our plates does it?

pause for sanctimonious reflection

“but how does my bank's average financial performance have dick to do with my self-righteous attitude to climate change?” if you were reading this properly you might have asked. after I punched you in the crotch i’d explain that i just spent the last few hours of my shift listening to lord lawson. if you can’t be roused enough to click that link, i’ll explain that he gave a pre-dinner speech detailing the pros of global warming. the pros.

obviously he spent some time explaining that the problem is all a big lie and we don’t need to worry about it, this based on the fact that it’s a difficult science and can’t possibly be worked out using maths. this is backed up by at least one third of scientists.

and there will be an average temperature increase of between 1-4 degrees, but that's actually only a small issue really because people in the developed world are pretty good at adapting to their environment.

and as for the developing world, their average GDP will only drop from $95 to $85 per capita which is hardly any different. i expect this woman will be pleased to know that.

other benefits include the obvious: there will be a huge decrease in the amount of people who die from hypothermia. again, that woman will be relieved.

also, it means we can grow more tropical fruit in britain. although i thought we could do that anyway... with greenhouses.

some of his more interesting theories included the idea that all those trying to fight global warming are merely victims of a short term religious fad,
like christianity... wha?!

it concerns me quite a lot that this kind of conversation is taking place at all, with someone who genuinely thinks that it's not worth doing anything to combat climate change because china or india will never sign up to kyoto agreements. as britain's impact is only 2% of the problem, it's pointless to even try. what's even more concerning is that it's happening at the top level of financial institutions. i should mention that this dinner event was attended by 20 of the most senior bankers in the country, people who have publicly accepted personal responsibility for their part in the economic crisis.
to ease their guilty hearts - i suppose - he did suggest the silver lining on the environmentally deluded, un-economical mass-panic of the nation... that if we're all spending our time worrying about climate change, we'll be distracted from what the banks are doing.

yeah, i get to hang out with some quality people at work.

if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. i think that's fair and simple to understand. this twat is definitely part of the problem. this is a guy who (apart from being a lord, whatever that means) puts the economy far far above the environment. that's pretty easy to do in the current (economic) climate; you'll easily gain some followers. the way i see it though, is the economy is just information on sheets of paper. if everything really goes tits up and the world economy reaches an irreparable point, it's just an abstract concept that the human race can live through. as for the environment, if that goes we're screwed. seriously. we can't produce food. the end.

we survived millions of years without money, we'll survive a couple of weeks without water.

the trouble is, it's a hard battle. to all you readers (and if you've got this far through my ignorant pontification, well done), those of you who already consider climate change a problem then you'll perhaps be nodding in agreement to these words. otherwise, unfortunately our ammunition is made up of stupid sounding words and phrases, and self-regarding holier-than-thou attitudes that will make skeptics even more bloody minded.

i can't blame them. recently one of the most well-read, well-informed people i know told me "the gulf stream has already stopped, we are just experiencing 'echo' effects" which - frankly - sounds ridiculous and is a concept so out of my personal realm it becomes simply a random sequence of words. while she is most probably completely right, she is having to resort to these wacky, abstract, distant claims to get her point across. and that's where we'll always fail to increase our numbers.

tell someone their choice is between a load of ice melting in their lifetime, or not being able to pay next months rent, they'll make an obvious and forgivable decision.

oh god, it's 01:28. i should go to bed, i need to be up for work in the morning to help them talk about the money they make. then i'll work on my tan.

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