Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond



Tired of all the finger wagging encouraging us all to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle? So is Barbara Panvel, but she has words of hope too.

Green fatigue sets in - advice and admonition now comes not only from a few environmental organisations but from on high – government departments who don't walk the talk: exhorting people to change to low energy light bulbs whilst keeping their vast offices ablaze all night, levying VAT on refurbishment but not on carbon-intensive new build and advocating more airports and airport runways.

Many of the fatigued coast along on credentials as cyclists, composters, shopping bag providers, air-travel refuseniks, owners of water butts and installers of loft insulation – but further than that they don’t want to go.

In May’s Ecologist, Renee Lertzman cites research findings that those who won’t go further are paralysed when faced with the size of the problem.

I admit to the feelings of anxiety, fear or powerlessness described in the article, leading to inaction, but these are not due to the size of the problem. My down-to-earth fear is of a series of muddles & the hassle of such errors if I change to a more ethical bank, electricity provider or phone company - not least the inevitable hours spent on infuriating call-centre phones.

Even more I dread any eco-housing improvements which will lay me open to repeating recent experiences with builders who made mistakes, lots of mess, broke a washing machine and blocked an outside drain with concrete. I also remember phoning a friend who’d had a solar panel installed the day before to find him in a dreadful state: water was pouring though his ceilings and the distant installer could not come back for a few days.

However three people have given me courage to decide to make further changes and more will be said about Hall Green’s Bill Clarke, Balsall Heath’s John Newsom and Digbeth’s Rianne ten Veen.

Just watch this space.


The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer