Belmont Club

High society

The Telegraph explains what Lord Smith of Finsbury believes is necessary to Save The Earth. The idea is simple: everyone should be given a ration coupon corresponding to a carbon allowance. The free people of the world may thereafter go about their business, provided they pay out of their carbon allowance for everything they do.

It would involve people being issued with a unique number which they would hand over when purchasing products that contribute to their carbon footprint, such as fuel, airline tickets and electricity.

Like with a bank account, a statement would be sent out each month to help people keep track of what they are using. If their “carbon account” hits zero, they would have to pay to get more credits. Those who are frugal with their carbon usage will be able to sell their unused credits and make a profit. Lord Smith will call for the scheme to be part of a “Green New Deal” to be introduced within 20 years when he addresses the agency’s annual conference on Monday.

Finsbury, who is the chairman of Britain’s Environmental Agency, “is a British Labour politician, and a former Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister. He was the UK’s first openly gay MP, coming out in 1984 and, in 2005, the first MP to acknowledge that he is HIV positive.”

Prior to assuming his position, Finsbury was “Director of the Clore Leadership Programme, an initiative aimed at helping to train and develop new leaders of Britain’s cultural sector”. He is also active in the theater and in setting advertising standards. What has this got to do with the environment? Probably everything.

Antony Gormley, an English sculptor noted for his proposal to erect a work called the “Ejaculating Man” on Seattle’s waterfront, had choice words for the BBC’s audience. It differed somewhat from Lord Finsbury’s in detail, but not in spirit. Gormley believed that the best way to help Save the Earth was to go about barefoot.

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Now why didn’t we think of that? One person who probably continue to wear shoes is Al Gore. The Times of India reports the former Vice President as well on course to becoming the world’s first Carbon Billionaire.

Since he abandoned mainstream politics following his defeat in the 2000 presidential polls against George W Bush, Gore’s personal fortune has risen from 1.2 million pounds to an estimated 60 million pounds, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper. … “Al Gore wants to become the first carbon billionaire and he is poised to do it,” Marc Morano of climatedepot.com was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“As much as Gore’s made now, it is going to be a piker league compared to what he is going to make in five years if all these new carbon trading mandates go through,” Morano claimed.

What Finsbury and Gormley have in common is that they Know. Never mind how they know, they just do. And if you don’t get it, well why you never will. Global Warming is less about science than Getting It. By allowing the public to see into the thought processes of the enlightened ones, the Internet may provide the world’s first cure for snob envy. There may be more common sense in a Nepalese village than in certain quarters of High Society. Maybe Cole Porter had it right. Smart society is not always.

When you’re out in smart society
And you suddenly get bad news,
You mustn’t show anxiety
And proceed to sing the blues.

Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!
What frails, what frocks!
What furs, what rocks!

What gaiety!
It’s all too exquis!
The French Campagne!
So good for the brain!
That band, it’s the end!
Kindly don’t fall down, my friend.

Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!
Have you heard? It’s in the stars
Next July we collide with Mars.
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party
a swellegant, elegant party, this is!


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