Posted on 3rd January 2020 at 15:54
So, 2020 is here, with all the promise and potential a new decade offers. Look back 100 years and we were heading into the Roaring Twenties, a time of massive economic prosperity for Western society and culture - and throwing caution to the winds! Known in France as the années folles - crazy years, in Germany as the goldene Jahre - golden years, it was a decade of change, of defying the strict social codes that had dictated behaviour for so long and embracing new styles of dancing, dressing, music and cultural mores. People started to own radios and telephones, increasing communication and knowledge dramatically, and car ownership took off especially in the United States, in turn creating the need for roads and of course the products of the oil and gas industry. Roll forward 100 years and connectivity is at a level undreamed of by the flappers of the Jazz Age, smart phones are everywhere with more computing power at our fingertips than put a man on the moon, and the inexorable rise of hydrocarbon driven economies has left us in a right old mess.
Type new year resolutions for the planet into Google and you’ll get a plethora of proposals for what you should be doing. Embracing vegan eating, recycling more (and more effectively), reducing travel especially by air, rejecting all single use plastic (much harder than it sounds), reducing food waste and composting what’s left, scrapping the gym membership and walking or cycling everywhere, stop buying stuff you don’t need - there’s a surfeit of earnest advice out there. The media is awash with climate reporting at unprecedented levels; no news bulletin is complete without an update on planetary issues.