Martin as ever is sort of correct, but so am I! His assertion that no social change happens without government legislation is sort of correct. I think we both ignored revolution. However people’s actions can make government action either inevitable or prudent. Students in Michigan mobilised a door to door campaign to ensure can recycling was introduced in (I think Michigan), this was despite a multi million dollar campaign by CocaCola. The students won and legislation was introduced. A similar situation led to the banning of white fur seal coats in the 70’s. This time it was a post card campaign which made government aware that it would be a popular move. maybe the reaction to MP’s voting down an amendment to the water bill presently before parliament may lead to another volte face.
My exemplar of recycling is still valid, albeit not the best. People collectively put a lot of time into an activity which they know is not the best way to help the environment, but do so in the absence of an alternative.
So yes Martin you are technically correct, but actions by individuals have a place too. And this is where the absence of leadership in the Labour Party comes in. Or any alternative leadership. We know that signing petitions has little impact as the numbers are actually very small – a petition with 5 million names would make politicians realise that their majorities could be toppled. Meat consumption per head in the UK has dropped considerably (17% in last decade) – but not enough (30% is a target), the number of anti-electric car voters is falling and we can expect numbers to rise rapidly soon. I am not sure the clothing industry has changed much, but is under increased scrutiny. Johnson says recycling plastic does not work, so basically ban it.
On flying I guess not many travel more than once a year – so make that a limit before imposing a surcharge at the same time as renationalising the railways (a popular move), as would renationalising the water companies.