Tuesday 22 July 2008

Environmentalism - killing freedom of choice

This article from Kerplunk skirts around a topic dear to my heart - obtaining a drinkable iced coffee. There are very few places in the universe that serve a good iced coffee - a drink that should contain no cream, ice cream and preferably no sugar. It should contain good, strong esspresso, milk and plenty of ice. A tall glass is a bonus.

Sounds so simple, but it's so hard to get. It is an example of a product that is rare, and only offered in small, widely distributed locations.

If it was not for the wonders of the jet engine and the internal combustion engine, I could spend the rest of my life going without them. My parents fly in from Perth tomorrow, and they will be carting as much Brownes Coffee Chill as their luggage will bear - frozen, of course, so that I can enjoy a milk product over a period of several weeks. When that supply runs out, I will have to fall back on driving to distant suburbs where I have discovered cafes that serve something that doesn't turn my stomach.

If the greenies get their way, my freedom to buy the best product and services that suit my tastes and lifestyle will be severely curtailed. I'll only be able to buy stuff that is available locally, which might be utter crap.

Driving to Bondi for a swim and a coffee and breakfast will be a thing of the past. Travel for the frivolous purpose of frollicking in the ocean, followed by a feed and a fang back through the cross city tunnel will be on the verbotten list. If I want to swim, I'll have to do it locally, even though the harbour around here is six inches deep and the bottom is covered in the sort of noxious chemical residue that produces mutant fish with 6 eyes. Don't even get me started on the lack of surf.

Frankly, they can go fuck themselves.

When we say that the car ushered in a period of never before known personal freedom, we mean that not only are we free to drive down Route 66 with the top down and stereo blaring; it also means that we are free to enjoy goods that can be cheaply and conveniently shipped to where we live. In this regard, the truck is a much bigger harbinger of freedom than the car. And don't forget the shipping container, and container ships. I can travel to Ireland to drink stout as it should be, without having to put up with subsisting on the muck brewed locally. Or the Irish can ship their stuff over here, with the upshot being that the competition keeps the local brewers on their toes. Even if we choose not to drink the Irish product, the very threat of drinking it, our ability to drink it if we want to, is sufficient to ensure that the stuff that is produced locally has to keep up with the standards and quality of the stuff produced far away.

The big problem with localism is that it suffocates competition. I don't want to wear hemp shirts with frilly collars, and if all the shirt makers within walking distance of me decided tomorrow that they would only produce scratchy hemp shirts with frilly collars, I would be bothered not. I would simply travel to a shirtmaker who offered me what I wanted, and deal with him or her. Or I would order them from an English shirtmaker in Paris, and have them shipped to me. That is freedom. The ability to not dress like a dork.

But the enviro-fascists don't want me to do that. They don't care if I don't want to dress like a dork - my personal preferences are irrelevant as far as they are concerned. It will be Mao suits for all if they get their way.

The sooner we start sticking their heads on pikes, the better off we'll be.

No one gets between me and my preferred iced coffee. They'll have to pry my car keys from my cold, dead hands.

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