Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marital breakdown and climate change

According to Australian Senator Steve Fielding the breakdown of traditional marriage is bad for the environment. Divorce is a "resource-inefficient lifestyle" and therefore unhappy couples should stick together for the sake of the planet. I suppose that's a bit grander than "for the sake of the children".

Steve is the lone Senator of Family First, and whilst he shares many of their ultra conservative views to his credit he did face calls for his resignation for backing a woman's right to choose. However, that doesn't change the fact that he's cynically using the issue of climate change to push a rather backward view of society.

Don't get me wrong - he's right. More and more of us are living in smaller and smaller units and that is inefficient on a whole number of levels. It's part of the housing crisis, it's more expensive on a personal level and, yes, it's bad for the environment.

The problem for our back to basics Senator is that the nuclear family is also "resource-inefficient". If we want to organise our living arrangements according to the needs of reducing our carbon footprint then we should be living far more communally than boxed off family units. The basic unit of living should be the community not the household - that's if we're serious about making fundamental social changes to address climate change.

I don't know if the good Senator is an advocate of anarcho-communism or not but as a great man once said "those who half make a revolution dig their own graves". Attacking divorce isn't even a half measure when it comes to CO2. Come on Mr Fielding call for shared communal living, I dares ya!

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