Top UK Christmas Sales
Following on from yesterday, my second revelation courtesy of Christmas television is this: The 1984 Band Aid single “Do they know its Christmas? (Feed the world)” is the biggest-selling Christmas Number One of all time in the UK (selling twice as many copies as any other song).
It is believed that the sales of this record prevented the deaths of over a million people. However, the fact that 2.5 million people still died in Ethiopia in 1984-5, and that people are still dying in the Horn of Africa today, should be sufficient evidence for most sensible people to accept that starvation and death are not just the result of poor food distribution, they are a consequence of poor people being unable to produce sufficient food to feed themselves.
Unfortunately, “most sensible people” is a category that would appear not to include large numbers of economists and politicians around the world – those who continue to deny the reality of limits to growth and/or that the Earth is already over-populated. This is a subject about which I have written a great deal over the last few months and, no doubt, is one to which I will return in 2012… However, the necessity of Band Aid in 1984 and Emergency Relief work every year since, should act as a sobering reminder of the reality that the vast majority of people on the planet are not interested in finding a bargain in the shops, they are just trying to eek out an existence from an environment that is barely capable of supporting the current number of humans on the planet; especially as more and more of them aspire to such a comfortable existence as we do in ‘the West’…
Therefore we are all to blame; because we are all far-too-comfortable with our Western way of life. However, as Mike Berners-Lee recently wryly observed: “If the Chinese middle class want a Western lifestyle, then Western lifestyles had better become lower carbon”. It was for this reason that Dr Myles Allen said in 2008, at the 4 Degrees and Beyond Conference in Oxford (UK) in 2008, pointed out that “We did not save the ozone layer by rationing deodorant!“
On that thought, it only remains for me to wish you a Happy New Year!