One of the reasons that so many big government types are so keen on the environmentalist agenda is the way that it can allow the nanny state to intervene in areas that, even a few years ago, would have been imaginable. It’s about control; it’s not about the planet. Here Via the Reuters blog is a particularly ludicrous example of how this thinking can operate from ‘celebrity chef’ Gordon Ramsay (fortunately, he’s in no government, and never likely to be so, but the overall point stands):
Chef Gordon Ramsay is never shy of courting controversy and he is back in the headlines again calling for restaurants to be fined if they sell out-of-season vegetables or fruit…Ramsay’s latest target is food flown in from abroad. “I don’t want to see asparagus in the middle of December,” he says. Most people over 30 can probably remember when a strawberry would never have been seen except during the British summer and the celebrity chef would like to see a return to the culture of eating home-grown produce. What’s more, environmentalists argue that it is better for the planet, as according to the Department for Food and Rural Affairs, air freight emits more greenhouse gases per food mile than any other form of transport.” Even if we overlook the fact that none of this is government’s business, there’s this: “Ah, but what about the farmers in some of the poorest countries in the world who are producing the food for our supermarkets? That trade is vital to their wellbeing, with a million farmers and their families in Africa depending on it, according to the Department for International Development. What’s more DFID says driving six and half miles to buy your shopping emits more carbon than flying a pack of Kenyan green beans to the UK. “Do we, in rich countries, help poor countries to trade their way out of poverty by buying their exports, or do we say no to air-freighting and buy local produce instead?,” DFID asks.”The answer seems obvious to me.