On some political websites, Green Party participants don’t talk about political pragmatism when justifying continued participation in Govt, despite all the revelations at the Mahon Tribunal of unaccounted sums of money, including foreign currency, washing through the Taoiseach’s hands and accounts linked to him.
Instead, they talk about applying “ethical weightings” to the dilemma, justifying staying in Govt on the basis of getting Green policies enacted, rather than acting as moral watchdog on Fianna Fail. (Pat Rabbitte recycled an old political joke on radio this week: “Faced with the choice of saving the planet or keeping FF straight, the Greens have taken the easy option.”)
But here’s the real problem with Green Weighting of Ethics:
Into one pan of their scales the Greens put “Saving the Planet“, which means that you could put the foulest things imaginable into the other pan and they could still justify their actions. So political corruption, war, famine, pestilence - “bring them on, we’re saving the planet, we have to hold our nerves and our noses and persevere in Govt”. They could have served with Pol Pot on that basis!
And yet, even if Ireland does reach the target of 15% reduction in emissions by 2012, what micro-fraction of 1% reduction in the overall global warming problem will that achieve?
When the Greens work out that micro-fraction, is there any chance they might put it in the pan of their ethical scales and see what level of political corruption can be carried in the other pan before it reaches the tipping point?
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