What is the most blatant hypocrisy in the climate change movement? Recreational drug use.
It has been revealed that London does more coke than Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam combined – with 23kg consumed on a daily basis to the value of £2.75million, according to a study by King’s College London.
I’m shocked at how normalised we’ve allowed this habit to become. People get up in arms about their sweet potatoes coming in plastic wrapping but then don’t think twice about about snorting coke on the weekends.
It’s easy to bash people for their moral inconsistencies but if you’re an environmentalist fighting the good fight, you have to be tough on yourself.
Recreational drug use isn’t just a personal risk, it is contributing to the destruction of our planet.
‘Narco-deforestation’ is devastating – throughout Central America, drug traffickers cut down rainforests to cultivate coca plants (which is used to make cocaine).
Then there is a second wave of deforestation as the drug is hiked up in price and gives a juicy profit to those making it, who in turn buy bio-diverse forests and transform these into agricultural land – so they can make more cocaine.
In Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala alone, drug trafficking is responsible for up to 30 per cent of annual deforestation, a study in the journal Environmental Research Letters revealed in 2017.
These numbers are terrifying and sickening in equal measure. Would you still take coke if you could see the rainforest fires burning every time you snorted a line?
It’s an age-old adage but it’s true: Fairtrade cocaine is not readily available. There is no organic, farmer’s market, low carbon version of the drug. People who do coke and claim to be environmentalists are hypocrites, because they’re engaging in one of the most environmentally-destructive activities there is – purely in the pursuit of hedonistic pleasure.
I’ve witnessed the ultimate irony – my coked-up climate change activist mates ranting at me about the state of the planet.
The argument in favour of recreational drug use usually runs along the same lines: ‘I’m taking a risk here. It’s my health and my possible run-ins with the law’.
I can see why this is an attractive way to justify it, but you need to think about your actions in terms of their environmental impact – as with meat or flying.
The recent Extinction Rebellion protests have helped put climate change into sharp focus, but it’s always worth re-stating: drastic action is needed to halt the climate emergency. It’s in the hands of individuals – mine and yours – not just government’s or those of corporations.
All cocaine users, even just weekend warriors, have to take responsibility for the wider impact of their habit. Supply feeds demand, so you’re a culprit regardless of how often you do it.
We all need to sacrifice personal pleasure in order to do our bit for the planet and cocaine use can’t slip under the net.
Swap out that juicy steak for a lentil curry, take the train down to Cornwall instead of flying to Ibiza, stop placing your midnight order. The fact it makes you feel good is not a good enough reason to ruin other people’s futures.
I’ve witnessed the ultimate irony – my coked-up climate change activist mates ranting at me about the state of the planet. Actions speak louder than words. They’re never going to convince anyone doing that, they’re just going to feel like death the next morning.
It’s all very well if you’ve gone down to the protests and held a placard this week, but if you’ve forgotten about it by Friday night and picked up a gram of coke, you’ve not done your bit.
Set strong positive example and don’t take cocaine.
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