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Ready for Copenhagen?

A microwave chicken korma? Not for Matthew Reeves - he's too busy wading through the latest in broadsheet enviro-waffle.
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Walking home from a particularly dull lecture the other day, wrapped in my thick, warm coat of lethargy, I found myself staring at the shelves of Tesco, perusing the pizzas with shame. Whilst my height would be described by a doctor as "below average", I like to look down upon the ready meal buyers. People who buy ready meals are people who make do. I may be a student but at least I cook from fresh. But as my eyes wandered towards the ready meals like Eve's hand towards the apple that the snake had drugged, I spotted the "Jacket Potato and Cheese" ready meal. This takes ninety minutes in the oven, making it the least ready meal available. You could roast a chicken in that time. It's a myth that ready meals are faster than the normal kind. As a tip to all you budding chefs out there, if you've armed yourself with a standard-issue Maris Piper, put it in and after waiting for an hour and a half your meal isn't cooked, then you've put it in the cupboard. But idiots will buy anything. The price of food went up last month with the consumer price index (CPI) showing a 0.4 per cent increase. It got me wondering how much economic inflation is caused by morons. People in the City say it's to do with oil prices and the weak pound but could it have more to do with the weak-minded?

This slight increase in inflation might actually convince people that the UK's recession will one day end. What worries me is that any recovery in the economy will be a green light for the Guilt-a-saurus Rex that is environmental journalism. When everyone was losing their savings at least they had something else to write about. Now environmentalism is filling up the newspapers again and, with Copenhagen around the corner, this time it's armed. I'm not the kind of person who thinks all environmentalists should do their bit to cut CO2 emissions and stop breathing. I'm all for recycling and cutting landfill. But I'm not so keen on environmental journalists who prefer to peddle lifestyle advice over reporting science. Take Lucy Siegle, an Observer columnist who wrote, "plastic bags are undeniably useful so reuse each one extensively. Hand them down to future generations, a plastic bag might take 1,000 years to degrade. Give them as presents. The world's remaining plastic bags should become family heirlooms." If I was in Lucy's family I'd move to Malawi and wait for Madonna to adopt again.

So as Copenhagen approaches and the green debate grows like The Hulk, a few questions remain. Will we see progress and a proper strategy or will the whole event sink in a swamp of green ink? I predict that when Copenhagen is in full swing, editors will have to read and approve a lot more korma stained, self-help copy. It's enough to make you want to put your head in a cupboard.


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