Ah flip everyone- I’m causing havoc this morning! Wait til you hear. So the news yesterday: the IPCC report showed that climate change is accelerating more quickly than we thought. It’s a Code Red for Humanity; we have to try harder to protect the environment. It had me all flustered, hot and bothered. And who did I take it out on? The husband of course. He’s never off the internet, ordering things because he’s working from home and a bit bored. ‘But we NEED it,’ he bleats, as yet another item gets dropped at the door, by, you’ve guessed it, an Amazon van.
Now, these vans, they crack me up, because they’re never off our street, and often to our house. So on to the Frank phone in on U105 I go and speak to the lovely Denise.
‘Vans leaving their engines running while they deliver your goods,’ I say. ‘Really bugs me. Why don’t they switch them off a moment?’ It’s not just Amazon of course, it’s all cars and vans. Turn the engines off when they’re not moving. W need cleaner air. Simple.
On we chat, about ideas how we should be refilling wine bottles and milk bottles at the supermarkets and eating less meat. But no one is listening about that anymore- it’s the Amazon vans that have caused a stir.
LSB comes down the stairs and hears a proper fall out on the radio. ‘Tell that woman she doesn’t know what she’s talking about! The vans run on electric,’ says Tom in Templepatrick.
‘What did you go on and say?’ says LSB. ‘Amazon vans are electric, not diesel.’
‘Are you sure?’ I say, ‘They don’t sound electric to me.’
He reaches into his pocket, grabs his phone, and shows me some documentary evidence to the contrary.
‘Still not convinced,’ I say. But Frank’s phone lines have gone berserk. No one is talking about excessively packaged bananas anyone, the whole show has been taken over about Amazon, and their electric vans. I blame LSB. If he hadn’t gone and ordered a pencil case shaped like a cuddly Sloth for the Small Child, I might not have been so aggravated.
I talk to Denise at ten past ten. At five to eleven people are still ringing in about the Amazon vans.
But here’s the thing. Whether the vans are electric or not, we buy more than we need because it’s just too convenient. Amazon uses excess packaging- sure wasn’t there a cardboard shortage recently; beige gold they were calling it. They have massive data centres; huge shipping and production costs. All this doesn’t happen on fresh air- somewhere, factories are belching out black plumes of smoke because coal is being burnt to generate the electricity.
Jeff Bezos has the cheek to say, ‘Thanks very much everyone for sending me to space, you made a dream come true!’ as if his businesses don’t wreak enough havoc on the environment he takes a jaunt into space, during a global pandemic while wild fires rage. I’d say whether his vans are electric or not will be a moot point if he starts a billionaire space race. I’m starting to think he has a Bond villain’s agenda; he may be able to escape into orbit as the world burns, but for the rest of us there is no Planet B and yesterday’s report just clarified that.
So, should I have checked my facts before chatting to Denise? Probably. Did it get people talking though? It certainly did, and that’s where it all starts.