We have one more day in London before we fly out this evening at 7:35pm. Yesterday we spent time touring the National Gallery, the British Library and the Churchill Museum. All were wonderful experiences.
Today we will see the Imperial War Museum and we will make the trek up to Abbey Road Studios. We will take a break for a late lunch and spend the balance of the time shopping for souvenirs. We will have to make our way to the airport by 4:00pm.
It has been very interesting to see the similarities and differences in culture between Toronto and London. Both cities are very multicultural. Both cities are challenged by congestion and cost of living.
London”™s transit system is far more comprehensive. I would never willingly choose to drive a car in this city. The cost of living is remarkable in London. Perhaps it is through the perspective of using the Canadian dollar but I really do not know how people can afford to live here. The population density seems much higher. Regardless of the time of day, there were literally hordes of people on the major city streets and on the transit systems.
What stands out though is the focus on global warming and the monitoring of citizens. There is extensive coverage in the media on global warming. Prescriptive material on how a person should reduce their carbon footprint.
Would you like to know what is in store for Canada as we go down this path of saving the planet? Here is what I have learned: consumption in any form is bad. Londoners are being told to reduce or eliminate travel by air. Reduce or eliminate meat from their diets. Reduce or eliminate travel by car. Eliminate the use of plastic bags for shopping. Reduce consumption of electricity. Reduce waste. The list goes on but the interesting twist is what the government is prepared to do to ensure compliance: taxation and monitoring.
Taxation is no surprise but how far will governments go in terms of ensuring compliance?
I cannot help but notice that London is a city full of CCTV cameras. The cameras are visible in all of the public places that we visited. Insurance companies in the U.K. are promoting the use of GPS tracking to set insurance premiums. Hydro companies are promoting smart meters to monitor electricity use. And a recent proposal was raised to track and measure curb side waste.
Will governments leverage technology to force a reduction in consumption? I am convinced that granular tracking of personal consumption will occur. And it will be sold as good for the environment as well as good for reducing personal expenses. However, what will happen as consumption falls off? Will personal expenses really go down? Or will we end up with a significantly higher cost of living?
I hope the science on climate change is really solid for we are about to pay dearly for this battle.
I remember reading about the Black Plague. The symptoms were obvious: people were getting sick and dying in huge numbers. The greatest minds of the day were commissioned to research and identify the root cause for the plague. And the greatest minds of the day came back with two important findings: God was angry with the planet and the stars were misaligned.