Talk is cheap; wild rhetoric even cheaper. Thus, talking green and making demands of other people are easy; it’s facing up to the implications of being green that’s hard. We should all know this, and maybe we shall come to know it better over the coming years as we embrace (or, if things go wrong, find we have to endure) a greener life.
This came to mind in reading a story about a protest in Oxford earlier this year. When students occupied a college, saying that they'd be staying put until the college agreed to declare a climate emergency and divest itself of its shares in BP and Shell, the bursar's response was swift. He said that he couldn't do any divestment immediately, but what he could do was turn all the heating off. He asked the students if that would be ok with them. The students were reported to be somewhat upset at what they saw as a lack of seriousness of the response to their proposal, and they pointed out that it was winter.
But it's too easy to smile at the plight of students who baulked at paying a price for what they themselves see as the greater good. We shall all be doing this as net-zero policies are adopted over the coming years. Indeed, we've been doing this already for some time: think air passenger duty, fuel taxes, and the renewables surcharge on electricity and gas bills. All these make some purchases more costly (sometimes significantly so) than the going market rate. We should expect more of them. How enthusiastic we shall be remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, those in the public re-education business will have lots of work.