Doublethink – Misplaced Trust In New Environmental Initiatives?

If George Orwell’s tale of a bleak dystopian future – Nineteen Eighty-Four – has taught us anything it’s that, rather than back-room conspiracies , language is one of the biggest weapons of control that can be used against a population.

Published in 1949, Orwell’s seminal work described in detail the inner workings (even if they do remain cloudy) of the totalitarian government The Party, and the tyranny endued by the population it controls.  A book that investigates the reasons behind – and consequences of – censorship, how relevant is it today?

More transparent than they were in the past (thanks in part to the fallout from the recent banking crisis) today’s business deals and government policies are now made and implemented in ways that appear more open and honest.  While we should be thankful for this new transparency, we need to be careful that we’re still not falling afoul of deals that stand to negatively impact on both our standard of living and on our environment.

When we take a closer look at things, do we still find ourselves being duped and kept out of the loop, albeit in different, more sophisticated ways?

Are Gloucestershire’s proposed plans to build a waste incinerator really forward thinking?

In Gloucestershire, plans for a waste-to-energy incinerator have been announced, with the county council already having awarded the project £500m.  Increasing popular among those looking for new ways to deal with the growing waste problems they face, waste-to-energy processes still fail to fully address the predicament we find ourselves in.

Using new technology and applying it to outdated methods of waste disposal, is Gloucestershire’s newly proposed incinerator an example of Orwellian Doublethink – a concept that sees two contradictory beliefs, that of ‘eco-friendly practices’ with material destruction accepted simultaneously?

Are we doing enough to see though the language that surrounds new waste disposal initiatives?

Business deals like the one recently made between UBB (the incinerator’s developers) and Gloucestershire’s country council are no longer kept hidden, but those behind them do their best to avert public reaction through the use of certain ‘buzzwords’, such as ‘eco’, ‘green’ and ‘environmentally friendly’; popular phrases we fail to question.

With existing methods of waste management (skip hire services, recycling plants) drastically under-funded, is it not more responsible to divert funds in more appropriate ways?  While skip hire services themselves aren’t capable of solving the situation either, it’s important not to accept on face value the worth of these new ‘environmental’ initiatives.

Great blog created by Rob Henry for the waste management industry.  Contains 1 link in the body to