One’s rights finish where another’s rights start. No doubt exists that Extinction Rebellion protested at The Superyacht Forum in a civilized way, with the organizers being intelligent enough to bring the protesters on stage at the conference to share their views. But what Extinction Rebellion preach is a utopia focused on an apparently easy target.
In the world we live in, any legal and successful business achievement generates earnings for its owner: modest earnings for a small business, or huge earnings for multinational ones. Governments rule the conditions in which those earnings can be kept, that is part of the so-called Free Economy of the World. Some people can have properties and cars adequate for a basic quality of life, and some other people (the very few) can afford various enormous, and sometimes historical properties, with cars costing hundreds of thousands of euros, works of art that museums cannot afford, or even large yachts. Large yachts are not too many and are used not too often, and a calculation of their CO2 footprint is now possible thanks to the YETI method. The effort being made to reduce emissions, use alternative fuels, and improve design and propulsion efficiency is certainly benefitting smaller boats, both leisure and commercial. This is like Formula 1, which has for years, helped improve road and people’s safety, develop steering, and brake systems, and reduce consumption in people’s cars.
Nobody needs a 130m yacht to have a holiday, I agree, but such yachts are paid 100% by private money and provide two of the legs of sustainability (social and economic), including large taxes to governments. Nobody needs a 550.000-euro Ferrari to drive every day to work and back. Or need to live in a house with 25 rooms (unless royalty) and have another two or three huge properties, empty most of the time. Large yachts are easy to blame for such excess but are not the only ones.
Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov * decided in 1917 that no family had the right to live in a big house and he forced change, filling up the homes with as many families as possible. 73 years later the system collapsed and proved inviable, as it did not work.
Let’s regulate reasonably, learn from history, use our experience, and not use cheap populistic extremes to make a point. To complain is the easiest road to take. The only valid and useful complaint is the one which also proposes feasible actions to achieve the changes. We, as educated human beings, should always take that road.
*Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov: LENIN
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