Should I buy a horse?

My desire to stay green is leading me to the bridleway of despair

The last time a Member of Parliament exercised his right to ride a horse into the precincts of the Palace of Westminster was in 2004, but just maybe I will have to get used to doing that.

Let me explain.

In 2006, David Cameron was in the arctic hugging huskies to illustrate his campaign to save the planet. So, I thought as a new Conservative MP I can’t hug huskies, but perhaps I could do something to help the environment. Therefore, I thought I would get rid of my polluting petrol car and replace it with a biofuel car. I bought a small Saab and filled it with biofuel from my local Morrisons.

It all went well for a few months — yes it cost more to run — but I was doing good. However, it then became clear that the production of the biofuel was destroying the rainforest. Instead of saving the planet I was destroying it.

So, I thought ok I know, diesel cars produce far less CO2 than petrol cars, i’ll get a diesel car. Now apparently every time I drive down a road I spew particles in the air which help kill people.

What a disaster.

But perhaps the solution is buying an electric vehicle? They are very expensive, but I wouldn’t be destroying the rainforest, it doesn’t produce CO2 or any other nasty particles. Fantastic!

But is it that straightforward? Apparently when they mine the cobalt in the Congo, it produces toxins than poison the human body. Worse still, young children are being used in the mines as slave labour.

So, should I really be driving an electric car to make me feel good about the environment, when I’m possibly poisoning young children in the developing world?

And what do we do with the dead batteries? After a few years the electric batteries have to be replaced and yet less than 5 per cent are recycled. The vast majority of dead batteries are sent to landfill with all their toxic and poisonous components. It’s not really saving the planet.

So maybe the answer is a horse? No CO2, no poison particulates, no destroying the rainforest. That’s the answer!

But wait, the horse produces methane, which is 86 per cent more dangerous than CO2.

Perhaps I won’t be riding to Parliament anytime soon.

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