photo by Michael Foley Photography (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Here is an extra clip from Age of Stupid director Franny Armstrong’s The Stupid Show in which young citizens of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates are interviewed about environmental attitudes in their country.

This could easily just be seen as a typical ‘laugh at the rich kids’ bit of reality TV. There is nothing exclusively Emirati about how these young people feel about environmental issues and how they live their lives. After all, Paris Hilton didn’t become an international star and yes, ‘role model’, for nothing. The ‘greed is good’ mantra didn’t die with legwarmers, hair mousse and other 1980s trappings. Give most kids a huge disposable income and they will use it selfishly and to have fun.

Of course, most young people in the world don’t have massive disposable incomes or access to flashy gas-guzzlers, but countless dream of it. Capitalism encourages this while making it possible for a select few in order to keep the dream alive. What’s shown in this video strikes me as nothing more than one version of the American dream being exported to the affluent UAE. Despite the Arabic music I was hearing the Beach Boys singing ‘Fun fun fun till her daddy took the T-bird away’ in my head while watching Dubai’s young and wild joyride on Dubai’s polluted beaches and openly rationalize about their lifestyle like any good rich kid would.

The Stupid Show – Extras – Report from United Arab Emirates

by Zeina Aboul Hosn

For a look at how the UAE matches up with other countries in terms of both per capita and total carbon emissions from fuel consumption, have a look at this informative graph in the Guardian, which is based on figures from the US Energy Information Administration. The UAE tops the per capita emissions list.

Also check out Franny Armstrong and UK energy and climate change minister Ed Miliband’s live blog from the UK election trail.