Did it work? After all, “Cute Kittens” did actually increase my audience. Go figure?! But to make sure this is not false advertising, I’ve included a photo of Spud as a puppy and a photo of Would’e, who is now nine months old.
The real topic of today's blog is:
How to save the world
But first, a quote:
“Be kind – everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” John Watson.
I had tried to put this into practice, even before I’d heard the quote. I’d experienced enough of what it is to be human: loss, pain, despair. I’d learned to value those people who are kind in their dealings with the world. I tried to emulate their example.
On days when the black temper hits me I hurt instead of heal. I’m glad those days are now rare.
On days when self-loathing eviscerates me, I try to keep it to myself. Keep smiling. “How am I? Good, thanks.” Just keep swimming.
On good days I try to share the joy.
But I’m straying from my subject. How do we save the world? And I say “we” very deliberately. I can’t do it all by myself.
There are lots of people out there trying to save the world, from Greenpeace globally to local Landcare groups. Each of us, in our small way, can contribute to a powerful change. But the message doesn’t seem to be getting through.
Are my words strong enough to nudge the gathering force; in my small way can I help the world to heal?
I see a clear pattern in the world around me. Let me sketch it for you.
There is a cycle of sorts which begins with human greed. Companies create profit through destroying environments in order to create products which they sell. (Some products, in the war trade, for example, cause further damage to precious ecosystems which may never recover.)
People are persuaded that they need these things: corporations need consumers. The media spreads the mantra that money can buy happiness, re-enforced by the images in popular culture – the cool dudes are rich and living in luxury, let’s face it. Digital enhancement plays on people’s self-esteem and encourages investment in fashion, beauty aids, cosmetic surgery . . . but I’d better not get side-tracked into the way the media is warping reality for the current generation.
Governments, in their turn, encourage this process. It’s good for the economy. Brings in the taxes. They probably would like to do something about achieving sustainability, but they don’t want to act too quickly – don’t want to scare the voters. Besides, big corporations often influence government decisions, and they don’t want to disrupt the status quo – don’t want to disrupt their profits.
And we’re back to the beginning of the cycle. A cycle I think needs disrupting.
Corporations could do it. They could throw all their resources into becoming sustainable and repairing the damage they have done. Some are trying, I know, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Blue is not my colour.
Governments could insist that it happened; in a big way. In times of war governments impose rations, people accept the need to make sacrifices for their country. But I don’t think that’s going to happen either. Do you?
That just leaves us. The people.
The thing that really scares me, is that if we don’t act more decisively and more quickly, the choice will be taken from us. As weather patterns change, crops will fail, famine will increase, extreme weather events will increase. For me that means knowing that a once-in-a-lifetime event, Black Saturday, is likely to happen again. For the people of the South Pacific it means watching their land sink into the ocean.
Our civilization, such as it is, may not survive global warming – in fact, it probably won’t. In these best of times it is so fragile. If it breaks down there will be no international rescue teams coming to bring us food after the hurricane has destroyed our homes.
Fertile land is already becoming desert.
And it is the people who will suffer.
Have you ever seen documentary footage or news reports about famine in Africa? That could be your child with the swollen belly. Or more likely your grandchild.
So what can we, the people, do to disrupt the profit cycle that would bankrupt our planet?
What I don’t understand is why I haven’t already heard this message, the answer to this question, loud and clear before now. Although the cynic in me immediately replies that it’s pretty obvious why. Two out of three in our destructive cycle don’t want this one getting around.
And it’s so blindingly obvious. Just stop consuming.
Well – no, it isn’t a simple thing at all, is it? We depend on the corporations for our income as well as being their customers – what will happen to people’s jobs?
At some point there will have to be some pain. But if we all put effort into absorbing the shock, helping each other through it, we’ll win the battle. If corporations co-operate with government, and we all help each other survive the rationing, whatever it entails, we can win the war.
We can hang out the sign: “To be continued . . .”