A Bunch of Questions, A Few Statements But Even Fewer Answers
In this time of climatic change and uncertainty, I have come across a few questions and statements that for whatever reason resonated with me – whether that resonation was to acknowledge they were true, or false, or bore further thought.
Here is my take on a few of them.
Nature will Adapt, So it is Fine
There is no doubt the earth, and by definition, nature will indeed survive the cataclysmic events that climate change is bringing. Events such as mass extinctions and radical changes to ecosystems will not mean the end of the natural world, but there can be little doubt that the earth will be poorer for experiencing them.
The Belief That We Can Continue to Eat the Planetary Cake and Not Get Fat
Okay, a little bit more is involved in this one. What I take this to mean is that the belief that we can keep extracting everything the earth can provide, and not expect this series of acts to have consequences is untenable. There will be massive consequences. Another way to look at it is to believe we can consume without limits, and there will not be some form of payback.
The Earth is a System with Humans at the Centre
This one is definitely at the core of many religions, world views, and I would also say economics. God is believed to have given humanity dominion over – well, pretty much everything. Once you think about this a bit, you realise this viewpoint is heavily entrenched in all parts of our civilisation and skews the way we view everything else on this earth and beyond. Nothing like being special.
Humans Are A Part of the Web of Life, Not at the Centre
This statement is the contrary viewpoint to the point above. At one time in our human history, this would have been the only viewpoint, at least before the spread of the great desert religions. Luckily many indigenous belief systems have preserved this truth. We are a part of nature, part of the web. Whatever strand gets plucked and resonates, affects us all.
If You are not Depressed About What is Unfolding, Part of the Time at Least, Then You are Not Paying Attention
I am afraid I sometimes suffer from this. Nicola, my wife, sometimes says to me that I am not to read any more books or articles on climate change, both on the effects to date, and scarier, the likely events to come. I anguish for the world that my grandchildren may inherit. I despair of reading denialist nonsense, especially when given credence. I even despair more to see the ignorance and shoulder shrugging that so defines our society. A society who believe that the party can keep going on.
How Do We Change the Trajectory, Not Just the Technology?
I find this an interesting question. There seems to be a widely held belief that “someone” will miraculously invent some process that will put everything right. If this miraculous but highly unlikely process ever came to light, it would indeed be a miracle. What needs to change in reality, and, is an order of magnitude more difficult, is the trajectory of our consumerist, growth at any cost, society. Anything else is a band-aid at best.
If We All Suddenly Had Renewable Energy, What Would That Actually Solve?
If our civilisation was suddenly totally powered by renewable energy, what would that solve? Would it drop carbon emissions – yes. Would it clean up the freshwater on the planet – no. Would it lead to a more fair and equitable society – no. Would it restore the natural rhythms of the planet – animals, birds, insects, wetlands – maybe it would help a little. Would it stop the 6th mass extinction – no. If renewable energy allowed us to carry on business as usual, then very little will be solved.
What would you say to the points raised above?