Living in Interesting Times

We live in interesting times, of that there can be no doubt. How many other generations also believed they lived in interesting times? Most no doubt. However, the enormity of what is happening in our times is unparalleled.

Yet, on a personal level, I struggle to balance what I have researched, what I see with my own eyes and experience with my body, with the world I live in each day. From my research – and I have read widely not just unverifiable outpourings on the internet – there is absolutely no doubt that our civilisation is doing immense harm to the planet.

Included in that harm is not only climate change but also freshwater degradation, species loss (many scientists believe we are in the midst of the 6th mass extinction with extinction rates 100 times the historical background average), and pollution. Higher animals have lost 50% of their individuals in the last 50 years. There will soon be more plastic in the sea than fish. I could go on, but I will not as all this information should come as no surprise.

What a Dichotomy

There is this huge dichotomy between how we live, and yes on a physical level for the average person it has probably never been so good, and what is happening to our world. It is like we have placed our heads in the sand, while we rush to buy the latest iPhone, some other gadgetry, or wear once and toss clothing.

To me, it is understandable the protests and outpourings from many, young and old, but increasingly led by youthful leaders such as Greta Thunberg. Once you do the research, how can you not feel disbelief, anger and frustration?

Heads in the Sand

Yet, it is easy to understand why society as a whole only pays lip service to seriously addressing any of these issues. It is all just too big and far too hard. It is far easier and let’s be honest, a little calming to ignore it all, put our collective heads in the sand and hope it all goes away. Part of this collective denial is, on the one hand, hanging on the orchestrated denial coming from various industry groups and on the other a belief that “someone” will sort it all out. That because we are so clever we will invent some technology that by magic will make the whole environmental crisis go away. Such as what happened with Y2K.

How To Come to Terms With It

I think to come to terms with the unassailable reality that we are seriously damaging the earth, our only home, and not experience an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, which I have certainly felt at times, we need to be honest with ourselves. For a start, let’s call out the untruth. Who honestly believes that thousands of scientists are involved in a mass deception? Really? And Agenda 21, get a grip people, what nonsense.

If we can confront what is happening to our earth honestly, then perhaps we can find solutions. However, this will not come from governments or other bodies declaring so-called, climate emergencies, which invariably are just a bunch of empty words.

No the honesty we need is greater than that. It is a recognition that as a species, we cannot keep taking on the scale we presently do. The level of honesty is up to you and me.

It is only when we honestly accept that things will have to change that we can move on. What has to change for any specific individual may be quite different compared to another, but the change is going to happen whether we are ready for it or not.

So, learn to be resilient, call out the untruths, realise that the problem is way greater than just climate change, and let’s get on with working with nature and making a better world.

Brian Megaw

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