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March 2023

State of the Union

A friend of mine posted the following on our goups forum:

Remember, remember the 5th of September, 2000
by Kathy McMahon

If you believe that soon the world will resemble the events that occurred around the 5th of September, 2000, would you right now:
(a) Use the money you've saved to go travelling around the world while you still can;
(b) Put money and effort into potential solutions to the forecast problems facing your personal and communal survival;
(c) Invest your money in whatever makes you happy and throw a big party.

I have chosen a) but not as a conscious decision to ignore the plight of the planet and the humanity that its supports so precariously but rather to fulfill a desire i have always had and ambition that has always burned in me since i became aware that things outside my own experiences existed and persisted independently of my what i could see in my mind.

I think that the question is rather insulting to draw such a black and white line through the issue and look at it as if it is independent of any other issue. But think that by creating discussion it has served its purpose well.

I think that the Oil crisis described is really putting forward an anti globalisation argument rather than being specifically about our reliance on fossil fuels. Theoretically if we all lived near our work places and only bought local produce we would not be reliant on fossil fuels for transportation or ourselves nor of our food.

Now it would not be possible for all the people in London to work with in walking distance of their work, nor, i assume, would it be possible for them to survive on the food that could be grown locally. But then If we were forced to confirm to the ideals above a city such as London would not exist as it does today.

I think things should and will become more expensive to reflect their true cost (production and the expense on the planet). Perhaps those beans from Africa would actually cost more than those grown in the UK for us Londoners wandering round the supermarket. Really it is obscene how cheap things are (even in ludicrously expensive London) when you consider how far then travel to arrive here.

But I know also that flights are terribly expensive environmentally and yet relatively cheap to actually purchase – just look the back packing culture that didn't exist not so long ago. People used to have to join the military in order to see the world now me and all my friends pick up and traipse off to London (well not quite all and not quite traipse but it was relatively easy). I just hate the idea that in the future we will revert to the time when travel abroad was a massive undertaking and unreachable for so many and yet i know that the environmental cost of my air travel outstrips any environmental savings i make by walking to work and not owning a car.

I think it is too simplistic to say we should all just put all our money into research for sustainable. But its too easy to say the government should be funding this research.. but after all the fundamental purpose of governments is to ensure law and order. Isn't sustainable energy essential to that? Even large corporations should be looking toward solutions to ensure their own survival. Or are all the CEO's and MD's counting on the Buddhist and Hindus being wrong and escaping the impending trouble – 'not in my life time'.


Comment from Hoa.
Time: September 8, 2006, 5:10 am

Cal, I can use this entry as a basis for an article, it'll probably mean I'll link to this article/website and quote it as well.

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