by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The powers-that-be keep harping on that we need to get the economy growing again after the recession the world went through – what do you mean after the recession? – despite the fact that the constant growth economy is simply impossible in a world that if finite and the non-renewable resources of which are finite and almost exhausted. It is simply not possible and stopping climate change at the same time, as they think they can do while growing the economy is more than wishful thinking; it is an illusion.
The very notion of stopping and reversing climate change, as the proponents often talk about, is an illusion in itself, as may scientists also begin to agree. We will, as I have said for many years by now, learn to adapt to the fact that changes are happening which could, however, in the end, lead us to a new ice age rather than a hotter Planet.
However, we need to stop the pollution and stop talking about carbon and carbon credits. The substance nowadays referred to as brown or black carbon and which is responsible for most of the glacial melt once was simply called what is it, namely soot and it comes from the chimneys of industry.
Furthermore, as foresters already for ages and now forest and climate scientists have stated, an increase in CO2 will actually benefit trees and plants by increasing growth. This is not to say, however, that the stuff in the atmosphere may not have some other, yet unknown, serious side effects. Thus we have to reduce pollution and CO2 emissions are but part of our industrial pollution.
And how do we do that?
The answer is simple but also rather complicated for it calls for serious changes in the way we live and work and travel, and much more.
Another problem is that we have waited for many decades. We knew already in the late 1960s and in the 1970s that pollution was causing problems to the environment, and not just air pollution, and the Hippies in those days warned us about the throwaway society that we were becoming also. It was in those days when the word recycling was invented though the act has existed for generations and generations and reuse even more so.
The eightieth arrived, however, with Thatcher in the UK, and for some reason all the lessons that were being learned in the two decades before we thrown out like the proverbial baby with the bathwater in the pursuit of more and more material things and the wholesale murder of the Earth was ratcheted up a couple of hundred notches and the rest, as they say, is history.
We still have not woken up really even now as governments still believe that the economy must continue to grow and that we will find a way of getting the Planet back on track. The term “dream on” comes to mind here or “cloud cuckoo land”.
Even among people in the so-called green movement the talk is about a need to grow the green economy and to look for continual growth. This is fine if we can make products, etc., from waste materials only, and without the use of energy, or much of it, which all too often still is generated from non-renewable fuels. Greensumption has taken over from ordinary consumption and far too many believe that if they buy recycled goods and chuck their recyclables into the appropriate bins they can continue the status quo.
All too often we see that those who claim to be “green” cannot think further than the recycling bin and then going to the shops (or on the Internet) purchasing something recycled that they could have, very simply and easily, made from what they have tossed minutes ago into the recycling bin.
Very few seem to realize this and seem to realize that we are being conjured up a reality of an economy that is simply unsustainable and that a total U-turn is required if we and the Earth are to live and thrive.
In the first instance we will have to get the corporations out of the picture and then we need to change the system not the government. We do not need a (new) government, we need a new system. A system where the Earth and all Her children, humans, animals and plants, live together in harmony and where our interdependence upon the rest of the Planet is considered.
One of the first thing that need to change is the economy. From a permanent growth economy to a constant resource based one. Products need to be made again that last and that can be repaired by simple means and after their life has truly come to an end can be dismantled, easily into their components which can then be used to make new things.
Then, or may be parallel to that, our system needs to change from one that exploits man and Earth to one were that is a thing of the past and where people and the Planet are considered.
All of this, however, will mean a total change in what we have been used to over the last G-d only knows how many decades and centuries and it will not be an easy change for many.
However, the alternative is that of a Planet that can no longer support (human) life and thus the end of us all. We have only one Earth and there is no other Planet like it to which we can all escape (sorry, Prof, Hawkins, but you are wrong and a moron in that field). We either change or we all die, and this could be sooner than we think. The Earth – Gaia – will survive but we will not. Simple as that, unless we change and change now!