As some of you may know, I recently began employment with a small, grass-roots organisation dedicated to helping local communities do anything they can to reduce their carbon footprint. I spent several months visualising a job exactly like this one; working with people of vision, action and commitment, 5 minutes from home and Wildflower’s school, and with regular hours that accommodate other commitments. It is literally a dream job for me. Of course, the downside of this employment is that it comes with an increasing awareness of climate change, a line of thinking which is liable to lead to the excruciating discomfort of self-examination.
Despite the impression I may have given you with the amount of space I devote in my blog to flippant observations and trite assumptions, I actually try hard not to be judgemental of others. Recognising in each of us the struggle to reconcile to the slip of time we have between life and death (sorry; bit of new-agey philosophy crept in there), I am inclined to forgive people their foibles and stupidities. Plus, I’m quite foible-ridden and stupid myself, so people in glass-houses and all that. Also, I’m afraid no one will invite me anywhere if I start airing my opinions about the urgent need to dismantle the military/industrial complex and the end of the world scenarios that await us if we don’t.
So on the whole I have been able to check an inclination to proselytise when confronted with my friend’s and loved one’s casual indifference to the impending doom that awaits us. I don’t want to single any one out, you know, or make people I care about uncomfortable, but I just don’t think the Good-Fairy Government from the shining land of We Actually Give A Toss is going to make an appearance and give us time off from our oil dependent lives to find a nice little techno-fix for this. Uh uh. If we don’t take matters into our own hands, no one else is going to do it for us.
I think a good strategy might be to eradicate greed on every level. Greed for new electrical toys, and new cars and new kitchens. Greed for the sort of personal satisfaction that lures us into driving all over our cities and countryside to indulge our recreational whims. Greed for prestige. Greed for power. Let us make Greed the most despicable crime of all, subject to the most terrible punishments. Karin Upton Baker and others of her ilk shall be minced up and sent to a starving village in Africa. This attitude will hit hard at big business and their entertainment arm – politics; the jokers in our world’s boardrooms and parliaments will not be pleased. But we mustn’t be tricked into thinking our own enjoyment of life will necessarily be diminished by an absence of greed. Joy is not in things, it is in us, and we don’t need nothing but food, water, shelter, meaningful work and love, and a bit of music and art thrown in – most of which need not be dependent upon fossil-fuels. It’s only big business that really needs that shit.
As the inspirational Rod Quantock pointed out at yesterday’s dismally attended 350 rally (shame Canberra, shame) the leaders of the world have all got tickets on Richard Branson’s space station, so they’re really not that concerned by the destruction of our species. My feeling is that quite possibly the best thing we could do is give Dicky a bit of a hand with building the thing and send them all up there right away. Then we might finally get something sensible done.