I don’t have any answers, nor it seems do our world leaders. As President Donald Trump, the climate change denier, now calls coronavirus the latest Democrat hoax, and PM Boris Johnson deems it fitting to bring a fifth child into the world, our poor planet is rebelling against our collective treatment of it.
I repeat, I don’t have any answers.
I have a friend in Yorkshire who now sees ducks paddling past her windows, where the water has risen half way up her ground floor. She is deeply shocked and frightened. This is in England. How about all the peoples across the world affected by massive changes in climate which wreak havoc with crops, with water supply, with plagues of locusts, with fires? What is it going to take for our leaders to admit they’ve got it wrong, and that the economy is not their main consideration?
What can we do?
As an individual the problem can feel so terrifying and overwhelming that it’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and carry on with “business as usual.” Indeed, until radical changes in the law are made, why wouldn’t you? Well, arguably, my answer to that is that every little helps, and that we really do need to keep on raising awarenss of the severity of the situation. We can begin to change our damaging habits now – eat less (or no) meat and animal products, reduce our consumerism, lower our heating, travel less. These may feel as if they make no difference, and in real terms perhaps they don’t, but you can tell your friends what you’re doing, and word will spread.
My sense is that this is beyond the physical – what is happening in our “world gone mad” is that we have lost sight of what really matters in life. In the quest for instant pleasure, vast wealth, “fitting in” on social media, showing the world just how damn fine you are, we have lost something far greater that can never be replaced by these fruitless chases. We have lost our connection with Nature, and in that, connection with ourselves and each other. It’s somewhat ironic that globally we have never been more connected…
My vision going forward is that we will need to return to our communities and build relationships with those who live near us. I see skills-sharing as the norm – you show me how to put up a shelf, and I’ll show you how to grow carrots… It’s down to love and respect. It’s in the Bible, it’s re-quoted by Eckhart Tolle…”Love thy neighbour as thyself.” Not “as much as” yourself, but as if they ARE you… And as we love our neighbours, we love our planet. How can we possibly think it’s ok for human activity to have destroyed other species, and for it to continue to destroy them at an alarming 200 species PER DAY? If we change, Mother Earth will have her chance to recover. If not, be sure she will chuck us humans off…