With the elections looming, expect to hear the same old bullshit about green policies. But when we take a close look at our environment, the spaces around us and our neighbours we realise things are not as they should be. If we look further and deeper at the spaces occupied by other people in other places we start to see real problems…Poverty, disease, lack of education, destruction and encroachment upon wild places, the list goes on.
Most people reading this can say: “I’m lucky”. We have clean water, access to free / cheap education, a job that provides a living for self / family, a roof over our heads etc.
We live in what is termed a ‘first world country’, a developed country. We are the wealthy, lucky ones.
And yet with this wealth and luck comes great power and as someone once said “with great power comes great responsibility”.
One area of injustice we may all be all be able to take some responsibility for and change with education and action is climate change. This may also be the biggest challenge facing mankind and the natural world. If climate change is not tackled the other worthy causes for which people fight may become redundant as humans are teetering on the edge of extinction. This may sound dramatic, and will be, if the experts are right.
Climate change scientists are fighting to educate governments and populations, especially in the developed world, of the dangers of unfettered unsustainable material growth.
They are constantly being challenged, and rightly so as any scientific theory should be tested and re-tested.
Most scientists around the world now agree that climate change is happening and that sustainable living in all areas of life, plus ‘green technology’, may go some way to address this problem.
However as governments and other agencies constantly put the climate change debate under the microscope, the ‘green agenda’ and how to achieve this (starting with brave, strong government policy cascading to the individual) is being diluted to suit our leaders party political needs.
The extremely useful but underrated choices the individual can make to address climate change have had much publicity. For example: re-use, repair, recycle, using the car less, flying less, using less water etc. However without big business, councils and governments acceptance that: A) Climate change exists B) That it is manmade and C) That it can be halted, then all action from the individual will be useless.
Governments and policy makers are hearing the message loud and clear from scientists and environmental lobby groups but are not taking informed action quickly enough, mainly due to economic and selfish (ie vote winning) reasons.
So here’s the crunch, individually we do our bit, collectively we hear the dire warnings but our democratically elected leaders sit on their hands.
The great responsibility that rests on our shoulders now extends to making our governments listen, learn and take action, before it is too late.
By David Livingstone