Environment

A view from a Dead Planet.

deadplanet

I wonder just why it is that we don’t heed the warnings on climate change, why we don’t see the havoc we’re wreaking? Perhaps it’s because most of us live on already dead parts of the planet. Surrounded by tarmac, concrete, brick and glass, dead stuff, it’s difficult to see the important changes taking place in the living world.

In our man-made environment much seems the same year in, year out. For instance, apart from the predominance of replacement plastic windows the road I grew up on 50 years ago remains largely unchanged. We’re more likely to notice a new shop front than the changes to our urban trees which, are already under attack from alien insects migrating Northward with the warmer temperatures. From this aspect it’s easy to see how the ‘climate change skeptics’ can make plausible assertions that the whole global warming thing is a conspiracy by government to create Green taxes.

Yet our existence here in our dead zones relies entirely on the remaining living world, the great forests, oceans and last wildernesses. Whilst we very rarely and is some cases never see them we have them to thank for moderating our excesses and for the air we breath.

In the coming days for the G20 our government will mobilise great numbers of police to protect ‘property’ in the dead zone, they will commit all the funds needed to ensure that edifices that represent a failed system are safe. Yet while the attention of the world’s press is focused on the ‘anarchists’ anarchy prevails in the living world. Chainsaws untroubled by such attention will continue their destructive business as usual, unseen the oceans will be plundered and the earth ripped for minerals.

deadplanet

I wonder just why it is that we don’t heed the warnings on climate change, why we don’t see the havoc we’re wreaking? Perhaps it’s because most of us live on already dead parts of the planet. Surrounded by tarmac, concrete, brick and glass, dead stuff, it’s difficult to see the important changes taking place in the living world.

In our man-made environment much seems the same year in, year out. For instance, apart from the predominance of replacement plastic windows the road I grew up on 50 years ago remains largely unchanged. We’re more likely to notice a new shop front than the changes to our urban trees which, are already under attack from alien insects migrating Northward with the warmer temperatures. From this aspect it’s easy to see how the ‘climate change skeptics’ can make plausible assertions that the whole global warming thing is a conspiracy by government to create Green taxes.

Yet our existence here in our dead zones relies entirely on the remaining living world, the great forests, oceans and last wildernesses. Whilst we very rarely and is some cases never see them we have them to thank for moderating our excesses and for the air we breath.

In the coming days for the G20 our government will mobilise great numbers of police to protect ‘property’ in the dead zone, they will commit all the funds needed to ensure that edifices that represent a failed system are safe. Yet while the attention of the world’s press is focused on the ‘anarchists’ anarchy prevails in the living world. Chainsaws untroubled by such attention will continue their destructive business as usual, unseen the oceans will be plundered and the earth ripped for minerals.

Ken Finn

We knew but we did it anyway

Do you worry about what people think of you?

Although there are some who say not, it’s probably fair to assume that most of us do. The way we choose our car, job, home, clothes and even partner has much to do with self-image. Others opinions are often the mirror with which we check and refine the image we wish to project. Generally we want to be thought of well.

How we want to be remembered is another aspect of the same desire.

Image how some future generation from now, perhaps sometime around the year 3000 will judge us for leaving them a pile of toxic nuclear waste to deal with. I’m embarrassed already. They will have the records that show we knew how long this stuff is lethal for so we won’t even be able to claim the cloak of ignorance. We knew but we did it anyway.

How bloody selfish are we that we can knowingly leave this legacy when there is an alternative? And for such a short-term fix, uranium the nuclear industry’s fuel is as finite as oil and coal.

Maybe long dead we really won’t have to worry about the nuclear fall-out but it’s very possible that in your lifetime you will be asked by a child why aren’t there any wild Polar Bears, Gorillas, Tigers, Orangutans, Lions, Albatross, Dolphin, Elephants, Hornbill, Coral Reefs, Ancient forests, why are so many things dead and extinct? What happened to the colourful tribes and people of the world?

The destruction of the planet’s life support systems are inextricably linked to the growth in consumerism. For the sake of stuff we already know doesn’t really make us happy we the developed nations of the world are it seems ready to destroy the earth’s wonder and make life a misery for the poor. It’s happening in one lifetime.

We know but we do it anyway.

Can’t change Won’t change

Selfish

Most times when commentators discuss the worrying effects of over consumption, the destruction of forests, ice caps or wildlife, there comes a point in the conversation where one of the parties say’s “ah but we are all too selfish, we are not ready to give up the lifestyle we have become accustomed to.” It’s often the end of the argument. We can’t change our ways so somehow the environmental destruction and the crushing poverty of the developing world are both unavoidable and inevitable. End of story.

This last weekend veterans of wars since the turn of the last century assembled to remember their fallen comrades. The poppies of Flanders a symbol for the souls lost in the struggle for a brighter future.

And today British and American soldiers are serving and dying in Iraq. This month saw the US death toll hit two thousand. Many would argue that they shouldn’t be there but misguided or not they are and must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.

So now tell me that ordinary people are not prepared to make enormous sacrifices. Those Allied soldiers are in Iraq according to our leaders to bring democracy to it’s people. I’ll just state that again! People from the US and the UK are ready to give up their lives for people they don’t know to ensure that they have the right to vote for a leader of their choice.

Our earth is in great peril and yet we are told that we, the shopping public are not prepared to make a few radical changes. In being told we can’t change we don’t change and that suits the corporate captains just fine.

Those who died for real freedom, liberty and justice may turn in their graves.

It Made It!

Thank you Motsamot for releasing my book in Cambodia!

When I began writing “My Journey with a Remarkable Tree” I have to admit to having a small dream that it would one day be read by someone in Cambodia. Today I found that Motsamot has read and released my book in Phnom Penh. Just as important perhaps is the journal entry by Nigi from the UK, in fact it brought me to tears.

Of course I’m deeply satisfied that my work is appreciated, I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that. But although its a cliché, without the help of my guide Sena it wouldn’t have been half the adventure it turned out to be.

My good friend Sena is currently in hiding following serious harassment from the illegal logging mafia. The reality for speaking out as a Cambodian is full of risks. Hopefully he will be able to return home soon.

In the coming month we will all be spending our money on gifts for our love ones, please consider carefully what you buy. Buy “Fair Trade” or local; buy a goat for a poor family, an acre of Rainforest to preserve or a leg for a mine victim. Spread happiness!