Here’re two short essays on our current predicament.
Well, I guess the IPCC at last has stated the Earth’s predicament succinctly for life as we know it. Quit making CO2 or in 10 or 12 years the Earth will be well on the way to bing cooked, perhaps in a run away fashion. And bad though it is, who believes that the IPCC has actually stated the worst case scenario, or even the most likely one?
So, what should an ecocentric individual do? Remember that we ought to be considering the interests of all life, and its surrounding life-supporting matrix in our decisions. It is self evident that the status quo is deadly, and unacceptable. There are two levels at which great change must happen: the personal level, and the group level. Individual action and government action.
It seems that under the pain of a very nasty life for all in 10 or 12 years individuals need to reduce the CO2 they generate the maximum extent possible. Impact equals population times consumption; measures to severely reduce both need to be adopted. No more flying; one child; no more private transportation; colder houses; no holiday CO2, such as cruises; no more plastic; no smart phones; no yachts; no more meat; no more forestry; lots more walking and biking; the list will be long for each of us. But necessary.
There will be bonuses associated with the changes of which a healthy life itself is the chief. It will be good to see the great sixth extinction stopped in its tracks.
Individuals alone cannot accomplish the necessary changes. Without effective government action, carbon reduction will never be sufficient. We must take all necessary steps to generate this action. Citizens must gang up on government, and make it accept its responsibilities. For instance, fossil fuels must be rationed increasingly until they’re gone, perhaps on a 10 year schedule. Assistance, at the necessary levels, should be given to encourage both carbon free energy and its use.
Our society’s operating paradigm must change to a life enhancing ecocentric one (from the current death dealing one). It would be useful to many to ruminate on the ideas that there is no right way to do a wrong thing, and before doing anything one ought to consider the needs of all species and the Earth.
The second essay erupted in response to an old, wrong, idea, freshly stated by David Attenborough.
At an entertainment level, I enjoy nature shows, Attenborough’s included. However, not so much at the description of reality level.
I think he’s dead wrong in his soft peddling the current situation. He and others have been advocating this approach for years and now the situation could hardly be worse. So what if we scare them, or deaden their interest (actually, how could it be deader)? We are already on the steepest down path available and heavily engaged in the current catastrophe; life 60% reduced in 50 years (except for the monsters, of course).
The IPCC report has been available for around a month now, and what has happened? Well, nothing to very, very little. Canada is still pushing tar sand oil and building pipelines, and people’s lives are going on as usual. Where is the realization that if ~1 degree causes the current climate breakdown that it is ludicrous to so calmly talk about 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees? But let’s not scare the stupid buggers, they might turn off!
IMO, it’s time to change course. Remember the old saying, often attributed to Einstein, “Only a fool would expect doing more of the same, even if done harder, will change the outcome”? How many of us have even considered the possibility that ‘the don’t rock the boat or scare the passengers’ philosophy serves only those whose interests include maintaining the status quo, and therefore their riches? That likely it was propagated and spread by them? Many of the other commonly espoused tenets probably fall into the same boat. You can think of them, I bet. (Democracy as currently practiced, property rights, non-violence, education, individualism, freedom to travel at will, energy supply must equal demand, right to bear unlimited children, plus, plus, plus.)
Time to become ecocentric, to think of the general good before personal gain, to consider the effects of one’s proposed actions on all life before undertaking them, AND to tell it as we see it.