Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Late, Great, Planet Earth

If the data is correct, human activity is having an increasingly destructive impact on the planet. Just how destructive are we talking about?
40% of the worlds amphibians endangered, coral reefs succumbing to ocean acidification, extensive deforestation decimating sensitive environments where some of the worlds most remarkable creatures once thrived. Now the temptation here is to divorce yourself from this process, but to do so would be both dishonest and factually incorrect. Consider; the lives you and I take for granted are directly proportionate to the resources on which we depend. Everything we do has an impact, and denying this is probably the most lethal choice you and I can make. How bad is it? Only time will tell, but the science now stacking up paints a grim picture. It all probably seems so far removed from your day to day existence. It isn't. It is real and present. And it's no good just expecting big business and governments to resolve the issue. Don't forget, it is our demand for more that drives these engines of ecological death. So what to do? Well first we admit to ourselves that we're not distinct from the problem but rather the cause of it. As with all attempts at change, it starts with an honest and sometimes uncomfortable assessment of ourselves. That 50" plasma? Do you really need that? And that 4x4 you just poodle around in? Excessive perhaps? I bet if we all look soberly at ourselves we'd soon see that there's a lot we could be doing that we're currently not. It's your planet, so I guess that makes it your choice. You and I both know that in isolation our best efforts are incapable of making a difference, but what if we all commit to doing a little? Better still, what if we can teach our kids about responsible living? Now that's indoctrination I'd happily sign up for as it causes no obvious harm and has the potential for untold good. I want my children, and their descendants to be able to enjoy the wonders all around us. I want them to have lives at least as good as my own and hopefully even better. Will you help me in this? Will you do what you can to protect this wonderful pale blue dot? Or will the future be a lament about the late, great, planet Earth?

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