Is it about time we are waking up to the fact that we, in the western world, are living way beyond our means? For a start, we cannot deny, certainly not in Britain, that we are guilty of fouling the planet with our over-consumption which produces and does increasingly so, enormous quantities of greenhouse gases. It has been known for some time that due to rising sea levels the low lying atolls and island nations of the Pacific are in danger of disappearing altogether! The rise in sea levels is entirely due to melting icecaps of the Poles and mountain glaciers. It is expected that the levels will rise by another 3-5 meters by 2100. I shall have to tell my grandchildren in due course to wear swim vests before going to bed.
Well, these things are already known but as per the usual there is a lot of chat, many high-level meetings but no action. At the most very little action. The talk in the western world is still the same, we are worried about economic growth and want more! We do not retreat one inch from our demands. We must have Christmas, which actually is a festival about the birth of someone who was basically one of the poorest persons in the world, with a very small footprint, no mortgage, no house and barely enough clothes to cover himself. But we, insist on enormous quantities of food on the table to celebrate that person. Whilst giving presents that mostly will end up in the bin or oceans within a few days. We must have our holidays in Spain or Italy. When you see young people on the many TV Game shows and they win and are asked how they will spend the money the usual answers are, Travel the world. I suppose I don’t blame them but it seems to escape their collective brains that the very act of travel has put untold tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The facts are simple really, we are, all 8billion of us now, putting too high a demand on the available resources. And most worrying of all is that there will be a price to pay. This is something that is not understood by those whom we elect to lead us. You see this yet again in the UK. A new government, a new PM, a new Chancellor and what do they do? Increase taxes, cut some expenditure to satisfy investors so that the value of the pound is stable, or rather more stable than it was! All with the exclamation – A budget for growth! Which really means more demands on an already tottering environment. Demands on scarce resources and higher sea levels. I would like to say to those meeting in Sharm-el-Sheikh, especially those from the aforementioned Pacific nations, just go home and build your houses on stilts. It is already far too late, all that can be done now is just minimise CO2 and Methane levels. Don’t listen to the sugar coated words of the western nations, they may well push you aside with promises of some small sums of money. That money if you are not careful, will end up in the pockets of unscrupulous politicians as in many African nations. It is a sorry state of affairs and really shows up the so-called most intelligent animal on the planet. They simply cannot control themselves. And as for me, I belong to that genus of animal and live in the western world.
Please accept my apologies.