Author of stories for children, Scientist and Philosopher organic cotton products, comments on life, the universe and everything, photography. Conservationist, Environmentalist. Lives on the pale blue dot. Humanity must tread more lightly on the world
Sales figures? Growth figures? Money in? No, the figures that really matter. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere plus the other greenhouse gases, the extent of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and the like. You know the figures that many, if not most businesses don’t give a damn about in the pursuit of profit or their contribution to.
So what is climate change? Very simply it’s you and I and the other 8,000,000,000 human monkeys being normal. It’s us going about our days with very little thought to what we as a total are doing to the very finite dot that we all reside on. Some of us drive cars, some of us live in mud huts, some of us use computers and are paid lots of what we call money for doing so while others walk kilometres a day just to collect dirty water or firewood. Climate change is the cumulative effect of 8,000,000,000 of us doing what we are doing from one instant to the next. And whether we are sitting in an office making wealth on a screen, or building a fossil fuel power plant that will hasten our demise or walking under the baking sun for some dirty water, few of the the collective consciousnesses are considering what will happen when we run out of moments. For instance, here’s an article on the flooding that will occur later this century. So whatever you are doing that is normal and that you are doing at this moment sit back and have a think about what the cumulative effects are of your 8,000,000,000 neighbours of the pale blue dot are before it’s too late.
Whoever we are, whatever we are doing, we very rarely have time to think about what’s happening to everyone else and the rest of the planet at any one given moment. So some of us floss. We’ve been recommended to by our dentist, hygienist, parents, slick marketeers or whoever.
So consider this. Where does that plastic come from and where does it end up in it’s current form or as breakdown products in micro or nano particle size or as what is left after having been incinerated? Perhaps some of the plastic that we are all ingesting comes from the flossing we did the previous day. Wouldn’t that be ironic?
Now consider that there are 8,000,000,000 of us alive today and in all probability still increasing at the rate of 80,000,000 every 365 days. How many of them floss, how many of them can floss, how many of them have clean water to drink let alone floss? We talk about Sustainable Development Goals and they translate to everyone who wants to, being able to floss, but when is that going to happen in reality? As we know glacial reserves of water are melting and are not being replenished as quickly, two thirds of the world’s aquifers are under stress and rainfall patterns are being altered by climate change due to our burning of fossil fuels.
So when you stand in front of the bathroom mirror flossing your teeth, give a little thought to the really bigger picture of the moment and what your small part in it, is playing.
Chocolates used to come packaged in a cardboard box and each chocolate sat in a small paper tray and they sat quite close to each other. That was before marketing and advertising got to show the consumer that they were getting a lot more for their money by padding out a larger box with plastic pollution. Now as we know we’re consuming plastic particles every day whether we like it or not so there’s a good chance that we’ll be eating the internal packaging of this enlarged chocolate box or some form of life will. It may of course be recyclable and be recycled, oh yeah, like that’s really going to happen. Alternatively, it may end of getting burnt polluting the air we breathe with toxins and all because advertising and marketing people want to fool us and they have.
Can anyone remember when large digital screens started to be used to bombard privileged first world consumers with advertising and marketing of products, often produced with exploited labour in third world countries? It hasn’t been going on for that long but in the time of drastic greenhouse gas emissions it’s a disaster. Perhaps this will be on humanity’s tombstone, “The monkey went extinct because of its love of advertising, marketing and exploitation of other human monkeys and all other forms of life on Earth”. We cannot continue to consume at the rate we are consuming and we are morally bankrupt if we continue the exploitation of other Homo sapiens.
Can you imagine how many CO2 molecules are being released in powering the screens in the building below?
Candles are a popular gift at Christmas time and at other times of the year but do we stop to consider any of the potential negative aspects. What negative aspects?
Well there’s health for a start. How can you be sure that the candle you buy does not release toxins when it is burnt? Do you check or just assume that it’s OK?
Resource use. Remember there are 8,000,000,000 of us. The candles on the left of this photo are wrapped in plastic so what will happen to it? Th ones on the right are in glass so what becomes of the containers? Will they be used once and then thrown away or smashed up and recycled? Either way a one way journey and usage uses an awful lot of resources and energy. And what of tea lights either in plastic or metal. What happens to all that plastic or metal once they are used?
So do candles need to be wrapped in anything? It’s a question that must be addressed as part of the larger one in how we use the planet’s limited resources and energy in a sustainable way.
What happens to the plastic baubles that are sold with the flowers at Christmas? Are they stuck in a cupboard? Are they thrown away? How do they degrade? Will they pollute the environment? We really need to change the way we do things.
We need to be finding spaces in our towns and cities where we can watch trees grow and decorate them year in and year out and not be decorating a dying tree, as seen here in the Place de la Palud, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The only way to fight for 1.5C above pre-industrial times against global corporations, climate change denial and the inactivists is to be informed and educated. Here’s a couple of good places to start by Michael E. Mann and Greta Thunberg.
Christmas or Capitalistismas? The Coop shopping centre in Morges, Switzerland. Most of what we see is very unnatural whether is be the materials used or the cultural appropriation by corporations intent on mass consumption whatever the deleterious effects are to Earth’s life support systems by that neoliberal consumerism.