*Warning: serious content*
Before I begin, my apologies for the relatively serious nature of this post. I won’t say it won’t happen again, for I have no control over when I might be struck by seriousness.
My friend and I have been watching David Attenborough’s series Africa (I know, Nellie was in an Indian circus but the same applies to her). We’ve both been stunned by the beauty of the photography, landscapes and wildlife. We cheered on baby turtles as they made their perilous dash across the beach to the sea and we cried as the baby elephant died in the drought. I won’t say that the death shouldn’t have been shown; I absolutely think it was necessary. Death is a fact of life and it shouldn’t be hidden away as something to fear or ignore.
Now, I’m not a scientist and I’m not going to pretend to know or understand all the arguments surrounding global warming or climate change. I do though know that patterns of weather go in cycles and we are probably in one of the ‘heating up’ sections of the cycle, and that human behaviour is probably exacerbating and speeding up the cycle.
I am more concerned with the wanton destruction of this planet’s green and leafy lands. I’m not just horrified by the deforestation of the rainforests and jungles, but by the wilful ruination of all countryside, in the name of “progress”. How is it “progress” to destroy our home? And the home of our children and children’s children? In becoming such a consumerist society we have lost our connection with nature and broken away from the eco-system which supports us and the rest of the animal kingdom. And we are animals. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we are better than animals or somehow not a part of their world.
It’s true that I don’t have any answers for the preservation of the world, but I can’t help thinking that one place we could start is with house prices, especially here in Britain. I can’t help but feel that if house prices (for buying or renting) were to be allowed to fall considerably, instead of being kept so artificially high, then a large part of the “housing shortage” would disappear as people would be able to afford a home. Which would mean that we wouldn’t need to eat up fields building more houses. Perhaps, also, if we insisted on quality rather than quantity so that items lasted, if we weren’t throwing things away left, right and centre just because they’re out of fashion (or some other equally silly reason), then our resources might last that little bit longer. We seem to have forgotten what “luxuries” really are – anything which is nice, but not entirely necessary to our survival. The laptop on which I’m writing this and the internet which I’m using to up-load it, for example, are luxuries. The food I eat to live is not. The biscuits I treat myself to with my tea are luxuries. The water is not. You get the picture. We need to rethink our relationship with the world in order for the world and our neighbours to survive.