View Single Post
Old 05-07-19   #2
Dark Green Atheist
DrumWolf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Foot of the mountain (Scotland)
Posts: 1,061

Reputation: 105
Default Re: How is anyone even thinking about anything else??

I went into the local shop today to buy a newspaper. Out of a choice of about 15, only one had the UN report on the front page. All the others featured the birth of some new royal baby, which is obviously a much more important issue to read about. Needless to say, I bought the paper that featured the species extinction report.

The problem seems to be one of apathy. So what does it matter if a species of butterfly or some reptile that doesn’t have the cute factor goes extinct. Well, it does. Back in the late 1800s, John Muir was proclaiming that if we try to unpick anything from the Universe, we find it is hitched to everything else. That’s the first rule of ecology – everything is dependent on everything else. It’s akin to picking out thread after thread, one by one, from a piece of clothing. Eventually the whole garment falls apart. That obscure butterfly that’s just gone extinct could have been a major pollinator of a certain tree, which just happens to provide food for a herbivore which, in turn is a major food source for a predator and so on. Species are disappearing faster than biologists can determine their role in the system.

An encouraging sign that’s occurred over the last few weeks is the Extinction Rebellion movement, which demonstrated in London recently and was featured widely in the media. People are becoming aware – particularly young people. Look at the impact Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old girl from Sweden, has had on school pupils in terms of raising climate change awareness.

However, I am still sceptical that real change from politicians and business will ever materialise. I remember the surge in environmental awareness in the late 80s and early 90s when Green parties won a large number of seats in the European Parliament. Pledges were made by governments that sounded good, but weren’t binding. After a while, it became Big Business as usual, and Green politics was again on the fringe.

Nowadays, we are so doped up and pacified on watching 24/7 Netflix and funny kitten videos on social media that so many of us forget that outside our windows there are trees, rivers, ravens and bees – the real world.

But what can we do? We – the little people – can recycle our glass, eat less meat, drive less, but let’s face it: it’s just pissing in the wind compared to what the Earth is up against. Until governments, corporations and those that are destroying the planet on a massive scale stop, are our actions really going to make much difference? The radical activist in me says “hell, yeah” and I’ll continue to do what I can but a deep, hidden part of me thinks “what’s the point?” And it’s that part of me that seems to be getting louder every day.
If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture - that's immortality enough for me.
And as much as anyone deserves.
- Edward Abbey -
DrumWolf is offline   Reply With Quote