Tuesday, 22 April 2014
I am not an environmentalist, I’m not a conservationist, I’m not a humanitarian, human rights activist, animal libertarian or whatever label would be applied to me for speaking out about such issues. Why should it be necessary to be one of or any of these? What are the opposites of these terms and why is it ok for those who are them are to be so? Is it their right?
What if. I am simply, a human being considering the implications of my own existence as a member of the earths ecosystem. I, you, we, they, are all exactly that, inescapably so, members of the human species that emerged through natural processes to fill a niche in earths ecosystem.
Since that emergence we have utilised the facilities attributed to our species such as the opposable thumb, a relatively longer larynx, increased tongue mobility, a larger pre frontal cortex, narrowing of the hips, the ability to think abstract thoughts and apply them to memory, predict the future, pass down knowledge, seek truth, reason and rationalise through language, mathematics and art. All these things are our tools that allow us to be human and assert our place in our environment. And even dominate it.
We have discovered new minerals and natural resources that allowed new inventions and innovations through the aged that allowed us to further dominate our environment. We've discovered new ways of thinking that have allowed us to further dominate our environment as well as other humans. We've discovered new ways to enhance our own senses to tell us so much about ourselves and our universe that one can feel so isolated or so connected depending on the end of the seemingly infinite spectrum that one stands. And further dominate that universe we do.
And we know thanks to our unique set of facilities that whenever we expand to dominate further, we decimate that environment into which we expand.
We invent concepts such as rights to justify actions against nature or to defend our selves from one another. Why do i need rights? Except for one right, the right to exist, what rights should i need? If I and every body else were to consider the implications of our actions could we seriously impinge on anyone else's right to exist with a clear conscience? Unless one was a sociopath, or more commonly as it is, brought up not to consider how ones actions resonate through their ecosystem, one would have to then intentionally interfere with another beings, human or otherwise, right to exist.
Of course with the rate of growth of our population its only possible for my existence to have displaced the existence of a portion of the ecosystem. The bread i eat, one loaf to about 9msq of wheat. The diet i consume. Do you believe that animals don't die as a consequence of a vegetarian diet? Maybe you eat exclusively organic. Even then, how much space on the earth does only your individual diet use. and what habitat has it displaced? How are the lives of other humans, oceans away affected by the brand of coffee and tea you drink? What number and quantity of resources were used to grow, process, package, ship, purchase, eat and dispose of your weetbix? When you run your heater, those leather shoes made in wherever, your pillow cases, E10 petrol(which gets a big WTF) the list is literally endless?
Yes, everything you do has an impact on someone or something and everything on this speck of space dust exists as in balance. Your actions are balanced by the reactions which resonate through your ecosystem.
I know its a lot of questions, but they can all be boiled down to one.
¿What are the implications of my actions?
It might be annoying or depressing to think of all the possibilities every time you make a purchase or lay out a rug for a picnic, but what is the point of having these fantastic facilities built in to your very being if your not going to use them? They are what defines us from the lower order animals. And if this is so and If one does not use them then what does that mean for such a person.
But beside, if you simply knew the answer, you needn't think of the negatives of your impact, simply because you could choose not to contribute to the condemnation of another beings existence. Of course one can only arrive at any answer to this question through sufficient education, self guided and motivated must it be and the more one learns the more one furthers their understanding of their impact. And is thereby able to choose at all. But only through this question can we come to understand how we can do better.
Sunday, 16 March 2014
I try to surround myself with those that share my view. We all do i suppose. Its what makes us feel that we belong. We befriend those that we share a common interest with and usually more if that friendship is to last. We aren't necessarily equipped as lay people to deal with, confront or maintain a sort of conflict. I mean physiologically when one is met with conflict or has their view or opinion challenged, we embark upon the same fight or flight response that one would encounter when threatened physically. The heart rate, the pushing of blood from the brain to the extremities, the adrenalin. It takes a great deal of practice, awareness and self control to overcome this completely natural phenomena and remain level headed and objective when one enters conflict. We are taught through life of things such as conflict resolution, that we can compromise and basically avoid conflict altogether wherever practical. That this is the way to deal with conflict. That you are entitled to your opinion just as much as they. That there is no right answer. We’re taught the difference between empathy and sympathy like the difference between metaphor and simile. Were taught that you cant change anything, it wont make a difference and asked question like "how long are you going to swim upstream?". But how often do those types of questions and maxims come from someone who doesn't see your point of view. Who has heard you but didn't listen. How many times have you given up or not gotten into it or couldn't find the right words to convince, be listened to or "win" the discussion? And, how much harder is it to introduce a new idea into someones view, and how hard is it when that idea challenges one of their most revered orientations. What if this person has worked their whole life to date for something that is ultimately unsustainable, destructive, dead ended and harmful to the well being of their children or the generation to follow. If you take a look at your own life how often do you find yourself taking part in, utilising or perpetuating the very thing you want to change? We are all guilty, and we are all capable of doing more. But what is enough? I for one know enough to know that we need change, and i know that change starts here, be the change etc... but in a world where "your loss is anothers gain" is a well recited mantra, i wonder what difference it makes. There are that many struggling people that have no choice but to make the easy, cost effective, convenient decisions that ultimately lead to their further dependence upon a rigged system, but are these the people that people like me could help by letting them know? We’re all victims, but many could change, but whats-more many of those that could, enjoy frivolity and excess far too much to take their hand off it and smell the mushrooms. These are the people who would not have their perspective shaken easily. Those with the most to lose, those born into privilege and indulgence who have had themselves stimulated by every colourful, shiny gadget that one could be gifted throughout their ovinus life. Those who would perpetuate exceleratingly the consumerism of counter-sustainablity and do it all in the name of yet another mantra beaten into our young minds, "live hard, die young" and another, "the end is night" and another, "if you dont, somebody else will". We've come this far, what else are we supposed to do?, you might find yourself asking, when its too late to go back to school, when its not going to pay for itself or when you find out just how insignificant you are in relation to that big 4 bank debt that threatens your family. When your house is built of cards you may do anything to keep the wind from blowing. Then there's us, who found out, with time to spare and spare time to change. Who post, read and blog on a billionaires devices and a billionaires website while we avoid a billionaires coffee chains and a billionaires shitty food outlet. Do you know what Rutile is? I want to make a difference but i know that i cant until i know enough information, empathy, executive function(read about that), philosophy, science, poetry and people. We the people have the power to make change, our politicians do not. By observation alone i can say for certain that politicians cannot bring about change, generations bring about change and as crass as it may be, these dinosaurs in charge of our beautiful nation may simply need to be ignored. the alternative is to wait for them to die(or retire). But i refuse to believe that by taking part in the current political system i can have influence. Bob Brown retired for fucks sake and is now with the Sea Shepard. He worked it out. Peter Garret was repping the ACF before he had a go, then quit after a blunderous attempt to make a difference. Watch the pros on QandA avoid giving a single answer week after week to a room full of pissed off citizens and then watch as the libs win the Tassie election. Have you see the Tasmanian liberals policies? And what is the alternative? How do we help the people who are victim to a failing and unsustainable system that have tried change without alternative? We give them back the system, because at least then there are jobs, and at least then that big 4 bank can start making money again.
The recent show of hands in the major centers of Australia is inspiring to me, but is it enough? on numbers alone no, but in numbers there is strength. We will inspire one another, but we can not allow our inspiration to remain insular. Our inner suburban day dreams of saving the forests as our train rails past the zoo. Who are you effecting with these dreams and then demands? What is the alternative? Can you be pissed off enough to learn more, to transcend the physiological response to conflict, to use empathy to reach out to a fellow debt slave and chose your words well enough to create change yourself? We need to show our numbers and show just how well informed we are. The politicians need to HEAR us, but they will never speak FOR us. only we to them and us to others like ourselves. And we will tell them what we know. Because its knowledge that is power. I know enough that a politician can not have power over me, and my numbers give me strength to do more. Always more. So lets spread the word and let everyone know just how fucked things are and maybe they will get angry too, enough to make a change.