Take climate change for example. Yep there is a lot of competing evidence one way of another, and sure, there are so many stakeholders with so many fingers in so many pies….but really guys, have we forgotten the basics?
The giant elephant in the room is that we, and I mean all of us, need to take responsibility for the field effects of our every action and thought. Its time. This is the game we play when we grow up. We throw away the childish ways of not knowing what happens afterwards, and we start to consider the all in consequence. No longer is it OK to blame, or to condone bad behaviour, by anyone. Our cavalier way of life, with no regard for the short and long term consequence is what is in question here. And the effect of being more thoughtful and considerate, no matter if climate change is a myth or real, will be a win for all. Sure some big corporates may loose a bucket of money, but if they were smart, they can stop this from happening by being adaptive in their activity, and proactive in what they produce and how they do it.
We get so caught in the gory details, distracted from the real issue. The real issue doesn’t just rest with the government, or with big business, or with anyone else. It rests with our own level of CARE for all that we do, and our understanding that what I do, affects you, whether you are in the same room, or across the planet. And this is the issue. From which we can try to run, but we simply have no where to run away to, because there is no “there” that is away from us except in the very immediate short term. Eventually “there” will find us because to this point we all live on the same planet, and breath the same air.
In the early 80’s, Buckminster Fuller did the math. Humanities present rate of total energy consumption amounts to only one four-millionth of one percent of the rate of energy income. In other words, there is so much energy available to us every day, more than anyone could ever use, from the sun, wind, tides etc..all renewable. We do not have an energy crisis, we have a distribution crisis. And in this lies so many opportunities.
Bucky also said that using up our fossil fuel stores is like living off our savings account, when we have so much deposited into our cash account. We are going deeper into the red when we have a huge supply right at our fingertips. Waiting, waiting, for us to wise up. And human ingenuity…well of course we can find the solution to how to use renewable energy in a most efficient way…
As David Martin says so well in his great blog post, while all the distracting hoopla is going on about CO2, and cap and trade, and parts per million, few people are focused on the real conversations. For example, what if we found a better way to get energy, no matter what the source, from point A to the consumer. As its stands, the way it is distributed, close to 80% of the original energy is lost! What if this was reduced to 10%? That would be the single best action we could take. So obvious, yet no one seems to be focused on this.
It seems our focus and our energy is pointed in the wrong direction. And I say this literally and figuratively.
This seems to be our biggest dilemma. Our addiction to focusing on the drama and the noise. Instead of stepping back and getting perspective. See what is really going on. Taking time to consider the whole. Look from this place to the obvious..what is missing, where are the opportunities, what am I not seeing? This was one of Bucky’s main arguments, which is built around the principle of Synergy. That we simply must start with the whole first.
Instead we get caught in the swamp. All the noise and its endless attractions and distractions. Rather like we do in our own lives, where doing email, or going on facebook, or gossiping in the corridor, getting caught up in the noise of life, is easier than doing what we know in our hearts needs to be done, and often that means stepping away from the noise and getting some clear perspective, or cleaning up our own act, whether it is around our diet, our energy use, our carelessness…
Take the whole debate on obesity. Apparently there was story of a lady in Australia who lost 85 kgs (187 lbs) because she started doing moderate exercise and gave up junk food! No other fads or gimmicks. Well, of course she lost weight by doing this. It really is this simple. And yet we have an industry that make billions out of gimmicks. Why? Because we all want the easy path that doesn’t require that we modify our behaviour. Heaven forbid that we live a healthy lifestyle! I mean, that would mean I would have to take responsibility for my own health? I would have to learn about healthy food and cooking, get in touch with my body like I haven’t before, because I have been ignoring it for years, even though it has been screaming at me every time I go up a flight of stairs, or step on the scales, find ways to exercise that suit my size and temperament, and get educated on the dire side effects of medication instead of handing myself over to some guy/gal in a white coat. Oh no, changing my diet and getting out of bed in the morning to go for a walk is too hard. Getting educated is too hard… I’d rather pay for the drug, and then the surgery..forgetting of course that it is just not me who is paying..depending on which country you come from…that we all pay…..in so many ways…over and over again.
So we have a health crisis, where the cost of health care is skyrocketing. And the solution. Simple. Stop eating junk, get more exercise, quit smoking, get good sleep. Why is this not the only major conversation on this issue? Why don’t we talk about prevention?
Where do we focus? On everything else but the obvious. On who pays for what, and what the insurance companies can and can’t do, and how the system works, on and on endlessly. So the giant machine of noise can keep going, and once again, we are off the hook. It is someone else’s problem, and heaven forbid if I get my butt off the chair and go do something about it. Oh I can’t exercise, I have weak knee’s, I might say! A few weeks ago a guy “walked” the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, all 96 kilometers (59.6 miles) of extreme terrain, using his hands and dragging his legs, because he is a paraplegic. If he can do this, I can do exercise with weak knee’s. Take up swimming for heavens sake…but stop moaning and doing nothing!
Do I sound angry? Yes. This annoys the #@%$# out of me. We have lost touch with the very core of our human existence. Our connection to earth, nature, and our bodies. We don’t take the time to really listen to the truth that whispers to us constantly. Instead we drown it out with more…and more…noise, and stuff and complexity, and distraction.
There is an excellent article on our lost relationship with the earth, written by Ellen Gunter and published on Caroline Myss’s site, for those of you who want a more micro understanding of where humanity is at. This conversation excites and inspires me far more than the bickering going on about how much we need to reduce our carbon. The carbon issue to me is just a smoke screen (an interesting pun), on where the real focus would be better served.
And back to us, at the coal face of life (interesting metaphor). We circle back, as always, to truth. For things to change first I must change. Lets not forget that it is not just about the world out there…our energy choices out there, our care of others out there. We also have to look inside, do the work in there…care for self in there, educate ourselves in there….