A Surplus for Some . A Deficiency for Others

Posted by Willard Anderson on August 19th, 2018.

Surplus of plenty …. for some, for now. — and a promise of less!
We live in a period of exquisite wealth for the lucky and exquisite poverty for those in poor countries or on the fringes of society. We buy new clothes because we like them not because of need. We attend restaurants with the most exotic foods with no thought for the sustainability of what we eat. While once we travelled back home for a holiday we now travel not to another province but to England, Italy Portugal or to the far east almost at will. We do all this in a context of good jobs and pay, almost free education and excellent health services and many with sound pensions. We truly have it all. Of course, there are the super wealthy that gain from grabbing 90 % of a countries wealth but that is a surplus of plenty, and an indication of its poor distribution.
We look for more diversity, more and cheaper travel, better productivity. We do not think of where that raw material comes from and if there is less of it every day because of our impact. We all want more energy for our frivolous devices. But where will that come from if we do not support solar and wind souces? During whose lives do we hit the wall? What will that mean? Starvation for many, says Cornell U. But if we have the money to buy or produce food in our country does it mean we ourselves are not impacted? We live in a global community. Starvation will precipitate cooperation or conflict. We will not be able, as a small country, to escape the fall out and be dragged in so we must examine our own mistakes.
We would soften the impacts if we think and act ahead of the pack. But it does not seem that politics allows that. People work to eat today, not to eat tomorrow. Can we quickly learn to take care we can eat tomorrow before we set down the “big eat”, I mean the harvest of earths resources only for today? Right now, we are not doing too well. Grain harvest has declined since 1983. One billion go to bed hungry and three billion are malnourished.
We search for better systems but fail to realize we are in this predicament because we did not early on measure our harvests against the ecological sustainability processes of the planet. When a man is hungry you do not teach him how to fish, you teach him the aquatic biological processes, the carrying capacity – how much harvest can occur without damaging habitat or capability for reproductivity. Then only, do you teach him how to fish sensibly.
But how does one learn that thinking ahead prevents destruction of home and family under today’s limitations of overpopulation, climate warming, over harvest and uncontrolled introduction of toxic substances. What would make you act? Think about your future and that of your children. When you know there are threats, would you act, or do you have too many needed diversions right now to bother with all that. After all what can you do? Do you feel it is others responsibility? But others will say well he/she should look after themselves or I cannot help them. What is it that would motivate you? Do you have any responsibility for the condition of the earth? Do you have any responsibility for starvation if you feel you rightfully have consumed more than your rightful portion? What is rightful? If you have money does that make you more rightful?
Come now, tell me what would motivate you. Do you need to see a direct consequence? Say, some one drove into and injured your child. You need to see them prosecuted. But if someone dies from a heat wave, do you need to limit your production of carbon dioxide? Is that someone else’s problem? What is it you influence, consume, erode with your own behaviour? Does your contribution, no matter how small deserve your attention and reduction of your own impact? Do you justify your own release of carbon dioxide because you think it is benign? If your neighbour buys a bigger car than yours, does that justify you producing more carbon dioxide as well? If you do not think you can buy an electric car what should your actions be? Buy it anyway. Write letters to petroleum companies advising them of their faults. Advising politicians, you will vote only to reduce carbon dioxide. Do we appreciate it is only the sum of all of us contributing to global warming that has given us this certain decline of liveability upon the earth? That increase in carbon dioxide has produced the probability of others starving, the probability that some of our grandchildren will not survive because of climate warming and worsening heat waves and droughts. A drought specialist now says, “Alberta is in a permanent state of dry.” Do we realize the cause and effect each one of us has put into motion? What would motivate you to reduce your production of carbon dioxide? Tell me please!!!
Write your comment below.
If you have an answer it may be good to copy that to teachers and politicians. What do you think is needed? How will we get out of this climate warming mortal problem?
Are the petroleum companies, car companies and politicians doing enough? What should be the penalty for inaction? Can you help to install and impose that penalty?
We need to act now. We are already very late. But saving the future is our only hope for the children.

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