In the face of a changing planet, can we change?

Having returned from my sojourn with time to ponder, I thought that after these past months of posting it might be time to time synthesize some of the ideas that come through, so here goes.

It has been obvious that the signs are pointing to serious changes in the climate of the globe. From Arctic to Antarctic – oceans and deserts, cold winters in Tajikistan and Eastern Europe, prolonged droughts in Australia, floods and storms in China, the melting of glaciers across the plan, the shrinking of the Arctic, collapsing ice shelves in the Antarctic and the desertification of the oceans, the picture is becoming clearer.

And what are we doing about all of this as one world? The fossil fuels are being depleted, but rather than looking at ways of changing how WE live, in the developed world we are tackling the issue by scaling up the search for further deposits. Eyes gleam at the thought of the Arctic Cap melting because this may mean uncovering new reserves of gas and oil, or a year round opening of the NorthWest Passage for shipping and trade.

If nothing comes of it we can always cut back on food crops in our search for replacement biofuels, no matter the extra fertiliser needs or the the cutting down of forests to accommodate them. No matter that Nitrogen adds to global warming, after all just a few companies monopolise the fertiliser industry and increased profits are all good. Demand drives grain prices to the sky and the minerals and chemicals needed to fertilise them become gold!

Lets not worry about the food crisis in the developing nations and the inflation rising in the developed nations, as even the humble bread, pasta, rice and corn, the staff of life, get priced out of reach of the multitudes that depend on them.

The chase for resources is driving people to riot in bread queues in Egypt , Jordan and Saudi Arabia, demonstrate about the price of pasta in Europe and lead to corn riots in Mexico. It is also letting people shiver in the face of oil riches that benefit the few and make economic refugees of Native populations in Alaska and hurt fishermen on the Chukchi Sea. The marginalised are seeing the sea rising in the Arctic and the Pacific and the question is where do the multitudes go when the land is swallowed by dark waters that are desertified and dead? Will WE be the economic refugees to come? When nations with 2% of the population of the planet consume 25% of the energy resources of the planet can this be a sustainable way to enrich ourselves or is it a recipe for disaster?

I welcome your thoughts on these issues.

~ by abstraktbiblos on Sunday, 6 April, 2008.

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