Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty...
Simon’s Revolution – Postponed (but not Cancelled)
We have to shift our attitude of ownership of nature to relationship with nature. The moment you change from ownership to relationship, you create a sense of the sacred.
- Satish Kumar
Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty. - Stanislaw Lec
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.
- John F. Kennedy
I thought it may be useful to apprise you of a few of the changes that will happen when I come to power, so that you can start to prepare yourself for life in ‘Simon’s Britain.’
Those who read my last blog piece will be unsurprised to know that beetroot will be for the chop. Garlic will be strictly controlled. I’m considering some kind of licensing system.
Joking aside, I have many other more serious environmental policies to implement. But hang on a moment. Look what’s going on out there. Is it possible that I can yet call off the revolution, or at least tone it down a little? Perhaps some elements of my modest manifesto will come peacefully to pass without the need for my dictatorship (shouldn’t that be leadership? Ed.)
Our current capitalist economic model, based on never-ending growth is flawed and has desperate social and environmental consequences. The strange thing is that I think everyone knows this but seems to be in a state of denial, hoping that every one else has the same voluntary delusion and we can just carry on consuming with our eyes closed. It’s as if they see no other way.
The pressure to consume is a kind of modern slavery. Big business needs us to keep buying stuff we don’t really need in order for them to survive, so they create an entirely artificial environment in which they have us believe that we are defined by what we possess and that we are worth less than those who have more conspicuous possessions. People’s whose self-esteem is already a little fragile are especially caught up in this unending madness, which drives a desire that cannot, indeed must not be satisfied.
Do we need fast food, fast fashion, new technology every 12 months, a grinding daily commute by car or train, numerous foreign trips every year? I really believe that many traditional consumers are beginning to realise that we do not.
In a recent AA survey of 20,000 motorists, 40% said that they planned to walk more and drive less. 4 in 5 would take some action to reduce their impact on air quality. To balance this, various researchers have warned that the dramatic improvements in air quality in recent weeks could be quickly reversed if we return to the status quo ante when restrictions are eased.
Many people have learned the simple pleasure of walking, and come to truly appreciate family, friends and the kindness of neighbours.
Am I being naively optimistic? Possibly, but this could be the start of a new understanding of our needs and those of our fellow creatures and our beautiful pale blue planet. After all, it alone supports every living thing that has ever existed. For many years we have demanded of it more than it is able to give.
If we just go back to where we were, air pollution will soon have killed more people than Covid-19, as it has been doing for decades. We know this but conveniently ignore it. Is our addiction to never-ending consumption and travel really worth more than all those lost lives?
It’s so easy to think that one car journey, cheap flight, plastic bottle is not really going to make much difference. The trouble is, once you’ve got a few billion people applying that logic, you’ve got the recipe for disaster.
Various people have been spreading the somewhat dubious notion that Covid-19 is a warning from Planet Earth for our uniquely destructive species to get its act together. That all sounds a little fanciful to me. Besides we’ve already had the warnings, time after time. The pandemic is of course not a good thing. People have died. However the real tragedy will be to simply let it pass and learn nothing from it. Perhaps it will finally force us to heed the wake-up call. I’ll delay my planned world takeover, for a while at least.
You have been warned...