Between the rain drops, we walked around this charmed little market town, realising that much as we love it, we are country folk forced to move here. People smiled, they were at home and we felt better for this Sunday morning walk. The all-week cafe was bursting with people wanting light relief and warmth on this wet day amongst months of wet days, bar the odd hour or so when a weak sun seeped through the clouds.
We made a rare visit to the supermarket to buy the handful of items not available in the locally owned shops, feeling guilty our money was leaving the area and assisting a commercial system we don’t agree with. It was obvious we were flailing amongst others happily bathing in the materialism blatantly displayed in the aisles. People’s trollies were full with stuff flown in from far and wide, with processed stuff, with stuff so heavily packaged in plastic that it made you weep for nature.
It made us once again realise how humanity is blindly drifting towards the Niagara of climatic catastrophe with little concern. Collectively, each of our actions in such places props up a system we have become glued to and which cares little about anything but profiting from our addiction. That must change for us to save ourselves from destroying everything. But how? People love this life of luxury which our grandparents, even parents, would have marvelled at. People have come to assume it is their right to have access to all this junk, that the local shops which buy locally are for others.
Supermarkets and consumer stores won’t change, and we don’t want to change, thus it is up to our governments to enforce or stimulate sustainable economic systems, however, they want reelecting and hence they think in the short term and saving The Planet needs a long term view. Yet in less than one year, Russia has shifted its economy from a commercial footing to one which drives a war machine, America reacted as quickly after Pearl Harbour, proving that changing to a green economy is easily possible. We must simply want to do so but those of us who are deeply worried, are outnumbered.
We means me, means you, means them down the way. And that’s the problem. People we know who are concerned about The Planet’s future seem not to be concerned about what to do in the present. How to nudge them? That is the question.
The answer came this week on BBC’s Radio4. It is what I recently suggested - nudge those around you, talk about the issue, make it currency. This way, and I once quoted the same statistic, when 25% of us are concerned enough to be active, humanity will have reached a tipping point and that will shift the rest towards protecting this fragile Planet we are currently hell bent on destroying.
As somebody said, “We are the powerhouse, our money drives the world, how we chose to spend it will keep things as they are or shift us towards change.”
So it’s nudge, nudge.