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  • iaindryden1

what a ball

Coverage of football in Qatar has been a hundred-fold more than that of the recent Climate talks and it’s only three days in, whereas those vital talks went on for two weeks. This says it all. We bury our heads in the desert sand whilst the tsunami of global warming rushes towards us. Humanity is more concerned with entertaining distraction than solving history’s worst problem. This may arise from the enormous issues the news throws at us week after week.

However, the boy racer shooting down our street as I write shows we are preoccupied with enjoyment. And the other day, seeking something to display my new round of Christmas greetings cards, we went to a shop filled with tat. It was depressing walking past isle after isle of cheap junk made of plastic, glossy vile mass production gone wrong. To think this type of shop is just one of many across the country and that they are to be found in virtually every land around this fragile planet.

We left distraught. What are we dong to this world? Why do we need all this rubbish? Why are we obsessed with stuff? Back home I looked at the comforting things which fill our house and asked, why so much?

My mind went back to the days when I trekked in various mountain ranges around the world. Arriving in remote villages my rucksack contained more than the possessions of the whole family. I was sometimes the first non-local to step upon their terrain, they assumed I was from the nearest town several days walk away. In the Himalaya, I would say I was a day’s travel beyond the mythical city called Delhi. I never said my journey expended more energy than their entire village consumed in a year; theirs was renewable wood or charcoal from fast growing trees lining their fields; mine was not at all sustainable.

According to Himalayan friends with whom we video chatted recently, in the intervening forty years, new roads have brought those villagers in to our consumptive world, there are cars, some houses are as well stocked as mine. Imagine if all eight billion of us were as consumptive as I have been. They deserve it as much as I do. That’s the trouble, we get addicted to a life style we don’t need.

Anyway, back to the football, you can’t avoid it. Imagine how much that show has cost the environment; we are already building the next show and the two after that. None of this would matter if we were to do it sustainably. If one third of California’s economy is green, employing a chunk of the population, if this USA county is the world’s seventh largest economy, then why do the rest of us avoid greening our economies?

Living as I do in an overstocked house, all I can do is dance gently to happy tunes as I cook supper to give me the emotional energy to do as best I can. Oh and drive less, consume less and make it local, put on a jumper rather than turn up the heating. And spread the word as lightly as I am able to, though my tendency is to ram it down your throat. Sorry, but time grows shorter by the day.

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