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No time for Procrastination

November 4, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

My late husband, Colin, used to say of me that I would “put off procrastinating until next week.” He was known far and wide for his dry wit…

We never know how our lax habits affect the whole of our lives or why, particularly, one finds it almost impossible to “get on with it” until the time is almost out and the pressure of the deadline is on. The pressure stirs the adrenalin and the work arrives on time – mostly.

So it seems we have given the world leaders, the politicians and those at the top of the global “food chain,” as one might say: the wealthy and industrialists of services, agriculture, manufacturers of “stuff,” by which is meant clothing, household goods, sports, trinkets – you know: stuff; those that command the food trails from the fields to the factories to the markets; then there are the silk suits at the helms of the fossil fuel industry, grinding their teeth at the constant nagging directed at them to STOP! Making such a dangerous place of this beautiful planet earth – responsible as they were, worldwide, in 2018 for 89% of the world’s CO2 emissions: they have been given time and have accepted deadlines – 2030 by and large; “net zero” by 2050 if we live that long.

No doubt, there is an element of sulking in some corners. These people might see themselves as well meaning; heroes even, all producing the necessities of life to a whining and ungrateful planetary populace. They have been given both leashes and a time line that will mean something important or very little. This depends on how much they think and believe in the urgency of the issues, how much they understand their own parts in it, how hard they have to work to change the way they do everything.

One of the most underestimated dangers to real healing is bureaucracy. There was a very moving interview on the BBC (which at this moment, with this complicated and important time of negotiation about how everything is done, gives the clearest and best balanced reporting) with a young woman who owns a dairy farm in Ireland. Almost tearfully, she had learned that she would probably have to reduce her dairy livestock to 12 cows, from which she absolutely could not earn enough for an equitable business.

She made her case to keep enough cows to make sense of the farming by how sustainably she and her partner grow the grass their cows eat, by rotating the animals between the fields and refreshing the grass with new seed at every cycle. This means lower emissions overall from this farm, in a balancing act between the methane the cows produce and the benefit of their very rich carbon-absorbing pastures.

For, at the base, it is a lot about individual: businesses, farming and people: one lady with one herd of cows, trying to make up for them with her intelligent use of horticulture. There can never be one rule or one set of rules for the whole planet and what works in a heavy city can never pass in a paddy field in Asia.

Look – there can be accord: the whole world – in a big fat miracle – agreed on a planetary shut down to defeat a global pandemic. And this is odd, really, because it was just being sick from one individual to another and the statistics seemed to say that the majority recovered from it. Business – even the oil companies – was reduced and in an astonishing global accord, countries everywhere on earth followed a similar pattern of shutting everything down and compensating, as and how they could, those going broke or starving or losing their homes.

So: here we are with our fellow species disappearing as their habitats and air are destroyed and with our home, this once-paradise called Earth is equally at risk of extinction just like the beings upon it, including us.

Yet, the trick we just pulled with the pandemic was like a rehearsal before the main event of pulling together as a unit, rather than as the 195 separate independent nation-states that make up the global population.

There are two burning questions and I don’t know if either was addressed at COP26.

Are independent and nation-owned corporations afraid enough to be serious about, for example, bringing an end to deforestation now – well before 2030? That is nine years from now, time enough for plenty more damage and it is almost too late now. Or, as another example, shutting down the tar sands right away and long over-due and directing those trillions of dollars to what must become the New Age of Energy?

Secondly: what about the wars? And those fat cats making armaments? Are we kidding with the unbelievable money being spent on nuclear weapons, which we can never use, even a little bit for the absolutely final crush they would bring.

No leader is so crazy, he will commit that suicide.



         


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