Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tightening the Belt - severely!

In an article in the Otago Daily Times this morning Murray Grimwood says that for our survival as a species we’ll have to live within some tight parameters. He lists five particular things:
replacement population only;
total re-use of resources;
total elimination of pollution;
self-sufficient housing (linked together in energy terms like the Internet);
a halt to physical ‘growth.’

He adds that as a result of following these things we will work less and walk more, weigh less and live more, impact less, conserve more.
My problem with these points isn’t that they’re unrealistic, but rather that a huge percentage of the population, in the Western world anyway, isn’t interested in recycling, living conservatively or considering how they use the resources they have.
I’m fairly recycling-focused, but even I find it hard to think of living within restricted parameters.
And I’m not sure that I agree, if we were to go ‘conservative’ in our progress, (if that’s not an oxymoron), that we would work less. Rather we would work harder at better things, things that involve domestic manual labour for men and women, things we could do with our hands, creative things. And we’d definitely walk more.
My mother remembers walking to Blackhead Beach when she was a child, with her parents. This would be an all day trip, there and back, up hill and down dale, and no doubt they’d be carrying picnic baskets and all the beach paraphernalia.
The other factor is how to make total re-use of resources. Perhaps with oil running out we’ll have a huge amount less plastic to deal with. That would help immensely. It’s one of the least reusable material on the planet.

I can't show you a photo of Blackhead Beach on this blog, because of copyright restrictions, but if you click here, you'll see several professionally-taken ones.
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