Saturday, 29 December 2012

Bridging the Disconnect

One of the key issues of our times I think for many of us in the developed nations is disconnection. 

We are no longer the gatherer/hunters or even subsistance agriculturalists that our ancestors were and our food comes pre-packaged from who knows where, however this is not the disconnection I wish to rant about today. 

Mostly in the global North, we do not live on the front lines, we are not the Beaver Lake Cree or the people of the Niger Delta.  Even where I live, where there have been oil and gas fields opened up and a pipeline dug to bring gas onshore, mostly what we see and hear about are the workers and their occaisonal anti-social behaviour after carousing in Lerwick, or Total being asked to be a "good citizen" and fund the community officers whose jobs the council was going to cut. 

We are insulated to some degree from the consequences of our lifestyles.  And it is difficult for us to imagine, for example what the 14,000 barrels a day gushing up from the sub-salt field in the Santos Basin look like.  Yet oil saturates our lives, in our food, our clothes our gadgets and so many things. 

I think this "insulation" is wearing thin in places and we are starting to feel the consequences.  The many who have suffered the flooding in the UK, the victims of Sandy,those who felt the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill, to name but a few.  Extreme weather events are bridging the disconnection, food prices are likely to also bring it home to us. 
We cannot continue as we have. 

However, colloquilly, my eldest daughter (a teenager) reports that most of the kids her age at her (admittedly small) school do not think that climate change is real.  And I do sometimes wonder how the next generation (who seem SO disconnected to me) will cope. 

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