Thursday, 8 February 2007

We belong to the earth

I’ve just had an Emperor's New Clothes moment. In deep despair this weekend over the UN report, I was thinking and dreaming about how we humans were going to turn this beast around in time to avert unimaginable cross-species suffering by 2100. With our leaders not only in denial but in the case of Bush and his neocons, appearing to be deliberately ‘bringing on’ Armageddon, things look bleak.

It’s not a great stretch to understand that cutting CO2 emissions means a planned descent from fossil fuel use. And unless we move en masse to nuclear or renewables (both of which are problematic large-scale) this means the economy - so closely linked to oil and gas production - has to turn the peak towards terminal decline. But that very solution for the biosphere is also the greatest fear of governments and corporations, whose lifeblood is economic growth. I spoke to Chris Skrebowski, Editor of the Petroleum Review, on Sunday inviting him to speak about peak oil in the Transition Town Lewes programme later this spring. He confirmed this and more: our leaders will not make the first move. Many people have been saying, and it was reiterated at the Soil Association conference: change will start from the individuals, communities and organisations who don't have as vested an interest in endless growth.Which is what gives me the greatest hope: we are moving towards a paradigm shift or turning point, into a new era, when we stop believing that the earth belongs to us and start realising that we belong to the earth.

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