I have called this series of posts “Ideas for the Environment” because the starting point for all environmental protection and preservation has to be from ideas. We are making a mess of our children’s inheritance and are self negligent trustees of what we administer for future generations.
Unless we question the fundamental principles that we take for granted we shall spoil the world irredeemably. By questioning the real fundamental principles from which we operate and in some cases comparing those principles to those we espouse we can focus ideas, especially ideas for the environment.
It is not new for someone to adopt an idea, claim it as an overwhelming imperative, and then act completely contrary to that idea. For example Mr Bush and Mr Blair are deeply committed Christians. Their faith should focus their decisions from a Christian standpoint. However it does not, as their decision to make war in Iraq has proved. According to their beliefs they will be judged one day by the God they worship. How will they be judged having made war in Iraq?
Mr Blair and Mr Bush are not of course alone in being wrapped up in a conflict between their fundamental beliefs and the decisions that they make. Their beliefs do not seem to influence many of their decisions. Perhaps they misunderstand their beliefs. I can criticise them, but ultimately it is their electorates that are responsible; generally politicians dance to the tune of their electorates. I suppose that virtually every political leader does this dance to this tune.
The environment is where there is the largest divergence between beliefs on the one hand and policies on the other hand. You could fill thousands of books and terabytes of hard drive with the words that politicians have spoken about the environment, and the need for sustainability. In fact many governments have established departments for sustainability, and for the environment, and for climate change, but in reality hardly anything is being done to prevent climate change or environmental degradation.
I know that the leaders will recite a long list of the measures that they have introduced, but in terms of what needs to be done this the overall effect of them is about as useful, in preventing climate change, as trying to fight a battle with bows and arrows against an enemy equipped with all the modern weapons.
We need to act so that we are guided by our beliefs, not contrary to our beliefs. If we believe that climate change and environmental degradation are the most important long term problems we face, it is time to stop talking and start acting.