Eating the seed corn

When a man is starving he will eat the seed corn on which next year’s harvest depends, because if he does not eat he will not see next year. Next year will, he hopes and prays, take care of itself; something may turn up but if he does not eat the seed corn, death is certain.

The poorer we get the less we care for the environment, because this year’s meal is more important to us. Well, in the developed world it is not necessarily this year’s meal, but this year’s luxury. During my lifetime I have seen luxuries, like television, heating and flying and motoring, acquire the status of necessities. I am not a very old man, yet.

When you learn of great opposition to measures that will prevent environmental destruction or reduce fast tracked climate change it is not because the opponents are fighting for their survival; those who oppose environmental measures are prepared to eat the seed corn not to save themselves from starvation, but because they desire to have the same full bellies that they had last year, whether they need the food or not and whether eating the seed corn will make them starve or not.

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