The Difference Between Pain Relief and Curing the Disease

The House of Commons has solemnly concluded that the United Kingdom does not spend enough money on flood protection. This conclusion was reached after widespread flooding caused many people problems in the last winter. Apparently more money will be spent on flood protection in future, mainly on dredging rivers so that flood water may flow away more freely than before. Of course, if a patient is ill you must relief the suffering as best you can, but relieving the pain does not cure the patient; curing the patient will relieve the pain, but simply giving painkillers will not do much to prevent future pain. Dredging rivers is important pain relief, but does not cure the problem that causes flooding.

Humanity cannot cure the disease whose symptoms include flooding, drought and extreme weather events easily. The medicine that will provide a cure is too unpleasant for humanity to take, even if humanity holds it nose while trying to swallow. The medicine requires humanity to recognise that economic growth in the only way that humanity knows creates the disease and no politician would ever get elected on a platform which proposes to reduce or curtail growth in order to make the planet fit for humanity in several generations time.

Thus will will continue to administer pain killers until, like all pain killers, the drugs no longer work or their side effects prove worse than the pain.

 

 

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