02 November 2016

There are days when, well you know.
Days when I wonder what on earth etc.
One of them started with reading the wrong sections of the paper. I should stick with the glossy celebrity "news", I know.

Every seventh child on this planet - and remember it's all we've got - lives in an area of severe air pollution, the biggest environmental health risk. But of course, India and China are far away places.

We are now living in a 400ppm world with levels unlikely to drop below the symbolic milestone in our lifetimes.

And there is more. Shitloads.

Then I went shopping and I almost got into a fight with the young man who currently manages the local supermarket. It started very politely when I asked him why suddenly all the organic veg and fruit are now shrink-wrapped in plastic (actually, the bananas were unwrapped). We went back and forth for a while about regulations identifying organic produce, about stopping people buying organic stuff and pretending it was conventional, about making it easier for staff to clean and discard, about environmental pollution and how to recycle plastics (tell me another one) and I admit I was leading him on because I had just spent some time with someone on the phone who happens to research that kind of shit. And I walked away like the old biddy I have become feeling stupid and oh so well aware that this is not the way to go about it. But still. There are days, etc.

One of my friends-with-positive-mindset regularly reassures me with sentences like 'We have a planet full of resources, a body of knowledge and seven billion pairs of hands. The impediments to our finding an answer are not technical. They are organisational. How do we organise human affairs to prevent this?'

Currently we are still stuck in " How do we organise human affairs within the current rules, systems, mores, cultures and values to prevent this?"

And quite probably we will stay stuck there until it is actually too late.

Increasingly, there are days when I am relieved that I am almost old, that I probably have another 10, 15 years (max) and what the heck. But I am kidding myself. We all are.


  1. I'm with you. It IS almost a relief to know that we won't be around for the worst of it. Hopefully. And maybe your friend is right- we do have the resources. But how do we harness and utilize them? I've become that old biddy too. I suppose it is inevitable. Perhaps that is part of the plan. Not that I believe in a plan but it's as good as I've got.

  2. I have young biddies in my children, both of whom are incredibly aware. They school me. They are part of our resources. All is not lost.

  3. I'm always grateful that I'm old (gonna be 65 on my next birthday). I'm hoping I won't be around to see the worst of it. I think part of the problem is that there are 7 billion pairs of hands because that's also 7 billion mouths to feed; 7 billion beings who need water and power. The cost to our planet to support those kinds of numbers is unsustainable. Add those numbers to ideas about religion and borders, and you've lit the match to the fuse.

  4. The plastic wrap on produce drives me CRAZY. Fruits and vegetables have THEIR OWN WRAPPING. I just don't understand it!!!!

  5. Being an old biddy is freeing, I've found, cuz we can say shit we were too timid to say before (well, I can anyway). Love the cartoon, btw--election day is NEXT WEEK, GHAAAAAAAA.

    Help us, oh great master of the universe, if you're out there.

  6. Doing what I can. If I dwell on it, I can't get up in the morning. One of our potential candidates has a plan, I voted for her already.

  7. It's more often the old ones here who are oblivious and don't have a care for their effect on the world, or for the amount of garbage they generate. My kids are not perfect and we have our issues but I'm glad that they all care and do their best for the environment and try to make the world safer and better for those who will have to live in it. That said, I'm glad I was young when I was. My childhood was idyllic compared to what children are exposed to these days!
    We can go to open air markets for produce, bring our own bags and bypass all that plastic wrap.

  8. There is absolutely no good reason for all that damn plastic wrap on veggies in the grocery stores. I'll be you anything it is driven by "risk management" and insurance issues. So many goofy decisions in this modern world are.