That’s the thought that occurred to me as I listened to a podcast from Radio National’s The Science Show. You should listen too, or read the transcript at least.
David Fisher: Peter Cox, do you think we can make it in time?
Peter Cox: There are elements of ingenuity that humans show that will help us to do that if we get the right incentives in place. So I don’t think it’s too late but I do believe that we can’t mess about for two more decades without doing anything, we have to get on with it because a lot of the systems that we’re dealing with take a long while to turn around, and human systems amongst them. It’s got a lot of inertia in it, we have to slow down the tanker and start turning it way before the threshold is obvious to you.
David Fisher: The future is not inevitable, but we’ll have to work hard and fast if nature can continue to provide the necessities for life, services we take for granted today. Some people believe the means already exist for us to move from a carbon-dependant lifestyle and economy but we need political will to make it happen. This leads to a crucial question.
Andrew Watson, can democracy as we know it be effective in tackling this global problem?
Andrew Watson: Democracy is not particularly effective at these kinds of problems. But like Winston Churchill said, it’s the worst solution but the only solution, the only type of government that we have. This is why it’s so important to pressurise governments. Individuals have to be concerned about this so that they are not only doing their own individual things to lower carbon emissions but they are making it so difficult for governments to govern unless they do something sensible about this.
Peter Cox: One of the things we have not got to yet, certainly not in the Western democracies, people are not yet voting on environmental issues, me included. And until we do that we won’t be using our ultimate leverage as individuals in democracies, which is to actually choose governments based on what they do and how they act with regard to the environment, and that to me is the key. We have to vote with our feet in that sense.
Andrew Watson: If governments do not take this on, there will not be governance in 100 years time.
The planet is not a free market system, whatever those on the Right think in their blinkered, smug fashion. Allah has not given the answer either, I’m afraid, and in the long haul Islamic militancy is not merely tragic but actually irrelevant, a diversion from the problems we all really face.
It’s not that religion cannot be an ally in the planet’s real quest. It can be; there has been an evangelical groundswell in the USA and elsewhere that is actually rather positive, and there is an ISLAMIC FOUNDATION FOR ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES.
Our home planet Earth is undergoing rapid and sustained destruction of its eco-systems.This is giving rise to unacceptable levels of pollution, increasing damage to human habitations and ultimately threatening world-wide population disruption. Muslims comprise at least one fifth of the human community and they can contribute much to the thinking that is vital to re-evaluate the future direction of the human community and save its home for itself and other life forms.
From tentative beginnings in the mid 1980’s IFEES has established itself as perhaps the only internationally recognised body articulating the Islamic position on these matters and at the same time attempting to give practical manifestation to this.
Good on them. They don’t get much media attention though, do they?
And speaking of media, a crack has appeared in the cynical world of Rupert: Rupert’s Sun goes green and admits: we were wrong on global warming. May the Bolts, Albrechtsens, Steyns, Timmies and Akermans of this world please copy…