Do you remember that old saying; “The first law of holes; if you are in one, stop digging”?
Let me tell you a story; Somewhere in Japan, companies produce electric motors. They make a lot of them. So there is a surplus. Which they are delighted to be able to ship by the container load to the UK, making a small profit or at least covering their costs.
In the UK, an enterprising businessman recieves a shipment of surplus electric motors from Japan. He does nothing with them, just drives them straight to the scrap metal dealer. Even with shipping and customs charges, he makes a substantial profit.
The scrap metal dealer breaks the motors down into components. He then sells them at a profit to an Oriental salvage company, who ship the bits back to Japan for reclaimation.
In Japan, a lot of companies make electric motors. They use reclaimed materials where possible to save money, and the honourable reclaimation company makes a profit.
Madness incarnate while everyone involved is living up to green directives.
Meanwhile, America is in dire financial straits. The European community has already given three of its own countries a serious kicking over national debt. But the USA? They spend weeks bickering like children over increasing their debt threshold – in effect, making themselves more creditworthy by promising to be more responsible in the future.
I am in no way a financial expert. I have enough trouble wading through my own credit crunch. So forgive my simple views. If I went to my creditors and asked for them to raise my credit limits because I promised to restructure my life to pay them better over the next ten years (Note: Only pay better, not pay off), they would quite rightly laugh at me and tell me to go away.
Madness incarnate yet the world heaves a sigh of relief.
In a world where we are told every day that resources are precious and we should consume less and when doing so, do it in a more ecologically friendly way, I see cheap gadgets abounding, plastic products increasing, fancy packaging to lure the punter everywhere. Disposable phones, 3D printers, hybrid cars that use batteries yet have the most ecologically damaging manufacturing process of all cars… I could go on, but I trust you get the idea.
Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists unless it has been burnt. Biodegradeable bags merely crumble to bits to small for you to see. They don’t magically turn into compost or something natural.
People pride themselves on being green. Some are genuinely so. Most are only green because they do what they have been told is green.
What is the correlation of all this verbiage?
We are a planet in disastrous deficit. Money, resouces, the processes of society.
If every person or organisation on this planet that is owed money asked for it back tomorrow, I am damn sure there isn’t enough real money out there to pay the tab.
There are areas the size of Texas consisting of suspended plastic debris to a depth of several hundred metres at the heart of each of our oceans. These accumulations at the oceanic gyres get bigger and denser every year,
Every country is tied into a debt driven model that forces them to only ever address the symptoms of a global malaise. It is unsustainable. But they tell us we can avert it. If we just give a little more and use a little less. But don’t forget to by the latest must-have widget to help our economic recovery…
We are damn-near locked in to a downward spiral that will result in a catastrophic re-adjustment of societical models. Simply put, things are going to get worse for most of us. Then it’s going to get really bad for a while.
What comes after that, I do not know. But I cannot help but draw a grim parallel to a famous quotation from Albert Einstein “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. Except there will probably be no world war, just a whimper amongst the collective choking on our accumulated detritus, delusions and dogma.
What comes next will be a world with less promise, a world left to look back at us and curse our greed and apathy. A world that will mourn the waste of such potential, such rich technological marvels that were frittered away making toys for the super-rich and diversions for the masses.
Stop digging, you greedy bastards. Before you consume our future.