My philosophy on sustainability

In this blog I would like to share my new philosophy I have on: how to be sustainable… 

The subject is vast and very topical, and has become a modern day buzzword which at times can be quite confusing. 

My perspective questions our current approach and offers a more profound alternative.

What does sustainabilty mean?

So what does sustainability mean?

Personally, I love nature but I also am fascinated by human behaviour and think the word sustainability is the most important word in the human language. I have always said that sustainability is the ‘survival of a healthy existence for both man and nature’… Which makes it a massive and never ending topic…

But  what about for other people…? For example, there’s the grubby geezer I know down the road who once told me that he doesn’t wash because it is sustainable for the planet…. or the the local wreckhead who once said: “I can’t keep boozing like this, it’s not sustainable”!

Surely these are just lifestyle choices. This isn’t relevant and it doesn’t make sense….

 

“̶̰͎̗̇̄́̾͌́ć̸̜̳̟̥͕̰͚̤̌̈́͜ò̶̢͙̓͌̀̅̒̎͊n̵̪̣̫͔̩̹̉f̴̢̡̪͍̦̙͔̄̊̕̕ǔ̴̥̱̯͈̩͚͙͈̹̯̓̐̋͑͌̕š̶͇͍͓͖̮̻͙̩͌̐͂̍̍̉͂͂̒ī̵̜̆̓͝͠͝͝n̷̢̩̪͉͐͑͐̏̍͊g̴̢̗̩͈͕͝ ̷̥̱̣̟̟̗̖̦̅̔̔̈̐̾͜ͅṯ̷̢̨͉̯͔̃ͅe̸̳͚̒̈̇͘ŗ̷̦͙̺̤͍̥̅̍͐̔m̴̟͉̪͓̙̏̒͗̓̐̓̋ ̷̢̟͖̦͗͋͊͆̈̇̇͂́͘ͅf̶̥͉͙͕̲͕̗̐̑̑̑̑̓̕͝͝ô̴̧̨̡̜̪͖͚̩̏ṟ̴͎̦̟̥̎̕͠ ̷̬͇̱̹̟̖̈́́̈́͑̀̓͊̊̕͝ͅa̸̼̅͐̀ ̵̢̰̥̎c̶̖̋͆̀́͋̊̿͘l̷̳̺̳͚̭̅̑̈́͑͌e̵̟̪̮͖̦͓̤͔͔͆v̴̦̣̝̝͚̝̈́̒̇e̸̙̲̣̖͎͝r̷͕̳̞̟͓̮͇̬̈̚ ̶̛͔̲͔̀̒̈́̿̌̍̐̌c̴͍͎̱̓͛͗̍́ö̵͍̪́̎̄̌n̵̨͖̒̑̍c̵̛̩͂͐̏̆́͘̚e̴̮̮̬̫̍͛̒̀̐̈́͊p̴̮̀̈̕͝t̸̨̰͍̜̗̲͊̑͋̒̋́̉̓͝͝”̸̥͚̲͆̓̓̏̿̐̓͘

 

Instead of discussing with “narrow minded” people on sustainable lifestyle choices I used to prefer conversations about “critical issues” such as the government’s carbon budget for

  1. agriculture, 
  2. air travel and
  3. plastic…

 

And its trade-off with gdp growth, and other related pandemics discussed in the media…

 

But then I realised how this debate is actually quite exhausting! Even right now I am feeling like my energy has been sapped just talking about it .. .

I appreciate the value of these debates, but as an individual is all this information necessary when thinking about sustainability?

I don’t think so….

I think listening to big business , big governments and global media outlets is risky because they will always struggle to present issues holistically… Because they are understandably too bogged down with heavy document statements and focused agendas.

Finding ‘Balance’

I think sustainability is all about balance…

However, at the same time, everyone has become too obsessed in trying to be balanced …. The definition of being balanced is having different elements in the correct proportions… “.

This makes me imagine someone playing with scales, watching it seesaw from on side to the other before finding the correct solution .

Whereas finding balance is different. “It is when something remains upright and steady.”

And here comes the big philosophical point…  people and the environment are basically the same:  Everything came from the sun… and how we shape the environment around us will later shape us… so, if this is true then we are just one big living organism…

And who is equipped to show this big living organism how to balance and become sustainable? Well It has to be the god and mother nature…, or the…, or the architect creator…. call it what you like… the infinite laws of everything from no man knows where…

Listen to the message

Here’s a metaphor…

When I was young I learnt how to walk by standing and falling to find balance but then as a student I chose to ignore this and broke my knee climbing a drain pipe! This meant I had to stay at home injured where I had a chance to think about my actions.

How did I respond? I continued to show off and ended up in A&E on my 21st birthday with a second broken knee and a hangover.

I have since responded positively and I appreciate the value of being fit and healthy and finding balance.

This story is an analogy on how the planet is being shown how to be sustainable during this current corona crisis ..

We are being grounded and made to stay at home to think about what we have done. Viruses are nothing new – we learnt the risks during the plague when the planet was younger. We have just chosen to test our luck… Will we listen? I don’t know, but if we don’t we will soon be put in our place until we learn to slow down to find a balance for a healthy existence.

As above, so below *

The analogy behind the story suggests that the planet is being disciplined like an irresponsible and unbalanced adolescent. It also illustrates that as individuals, we share similar patterns of behaviour to this big living organism which I spoke about a few moments ago…

“as above, so below”.

 

In the context of the three “critical issues” I referred to earlier, let’s think about them from our own health perspective:

  1. agriculutre: an improved food system would provide us with more nutritious food;
  2. air travel: less flights would reduce air, light, and noise pollution; and
  3. plastics: less exposure would reduce the cancer causing toxic chemicals in our environment.

 

All three examples would be a massive benefit for our own health….

AND it just so happens that this would also help beat the coronavirus…

  1. better food system would help prevent corona in the first place;
  2. less air flights would have slowed down its global spread, and
  3. less plastics would have reduced cross contamination in our modern environment!!!

AND these three points also help prevent climate change!

What is good for us is good for the planet….

  

So that’s amazing- it looks as though we have known the answers all along to this complicated global sustainability challenge!

Conclusion

So on behalf of my human existence and the greater infinite forces, I have come here today with this message…

What is a healthy balance for us, is also a healthy balance for the planet… we need to listen from within to sustain the existence of all!”

And finally, where does that leave the grubby geezer and the local wreckhead? – Maybe I was wrong to think they were narrow minded, and perhaps they had the wisdom all along.

Which must mean the real answer to sustainability is best discussed down the smelly old boozer…!

References

  1. * As above, so below: Learn religions website
  2. Making sustainability more than just a buzzword: Environment journal online
  3. Governments carbon budgets: LSE
  4. The plague and economic growth: University of California, Davis and Cambridge University Press
  5. Plastic and cross contamination: AAAS Science
  6. Air travel and spread of disease: Pub Med
  7. Agriculture and virus: Science focus

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