When I was growing up – in the olden days! – children respected their elders, who were expected to set a good example and act as role models.
Clearly not always successful!
People who were not well acquainted were much more formal than is now the case, and while an adult would call a child by its first name, a stranger was addressed formally.
Very different now!
The hierarchical nature of relationships extended beyond family. There was a degree of respect expected by those who were further up the tree, and politicians, who held the strings of power within a country, were expected to be statesmanlike in their behaviour.
That was a lifetime ago and expectations were not always met!
Change is not always for the good and today’s informality, with its implied equality, hides a level of contempt by many of those in authority for those lower down the tree.
There are always variations with different cultures and there are few cultures where women have been fully accepted as different but equal.
Clearly the ability to give birth ensures that many women will have different life experiences than do men, and acceptance of the science which tells us that human sexuality is not binary is far from complete.
Possibly, if we all had some common moral compass which required us to treat all life forms with respect, most of our societal problems would disappear like magic.
Many people wonder, at some stage in life, why the universe was created and what is the purpose of life. The world’s various religions have their own allegories – again, formed in even older days – to attempt to answer questions which will probably never be answered in their lifetime.
Similarly, most cultures have had past leaders, visionaries, priests, shamans, prophets who have contributed to establishing some sort of moral code. The details of the codes have many points in common and variations seem to relate to the culture which was current when the code was formulated.
We are currently facing a global, moral, existential challenge.
Some of the world leaders are accepting of the scientific predictions that generally refer to the climate emergency or anthropogenic climate change.
Some leaders dismiss the science, others are reluctant to accept the concomitant need for urgent policy formulation to limit the damage resulting from the emissions of greenhouse gases, while the industries responsible for providing the sources of the emissions have worked very hard – and often too successfully – to persuade people not to accept the science.
If we are to reduce emissions sufficiently and quickly enough to avoid extreme temperature increases which will render parts of Planet Earth unlivable, we need to be acting now.
The concern is not only the rising temperatures, but the effect they have on local weather patterns. Australia and other parts of the world are on fire because continuing rising temperatures and accompanying droughts have dried out vegetation to the point where the merest spark triggers a conflagration.
Changing weather patterns have made it impossible for normal land care practices to reduce the amount of combustible material to be cleared in time, because the windows of opportunity to do so have also decreased.
In recent weeks, lives have been lost, property has also been destroyed and the damage is not yet over. Further financial damage is also inevitable because insurance premiums will increase and many will be unable to afford them.
These changes were predicted and they are now happening even more quickly than was expected – mainly because too little effort has been made to date.
Fire has not been the only climate change related hazard. Storms of all kinds are becoming increasingly intense and unpredictable and before long the melting polar ice will be significantly affecting ocean levels, inundating low lying islands and invading cities in coastal areas.
Forewarned should mean forearmed – but when politicians refuse to accept the science and pretend their current actions are sufficient, we have a major problem.
A tiny ray of hope stems from the fact that, while our Commonwealth government is blatantly denying the facts of life, State and Territory governments – and, to their credit, many corporations – are responding by moving away from fossil fuels. We can only hope it is not too little, too late.
Of course, it will affect every aspect of life. We need to reduce all pollution, we need to create new industries, retrain those displaced by the changes, learn to go without many conveniences in order to reduce demands on power and some limited resources.
Agriculture in Australia will need to make significant changes – we cannot afford to grow water-hungry crops – and water will become a serious issue as well.
The planning is decades behind schedule and we really must get stuck in – NOW!
I know that the Extinction Rebellion around the world has not been well received in many places.
I am sure the French Rebellion upset a lot of people too!
But then, as now, the violent upheaval was greater than it would have been if those in power had acted sooner in accepting the need for change.
I am normally a law-abiding person because I know that most laws are there to help life run smoothly.
At present, my level of frustration at the ignorance of Scott Morrison and his cronies – and the reluctance of the ALP to speak out more boldly for action – leaves me wanting to be involved in action that will force the politicians to act before it is too late.
I do not care for myself. I have had a good life and only have a few years left.
But youngsters like Greta Thunberg have their whole lives ahead of them and the prospect of having an easy, comfortable existence is being denied them by the stupidity and selfishness of most of the world leaders.
I do not have a skerrick of respect left for any of the world leaders who have so far failed to not only recognise the need for action, but actually got stuck into a really effective plan to minimise the impact of undeniable global warming.
You know all this.
You have heard it all before.
Why do you go on ignoring it?
We need to force our leaders to do what is desperately needed – ACT NOW!
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