I was watching the Federal Government’s question time the other week, (to treat a little insomnia), and I was struck by the lack of connection with the reality of Greenhouse Gas and Climate Change in the Prime Minister and his Environment Minister, and the rhetoric on technological fixes and negative impact on the economy, as opposed to dealing with the real need for behavioural change.
Not that there aren’t a few dozen experts advising them every day about what Climate Change is, but to actually observe their non-verbal cues it was obvious that there was a big void in their actual internalisation of the issues.
The planet cannot sustain our current consumption-orientated way of life.
As the leaders of our country, and representatives of we the people, harped on about their ‘commitment to jobs’ and ‘focus on the economy’, I realized that it was not any lack of science nor a conspiracy to squeeze a Nuclear power station through legislation, but it is simply a matter of how a persons individual values system frames their worldview and limits ones ability to take in information and process it with any perspective.
A human strength and weakness.
No-one, at any time in this flash-flood of a debate on Climate Change has asked any Minister which they see as more important – life, or the economy.
Yet it is this simple but challenging question that goes to the core of where the weight of our current post-modern worldview is sitting, albeit now receiving a groundswell of opposition from a more inter-connected One Earth worldview.
Despite the popularity of shows like Little Britain we are sensitive, feeling creatures with the gift of reason. We know that things are heading down the wrong path, that our consumer religion has failed us, and our aspirations for exponential linear growth are flawed.
Those who have stepped back to see the arrogance of affluence that our Western model has gifted us, acknowledge the need to do more with less and battle with the day-to-day challenges of trying to live within the means of the planet.
The difficult thing for the Government to do now, and the simplest way to secure the next election, would be to tweak the lens of their own fear-based ideology, (“it’s the economy or we’re doomed”), and recognize that there is no threat to our ‘international competitiveness’ in tackling Climate Change aggressively, because if there is no world community there is no international competitiveness!
There is no choice, politically or personally, between Life on Earth and The Economy. We are all a product of nature and reductionist economics is merely a product of our historical worldview. A view that we need to change if we are to deal with the personal adjustments required to address Climate Change.