5 May 2008

Reappraising who we are and what progress means

The real issues ... are not technical or economic. The crisis we face demands a profound  philosophical discussion, a reappraisal of who we are and what progress means.

The above is a quote taken from an article written by Monbiot. I think it encapsulates exactly the big challenge we are currently facing. We cannot hope to solve our problems through technology. We cannot hope to have our cake and eat it: no matter what clever tricks we come up with, trips destroy our environment, manufacturing destroys our environment, exotic foods destroy our environment,  temperature control destroys our environment.

We can only hope to survive, if we can  find  less pleasure in consumption.

By no means am I anywhere near having reached that stage; on the contrary, through my work and my personal circumstances, I travel a lot.  One more reason why I am desperately hoping for an  urgent reappraisal.

1 comment:

Bitterjug said...

Hello Sophia
These few simple words of George Monbiot have a total meaning which is much more than the sum of their parts. We need philosophers. We need to acknowledge the importance of the fundamental human need for meaning, for understanding; to appreciate how much sustenance we get from knowing who we are and what we are about and how confused and terrified many of us are right now wondering how our lives within our society make sense. They don't. The books don't even balance and living in rural Africa, I have seen a tiny glimpse of the price someone else has to pay. Those externalities of our lives.

Monbiot's words, as a question, are hard to comprehend. The answer to that question is much harder. And yet I feel our culture doesn't encourage us even to ask it in our own tongues. Rather to go watch TV, with ads for computer games about warfare and hair products with fake chemical names, for "cheaper" car insurance, and supermarket food.

Where do we begin?
Turn off the telly?
Start to ask those questions in the pub? Talk to our colleagues? Write (or draw) our blogs? And support one another.