In 1939 WW2 struck the nation. What followed was a series of extreme decisions, the kind necessary to ensure survival through the war that threatened to destroy life as it was known: children were evacuated, ration cards handed out and bomb shelters erected in back gardens.
Undoubtedly, if these steps hadn’t been taken our great nation would be a little different today. However, what’s troubling is why was this a national emergency that required such rapid and extreme responses, yet the current threats to our survival are greeted with nothing but passive hand gestures from those at the top of the tallest ivory towers?
Several weeks ago the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, or the IPCC, released a report which elegantly informed us that if we do not do something now our planet will become too warm to sustain the life we, and our relatives on every continent, have come to be in awe of.
The earth has existed for 4.5 billion years. 4.5 Billion. Since human civilisation as we know it began some 6,000 years ago, we have managed to irrefutably damage the very core constituents that enable our existence.
Plants evolved a process that provides us oxygen so we may breath, and we cut them down. The oceans provided us with food so we wouldn’t starve, and we filled it with plastic. The atmosphere protected us from the villainous UV-rays of the sun, and we poked a hole in it.
It’s as if we are determined to push the planet to the very edge as some form of test; how much damage can we do before it’s too late? The situation is of course getting worse and now, according to the IPCC, we have 12 years to prevent further damage. Why is that not a national crisis?
Last week microplastic has reportedly been found in human faeces. For anyone who has not yet put two and two together, this means plastic has infiltrated our food chain. We are now consuming a product that is derived from crude oil, the same substance used to power jet engines, cars and BBQs. It’s a product with the potential to supress our immune systems and aid in the transmission of viruses and toxins harmful to our health. Why is this not a national crisis?
The governments most recent ban on single use plastics is a step in the right direction, but that’s all it is, a step. It could be argued that this step is actually a distraction, a way to keep the liberalists of society quiet for a time, while allowing the transnational corporations of the world to continue to profit from our earth’s impending peril.
News outlets across the globe from The Times to The Sun, from Forbes to the BBC, are all converging on one message- we must do something drastic now to save the planet or face the consequences. However this message is met with denial from society and passive hand gestures are now coupled with eye rolls. Why is this not a global crisis?
The purpose of a government is to safeguard the society they are responsible for which they cannot do if they aren’t spending time implementing ways to save the planet. We can’t recycle our way out of the problem, or plant trees out of it.
We have to make immeasurable lifestyle changes which will not occur without those with influence abseiling from their ivory towers and taking real action. No more baby steps, no more distractions, it’s time for law changes and collaboration across nations, it’s time for a WW3 style response to another WW2 problem.