Monday, 7 November 2016

The Anger of the Voice of Despair

This weekend the black dog has visited, but not the usual one. This one has made me angry to the point of despair and given me the need to rationalise my thoughts however hard that has been. And that thought rationalisation made me really work out some stuff that I thought I'd share. A lot of this is going to be political, so if that's not your thing, apologies.
First, of course, Farm Terrace in Watford lost their fight to keep their plots in the High Court. This isn't just a few plots disappearing but has been seen as a dangerous precedent being set. If extenuating circumstances mean whatever it needs to mean, in my eyes that says we'll probably take most excuses. Which of course is crazy but just shows that the laws around our communal lands are just not taken seriously at all. 
Then the weekend has been a barrage of political nonsense, from MP's who send out tweets that suggest they don't understand democracy to Trump and his horrific rhetoric around almost everything, but particularly around his refusal to believe climate change is a thing, to Farage and all the other right wing horrors that make the Internet and social media a dark and disturbing place at times. 
A question about healthy cities finally tipped me over the edge this morning. To ask which work stream healthy cities should come under is ridiculous. Health, be it of cities or people, needs to be an umbrella policy that covers all work streams and has policy embedded around it that all departments at both local and national level adhere to. And health needs to cover poverty, food and how we handle food waste, clean air and water and our urban planning, as well as young people's services, mental and physical health provision for all. Because without health we are nothing other than a failing population struggling to get through each day, being led to do what we are told by an ever more distant political elite who we will fail to engage with and hence feel helpless, unheard, and unimportant. But this is not the first time I've heard someone say of land and food that it's so difficult to pigeon hole, it's easier not to engage with it. And yes. They really said that.
But then last night there was a glimmer of hope. I watched Planet Earth 2 with expectation, just as I watched Life on Earth in the 70's as a child. I watched the iguanas outrunning the snakes, the sloths and penguins and the wonders of the natural world and it made me angrier. Not with the programme but with all the things that had effected me over the weekend, the Trumps and Farages and the hate filled rhetoric abounding from everywhere.
The programme was stunning. The photography incredible. Our earth is a place of wonderment, where species fight huge issues to survive,  and continue just being. They aren't concerned by GDP or growth. And they can do absolutely nothing about the one species that is putting them all at risk. Humankind. 
The pillager of their lands, the destroyer of their homes and the taker of their food. What is it that is inherent in man that insists that growth is so vital in a world with limited resources? And what makes man arrogant enough to think that he is more important than any other species?
I have no answers to any of those questions. 
But what I do know is that I'd like every politician, every journalist, every climate change denier (and actually everyone to some degree myself included), to look around them and see what growth is doing to our planet and to the other species we share it with. Come down from which ever ivory tower they live in and see the reality of poverty on children whose parents are working and yet really struggling to put a roof over their heads and good food on their tables. To see the effects of bad housing, poor sanitation and unclean air on the millions of people that these things affect worldwide.
To live on less than a dollar for one day.
Or on minimum wage for one week.
Or somewhere you are unsafe, whatever species for a month.
Perhaps then pigeon holing might stop and we could look at whole system change. Because that is what we need. Today. Now.
The dog is still here. He's battling in my brain, telling me not to write this, that it won't make any change and that no one will give a hoot. But I know how good he is at messing with my thoughts and I know not to trust him. 
So I'll work on sending him packing at the same time as I pray the world will begin to save itself, not by making growth or by taking more resources from our planet, but by moving forwards with one thought only. 

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