environment |en?v?r?nm?nt; -?v?(?)rn-| |?n?va?r?nm?nt| |?n?va?(?)rnm?nt| |?n?va?r?nm?nt| |?n?va?(?)rnm?nt| |?n?v??r?nm(?)nt| |?n-|noun1 the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.• [usu. with adj. ] the setting or conditions in which a particular activity is carried on : a good learning environment.2 ( the environment) the natural world, as a whole or in a particular geographical area, esp. as affected by human activity.
It’s Blog Action Day and the collective mission for all bloggers is quite simply to raise awareness of our environment and the impact we are having apon it.
Preaching change is not what I would normally do so i won’t.
I will say though that any enlightened western mind should, in my mind, already have an environmental philosophy fundamentally based on a moral conviction that we as human beings have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of the natural systems that sustain life.
As an inseparable part of our environment, we have an obligation to sustain life, protect life and ultimately to protect the underpinnings of life.
We are consuming more and more, and the more we continue to do so, the more we stretch the limitations of our ecosystem around us.
Yes, It would be wonderfully idealistic if tomorrow we could flick a switch and become self sustainable. Perhaps we should consider working towards sustainable development instead..? This is a far more realistic goal in the short term.
Whenever I look over the British countryside I am not thinking.. “Ooo look at that intricate system of agriculture, that patchwork quilt made of fields busily producing our food.”
I am thinking.. “Where have all the forests gone”.
I am not saying I want everyone to ‘Robin Hood’ it over the length and breadth of the country, hunting wild bore and foraging for mushrooms (although I would happily live like that).
I just wish we had not got so greedy and thoughtless when we started managing the land.
Modern economics is preoccupied with measuring our ‘standard of living’ by the amount of annual consumption. It assumes that a man who consumes more is ‘better off’ that a man who consumes less.
Many eastern minds, particularly ones with a Buddhist background would consider this approach excessively irrational: since consumption is just a means to human well-being.
Surely the aim is to obtain the maximum amount of well-being with the minimum amount of consumption. The less time digging the fields, the more energy left for artistic creativity.
This world we have created around us considers consumption to be the only purpose of all economic activity.
We seem to be making bigger and bigger machines, in an attempt to produce faster, in order to keep up with our ever increasing demands. It’s a vicious circle, obviously exerting yet greater damage against our environment and in my mind does not represent any form of progress.
We need to change our thinking, make it more organic, far more gentle, simpler, balanced and in tune with the land around us.
So, as i said.. I will not preach as to what you can do, or tell you how I try to do my bit. Instead I will recommend a book.
E.F Schumacher supplied many of the answers we need now back in 1973 with ‘Small is Beautiful’
34 years ago he said..
“..greed and envy demand continuous and limitless economic growth of a material kind, without proper regard for conservation, and this type of growth cannot possibly fit into a finite environment. We must therefore study the essential nature of the private enterprise system and the possibilities of evolving an alternative system which might fit the new situation.”
If you feel it is too late for you to change your ways.. Please read this book and learn how some ways must be changed if we are to leave anything for our children and their children to interact with, to operate in, to live within… i.e. an environment.