We need to call our addiction what it is

In a recent article in the guardian George Monbiot writes to encourage all of us to support the latest call to action: How nature can save us from climate breakdown.

Here is my repsonse.

Yes, we are going to have to change – as Greta said not long ago: “Change is coming, whether we like it or not.” I heartily approve of the idea of redirecting humanity’s attention back towards the living world that sustains us. I celebrate increasing efforts to restore the once wild places that human civilisation has invaded, mined, and left desolate.

But all this talk of “solutions” is worrisome – it has a very upbeat sound to it, no denying that. But it has the shallowness of a layer of sugar icing on a 3-layer shit cake.

Let’s just call it what it is: “large-scale symptom management” with trillions in funding to back it up without any attempt to address the underlying causes of how we got into this mess in the first place. It has the same hollow tone of Australia attempting to deal with yet another catastrophic invasive species by introducing one more invasive species to devour the first.

Western culture, and western civilisation has an unchecked addiction to cheap energy, cheap food, and cheap stuff. Without first treating that addiction all efforts to curb the effects of run-away climate change will include the addiction being elevated to the status of an inalienable, god-given right. Or as George W. Bush put it: “The American way of life is not up for negotiation.”

It seems to me that the wild world does not negotiate with humans – it simply acts and we suffer the consequences. So by all means, let us act and let us mobilise as quickly as we can but everything about the way we behave as a culture and a civilisation must be up for surrender or we will be right back in the shit in short order as soon as we eat all the sugar.