Saving our precious planet
A priority concern for all of us, no matter what our age, must be the wellbeing of planet Earth: to ensure it stays a safe place for our children and later generations.
Our recent U3A Thursday afternoon talk by Dr Leon Freris, fully substantiated by extensive research, spelled out the many challenges we face, covering a range of inter-related concerns emanating principally from global warming. It is the accelerating rate of climate change and its indirect as well as its direct effects which bring urgency to the issue.
Unusual freak weather, causing floods, wild fires, sustained droughts, rapidly melting polar ice and sea levels rising are all events that cause whole swathes of population, mainly in the so-called Third World, to move away to relative safety. We are witnessing mass migration from countries such as Guatemala in Central America, where the rains have failed for three years and people cannot remain. Their attempts to flee northwards through Mexico to the United States are thwarted by more rigid border controls.
A comprehensive range of literature over-viewing the nature of these highly threatening concerns sets out to analyse the problems and how they might be addressed. Their specialist authors are fairly unanimous in pointing out that modern economics is driven by the supposed need for growth. It has worked so well, sustaining us for many years.
But now the hungry and thirsty ‘engines’ of growth are using up the earth’s resources at an immense speed. But those resources are of course finite. It surely makes sense to look at better ways forward before we, as the Earth’s inhabitants, find ourselves in desperate circumstances.