Today I watched an environmental documentary called Racing Extinction. I’m not going to review the film, nor talk about it exclusively, this isn’t the place for that. I want to talk about what it means and why it matters.
To myself, someone who has grown up in an average British family, life has been in most regards easy. I see myself as relatively well educated, well versed on many of the most pressing matters out there. And I am not a smart person, I am not an intelligent human being by any standards. One thing I do crave though is knowledge – I suppose as an act to try and make up for that deficit of my intelligence. I read a lot of books, I watch documentaries, and when I can muster the courage, I go out into the world with open eyes in the hope of learning, of garnering something I can use to make my own life more interesting, more fulfilling.
However, not so long ago I realised how small, how utterly minute my grasp of the world and all its problems was. How blind-sighted I have been by the constant drone, the perpetual wail of all the things that demanded my attention. And for what? None of it has made me any more happy. In many respects it has made the world harder to deal with. All this information that sits there, unable to be used, not having a clue what it is meant to be used for. And then there is myself – wanting to change things, wanting to be changed, yet finding it so difficult with the unrelenting amount of anxiety I find in the most menial of tasks, in the most ordinary of things. It seems like problems sit on top of problems, all stacked up into one frightful, intimidating monument that refuses to move, to degrade. In my mind I want to do so much; to become healthier, to view the world differently, to help people change, to change the world from the ground up with the smallest of steps. And as destitute as it sounds, my very own head stops me from being able to attempt that. Curse it!
After watching a film like Racing Extinction I get the horrendous notion that it is already too late to achieve such reformation in the ways of humanity – don’t get me wrong, there is much change to be had with myself and my ways before laying the blame on everyone else. Nonetheless, it seems like the majority of people do not care. They understand what they are doing, how in doing nothing – regardless of what they believe – change will not materalise out of thin air, out of redundant thoughts.
This world we all live in is a beautiful thing, a rare one. Why would anybody want to knowingly cause its demise with their short term profits, their selfish jurisdictions. People do not think of the future. Maybe they have a billion dollars, so much money it could never be used. But couldn’t it? Most wealthy, extraordinarily well-off people do not help the world. Imagine if the top fifty came together as a focus group intent on change, intent on making the world, nature, a more sustainable place, granting it and humanity a future. But it will not happen. Instead the people with little influence, little resources have to take it upon themselves.
It seems grandiose, an unreachable task with so many facets, so many holes and contradictions. Why even bother spending the time to try? Where do people even find the time to try within their busy schedules: going to work, eating, traveling, socialising – all the other things a modern human must undertake. Where is the time for revolution, for long awaited, desperately needed change? It gets forgotten about, pushed to the back of the mind in favour of celebrity, gossip, scandal, news that doesn’t mean anything. I am a victim of this, everyone is. It’s too big to escape, too massive to turn a blind eye to, and yet that is what we must to to focus on the important things. Knowing that if we don’t there won’t be a world for celebrities to thrive in, for corporations to make profits from the poor and vulnerable. Ultimately it really is now or never.
So what do we do? The things people tell us all the time, what the politicians and leaders tell us: recycle, use public transport more, turn lights of, use energy saving lighting, solar power, electric/hybrid cars… the list goes on. Of course these help, if every single person followed suit the world would be a changed place. But is it enough? Are we past that point and is a radical approach now more apt? Activism, protest, resentment and no-confidence in the worlds’ leaders? I’m not sure.
One of the biggest problems is the absolutely terrifying over-consumption and mass market production of animal products, red meat in particular. There is a drove of information on the internet about that though so I won’t rant on at this time. Simply becoming vegetarian or reducing meat consumption achieves a lot more than most people would like you to believe. Lastly I will leave this: The production and processing of cattle produces more destructive greenhouse gasses than the transport industry combined – worldwide. It’s something to think about, a change we can all make, a simple one without a downside. I will not tell you what is right and what isn’t, everyone has to make that judgement for themselves. This is such a beautiful place we all live in, don’t you think it’s about time we started caring for it?
For The Living!