Call me irresponsible but I’m just not interested in politics; I’m an idealist and more attuned to fundamentals than the power structures we’ve created in our human drama – even though I do recognize the importance of that game within our civilization.
But there has been three huge political issues in the last couple of years that even I couldn’t miss. The first was the Scottish independence referendum – I’m Scottish so that was very much unmissable! Second was Brexit and third is the ongoing drama of the impending Trump presidency.
More than the political back and forth, the in-fighting and one-upmanship I’ve been struck by the absence of one key issue, thee key issue, during these debates – the relationship between humans and nature and the worsening environmental crisis.
Of course, the outcome of these decisions has a major impact of the environment in the sense of policy but given the ecological situation we find ourselves in this should be a key question not something that is backgrounded and implicit.
It amazes me how much we continue to bury our head in the sand about this issue when nothing is more fundamental to our continued existence and the richness we experience in our lives than the well-being of the natural world. At pivotal moments such as the three examples I’ve used here the players should be clambering over one another to stress the importance they’ll give to nature . . . but instead it’s barely been mentioned, as though to show concern for the natural environment somehow detracts from the potency of their overall position, like a weakness.
How backwards is that? It’s almost as though to care for the natural environment is a shameful thing reserved for do-gooders and hippies living on the fringes of society. I’m afraid we’re way beyond that point now and nothing should dominate the political agenda like the state of the planet we live on; our one and only home.
Nature just isn’t sexy . . . yet; but I don’t believe that people don’t care, they do. In many cases our hands feel tied because of the societal and power structures that we exist within. We are at a tipping point, things are changing rapidly; things can change for the better . . . but only if we give it the attention it requires. It’s said that whatever we give attention to will grow. Let’s hope that the political spectacle will soon calm down and our attention will be drawn back to the most fundamental of human concerns – our very survival, and the survival of all that enchants our lives in this place.
The featured image of this article shows Rachel Carson, author of the classic environment text Silent Spring, testifying before the senate committee on her concerns about the toxification of nature.