I find myself getting more and more depressed about the world – dissatisfaction, mainly, as I discover more.
I’ve just heard about the loss of the challenge against the new runway at Heathrow. I’m sure a new runway would bring economic benefits, whether it is at Heathrow or anywhere else. I’m equally sure that there will be a cost associated with it, in terms of the environment, whether at Heathrow or anywhere else. The two priorities – economic and environmental – are in direct competition with each other. However you dress it up, sooner or later you come to one winner and one loser.
I suppose the people who support the economic arguments will say that we keep developing economically until we have to worry about the environment, and that hopefully, by that time, we’ll have learned ways to build our economy without harming the environment. My concern here is that the timescale during which we make the planet uninhabitable is sufficiently large, it is difficult to see how we are affecting things. So it’s not obvious, although it’s become more so these last few decades, but even now, “so what?” is an argument for inaction.
I suppose I get depressed about things because I think the moment when we have to say “now we really do need to clean up our act” has probably already been and gone. The saving grace is that I can probably defer disaster long enough to shuffle off this mortal coil, but I do worry for my child.
On a related note, I’m making a conscious effort to reduce, if not eliminate completely, my meat intake. I haven’t travelled on a plane in more than 10 years so my meat consumption is the next big thing. I suppose in the context of what I’ve just written, it is all a bit pointless, but at least my conscience is clear. But this is something we all need to decide for ourselves, so I’ll leave the protests to others.