Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The precautionary principle

The old dog, Arnie the bull and I have been having some in depth discussions. 

Arnie is still upset that most of his cow friends left the property at the beginning of autumn. 

He does not appreciate that the lack of rain and the approach of winter was a problem. He has had feed grass all winter, something he would have been lacking if all his friends had stayed.

There is still an accusation in his eye when he looks at me. 

I am very lucky, I don’t have a mortgage or bank loans hanging over my head. I don’t need a lot of money to survive, I can’t be forced to overstock by financial pressure, and I am not a greedy person. 

When I drive into town to do the shopping I see the land brown from the lack of rain and burnt by frost or fire, the stock thin, dams and waterholes dried up, people hand feeding their herds. 

I know these people many are my friends. They care deeply about the land and animals, so they struggle to make mortgage payments, to keep their stock alive and look to the sky for rain. 

The old dog hates having a bath, and the flea wash after the bath is a trauma for both of us, but if it is not done he is miserable and spends his day scratching and biting fleas. 

I have been trying to explain the precautionary principle to both the dog and Arnie. 

I have had no success as yet, the dog has not grasped the concept: 
no bath = the misery of fleas.
Or Arnie:
more friends = less food.

I have had limited success with the human neighbours: that more CO2 = a greater degree of climate change. 

More severe droughts, bigger storms, higher intensity fires etc.

Yet many still doubt that humans are affecting the planet’s climate, and that it is up to us to stop using fossil fuels and move to renewables. 

We do not have much time to do this and I’m not hopeful we will do enough to stop the oncoming disaster. 

We as a species have to change our ways, redefine our society. 

We are not an economy-based society as we are told, we are a society based in an ecological environment - and if we stuff that up it is time to go extinct.

No comments: