Saturday, 4 July 2015
Picked up a short review on Newsnight this week, where Kirsty Wark praised Chris Rapley's new (ish) book, "2071, the world we'll leave our grandchildren". When I've read it you'll get my opinion, but on the surface it looks pretty decent.
One of the things which has been happening to me alongside the new job - yes, thanks, it's going okay - is a new 'way of living'. This hasn't been arbitrary. Having been less than ideally placed in the health department, early April saw a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes and some fairly serious reevaluation of my circumstances, choices and wishes.
As a consequence, there has been a rediscovery of the joys of cycling, which anyone who keeps up with Annan & Hargreaves knows, is a bit lively round this neck of the woods. Which is to say, there aren't very many flat roads. Or, more accurately, there are no flat/level roads, just downhills or uphills, some more so than others.
Starting from a base of some past experience some years ago but not much in recent years, since work moved me off travelling to work by bike and on to travelling to visit clients by car, there was the mixed challenge of getting the bum-bones used to the idea of sitting on a saddle for more than a few minutes, getting the heart and lungs working beyond 'normal', and generally shifting far too much excess weight around one way or another.
So, here's the slightly bizarre parallel, and probably not very original. I have been self-indulgent, easy-living, comfortable but essentially not very healthy. A bit like Western (sic) society in modern times. As a consequence I got a few problems, which aren't the type which go away in a hurry, especially if they are ignored. So, for no better reason than it seemed the sensible thing to do, I have slightly adjusted little bits of my life habit to steadily modify the present effects of past indulgence, and to reduce the risk of future complications or, at worst, crises. Are you following so far?
So, the parallel is with the way as a society we tend to live in the world; comfortable, self-indulgent, unhealthy. The planet is showing the kind of symptoms and problems that indicate a long-term problem with both present and future issues, which won't be resolved by ignoring them. So, to make a difference to present and future circumstances, we could do worse than make some small, positive adjustments to the way in which we live in the world.
Is Carbon dioxide the Sugar of the Environment? There, that's the question. Your thoughts?