Archive for February, 2012

The worm in the apple.

During idle moments over the last few years there has been a thought gnawing away at the back of my brain like a worm in an apple. Each time I try to eradicate that pest by giving some serious consideration to the issues the worm becomes larger and hungrier; the gnawing becomes more prolonged and intrusive. I am left feeling as if the difficulties are to large for me to comprehend, let alone influence. Therefore I do nothing, shackled by my own sense of inadequacy.
It is my hunch that wheels are in motion that have brought the earth and all who sail in her to the verge of a period of change so profound and so fundamental, that in a few decades the lifestyles of today will be unrecognisable and will seem, in some ways, absurd. To say that “the times they are a changin’” is nothing remotely new; in fact it is a truism so universal that many wise folks have arrived at the conclusion that change is the only thing that remains constant. So what makes my hunch about this period of change different from the enormous changes that took place during the 20th century? From my perspective many of the changes that were a feature of the 20th century were driven by human endeavour, seemingly unconstrained by the natural world. For example as a child in the 1980s and 1990s I witnessed innovations in healthcare, communications, and transport that seemed to offer the promise of limitless ‘progress’. It is my expectation that the forthcoming changes will be driven largely by the hard limits imposed by basic ecological laws from which we cannot escape, or by the simple (and interlinked) fact that we are running out of some of the things that make our lives the way that they are. Simply put the boot is on the other foot, and the laws of nature that we have fought so hard to avoid or overcome may be about to kick humanity in the arse.

Nonetheless I do not wish for this blog to be a repository of gloom, misery, and scaremongering, in my opinion this way of thinking has not served us well thus far. This blog is my way of gaining greater understanding of the challenges ahead and helping to shape my personal responses to them.  Therefore, by definition, the reader will find posts about cataclysmic change cheek by jowl with posts about the mundane minutiae of the life of one human being. The posts will be in no particular order and without any particular theme beyond that outlined above. Ideosyncracies will no doubt abound. My own hypocracy is likely to be exposed and hopefully challenged. I am not a scientist and do not intend to apply any more scientific rigour to my posts than is necessary to help me understand the issues enough to apply the relevant lessons to my own life. If readers can add something in this respect I would be most grateful.
I would welcome comments, and suggestions with open arms. I will try to welcome constructive criticism in the same manner, provided that it is delivered with some degree of courtesy.