LETTER: Happiness is more than purchasing power

From reader C. Burton

There is a habit the news has of addressing the dire global warming happening due to humanity’s insatible, cancerous greed as “killing the earth.” Considering the epochs of unimaginable forces our planet has evolved through, I doubt very much our actions will kill her. It will be us who die.

Everything I have read makes it obvious that our continued denial and habitual poor personal and political choices will shortly make the planet we love uninhabitable for life as we know it.

However, as the lockdowns implemented by countries and corporations due to the coronavirus show, once many of our usual present behaviours are stopped, the volume of C02 emissions plunges. The skies above China are clearing with about 25 per cent less carbon being generated. What the calculation is for the diminished air traffic globally I haven’t heard yet, but it should be considerable as well. The same has been shown for when the bubonic plague hit Europe: there was a resurgence of forests and wildlife.

This is now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt and is very hopeful. In line with this research, it’s obvious there are various behaviour modifications we can each make for our healthier future. If we all bought less newly made stuff, there would be less manufacturing. Encourage our politicians to make laws so that built-in obsolescence for appliances, cars, houses etc. is no longer an option. Travel less. Have smaller families and homes. Eat more legumes, less meat. Grow what you can.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. I’ve been hearing this mantra for 40 years. How many firestorms, disappearing glaciers and displaced people due to atmospheric heating does it take to make us wake up and take action? Collectively we are acting like lemmings of myth — devouring everything around us, endlessly breeding, and racing towards the edge. However, over the millions of years our brain has evolved to a magnificent capacity including self consciousness. Let’s use it better.

I suggest our happiness factor or worth should arise from how we can benefit all beings on this planet, rather than from our jobs and purchasing power.

C. Burton


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