Saturday, December 1, 2012

A different kind of debt

The weather has been a tad extreme lately, hasn't it? In our parts of South-East Queensland, we had an extended dry period through Spring and now the temperatures are skyrocketing. It's around these times of extremes, people inevitably start contemplating climate change. 

I was reading some blogs yesterday, asking that very question: could Climate Change possibly be a hoax with all this crazy weather around, and what could possibly be gained by such a hoax? I wanted to comment, but then thought maybe this subject is best explored on my own blog.

Navel orange showing effects of weather extremes

I do believe in climate change, but not the modern icon it has been dubbed lately. For millions of years the climate has been changing. What is new however, what has captured our attention like animals staring into the headlights of approaching vehicles; is this concept we are entirely responsible.

There is some merit in that. What I disagree with iconic Climate Change and its followers however, is that industrial solutions and science will make a difference. It is believed if science can wrap their collaborative heads around greener industrial solutions, we can stop all this wanton destruction. But there are problems with adopting this kind of belief system as a solution.

It simply continues to ignore natural boundaries and imposes more of man-made agendas into the natural world. That's where critics of Climate Change have a point about it being a hoax. It all comes out of research laboratories and computer programs which make projections based on data. Once politicians get a hold of the data, they begin planning their next election campaign. Fear is projected onto the public, for the purpose of continued man-made agendas.

 Where do kangaroos go for their security?
They seem to like our backyard

This is the modern iconic saga, families and individuals are forced to  comprehend, whenever the weather is extreme. Ancient cultures used to comprehend their local Deities wishes - today we comprehend the politicians and scientists. What can we offer them as way of recompense - our gold, our children's future, bigger institutions, another government department, more complex scientific equipment, our unconditional permission?

Here's the irony however. Nature has given all these things to mankind already: her gold, silver, uranium, fossils, the future inheritance wagered on gamblers with addiction problems, carved herself up to build bigger institutions, raised and fed people to earn "degrees" instead of tending the fields. When I think of Climate Change, I think of institutions and cultures which don't want to return to nature for a solution: despite the unconditional permission nature has given us.

I wonder though, do we feel safe yet with all our modern solutions? Are we no longer exposed to nature by re-writing her? Has the corporation and modern politician crying from the pulpit for our collaborative futures, delivered anything remotely not like destruction yet?

The irony for me is, we put more faith in our own solutions, but hold very little faith in nature's ability to keep the balance. It's a dichotomy of epic proportions: and yet the weather is still changing, no?

 Native Lillypilly, doing well in the extremes

This is why I agree the climate is changing: nature is attempting to return life to balance. Nature will always have the final say, no matter how clever we believe our solutions are. If we would just get out of the way, like the animal staring into the vehicles headlights, we might stand a chance of surviving what's coming.

We made our tree change back in 2007, feeling we were missing something we couldn't really understand. While we only live on 5 acres, we are surrounded by hundreds of acres of bushland. We don't have fences, and not many of our neighbours have either, so there's no definitive boundary between us and nature. There is only what we create around our dwellings. We are all very fortunate to experience the larger natural space as a shared one though.

This has taught me about the bigger picture than myself. There have been times I haven't appreciated the imposition of neighbour's domesticated animals, but in a way, this taught me about the resilience of nature too. It's why small birds nest in dense and prickly thickets. So I planted more of those. It is why trees create shade for the understory, so we planted more shade trees.

Sure, it takes a while and costs a lot of money we can little afford - but I figure we've already earned more than our share of resources from nature, without giving anything back. That will be our debt to repay for the rest of our natural lives. And it is the reason why I don't focus on politicians or scientists when it comes to understanding climate change. They never pay back, what they take in resources to solve the problem. The money exchanged does not service the debt owed.

But everyone can work towards reducing the need for industrial solutions and planting more trees for the bigger picture. There are several areas we've been working towards changing slowly ourselves, which I'll discus in future posts. It's just the basic steps we've been taking to free our time of needless stresses, and areas we can work in positive ways.

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