I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

Search This Blog

Monday, May 30, 2011

We Can Do Things Differently

We can do things differently - we've proved that in the past. 

The British made the slave trade illegal.  In 1807.  And abolished slavery in most of the Empire in 1833.  Of course, the pro-slavery lobby worked furiously to prevent this.

Arguments made then against abolishing slavery have a curiously modern tone.
 The most approved Judges of the Commercial Interests of these Kingdoms have been of the opinion that our West-Indian and African Trades are the most nationally beneficial of any we carry on... That Traffic alone affords our Planters a constant supply of Negro Servants for the Culture of their Lands in the produce of Sugars, Tobacco, Rice, Rum, Cotton, Fustick, Pimento and all our other Plantation Produce: so that the extensive Employment of our other Shipping in, to and from America, the great Brood of Seamen consequent thereupon, and the daily bread of the most considerable of our British Manufactures, are owing primarily to the Labour of Negroes. http://gallery.nen.gov.uk/audio78797-abolition.html
In other words, the writer of the pamphlet arguing for slavery felt that British manufacturing was uneconomic without the slave trade.   Of course, he was wrong.

The folks arguing that it is uneconomic to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are wrong as well. 
Current economic difficulties presented an opportunity not a hurdle to move towards a low carbon economy, said Lord Stern, an economist at the London School of Economics who authored an eponymous report in 2006 on the costs of climate change. "The case for urgent action is not just powerful, its also attractive," he said, adding that emerging countries such as China had increasingly grasped this while others, like the US, were moving backwards. http://euobserver.com/884/31778

So please reduce your own greenhouse gas emissions.  Educate others - with loving kindness.  And lobby your politicians.

PS I started thinking about doing things differently when I read the following article in the Globe and Mail. 
 Daniel Kish has no eyes, but can ride his bike down the street and walk through an unfamiliar airport on his own. 

No comments:

Post a Comment