To the editor:
Perilous times are upon us. Climate change is accelerating rapidly and, left unchecked, promises to bring chaos and devastation to most of the world. If we hope to limit the carnage we must accept that “business as usual” is not an option.
We need to adopt a new 3 R’s. These new basics are Resilience, Relinquishment and Restoration. Together they indicate a possible path through the turmoil that is already baked into our future.
Resilience requires that we find a way to keep what we really need to keep.
Basically, these will fall into the three categories: food, clothing and shelter. Locally-produced food must replace our 5,000-mile salads. We need to make durable clothing and build smaller homes that are easy to heat.
Relinquishment means we must let go of non-essentials in order to not make matters worse.
In order to know what to let go, we must realistically assess whether keeping them will be worth the price imposed on us and future generations. Must we take all those flights to distant vacation spots? Can agriculture find a way to survive with far fewer oil-based inputs. Can we relocate much closer to where we work?
Restoration is the task of bringing back old methods and habits to help us with the coming difficulties.
We need to change the way we use our forests. Clear-cutting is a short-term profit mechanism that guarantees hardship for future generations. We need to adapt agricultural practices to involve smaller farms and employ the labour of many more people. We need to stop wasting half our food.
We need to stop producing stuff just because we can convince people to buy it. We need to return to making quality goods that don’t break or wear out in a short time.
In general, we need to return to a lifestyle with a focus on necessities and more personal contact. Personal relationships, properly developed, will always offer greater rewards than any collection of manufactured gadgetry.
Do we have the wisdom and courage to make the necessary changes or will we continue to let selfishness, greed and apathy rule us? Our children and theirs will reap the rewards of our decisions.