Editorial by Barb Payne Reprinted with permission from the blog Mega
The MEGA muse – Make the Environment Great Again – came to my mind as the result of a semi-philosophical conversation with a good friend. My part of the conversation went something like this…
I think that’s the whole problem.
Yes, it was very nice, several decades ago, when everyone in the so-called developed world for the first time saw images of the entire globe from space. This has inspired all kinds of environmental awareness and goodwill. However, regardless of the fact that rational and intelligent people continued to push the concept that humans are just a relatively small component of the environment, it was and still is referred to as the “environment”. Even the most intelligent people, who truly understand that there are no things (including us) separate from it, will still say “environment” rather than just “environment”. Likewise, it is often ‘land’ rather than just ‘earth’.
Why weren’t all kinds of human health awareness and doing good related to environmental awareness and doing good at the same time? Why haven’t enough sane and intelligent people understood that a bad environment leads to disease in humans? No matter how you measure it (or not). No matter how much you appreciate it (or not). It doesn’t matter if there is something called protection, repair or rollback. Human health is the health of the environment, whether a person is given a specific disease label, is frail, seeks nutrition from contaminated foods, water and air, or must rely on a struggling and diseased food chain.
Whether the things we humans do on Earth seem natural or artificial, the Earth’s ecosystem doesn’t govern, it simply keeps trying to strike a balance, always using natural methods for it. If a human happens to add, move or transform something (i.e. size, microscopic to massive) within the Earth’s ecosystem, the Earth at every moment interacts and changes. I can not not react. Man may not like the reactions of the earth or he may ignore it; Perhaps humans simply have to react to being alive in an ever-changing ecosystem—without judgment and without pretending that they are not.
[Side-rant. Why is the word “economy” about money? I think the origin of the word is ancient Greek in a word that means home (that sounds like “eco”) plus a word that means management (that sounds like “nom”). One dictionary claims the current sense of the word began in 17th century — I’m old but not that old, and I remember in the 20th century Canadian schools taught a course called “Home Economics” and it was about cooking, sewing, etc., not money.]
Return to “Environment”.
For all the favours of the environment, and though we’re all supposed to survive in The Glory of The Information Age, look at the horrific state of awareness of human disease that results from environmental disease. The inspiring images of Earth from space were ripped from our hearts several decades ago and made a concern for “environment” commonplace (truthfully or not), humans have come to understand intellectually that they should be negatively affected by this “uh oh” because it would be impossible not to be affected by it, but why Did this understanding not simultaneously generate many environmental health clinics and healthcare professionals who specialize in environmental diseases in humans?
Yes, I realize there can be many excuses – principles like consumerism, greed, excitement, etc., but what I’m trying to get at is that there was all this inspiration/care, so why not also giving birth at the same time as the world of care The ever-growing health of human environmental disease and well-being all the time? This world could have always grown from that moment – in both doing good and all related products and services it would also have been a lot of profitable enough enterprise in the fields of human beings choosing to prioritize consumption, greed, excitement, etc anyway , Along. To me, it seems foolish and ironic that businesses and governments didn’t seem to bother jumping in such a direction. [It’s like years ago when I loved to drink Bloody Caesars and was surprised that it seemed impossible to find clamato juice in the U.S., and I phoned the Canadian company that made the juice — a large well-known company — to ask why the juice isn’t in the U.S. The company’s answer, “We couldn’t be bothered selling it in the U.S.” Are you kidding me — couldn’t be bothered with what would be a huge lucrative market?!] Human recognition of the unjudged environment may mean that many things and many services must change, but wouldn’t it change exactly what is necessary for money-focused entities to survive and thrive? And even if you eventually progress to humans buying less and less things and services, well, then simply the prices of those really good things/services that humans want can go up in price, so businesses can still make a profit – or there will be other value systems, whatever.
It made sense that by 2018 there would be many, many, many environmental health clinics and practitioners everywhere. But no, in a large population like the city of Toronto, Canada (where I am now), it is very rare to find a clinic or environmental health professional. That does not make sense. And very often, if today a person (citizen or healthcare professional) wants to casually or formally discuss environmentally related diseases in children and adults, many listeners show no interest, some even eager and proud to show disrespect for the person! Sometimes even if the listener is someone who cares about “the environment”.
I get very angry … calmly, I do not get angry … probably once a week I simply sit for a minute and think about what I would personally do if all the so-called “essential services”, or money, stopped at that moment (whether it was That momentarily a short time, or longer, or forever), especially if that moment is during the cold Canadian winter. In fact, I don’t have an answer as to what to do.
What can I do? I don’t know how to fish, and I don’t have hunting/hunting equipment. I don’t know how to start a fire – maybe even with matches I’m not very good at keeping the fire burning. I am not strong enough to threaten/hurt another person if I want to forage. I’m not strong enough to hike in the cold with a backpack full of survival essentials. I don’t have a horse. I don’t even have a buggy…my wheeled suitcase will go how far before it breaks? There is no clean water anywhere for me to drink. Perhaps the only useful thing I know is: Don’t give up where you live.
I said it pisses me off. Really, I’m a lot less intelligent, less survivable, and less human than any of my ancestors, so I’m pissed that so much so called progress has actually caused (most of them in the so-called developed world) to be disjointed.
It’s the environment. It is the earth. There is no “The.” Let’s make the environment great again.
Watch the full August Harvest series over here.