Friday, January 11, 2013

Have we ruined our world?

Manufactured Landscapes by Edward Burtynsky
I wanted to add this you tube link to a river in Kathmandu.

This morning my 10 year old accused me and the last few generations before me of ruining our world.

"Have we?" I asked.

"Mom, you and your generation and the generations before you are responsible for all of the garbage and global warming... "  He had more to say, but this was the essence.

What have we done?

I asked him to look around him and said, "If I have contributed to the decay of the world then so have you. Look around you.  Everything that you have is made by machines with plastic parts and consumes fossil fuels."  We went hunting around our home for an object completely untouched by modern technology.  I found pottery made by my friend, but the wheel it was turned on was electric and the clay arrived boxed in plastic.  There are few places in the world where everything is entirely industry free.  Perhaps somewhere in the Amazon or high in the mountains of Nepal.  Even though the jewelry we buy is entirely hand built, torches are used to solder the pieces together.

He is right, we are no longer able to live in this modern world without touching objects made by machines and it is ruining the air we breath and the environment that we live in.

Please rent Manufactured Landscapes on Netflix, photo above, It is an astounding film!  It shows the monumental physical damage we have done to our landscape.

Right now in Nepal, Global Warming is causing the glaciers to recede leaving longer dry seasons.  A friend in Nepal just wrote me that they have had no rain for 3 months.  People will die of starvation this year because their crops will not have enough water.  How unfair that people who have barely had access to modern technology will suffer so much for the excesses of the rest of us.

We can not turn back the clock but we can make an effort to change our future.  Technology may have gotten us into this mess, but I think that responsible technology is also our only way out.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, buy natural handmade products, and advocate for the development of clean energy alternatives.  It's not easy in our modern society and it will take a daily commitment make a change.