Friday, October 07, 2011

Hope for a Better Future

I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with all the gloom and doom we are bombarded with by the media. Today, certain banks have had their credit ratings downgraded. Only two days ago, David Cameron, at the end of the Tory Conference tried to inject some hope for the future, but by the looks of the faces of party members listening to his speech, he did not take away their expressions of anxiety, even fear.

On a positive note, those into green issues can see the benefits of a society that is not doing well on the manufacturing front, for it’s the manufacture of machinery that is killing our environment. Machinery consumes energy that has to come from fossil fuels, nuclear sources or natural forces such as wind and the movement of water. The manufacture of cars and their use accounts for a major share of the world’s CO2 emissions. The ever increasing expansion of roads to meet demands for less congestion cannot keep up with the seemingly unstoppable production of more and more cars. For years I’ve wondered why successive governments home and abroad have never taken the bold step of putting a cap on car production, probably because the world’s economy is strongly linked to the manufacture and sale of cars. Some countries like Japan and the US are heavily dependent upon producing cars, by default making models that become outdated, almost before they have taken to the roads.

When I was a kid, there was very little machinery in the home. Only a handful of people, a tiny fraction of the populace owned cars, and as for a powered lawnmower, I can’t remember seeing even one. Our local Council owned a large motorised lawnmower that was utilized for mowing lawns at the Town’s communal parks. All other maintenance, such as trimming hedges, managing trees and digging flowerbeds was carried out with hand tools. My father grew vegetables in his garden, entirely managed by hand. My mother’s mangle was operated by hand, and I often had to turn the handle!

Nowadays, many households can boast of possessing motorised mowers and strimmers. Within the home there are washing machines, vacuum cleaners, electric kettles, toasters and numerous other electronic gismos, besides energy-consuming central heating and hot water systems, powered by electricity, gas or oil. These things add up to a lot of manufactured items, all requiring energy to power them.

It seems to me that we need to take a hard look at our lifestyles to see if there are better ways of living that require less dependency upon manufactured items that require energy derived from fossil fuels. The crux of the matter lies with our children and their expectations. How they think when they are young will be with them for life. The responsibility lies with us to set positive examples by steering them away from materialism, the virulent disease classified as the, ‘I want more syndrome’. This way, there will be hope for a better future.

Text for the Day

Deuteronomy 11.18,19 ‘Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in you soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.’


Banks downgraded

David Cameron’s Speech

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