Are you looking the other way?

Are you looking the other way?

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

I am.

There, like an addict in rehab, I admit that cognitive dissonance has got the better of me and I am looking the other way from a host of societal and environmental ills.

As a career scientist who works with the evidence of climate, food security, and the social reality of nature’s exploitation, I am still in denial. I am no more ready to give up my morning latte or my afternoon stroll across the links than the next over indulged Westerner.

I console myself with this admission. 

At least I know that my ecological gumboots are stomping on the world even if there is little that I can do about it. And, of course, there is further balm in knowing that l am not alone but a member of the vast majority.

A pandemic, a climate crisis, the Taliban, and 40 million Americans on foods stamps notwithstanding, here are three randomly selected things from recent news feeds that I let happen…

  • In the decade from 2010-2020 diplomacy decreed that the nations of the world attempt 20 targets for the protection of global biodiversity including protecting coral reefs and tackling pollution. We failed. And in response to that abject failure negotiators are now working on a better plan with new goals for the next decade and beyond. Einstein just turned in his grave.
  • Republican governors of Florida and Texas have stopped schools, colleges and local authorities from the requirement for vaccines, proof of vaccination, a Covid test or masks. Any Florida school administrator who demands the wearing of masks could lose their pay. Just one of the many things that should never be politicised.
  • The national security advisor in the White House this week asked global oil producers to increase production so that US motorists can buy gasoline more cheaply. This week is 8 months into the Biden administration, he of the green deal and a pledge to ban new drilling and fracking on federal lands, yet his administration has granted more than 2,000 new permits.

“Ah,” I hear you say, “but it wasn’t just you. It’s not your fault,” coming to your own as well as my defence.

Well, it was. 

I am part of the system that allowed and continues to allow such ineptitude, lies and selfishness to persist.

The only solace is that I can admit it now. The first but the most important step to making things better.


Please share with others who might want to own it.