speaker, consultant, coach

Save the Planet Day

“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
-- Arthur C Clarke

It's not really Save the Planet Day but if it were, we might want to consider the following:


  1. Accept that we are the problem.

  2. Accept that have no choice but to live a different way for the sake of our children (and theirs) - see The Children's Fire by Mac Macartney.

  3. Enact new laws that puts the planet first, i.e. if we directly or indirectly cause any damage lasting or otherwise then we shall be liable to prosecution by the State.

  4. Introduce a new education programme that militates against the consumer/growth paradigm.

  5. Require the government to develop a cleanup programme -- going for something as pitiful as carbon neutral won't help sort out the mess we've created.

  6. Move completely away from the polluter pays principle.

  7. Ban all cars, lorries and motorbikes from the road.

  8. Ban all factories that pollute the environment.

  9. Limit our meat consumption to one piece of meat.

  10. Ban all fishing.

  11. Introduce a barter or trade system that moves us away from our dependence and obsession with money.

  12. Redistribute the wealth for the benefit of the cleanup and or the planet -- OK it might take more than a day!

  13. Introduce a countrywide programme whereby all towns and cities will be required to work together in the production of food, helping with repairs, caring for the sick and elderly and in essence moving us back to a tribal nation (no, not that sort of tribe). In other words, as much as you think it wouldn't work, if we had to work for each other to live, then we might create a new order in our towns, cities and rural communities.

Now of course you'll say that this is bonkers -- Summerhayes really has lost the plot this time -- but if I have a point it's simply that for the all the talk about sustainability etc., none of it's going to make a damn bit of difference until we change our attitude and approach to the way we live our lives. In the end, most of the 11 points (beyond number 2) shouldn't be necessary if we willingly accepted our part in the killing of the planet. Oh for sure, we might need to consider some of the other stuff, but in the end change has to happen at an individual level. (Even something like recycling is a myth when (a) so much of what we own can't be recycled and (b) there's a general apathy to stop consuming.)

In the final analysis, however, given how selfish we are -- me first, individualism and 'why shouldn't I have it too' are writ large on this generation and no doubt the next -- it's difficult to see how we'll even make any progress with this stuff, but that won't stop me from trying to raise my own awareness, make a difference with my consumption habits and shine a light on an area of our lives that for most of use we wish wasn't the case but we know we should/must own and do more to improve.

Of course, if the Conservative Government would like to hold a Save the Planet Day premised on the above then I'm all ears; but given their credentials, I suspect there's more chance of me becoming Prime Minister than that happening!
It looks like the basis of a manifesto. I wonder what the Green Party [in the UK] has as its manifesto and whether it is as radical?