I’ve written before about how I genuinely believe that we have all of the tools that we need to fix the problems that we have as humans on this planet. We can do this with small environmental lifestyle changes. You may not think so, indeed I know that many people are despairing right now. Some feeling frustrated. Others are feeling helpless. There may even be a tiny twinge of guilt every time you fuel up your car. Or you may be simply saying “screw it, there’s nothing I can do, lets make the most of it”
Indeed, I’ve felt a curious mix of all of those emotions over the last twelve months. So what are we to do?
What, You Think I Have the Answer?
If you think I have all the answers in a single blog post, you’re giving me waaaay too much credit. All I’ve got to share with you this week are my own thoughts, my own frustrations, my own history and how I am trying to figure all this out.
And right now, this afternoon as I’m writing, I need to empty my mind and get this all off my chest.
Bear with me, see how this compares to you.
These are the things that are on my mind as I look around the world we’re living in and the future choices we all have.
- How do I reconcile my life long passion for the internal combustion engine, the Porsche 911, motorsport, driving and flying helicopters with my knowledge that they all contribute to emissions?
- How do I combine my love of animals, wildlife and living things with my love for a crispy bacon sandwich and a rib eye steak?
- How do I even begin to make a difference to all of this when there are a tiny number of men in grey suits in positions of global power who are taking the most bat shit crazy decisions, condoning deforestation and encouraging us all to hate one another and be divisive?
- Are people slowly turning into sheep? Content to graze on their devices and simply accept as the truth the latest biased and bile filled headline designed to keep us all fearful and judgmental?
If you think I have answers to this, I’m sorry to let you down. I don’t have answers.
I do, however, have optimism. Optimism that we can fix all of the above, all without winding back the clock several centuries and reverting to commuting by horseback.
So here’s my thoughts on the above questions. Thoughts, mind you, not answers.
My love of cars, helicopters and flying? This dates back to my childhood. A time when smoking and sex was safe and motorsport was dangerous. Times have changed. I no longer enjoy commuting by car, it’s a congested, frustrating activity. It makes little difference to my journey time if I take every overtake opportunity or simply go with the flow. The ETA varies little. My neighbour runs a Tesla and is a life long automotive enthusiast. “If you’d told me when I was a kid I’d be driving an electric car, plus I’d also be loving it, I’d have said you were nuts” His words.
I’m happy to swap to a full electric daily driver as soon as I can find a way to fund it. And for those times when I feel the need to heel and toe – a lightweight Lotus Elise or classic Porsche 911 will do the trick. Or maybe I’ll skip that and go straight to a Tesla Roaster – probably the world’s first collectable electric car.
My love of a nice Rib Eye? That’s a tough one. I have to be honest and say that I like the taste of meat. However, when I stopped and considered my diet, the meals I cooked and ate, I realized that they kind of revolved around a ‘meat with everything’ mantra.
I’ve changed this and now eat much less red meat. I still enjoy fish and seafood, which is another subject entirely, plus I’m feeling healthier every time I eat food with a lower meat content. Why am I doing this? It’s kind of obvious that an awful lot of global agriculture is dedicated to producing meat. Plus the conditions that many animals are reared in and subsequently killed under I can no longer live with. I’m not planning on being a full on trendy vegan. I still enjoy that steak but now I check to see where it came from.
This, of course, is a luxury I am lucky to afford. For many families struggling to juggle work, paying bills and simply feeding the kids means that I am in a minority. I know that and I acknowledge that I am fortunate. For the single mum trying to make ends meet, I don’t know the answer.
How do I even begin to make a difference? I do tiny things. I know that they aren’t going to change the world. I try as hard as I can not to buy fruit and vegetables out of season. I don’t buy asparagus in December, wrapped in plastic that’s been flown all the way from South America just for my convenience. I check the origin of other things and try and draw a line at stuff that’s obviously been jetted in from afar. Maybe if we all did that and also pushed back at the supermarkets who package everything to death, then we can all make a change? Google tells me that this selective meat eating makes me a flexitarian.I guess there has to be a phrase to pigeon hole everything.
Are we becoming sheep? I stopped watching news media a long time ago. I suggest you do too. Instead, become curious. There are a great many sources of information out there that can cut through the media giant’s political bias and get to the facts. And the strange thing is, once you do that the future begins to look a whole lot brighter.
There’s one final thing and it’s the elephant in the room. Helicopters. I love flying, a helicopter pilot licence is a ticket to some of the most beautiful views and a wonderful way to travel.
For that one, I’ve got nothing to offer.
And that’s the thing, I think. We have enough technology, enough power and enough ability to communicate together, work together, that we don’t have to give up everything. Imagine if we can fix most of the problems? Imagine if we can fix enough of it? Then we can all still enjoy our vices, indeed take the time to share them with others.
Whether your vice is sitting in the hover in a helicopter or plunging down into Eau Rouge flat in a Porsche. If we can fix the rest of the problems, then those things will pale into insignificance.
And right now that’s all I’ve got. What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear them, please add them to the comments below.