Environment rant

We were trying to work out what I was doing this time last year, as we couldn’t work out why we didn’t spend New Year together, Lou and I. The answer came through a check of the blog, and is an answer to so many of the “what the hell happened?” type questions we are all globally running up against. I was half insane with COVID, locked in my own home so I didn’t kill your great grandma.

I’m glad that this New Year we get to hang out and I don’t have a temperature. That miserable microbe has caused such a huge amount of upset. It’s ruined some brilliant businesses, it’s given lots of politicians something to blame for their greed and the damage it has done, it’s burnt social skills and short-circuited kindnesses, it’s killed some people too. New things have come out of it, of course. A hotbed of pattern matching and cognitive bias leading to wobbly crowdsourced worldviews going global via the internet despite being condensed smug whipped up in horseshit. Huge great big global business selling things that didn’t exist three years ago. People meeting who never would have met. Lou and I to name but two. Yay. Individually plastic wrapped wooden stirrers at Costa Coffee – (“yeah hi we don’t use plastic spoons here at Costa. Each of our wooden stirrers are tightly wrapped for your hygiene in basically oil. Cos we don’t really care and we’ve got a contract with these guys or whatever, fuck you.”) Boo to them. But have you noticed the plastic since COVID?

Before this pandemic, you might have your café picketed by angry people if you had plastic drinking straws – the same angry people that tutted loudly at you for not putting the same plastic over your mouth during the pandemic. And then everyone drops those masks everywhere. There’ll be a layer of the fucking things in the fossil record. And not to be glib for a moment, I’m serious… We were trying to cut down on single use plastic. It was a big thing, and then masks and COVID tests and all that shit is worse. The packaging of COVID tests, with it all individually plastic wrapped while the shops are trying to put the sprouts back into paper bags. It’s like a leaking dam. We plug one hole and three more start spouting.

Mindfulness. Remember talking about that? If it’s a shared bin it doesn’t matter about the twenty people who have carefully only put washed recycling into it when you stop thinking for a moment and chuck your half eaten sandwich in there. A contaminated bag is almost certainly going entirely to landfill so it’s not just your sandwich here, it’s the jamjar that Jackie washed out after breakfast. It’s Andrew’s carefully scraped pizza box. It’s a big ask for everybody to be thoughtful all at once. But here we are again, it’s gonna be the hottest year on record. And yeah your mate who has no critical thinking and believes it’s a binary between their received programming and the “mainstream” will still try to try you that there’s no climate change. You can’t fight stupid, but it’s Pascal’s Wager here now. We might as well make small changes even if we think we are the clever kid and those sheeple just need to wake up or whatever the club language is. A bit of sacrifice will help you get over yourself clubkid. And the rest of us too . Come on. Think for a split second before you bin that sandwich or boil too much water for your tea or whatever. It doesn’t hurt you to make tiny adjustments. And remember lots of small things are cumulative? They’ll have to be. Nothing is going to be easier from here and it’s all because we are still being encouraged to want all the things now and expect them too. All the fruit and veg all year round from everywhere in the world but available in all the shops in all the villages in Sussex please, even if only half of it gets bought. Because if we can’t have it all WE ARE SACRIFICING OUR FREEDOM. Oh piss off.

I wanted to go to the sauna on the beach this morning. Burning shit forever to put carbon into the atmosphere in order to make a horsebox warm so two people can sit half naked on a cold day and sweat. But I wanted it. And I’m not counting the cost. I can have a slightly defocused environment rant like this and I ate fish this evening plus Samphire in January and on Christmas we had all the animal and half of it ended up in the bin. Double standards are totally legit. We all have them. Know them, own them, try to be better. Perfection-hounds are alienators. I probably had some palm oil this week and wasn’t even aware of it, but at least I’m aware that I probably wasn’t aware of the palm oil intake cos that ingredient is burning the rainforests. I’m very far from a saint and I’m not trying to be a saint nor am I asking you to be. I’m just trying to be a bit less unaware, and suggesting it might be an interesting focus for us all – and a necessary one as the world we know dies because of us.

The sauna was shut because of extreme weather. One of the problems was temporarily stopped because of the result of the problem… Extreme weather is gonna be just weather soon, just as COVID is gonna be another flu.

The comfort to take is that the world is NOT dying. We are just causing a mass extinction that will probably snowball into taking us with it. Probably for the best. Nature will continue, readapt, and something will carry on again and again until the inevitable heat death of the universe which is the unstoppable punctuation before the next universe and the next. Intelligent life though? I think it’s becoming apparent that in the grand scheme of things it has no evolutionary advantage. Next up the cockroaches. They’ll likely be kinder than we are. And maybe some pockets of humans will adapt to live all that time in some way. Maybe that’s the purpose of the internet, to catalyse an evolutionary shift away from intelligence and back to ape.

Cold wind over the sea. Bright winter sun falling. Weather. It’s good to be alive.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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