Time we thought of consequences

Time we thought of consequences

Time we thought of consequences

First published in Letters by

MADAM – Although some form of human life has been on planet Earth for nearly 4,000,000 years, modern man – or homo sapiens – has only been around for perhaps less than 50,000 years.

Modern man has only been aware of steam power in recent centuries and it was not until the 1850s that steam engines were in widespread use for powering boats, railways and pumping water.

The internal combustion engine started to proliferate from 1900 onwards.

By contrast, water power, solar power, wind power and biomass has been used by homo sapiens for thousands of years, without diminishing resources or significantly damaging the environment.

Ugly grid systems for electricity and gas came into existence from the late 1870s onwards.

Yet within this short period of 100-150 years, human beings have probably consumed or destroyed more than 50 per cent of the world’s resources of oil, gas and much of the known coal, nuclear and other mineral resources.

In a minute timescale, humanity has consumed more of the Earth’s resources than in the previous 50,000 years. How much longer can we carry on like this?

We live in a society where many are obese and should be using human energy, as they did in the past.

Why don’t we once again learn to live with nature, rather than trying to dictate to nature?

We may not be able to turn the clocks backwards, but the clock does go full circle. eg trams, canals, walking, cycling, solar and windpower.

Nuclear power stations appear to be the exception to planning guidelines: they have been – and are still being – built without any plan for nuclear waste.

All other forms of planning conditions require prior approval for waste disposal.

Why are our prime minister and chancellor happier when energy consumption goes up?

When volume car production increases?

When 700 new aircraft are sold?

When new high-speed and high-power rail lines are proposed?

‘Only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned and the the last fish been caught, will we realise we cannot eat money.’ (Anon) Surely money is a valuable measurement, in the same way we measure length and weight, money should not be traded as a commodity in its own right.

Mr O Goring

Dursley

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