My passion is the environment. Unfortunately today being green is equated with climate change. In truth, the environment in an extended sense includes biodiversity, animal and wildlife rights, indigenous tribes and the public health effects of culling rainforest and countryside globally.
Climate change is happening and some of it is anthropogenic. The global public have been somewhat sleepwalked into the idea that we can save the planet simply by curbing carbon emissions. Yet we are reducing the rainforest and greenery because we never planned for such an explosion in urban populations and to facilitate more profit for big business. We have devastatingly reduced wildlife because of human greed. Neither have anything to do with carbon emissions.
Our carbon calculators are all wrong. We consider something to be green because it is made using recycled ingredients but do not calculate the carbon cost of the manufacturing process itself or the distance to which it travelled to reach us. Wind turbines are one such white elephant. The entire fleet of which in the UK only produces as much electricity as a single coal station Untold carbon emissions are involved in their manufacture and maintenance. They disturb villages and wildlife and kill countless birds. Not all environmental technologies are positive. In some instances the science has simply not caught up with the thinking.
A sustainable future is not only a low carbon future. It is where we heal our relationship with the Earth. Where we stop trying to dominate nature and start living harmoniously with it.
Today we have the possibility to refine capitalism by going beyond the concept that resources are scarce. The ability to recycle, reinvent and reuse items in the modern setting means that the Earth’s resources are more infinite than we had ever conceived. When we look at an item we should now recognise that it may have different potential lifecycles as something other than it’s original intended use. We can now concert waste into energy, and waste water into useable water supply. In Tel Aviv virtually all water is reclaimed and reused.
Tomorrow holds the possibility of revisiting our entire economic model. To establish a global position based on abundance rather than lack.
In 2014 three children die every minute due to hunger. A quarter of the world have no access to clean drinking water. And a billion of our fellow citizens have no access to medical facilities. All in all a billion live on less than a dollar a day. Half the world throws away what the other half need to live.
Andrew Charalambous being invested with the honour of Knight Commander of the Knightly Order of St George
Andrew Charalambous with Jade Jagger
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