The below was written in a stream of conscious, as part of Linda G. Hill’s SoCS prompt. Prompt word: critical.
The waters are critically high and overseas semi-arid lands become ever-more dry. Critically, promises were broken, made and then broken, again and again, and again. Critically, the West has outsourced the worst of its pollution and, critically, I know why. “Not here,” we say, though here it is too, the choking fumes, the traffic jams, the asthma patients on critical lists. Yet still, we say “Not here” or we wait for those we know do little but break promises to make the next move, despite democratic nations dependence on Big Oil – some of the great government lobbyists, pulling puppeteer strings, because, critically, we have relied on fossil fuels for everything. For making fuel and the transportation of it, for transporting food, clothing, people, ideas across the web, for making plastics and many fabrics, for dry cleaning – for so many incremental monumental things.
But, here’s the thing. Critically, technology has moved on. For decades factories were able to have closed-loop systems, where fuel and water were recycled on a loop like ecosystems do. For decades, renewable energies were increasingly available and increasingly effective at localised level and when combined. Solar panels, wind-farms on-shore or off sure, hydro-electric, bio-fuel, pellet stoves and kinetic energy. Seriously, there are underfloor pressure-pad systems that can convert footfalls into electricity. Think of this in every public building from town halls, to hospitals, nightclubs, and gyms to schools and universities. Because, critically, it’s their future we squander every time we say, “Not here” or “Not us” and expect others to act.
Critically, there are now electric cars and should be better public transport – seriously, in Britain, we have to sort this out. ‘Wrong leaves on the line’ was once given as a reason for huge rail delays. Renationalize. Or at least, coordinate and supplement prices so people can afford to survive.
And, critically, that is the crux of it. Affording to survive. Because Climate Chaos has long been tied up with every issue of injustice. Those who suffer first and most are defined by age-old privileges. Calls for climate justice must be linked to calls for greater gender equality and equity. It must be linked to racial justice and I don’t mean slogans of ‘I don’t see colour’ if and when what we mean is, we don’t recognise our own unfair privilege! The same is true when it comes to ableism and exclusion or to broader issues of economic divides and the widening gap between rich and those struggling to make a living. Economies, critically, are connected to natural resources because human needs are connected to natural resources. Long before money, there was the harvest and then, as now, if it fails, humans suffer. I have said this better before, I have said this often. I have spoken it to myself in my sleep. This rant, like a tape loop, like the globe-circling the sun. That cliché now since Armstrong and crew saw my parent’s generation from space: How small we are, and how connected viewed from far away.
So, critically, as there are too many of us for everyone to live in an acre in the wilds, and as so many like me need to be near a hospital and facilities, we are going to take responsibility. I’ve always been fairly environmentally aware but have had to cut corners due to income and disability (critically, in my case as in many, these two are connected). But now, though things aren’t easy, we are fortunate to have our own place. We are going to lovingly turn our section of a Victorian house into as energy efficient and energy independent a place as possible #duplexmudhut, #urbansustain, #whateverweareable #sustainabilityinthecity #terracetreehuggers #nowornever.
N.B. This form of writing taps into your subconscious concerns. I was not surprised by what I found there given the prompt word was ‘critical’. If you have time and inclination to read more about our plans to green our terrace home and lives as best we can, please see the links below:
Sustainability & The City (intro & statement of intent)
Creatively Conserving Energy (poems & ideas)
Children’s Uprising (poem & video of Greta Thurnberg)