The importance of the full circle
Everything in Western society is categorised and departmentalised. We have the Department of Highways, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Children, Schools and family, I could go on….I don’t study psychology but surely constantly putting everything into boxes, and ticking boxes to demonstrate work achieved and results is fairly weird? It also can’t be an entirely productive way of thinking, especially when it comes to dealing with human beings and measuring your affect on say, children. Humans don’t think laterally all the time, we do not fit specific box descriptions-much as some people might like us to, this is what the world is made up of, variety and diversity! From my family’s experience of county councils (i.e. our local representation of government) I would argue that this box ticking and departmentalising is not working. No one who isn’t a council member or married to one trusts the Council and their efficiency, I was even told of someone who had been contracted to build a road for the local council, and he got told off for doing the job (properly) in 2 days rather 7-they actually shouted at him! This isn’t right, modern day government is promoting loopholes, box ticking and dreary beaurocracy, how have we reached this place?! We need a common thread that runs though every category and department, something that unites everyone, negating the need for rigid boxes and remits so they feel they have something to try for, a bigger cause and a goal to work towards-why not make that an environmental one?
This isn’t necessarily a problem that began in Government, I suppose it could have been borne from a society that is less connected with nature and people; emails, phones, less community spirit etc etc. In which case with the increasing scarcity of oil will come (and is coming) a greater awareness of how we use it- all of a sudden things will start to disappear from the market or will change due to the lack of oil; people are already choosing to put less in their cars, and make less journeys due to the expense. This awareness will in turn force us to alternative methods; such as growing some of one’s own food, and cycling short journeys, cooking your produce instead of buying the comparatively expensive ready meals and precooked foodstuffs. Cumulatively this will inevitably affect the average consumer’s consumption and view on their overall impact on the earth. Why?
Because critically, as a consumer, we will have to be involved personally with making or producing it, therefore when one see’s how much energy and time it takes to produce, we’ll probably forced to use less; or to pay the real cost of producing the item or product will be reflected in the pricing of it, because the cost of energy in general in rise, which means the most carbon heavy items (use the most energy to make) will cost the most.
I predict that this curbing of 21st century consumption and behaviour will slow down our daily lives, it will make us appreciate more the things that we do have and the things that we want, everything’s including our view on life will become less disposable; if you have to plant from seed, every single vegetable on your plate for the foreseeable future, goddammit you’re going to enjoy every single mouthful! Not only that, but because you are reliant on the seasons, the weather, your family, you’ll have to talk to your neighbours, to build friendships in case of hard times; it might not be asking for the odd bowl of sugar as the cliché goes, it might be more along the lines of could I have some of your glut apples?
We like to box things up in our society-categorise, compartmentalise- Government is just a major box room. What connects these boxes that are meant to represent every part of society? Well…they’re all boxes made from….cardboard; so in reality is the only remaining connection between our self inflicted boxes in society, the fact that we are all flesh and blood?
Today this is certainly true; but it wasn’t over 100 years ago when Britain had a common religion- Christianity, which formed the backbone of society, the law and therefore the Government. Considering the situation the human race finds itself in, I would have thought now was a good time to make the environment the common thread that runs through every department and box in our society-even that of the tramp. Christianity can no longer be advocated as the only ‘backbone’ of rules and regulations-especially in Britain, a country with the biggest variety of nationalities and religions probably in the world. However one could argue that the environment is a cause and set of rules that everyone could identify with no matter who they are or where they have come from. It would promote the cyclical nature of nature! Showing that everything relates back to the environment and a wider world, promoting awareness of consequences in every walk of life.
When boxes start to connect up we streamline our thinking and minimise our impact on the planet because the bottom line is always an environmental one. A lot of work is done in a separate department that has been done in other ones, so they double up on work when they could just share their information to make the processes a lot speedier! I wonder if they took away the walls in council offices that divide an office up into departments, would people work together more, as more of a community and with a better sense of purpose and interconnectivity?
The truth is that the environment is a silent thread through every department that exists-because every single human action that every single human does has an effect on the environment; whether immediate or delayed it will infallibly come at a cost-that’s everything from your last teabag to trimming your split ends to last week’s one night stand (you used protection right?)
When the Government realises the importance of the common environmental thread we can begin to make a real impact on how we as an island effect the planet we inhabit. When the authorities make the necessary connections, inevitably others will follow, mainly because they have to! (Why do you think I’m going into Environmental Law?!)
So the importance of seeing the full circle in every aspect of life is apparent; both on a macro level, on a micro level, and critically, on a planetary level.
Instead of thinking outside the box, try thinking inside the circle.