Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Planet Human

I read last week that a proposed wind turbine station in Scotland has been rejected to protect endangered birds in the region being killed by the turbine rotors. An irony not lost on the 70% of local residents campaigning against the turbine station. The UK is currently planning (by 2010) to meet a fifth of the UK’s power needs by wind power. This is despite theories (cited five years ago by the then energy minister) that wind could power Britain’s energy needs three times over. It seems the hot air and promises whistling through the corridors at Westminster are empowering political individuals, rather than our collective needs.
Protecting other species from human activity including greenhouse gases is not only decent but will ensure our own survival. All things on earth are interconnected from the air we breathe to the grass, the earth, the sand or the rock beneath our feet. Each and every day we rely on insects, plants, animals and trees to do their thing and thereby make our lives possible by say pollinating our crops or exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. In truth, regardless of our technology and machines, we need other species. Why then does the human race so often behave like Ancient Greek gods wrecking devastation in one place while protecting a plant here or an animal there? Its good to ensure birds don’t get dragged into turbine rotors. It’s also good to protect birds from being sucked into jet engines and to stop the daily carnage of animals and birds along our roadsides. As we are so technologically advanced and so damned clever at inventing things I’m sure there’s a lot more we could be doing.
Does it come down to economics, often cited as the reason why more sustainable sources of fuel aren’t used, or why we don’t recycle more, or why animals aren’t protected from traffic? Or is it more a question of how collective wealth from taxation is spent? My shopping bill’s higher when I buy organic, fairtrade and free-range but I figure I’m saving in the long run – saving my health and safe-guarding the future of this planet. It’s about having a caring connected lifestyle. I don’t want plants and animals to disappear. Every time we lose a species we’re all poorer. A part of the network that informs all of our lives is gone. Let’s turn our beautiful creative minds to making this planet hospitable to all.