Today as reporters report on the repeal of Australia’s carbon tax and people I know and many I don’t know on Facebook are urging us to join forces to bring down the government because of this and many other issues, I’m inclined to think beyond local politics and policies, not because they aren’t important but because protesting endlessly and talking of revolution isn’t as interesting to me as finding solutions, short term and above all long term, for the predicaments we’re faced with and the problems we’re beset with, and which sometimes we don’t feel beset with because, well, I have a job, at least for now, and I have food in my belly, I’m in relatively good health, I’m not at war with anyone, my future housing is secure and so forth. But we’re not islands, we suffer with those that suffer, we’re arguably the most social species on the planet, so the fate of people fleeing from persecution, or simply trying to get to places of greater opportunity, as well as the fate of the under-nourished, the under-educated, the exploited and mistreated, these are fates that impact on us, as we compare and contrast, as we feel guilty, or lucky, or angry or frustrated or saddened about the world we live in.
It’s true that on the face of it, Australia currently has a government that is in denial of anthropogenic global warming and has an ideological agenda of reducing government spending in areas we associate with our health and well-being, but I find it hard to believe that senior government ministers are truly anti-science, anti-innovation or indifferent to the sufferings of the poor, of refugees and so forth. The key is to engage their potential for doing the best for us all.
I’ve also been guilty, elsewhere, of mocking, dismissing and reviling ‘enemies’ – and let’s face it, many people do make it hard to engage with them positively – but it generally makes me feel better to report positively on developments and on people, to feel inspired by innovations and solutions.
And so to solutions, not just for we humans, but for all the other life forms we’re related to, which is of course all of them. But let’s start with humans, of whom there are currently nearly seven and a quarter billion on the planet according to the world population clock, an amazing site to clock into, though I can’t vouch for its accuracy. As I’m reminded by various sources, such as The Origin of Feces and Australia’s Cosmos magazine, this growing population is also consuming more calories per capita than ever before (2830 in 2009 compared to 2189 in 1961), and therefore producing more shit with the potential to contaminate our waterways, not to mention shit from livestock, nitrous oxide from fertiliser, methane and CO2 from farming, mining, industry and transport, and so on. Yet we are surviving and thriving for the time being, and beavering away at solutions to these problems, and solutions to the problems created by our solutions.
So this blog is an attempt to promote solutions to problems, large and small, global and local, serious and trivial and everything in between. I’m neither a technophile nor a technophobe, and I’m not a science nerd or a cool arts dude, I’m just an observer struggling to make sense of the messy and ingenious lives of us. Because of my lack of general expertise I may have to over-explain things to some in order to make sense of them to myself, but anyway, we’ll see.