In case you missed it in amongst the pageantry, flag waving and four days off work (for some), it was World Environment Day on Sunday. It passed most of us by, caught up instead in the confirmation of continuity, stability, the remarkable resilience of the status quo. If our national celebration could be summed up in one word I might go for “reassurance”.
In a world of volatility and uncertainty that’s a precious commodity, one our psychology urges us to cling to, to champion, to protect against all threat – real or imagined. Humans are weird. We crave familiarity, pattern and repetition even as the pursuit of it seals our fate.
Except that we’re not staying still. We’re exploding. Despite knowing full well that our carbon emissions need to be dropping year on year by now, that we have to slash it by half within seven years to have any hope of avoiding all-out disaster, 2021 saw the highest ever level of annual CO2 emissions. That’s not because we’re all bent on self-destruction. It’s just because we’re carrying on “as normal”.
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