No, I’m not trying to be funny. A muse hurled M.E.G.A. — make environment great again — into my mind as a result of a quasi-philosophical conversation with a good friend. My part of the conversation went something like this…
This is the whole problem, I think.
Yes, it was very nice, several decades ago, when Everybody in the so-called developed world first saw photographs of Earth’s full globe from space. And that inspired all types of environmental awareness and do-good-iness. However, regardless that sensible and intelligent persons kept pushing the concept of humans being merely one relatively small component of The Environment, it was, and still is, referred to as “The Environment.” Even the most savvy, truly understanding that no things (including us) are separate from it, will still say “The Environment” rather than simply “environment.” Similarly, often it’s “The Earth” rather than simply “Earth.”
Why weren’t all types of human health awareness and do-good-iness related to that environmental awareness and do-good-iness simultaneously inspired? Why didn’t enough sensible and intelligent persons grasp that an ill environment is bound to make humans ill? No matter how that’s measured (or not). No matter how that’s valued (or not). No matter if there is so-called protection, remediation, or reversal. Human health is environmental health, whether the human is given a specific illness label, or is weaker, or seeks nourishment from contaminated foods, water, and air, or must rely on a food chain that’s struggling and ill.
Whether the things we humans do on Earth seem natural or artificial, ecosystem Earth doesn’t judge, it simply continues trying to achieve balance, always using natural methods for that. If a human happens to add or move or transform something (any size, microscopic to massive) within ecosystem Earth, Earth at every moment reacts and changes. It can’t not react. A human might not like Earth’s reactions or might ignore them; perhaps humans should simply react to being alive in an always changing ecosystem — without judgment and without pretending they don’t react.
[Side-rant. Why is the word “economy” about money? I think the origin of the word is ancient Greek in a word that means home (that sounds like “eco”) plus a word that means management (that sounds like “nom”). One dictionary claims the current sense of the word began in 17th century — I’m old but not that old, and I remember in the 20th century Canadian schools taught a course called “Home Economics” and it was about cooking, sewing, etc., not money.]
Back to “environment.”
Despite all the do-good-iness about environment, and despite that supposedly we’re all alive in The Glory of The Information Age, look at the appalling state of awareness about human illness that results from environmental illness. The inspirational photographs of Earth from space yanked at our heartstrings several decades ago and made it trendy (sincerely or not) to care about “The Environment,” and humans did intellectually understand they must be adversely affected by that “uh-oh” because it would be impossible to not be affected by it, yet why the bleep didn’t that understanding simultaneously give birth to oodles of environmental health clinics and health care professionals specializing in environmental illness in humans?
Yes, I realize there can be many excuses — principles such as consumerism, greed, thrills, etc. But what I’m trying to get at is that there was all this welling up of inspiration/care, so why not also simultaneously a birth of an ever-growing health care realm of human environmental illness and wellbeing all along? That realm could have always grown from that moment — both in do-good-iness and all related products and services also could have been plenty lucrative enough ventures in the realms of humans who choose to prioritize consumerism, greed, thrills, etc. anyway, all along. To me, it seems foolish and ridiculous that commercial enterprises and governments seemed to not bother leaping on a trend like that. [It’s like years ago when I loved to drink Bloody Caesars and was surprised that it seemed impossible to find clamato juice in the U.S., and I phoned the Canadian company that made the juice — a large well-known company — to ask why the juice isn’t in the U.S. The company’s answer, “We couldn’t be bothered selling it in the U.S.” Are you kidding me — couldn’t be bothered with what would be a huge lucrative market?!] Non-judgy human acknowledgement of environment would mean So Much Stuff and So Many Services would have to change, but isn’t change exactly what’s necessary for money-focused entities to survive and thrive? And even if it would eventually progress to that humans buy less and less stuff and services, well then simply the prices of that truly good stuff/services that humans want could go up therefore commercial enterprises still could rake in profits — or there would be other systems of value, whatever.
It would’ve made sense if by 2018 there were many, many, many environmental health clinics and practitioners, everywhere. But no, in a huge population like the city of Toronto, Canada (that’s where I am), it is extremely rare to find an environmental health clinic or specialist. That makes no sense. And very often if a person (citizen or health care professional) today casually or formally wants to discuss environmentally-related illness in human children and adults, many listeners show no interest, and some are even eager and proud to show disrespect to the person! Sometimes even if the listener is someone who cares about “The Environment.”
I feel quite angry… quietly, not seething… probably about once per week I simply sit for a minute and think what I personally would do if all so-called “essential services,” or money, ceased at that moment (whether for a temporary short time, or longer, or forever), and especially if that moment is during the cold of Canadian winter. And really I have no answer to what I would do.
What would I do? I don’t know how to hunt, don’t have equipment for hunting/trapping. I don’t know how to start a fire — probably even with matches I’m not good at keeping a fire going. I’m not strong enough to threaten/hurt someone else if I wanted to scavenge for food. I’m not strong enough to hike in the cold with a backpack full of survival essentials. I don’t have a horse. I don’t even have a wee wagon… my wheeled suitcase would go how far before breaking? There’s no clean water anywhere for me to drink. Possibly the only useful thing I know is: don’t sh*t where you live.
I said this angers me. Really, I’m far less intelligent, less able to survive, less human than any of my ancestors, therefore I’m angry that much of so-called progress has actually caused me (and mostly everyone else in the so-called developed world) to be so de-volved.
It’s environment. It’s Earth. There is no “The.” Let’s make environment great again.