Letters - 01 September 2023

From Become more balanced to Outreach

Become more balanced

Gerard Bane’s letter (11 August) spoke to my condition. While any efforts to reduce human damage to the planet are essential and most welcome, I think it disturbingly likely that having equipped ourselves with ‘environmentally friendly’ cars, heating systems and so on, we may feel that we have done our bit and can carry on as before.

However, such appliances are beyond the means of many, and can involve additional expenses and difficulties, such as disposal of car batteries, finding space in small properties for heat-pumps, larger radiators and so on.

As much new technology is at an early stage of development, newer versions will be introduced within a few years and we shall need to start again.

Manufacturing processes themselves involve large amounts of electricity and water.

I expect most of us are guilty of justifying our personal excesses however harmless we feel them to be.

The amount of traffic on our roads is already excessive and needs to be reduced no matter how ‘sustainable’ the vehicles may be.

Growth in itself is not necessarily a good thing, as many cancer patients can testify.

A further danger of a market-based culture is the ever-widening gap between the well-off and those struggling to earn enough to cover basic necessities.

This is not only morally questionable but could also lead to social upheaval.

Over forty years ago Michael Lee wrote this: ‘If John Woolman’s approach is the right one for the Society of today it is not enough to go over our own behaviour in detail, cutting a bit here and pulling back a bit there; we must be concerned with our and society’s attitude to life as a whole, to live answerable to the design of our creation.’

The need for us to become more balanced in every way is now urgent.

Carol Williams  

Overheated language

A description of ‘raping’ (rather than stealing) to obtain basic components, and ‘humans who have always raped the Earth’, was presumably used to raise awareness about the ‘plundering, destroying and spoiling’ of our planet (11 August). 

Rape is unlawful sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, by a penis (and other body part or foreign object depending on the legislature) without the consent of the person subjected to it.

A moment’s consideration of its impact might have tempered language that suggests victims of sexual violence are horribly polluted and have no resilience.

The analogy has no pertinence to one half of the population, nor most of the other half.

It didn’t work to motivate this reader to examine her unthinking everyday environment-damaging behaviours that will cause climate change and planetary harm. Talking to an audience as if they understand the rapist’s mindset (and that’s what matters) is distracting.

Gerard Bane exhorts us to live simply; I urge him to use plain words.

Susan Bewley

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