Letters - 28 February 2020

From limited resources to small weapons injuries

Resources are limited

In theory, zero emissions can be achieved by existing technology. But this is clearly not happening fast enough. Even if zero emissions are achieved, does this mean that normal service – in other words unrestrained growth driven by capitalism – can continue?

Growth of what? ‘Stuff’? Apart from a few initiatives, such growth can now only be achieved by exploitation – of people, other living things and the environment. Resources are limited – full stop. We can’t keep having more.

Yes, growth is still a useful concept but only in terms of quality of life and our abilities to deal with each other in a more loving way. Growth of equality, empathy, kindness, peace of mind, economic fairness and so on. Sounds like Quakerly values!

Some compassionate form of capitalism may be possible but would need policing. At present, when something comes in short supply, the price goes up. We can predict that there will be shortages – of water and food – but would it be right for some few individuals to profit at the expense of the many?

The Extinction Rebels I’ve met are lovely people and I’ve not met anyone who wants to return to a ‘pre-industrial utopia’ (17 January).

Ralph Wallin

Psychological impact

After spending Christmas in Poland and with Australia still in flames, I couldn’t bring myself to book Europen flights to see my grand-daughters for a bit of Brexit weekend escape! What a relief that twelve-hour bus journey was, when I had to return after lights-out to a sobbing eight-year-old, telling me in her second language despite her distress, that her teacher had told them about global warming and she was really scared.

I told her global warming was a bit scary even for adults but there were things we could do, like Oma-Clare taking the bus from England and not coming by plane. The most carbon emitting bit of flying is the up and the down, and between the Gatwick and Schipol forty-five-minute flight there is barely any cruising altitude. I hope her parents will gently ask the school to go easy on the despair and crank up the actions humans can take. I made a very silly poster about farting cows to show her how her decision not to eat so much meat was helping with carbon dioxide mixed in the farts.

Given that our concerns about global warming focus very much on the legacy we leave for our children, I wonder what thinking has been applied to the psychological impact on children. I’d be interested in hearing from other Friends.

Clare B Dimyon

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