One of my colleagues once mentioned that she was tired of attending government meetings: it seems that they were simply rearranging chairs on a not yet sinking, but could sink soon, ship. I feel that too. About our planet. Apart from a some work, many of the discourses, policies and projects around environment and sustainability seem like mere tinkering in a system that is seriously amok.
Work that I then also seems unsatisfactory at some level: how to green infrastructure, but not really addressing the question why we need all that infrastructure in the first place; understanding why cities are sprawling, but not really anything about it. But then how does one make all this drastic changes? Can I?
So, I turn to my own life and lifestyle. And surprise, surprise. I can change some things, but some not at all. I can take public transport, but I can not change the extent of my travel. I can use less water, but really I can change the source of my water, I can not ensure that it is from the most sustainable source, and can not see that it is recycled. I can banish some plastics from my home, but not all. And most frustrating of all is food. I just do not what goes into my food. I can buy some organic food, but what do I do about milk? About fish and the occasional chicken?
We have happily created systems where we have little awareness of our world: we know little about millions of things we interact with everyday. But why do we need to know? Milk comes in bottles, water from taps or plastic bottles, clothes in a mall, cosmetics in pretty bottles. It is is all there for us, so no questions are asked. But we do, we realise that it is bewildering network of dependencies, cross-connections. It resembles a cow-web, which only a spider can navigate. Except, I am not sure whether there are any spiders around.
So, unable to tangle, unable to find that strand, we go back to re-arranging deck chairs!