Monday, February 06, 2006

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

The story of Chicken Little tells of a little chicken (strange, I know) that has something fall on it's head and immediately jumps to the conclusion that the sky is falling. Being sure of this, Chicken Little convinces all his friends and everybody gets into a tizzy. Depending on your version of the story they may well get eaten as a result (they are tasty, tasty chickens after all). Consider George W. Bush as Chicken Little. He has told everyone the sky is falling since September 11, 2001. There is no doubt that the world is a different place than it was before that day but I know full well that much of that is of our (North Americans) doing. I just read an article/interview that scared the bejesus out of me for a few reasons. One is how much is spent worldwide on "defence" each year: $975 Billion. The idea that some call it "defence" spending I find somewhat ironic but I'll rail against that some other time. The other scary parts revovle around some predictions for the future based on current economic growth patterns in China. Check this out (as quoted from that article):

"China now consumes more grain, meat, coal and steel than the United States. If China's income grows as projected, in 2031 its income per person will match incomes in the United States today. At that point, it will be consuming the equivalent of two-thirds of the current world grain harvest, driving 1.1 billion cars (versus 800 million in the world today) and using 99 million barrels of oil per day, well above current world production of 84 million barrels."

The article, and interview, refer to research that states if $161 Billion were spent per year (a huge chunk of change to be sure but less than 20% of annual military expenditures) we might be able to direct our global economy somewhere that won't mean the end of civilization as we know it. As scary as it is, positives come to light. Like the fact that all the changes that might move the world in a more positive direction already are implemented somewhere in the world. If we look back at Chicken W. Bush and look at the support he has marshalled for his "efforts", just imagine what could happen if he actually looked beyond the next election, beyond the attacks and considered what they could do to battle not only environmental degradation but some of the global inequalities that are doing nothing to ease the many tensions between citizens of the world. Good things can happen, but will the sky actually have to fall for us to figure it out?

1 comment:

les said...

Maybe the sky will have to fall. But in the meantime, we can go about our lives being as warm and loving with the environment and friends around us. I need to look at the seemingly small picture around me to stay sane, and who knows, maybe the world does change... It is a whole lot more fun!