Re Clouds Consumerism (4) – all I need is a pound a day

Posted: March 27, 2012 in big society, climate change, cold war, economy, environment, Family, Politicians, pollution, Uncategorized
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I was reading a cloudy post this morning, Consumerism (4) – all I need is a pound a day.

It made me think, not the easiest job at 7 in the morning on a sunny day off. I agree with clouds. The more I thought about things the more I realised that action has to be taken now; but the very people who have the power to change the systems currently in place are the ones who benefit most from leaving things exactly as they are.

Back in the dark ages I attended a CND rally in London. At the time it was the biggest, the first attended by 100,000 + people. It was a grand day out, there were floats with well known bands of the day performing live music. A real carnival atmosphere. There were people like me, young, recently married, starting a new career, hopeful. I had a good understanding of the horror of nuclear war, I had been taught what to expect by the army. I had spent a couple of years chasing Russia’s SOXMIS cars waiting for the day when all hell broke loose. I was full of hope.

However, the carnival atmosphere was enhanced by others who attended to say they had been there. They had no real concern, had not the slightest idea of what it was all about. It was a chance to wander around London having a laugh and perhaps get their face on the telly.

Now, the young are less concerned about the nuclear threat, whatever happened to CND? They are still there campaigning but seem to be dropping from public perception. The environment is now seen as more of an issue. The trouble is, by the time the young and involved are of an age where they have power, it will be a) too late and b) they, like many others before them, will have been corrupted by the greed power encourages.

There are ample warnings about climate change, long term environmental damage by large scale industrial pollution and the effect of famine caused by soil degradation. Even if the nay sayers are right it is time for action without which my children and grandchildren will have a pretty shitty time.

There are answers but no political appetite to seize the nettle and act. Individuals can make a difference. If every individual did what they could by way of lowering consumption (Clouds lists some actions that she takes, most could learn lessons there) FOR LIFE not 5 days or whatever, a real difference could be made. Once those changes become a way of life, they can be enhanced by other activity reaching into all areas of life. Who supplies your electricity, don’t use gas (not petrol we shouldn’t use that anyway, no Gas to cook etc) support local ethical enterprise. Don’t support global companies. Avoid supermarket’s and look at natural alternatives to chemicals used in the home.

I still remain hopeful. I still wear my Atomkraft? Nein danke badge. It looks as old and battered as I feel at times, but then I realise there are people who still care. Those of us that do must continue to rail against the inequalities in the system, keep pressing for change. If we give up They have won.

  1. That’s a great post and thank you for the mention.

    You could have read it yesterday – but you were probably snoozing in your polytunnel. Me, I only think before noon, so there is a very short window to catch a thinking cloudy roughseas.

    Love the irony of a former soldier going to a CND rally. Sure, why not, but it could hardly have been the norm.

    I think your comment about young people being able to do something too late or having changed their values/ideals (see, I didn’t want to say corrupted) is sadly right. Maybe not, but history doesn’t give us much encouragement.

    I’ve got two or three ideas in my head for the consumerism series, one of which is about ethical shopping.

    At least you end on a positive note. And you are right, there are people who care. It’s how much we can achieve that is the issue, and how best to make our effort. I guess mine will always be to do what I can individually, and always try and get the message out there. As a journalist/PR professional it’s probably the best use of any skill/resource I have.

    • Thanks for your kind words. I think yesterday I finished hoeing clearing etc etc about 6 in time to make supper then troll off for a walk in the dying sun with The One.
      I think there are quite a few of us who, because of our experiences become ‘involved’ in some way. Lets face it, I was a teenager when I started down that particular path, I don’t regret a moment, wish I had served my full time of 22 years but I made choices. I don’t think I ever thought differently then. I wore the badge on my combats back then, in Belfast I have a save the children sticker on my personal sidearm and a red hand of ulster on my flak jacket. I did believe I was achieving something by being there.
      We can all only do what we can do. From reading your stuff you do very well.

      • I have heard about a lot of people who wish they had served the full time – and the ones who do who can’t wait to get out. A mixed bag. The advantage of not staying in is you don’t get so institutionalised, before you even know it.

        I don’t think any of us really thought much back then. Just do. Or did.

        Meant to say before (and forgot) that you made me look up the words for 99 red balloons. I figured there was a reason you had posted it apart from the fact that it was a good tune (I’m not one for lyrics as I endlessly say). I was pretty surprised, I thought it was a happy song about balloons floating in the air!

        As I say, I’m not a lyrics person, but it was a good choice for your post.

      • I have a friend, same mob as me, he is still in the reserve and has been to Iraq and the Ghan. He tells me his stories and I can’t help myself, I miss it.

        The song is a bit of an anthem for me and the end reminds me of the films we watched about the end.

        Glad you liked it.

  2. I think those of us who have never been in, just don’t have any idea. I can see the attraction though, and the good points. It must leave such an indelible print on your life for however few or many years that you are in, that you can never really shake it off.

    Interesting what you were preparing for still hasn’t happened. Yet. Rather Terminator ish in a way.

    • And of course we are now best buddies (ish) with the Russian bear, makes me think a bit of 1984 and the constant re writing of history.

      I think it is just the excitement and adrenaline that is missing. Of course I ended up being institutionalised by working in the pigpen.

  3. Vicky says:

    Nena, Red Balloons, I remember that so well, the nuclear threat and the ridiculous government advice on what to do if the warning sounded.
    I know I’m off down the wrong track a bit here, but a similar song Two Suns In The Sunset, written by Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), really sums up my feelings about greed etc. the last few words especially.

    • Ahh yes, the advice. I hope you have some large brown paper sacks in your new home so you can crawl in come the day. I heard a radio 4 production of ‘When the wind blows’ fantastic. The blitz spirit survives.

      Now over to iTunes to listen to Two suns in the sunset.

      • Vicky says:

        I’ve never seen that before, what an absolute gem it is.
        I had to watch the credits too, I thought it sounded very Roger Waters, and it was.
        Thank you for posting that, excellent!!!

  4. alisonamazed says:

    I’ll have to come back to watch the film. Picked up a book at the VegFest last weekend and wrote about it on my blog – – she puts forward stats re: plant-based diets vs meat-based diet and the planet.

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