What are we leaving behind us?

Throughout history, human achievement in conquering the seas, the air and space has been applauded.  But it seems as soon as we design sailing ships, build aeroplanes and land spaceships on the moon or circle our earth with communication satellites, we start to destroy what we have achieved. All this makes me question what type of world we are leaving behind us for our grandchildren and their families.

It seems we tend to deliberately flaunt our roll given to us by our Creator to be stewards and custodians of our planet. We pollute the seas with garbage, plastic and untreated sewerage.  We dispense our unwanted chemicals into the air, which brings us sickness, death and a seriously damaged ozone layer.  Our travels in space have given us a legacy of floating junk and unwanted equipment left behind on the Moon, Mars and in the space around us.

Global climate change is seemingly one of our greatest current challenges. Around the world scientists, politicians and people in general are debating and arguing about how we need to address the problem, or even if we need to address the problem at all.

One of the solutions generally agreed upon is the need to transition from the use of traditional fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil to renewable energy resources of wind power, hydroelectricity, solar with battery storage and renewable hydrogen technology.

Even in the production of renewable energy, there are non-renewable resources used in the manufacturing processes. Solar panels and wind generating towers can’t be made without the use of finite rare earth elements. A separate argument is also being debated about how these items might be disposed of at the end of their life cycle.

Batteries, too, are completely dependent on dwindling earth-sourced materials for their fabrication and our reliance on lithium within renewal energy processes will need to be carefully assessed as it is only available in fixed amounts in a few countries. Australia has the second largest deposits of lithium and China produces most of the world’s batteries.

In developing renewable energy resources, we should be searching for energy alternatives that don’t depend on finite natural resources and that will only be adopted if they come with a definite recycle plan.

Our National Parks, pristine beaches and unique tourist locations are promoted both here and overseas, yet local councils spend a fortune cleaning up the rubbish we carelessly leave behind us after we leave.

As humans, we can be an odd lot, sometimes even living out a life of contradictions.  We can have some very high ideals and simultaneously, possess some extremely low desires. We often reach out to help others and yet we sometimes violate and exploit them.  At times, it appears as if we deliberately want to spoil the ideal society we dream of creating.

We have the resources and ability to produce sufficient food to feed our whole world family, yet most of the world is hungry while a minority overfeed themselves. There are mountains of food stockpiled and rotting because it has been determined that selling it at a cheap price, or giving it away, might upset the world trade balance of payments.

Because some of us spend our waking hours in the shear pursuit of money and power we don’t give ourselves time to really enjoy the fruits of our labours. It seems absurd that around 20% of our population controls around 80% of the world’s wealth, yet we can’t balance our national budgets and the rich seem to be getting richer.

In trying to keep us alive, our medical researchers are forced to beg for money, and local volunteer organisations are relied on to provide essential support services. Meanwhile, our elected governments often spend our taxes on public programmes and infrastructure designed to attract the voter at election time so the existing Government can remain in power. Other high expenditure items include the building up of supplies of weapons and equipment capable of killing millions of us.

It seems our inhumanity towards each other continues to be maintained by our individual desires for power, control and greed. This is a far cry from the principles promoted by most religious leaders. If we are to leave our grandkids and the future generations a world they can enjoy, perhaps we all need to look at ourselves in the mirror and know that, individually, we can try and do better than we are doing at this point in time.

Perhaps we could consider including a prayer each day for our world, asking that waring nations would put aside their weapons and allow peace and love for each other to become our universal goal.

You might think this is just a Pete pipedream, but unless we ask our God, we can’t expect our prayers to be answered.

I’m Pete and that’s faith.

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