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Useful And Fantastic: Ten Little Country Boys

Val Yule invites us to see where we stand on the ten steps to climate changes.

While scientists and counter-scientists exchange their graphs and climate-models and estimates of sun-spots, ice-cores and all sorts of things that ordinary folk can only read with puzzlement, the ordinary folk can classify themselves under ten headings. Most of them are not calls to action but apathy. If all the population answered this questionnaire, the proportion in each category would be illuminating.

The ten steps. Where have you stood, where do you stand, and what of tomorrow?

1. Those of us who know nothing of what is around us. We do nothing.

2. Those of us who say, there is no climate change. We do nothing.

3. Those who say, there is climate change but it is nothing to do with anything that we do. Look at how puny we are in the world Ė we donít do much about extinguishing wildlife, spreading deserts, using the resources of the earth Ė the fossil fuels, the minerals, the artesian water, that took millions of years to collect, covering the earth with cities, making the night sky full of our electric lights .. not much really at all. We do nothing.

4. Those who say we are probably perhaps contributing to climate change, but the first priority is our jobs and the economy, So we do nothing.

5. Those who say, there is climate change and it is at least in part due to human changes to the world and atmosphere. But we canít do anything about it. We do nothing.

6 Those who say, there is a lot of climate change and the government and big business can do something about it. We wont do anything while everybody else does nothing. We do anything.

7. Those of us who buy home-insurance in case of burglary, fire or flood, may pause to consider buying planet-insurance. Whether we then do something ourselves may move us on to further steps. Meanwhile, we do nothing

8. Those who say, perhaps we could stop wasting so much Ė all our waste is costing us a lot anyway. So we donít throw out so much, and donít buy what we donít need. WE ARE SAVING MONEY; maybe we are saving other things too.

9. Those who say, perhaps we could change some of our practices and use less resource-wasting, realizing that we are living in a fantasy-land of excess waste. We are slowly realising that little things like plastic bags are destroying the environment. Small things like a full kettle for one cup of tea, and one-trip envelopes, as well as large cars with one occupant for unnecessary trips, have been signs of our assumption of limitless resources. Our economic models do not add in the future cost of our present use of resources So we change - sometimes walk or cycle, we have water tanks, we donít use our appliances when we have time to do something ourselves, we donít water the garden every day. We have all sorts of economical appliances. We switch to jobs and businesses within a green society, instead of holding jobs producing waste and obsolescence, and running firms producing waste and obsolescence. ĎMake Do and Mendí is for now, not only during military wars that lasted only a few years. We even stop unnecessary plane travel and long car trips. Others copy. WE DO SOMETHIING

10. Those who say Help! Climate change is upon us! We have to change our lifestyle. And the climate forces a change in life-style upon us with droughts and floods and winds and cyclones and bushfires and landslides and acid seas and high tides and shortages of food, water and energy. WE CAN DO NOTHING NOW.

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