Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Protecting the Environment from Human Nature

Everyone is talking about the environment, the Swedes are giving up their SUVs, and Al Gore is winning Oscars. Even if it can be argued that the reports of the demise of the planet are premature, clearly something needs to change. The planet Gaea itself will survive, but we human beings will be unable of inhabiting her.

The Israelis understand this, and yet, after any major vacation day or a longer term holiday, the beaches are shamefully strewn with garbage, as if a hurricane just hit the coastline. "Someone ELSE will pick up our trash, that's why we pay taxes..." Children learn from the adults around them, and rather than throw out that ice cream wrapper, they might throw it on the ground, "someone else will pick it up for me..." The use of pesticides on produce is higher here than most developed countries, the law has not gotten around to amending the agricultural specifications.

Chaos Theory states that all actions, physical and energetic are connected, and that one small act (that damn butterfly flapping its wings) can start a chain reaction that affects the whole planet (that damn land war in Asia); and if you believe that the planet is a whole organism, and that we humans are perhaps the virus that infests it, we must immediately change our attitudes and behaviour.

Israel is a small and relatively young country, despite its wide coverage in the press. Israel has fought six official wars, not counting the two Intifadas and various continuing guerrilla wars of terror. The early Israeli attitude is to live for the day, because you could be dead tomorrow. So they travel around the world, drive dangerously, go into overdraft at the bank, and litter profusely, because they are betting that they won't be around to see the consequences of their actions. It is time to shed this survivalist way of thinking, and embrace the global future; Israel can no longer be considered a struggling third world country when it comes to the environment, as we are one of the leaders in advanced technology. We know better because we invented it.

I appeal to Israelis, and human beings all over the world, if you don't care about your own air and water, how about your children, or your grandchildren?

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