It has just been reported that this is indeed the warmest weather for 1,200 years. Everyone is noticing. Yet the environmental movement is weaker today than 30 years ago when this was speculation. Why?
All around us we see evidence that our children are acting out and that many have no hope. Yet the advocates for children have never had less effect. Why?
I wonder if the agenda and the mechanisms for supporting both the environment and for children have been misguided? Bear with me for a while.
It's an acorn. But what is it really? You may say "It's potentially an oak tree." You would be partly right. Bear with me.
What do you see here? You may say "I see a hippie child of the sixties". (called Acorn by the way) You would be partly right.
What do you see here? It is an oak forest. It is what the acorn wants to be. If an acorn falls in the right spot and has the right supporting environment, it will become a complex system - a forest. The forest of course is filled with all sorts of other species and systems. With the right support the acorn becomes an ecosystem.
What do you see here? You see a community market in Flagstaff. This may be where Acorn lives today. He you see is not just a child wanting to be a man but a child wanting to become a community - a complete ecosystem that supports all sorts of life. Given the right support, he will become that.
Do you see where I am going?
So long as we see an acorn as only an object - a baby tree - we miss the big idea. Every seed is really an entire ecosystem in miniature. An acorn wants to be a forest. A child wants to be a community.
The acorn and the child are not simply objects. They are the future of the planet. With the right support they have all the power in them to get there. Our entire world is packed into these small units - these seeds.
Do you see where I am going?
So long as the environmental and the children's movement see the things in the natural world and see children as objects no matter how precious - they miss the point. An acorn and a child are our our future. Everything that we need or want in the future depends on them.
The environmental movement and the kids movement have no traction because they talk about their topics in too limited a way. The objectify an owl or a child. They look only at the owl or the child and miss the fact that our future depends on them. They miss the wholeness.
In the "whole" society and business depends on a competent next generation and an ecosystem that supports life. There is no separation or conflict between the two. They are linked. No ecosystem = no community = nothing. No capable kids = no community = no life. What we have evidence of is that life will be unlivable in many places where there are billions of people living today. Worse, there will be millions of people who have had such a bereft childhood that they will not be able to cope withy the crisis that is emerging. This nightmare picture is not some fantasy far into the future - it is happening now. Imagine life in the midwest in the next 10 years. What will it be like with a water crisis and temperatures in the 100's all summer? Add $100 a barrel oil and 40% of kids unable to work becuase they cannot learn or be social. Add 40% of the residents being over 65. Hello - this is unfolding now.
So now ask why so many of our children have given up? I believe it is that they have an intuitive feeling that we, the people that should be providing the support that they need to reach their potential, are doing the opposite. On the one hand we are dismantling the ecosystems that will provide them with essentials such as water. I spoke with a person in Flagstaff this week. Flagstaff is 7,000 feet above sea level. They normally have 100 inches of snow in the winter. They have had one inch so far. How long will Flagstaff last as a community if this trend is confirmed? On the other hand we are literally mortgaging our kids future with the personal debt and the national debt that we are building up so that we can continue to live as if our world did not matter. Many adults who do not have kids have completely given up and act only hedonistically now. Dave Pollard asks why
Isn't it ironic.? 50,000 years ago, as the world began to warm up, the one species that really thrived was us - humans. Our great advantage was that we were so adaptable and creative. We used this culture to take supreme advantage of an environmental crisis. As we can see in New Orleans today, we are a sad relic of those great men and women. Why? Because we no longer pay attention to the most important part of us. We have forgotten that raising healthy and alert social and creative children is the most important job of all and that it takes a whole community and not just mum and dad or just mum on her own to do this
So what is to be done?
I think that we have to change the agenda and how we act upon it. The environment is not an object out there. It is us and our future. Kids are not objects to be looked after or ignored. They are our future. Child care is not child care. Raising the next generation to be able to cope and thrive is the task and it needs a lot more than breast feeding, daycare and school. If raising the next generation to take over from us and do well is the mission - how can we get behind this?
To be continued - The fantasy of the "Traditional Family" and why this is such a damaging idea