Tuesday 2 March 2010

No easy answers

Toad in road On Monday Jane asked if flying could ever be justified. I think the answer is yes but because flying is such a complex issue I‘m going to use this toad to make a simpler example. For some years I have been setting up toad patrols near to where I live and I usually walk or cycle to get to the patrol. About a week ago I was asked to help set up a patrol at Costessey, which is too far for me to cycle in the time available – so I have used the car, four times so far. Twenty helpers have been recruited in a week and we expect to save hundreds of toads – the migration will start very soon.

The point is that I decided that the pollution caused by my car use is justified by the toads saved. How do you value the life of an English toad against the global consequence of me creating more CO2? I doubt if anyone has done those sums but there must be situations where flying is justified for some people because of what they can achieve for the greater good.

In any event the goal is to educate the people of Costessey so that next year they are self sufficient toad patrollers and the same applies on the global scale. We can’t wind down a world wide economy, built on ever increasing consumption, at the touch of a button but we need to use our dwindling resources wisely to build a resilient future for all.

DonkeyDung What we can do now is to change peoples' perceptions of what it means to have fun. I recently recently posted on the Freegle Cafe that I had spent the day moving donkey dung in a wheelbarrow and someone replied that was not her idea of fun. I suspect that had I jetted off to spend the weekend on a tropical beach then she would have considered that to be more interesting

crowded-beach But the reality is that I hate airports and I hate crowded beaches and I hate resorts where you feel overcharged and exploited. And sitting in the sun is no good for your skin.

So I actually enjoyed petting the local donkeys and I enjoyed giving their owner some of my potatoes in exchange for the dung to fertilize next year's crop. It all happened within walking distance, nothing was consumed and I got some exercise.

Oh, and the donkeys got some carrots.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one! A bit of local exchange trading going on amongst the productive low carbon donkey fun. Excellent post much enjoyed, thanks John.