Disclaimer

BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation. I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any terms which might be ambiguous, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Clarity

I don't actually do as much these days, but I think about things a whole lot more.

Somebody the other day asked me about my views on religion. I gave my stock response - that if somebody decided to embrace a religion, then that was fine. Would likely be very positive for them, in fact. But they need to understand that they're only really qualified to make the decision for themselves, not anybody else. So I have no time for somebody who tries to convince somebody else to adopt their beliefs. The fundamental premise, that what I believe is better than what you believe, is wrong.

To me, anyway. This is a view I've held for decades, so I'm perfectly comfortable with it.So, I'm perfectly comfortable with the principle that, what somebody decides is good for them, is nobody else's business.

I can quite neatly apply this rule to sexuality. If a pair of people do something with each other, and they both consent, what business is it of mine, what they do? Because I'm not involved.

However, I leave my comfort zone at that point. Because of one specific issue - the environment. I'm happy to do what I can - less meat, no flying etc. But, actually, I want the next person to do rheir bit too. When they pollute the environment, I have a problem with it. Because ultimately, their actions will affect me.

In the same vein, I see a conflict with, say, the Extinction Rebellion protesters. My gut feel is that they should not be disrupting people or businesses, but in their defence, those businesses are actively harming the environment, which sustains us all, not just those businesses. It might not be obvious now, because from day-to-day, we don't see it with our eyes, but science is quite readily detecting it in all sorts of areas. Not just change, but change which has been brought about by mankind. One might hope that companies would understand that their ability to make any kind of long-term profit would depend upon having a benign environment in which to operate, but making a buck as easily as possible always wins the day.

I suppose you can't blame a business for thinking in this way - their goal is to deliver growth for their shareholders, it doesn't surprise me one bit that they are interested in the next two years, not the next two hundred - but it does highlight to me that governments have a role to play, by constructing the framework in which businesses exist. It should be governments who are forcing businesses to behave in the best interests of their electorate. I leave it to you to decide whether my government, or yours, is doing this. I suppose because governments themselves only last for a few years, there's not much imperative for them to put the environment at the top of their list.

It's funny, I sometimes start writing these posts, sometimes to tease out my own ideas, without any particular known result. I find it easier, to set things out in print. Certainly on this one, I feel I can support the Extinction Rebellion, because businesses are not just making a buck, they are harming something in which we all have a vested interest.

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