Social inequality, ecosystem destruction, climate change and resource scarcity are complex problems that interrelate in ways that we don’t yet fully understand. Addressing climate change is difficult because of the significant social inequality that we face today, which leaves many of us in the situation where we cannot afford to devote our thoughts to wider issues. Addressing growing resource scarcity will never work if we don’t curb the destruction of the ecosystems that feed our food chains. Addressing social inequality may be approachable, but as resource scarcity increases so do the gaps in social inequality – and those will outpace any solutions we put in place. Where do we begin?
There is one thing I’m certain of; nothing short of drastic, decisive action will allow us to survive. We must recognise that there is no more time to delay, and no more time for circular discussion. We must also recognise that there is still a chance that we can recover, otherwise we will paralyse ourselves with inaction.
I spoke with a man recently, passionate and driven. He did not speak to me about the weather, nor did he speak to me about his plans for the weekend. He told me nothing of his hobbies, or his family. He did not mention his 44 year career in medicine and science – this I learned now as I write, after searching for his name on the internet. He spoke only of others, and described to me his vision for changing the world for the better. I’ve spoken to many such people lately; people that have stopped looking inwardly at themselves and instead now look outwardly to others. This man was different, though, because he spoke with such focus and clarity about what he felt was right. It’s this focus of his that I would like to discuss now.
The man told me about his research into regenerative agriculture. He told me of long hours spent understanding that, as a global society, we have been degrading the quality of our soil, and that this has led to both a great release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and a reduction in the growth output of the soil itself. He then described to me the many studies on regenerative agriculture that he had read and contributed to; how it’s possible to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in vast quantities by farming in certain ways, and that doing so also regenerates the soil to its original, fertile state – ultimately leading to a reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels and increased food yields. Importantly, he also explained how it is possible to do this in a way that is economically and technologically feasible.
I won’t go into further detail on his research here – it’s an extensive topic – but my point is this: Richard, the man I was speaking to, has not spoken a single word about himself or his own life in the many hours we’ve spoken. He’s devoted his time to explaining the complex science behind his research, fully intended to benefit others beyond himself, and described how it can be applied in the real world. He’s shown me what it means to be selfless. There are times when we need to stop looking at ourselves alone and recognise the value of affecting the world around us. We spend so much time thinking of ourselves, but it’s people like Richard that will have a lasting effect on the world and be remembered the most.
Richard’s passion and dedication have inspired me to consider the approach we should be taking together to try and solve the crises we’re all facing today. Instead of pointing our fingers in accusation at others, talking about how we’re personally affected by the injustices of the world, or comparing one political party to another, we should be focusing on what we know and what we can do. Think about how Richard has approached his work and how he chooses to share it with others. What have you learned about the world issues you feel strongest about? What drives you to continue searching for answers? What do you think we should do? Push for the change you want to see, and above all ensure that you share your vision with others.
If you have a similar story to mine above, or have a progressive topic you’re familiar with and have strong ideas on how to approach, please email me and describe it or leave a comment here. I will hear you, and I will help push for the right changes to be made.
Tell me your passion.
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