James Dryburgh
How is it that supposedly stupid cows know not to repeatedly walk in to an electric fence and to look for a gate, but we with our superior intelligence do not?

IN TIMES of crisis wise leaders and visionaries appear. I wish they’d hurry up. The current financial crisis is a blatant reminder that there are fundamental flaws in our form of capitalism, that on a finite planet, a system dependent on exponential growth is a time bomb.

This is our moment for change. Talk should be of restructuring our system toward sustainable levels, not merely growth. It should be of properly incorporating environmental and social justice within our economic framework. Yet, all the talk seems to be of patching up a lame old model.

The future can deal with the real problem. Yet, tomorrow is the future.

We even see the Liberal Party trying to postpone action on the even greater crisis of climate change due to the economic situation. Should this not be an opportunity to restructure our economic system such that it is better integrated with our environmental systems?

Such dramatic change is not easy, especially when it involves adjustments that could be viewed as sacrifice, particularly to those with economic and political power. But surely a moment when the vast majority can see and feel a problem, is a time to seize, a time when political and public will would surely be at its strongest in support of inevitable change.

If we merely bandage this system and it recovers for a while what have we achieved?

Not only do we prolong the inevitable, but we make change even more difficult. If the situation stabilises for a while again, who will support change? People, and especially politicians, don’t like change when the going appears good. When the system falters again, it will likely cause more damage and will require more rapid and difficult change.

How is it that supposedly stupid cows know not to repeatedly walk in to an electric fence and to look for a gate, but we with our superior intelligence do not?

James Dryburgh