Isn’t interesting how many life-critical things we take for granted?

Like fresh air, water, food. Of course, there are many parts of the world where there is a deep-seated understanding, because of the circumstances in which those populations find themselves, that these things are not guaranteed. And as the populations grow, the certainty of these extremely basic but life-essential necessities become even more scarce and under pressure.

It is partially this invisible and insensate acceptance of these essentials that places all of humanity at great risk! When the so-called leader of the free world is in denial of the importance of the sustainable supply of these essential life-giving elements, then we should know that we are in big trouble!

As Professor Guy Midgley recently articulated so succinctly, we have two systems running in parallel and upon which we, as people, are dependent. But if you examine the two systems, the one is an uncaring predator on the other with massive consequences for all of us. Of course, there are also huge consequences for the system that is being consumed at an ever-increasing rate by the other.

We are talking here of the Economic System and the Living System, our planet.

The Economic System is 100% dependent on the Living System, as are we!

Every single thing we consume, buy, collect, dispose of comes from the Planet. Some of it, maybe even most of it, is transformed by industry into something unrecognisable as natural. This transformation itself is a creator of significant damage to the Living System, even though it is also the source of a great deal of wealth for those that undertake the transformation. Much of what is extracted by the Economic System is basically non-renewable, such as coal, or oil, or gold, or platinum and so on. These are all wasting resources and when they run out there is nothing we know of to replace them.

Logic, therefore, tells us, that if we are sensible, we should start now replacing them with renewable and sustainable alternatives. Some like some of the metals and minerals are recyclable, like iron, platinum and some plastics but there are others like, coal, oil and gas that once used are gone forever.

Even though some of the transformed resources may be used again in some form or another, the Economic System itself has created great inequity. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, pointed out that 26 individuals in the world own as much wealth as 50% of the world’s population together. This situation is, in itself, completely unsustainable which means that we need to work on transforming the Economic System itself into an entity more sustainable and equitable!

What does this have to do with Nature?

Nature is the Living System. It is uniquely self-regenerative and self-healing. It has supported humanity for millennia, but it is under massive threat from humanity now! We are consuming the products and services of the Living System at an unsustainable rate and we are polluting at a rate that now not only damages the Planet, the Living System, but is also beginning to have an increasing deleterious effect on health of humanity. In 2003 a Professor of Conservation Science predicted that we would see increasing natural disasters and the likelihood of an unknown virus that would emerge with devastating results for humanity. We now know the latest virus as Covid 19. There are more to come unless we start paying attention the immune system of the Living System, the only home we know and begin to wind back our consumptive behaviour. We must invest in sustainable and renewable energy sources; buy local as much as possible; consume organically grown fresh foods ; utilise public transport as much as possible, or walk, or cycle. It goes without saying the we should avoid consuming anything whenever we feel like it; if we must consume then we must make sure we reduce our consumption of damaging, non-renewable products; we must recycle, compost as much as possible; buy goods that are eminently re-usable; and finally we should endeavour to recover whatever we can that can be converted back into energy!

Finally, let us talk about our psychological health and well-being. It is well documented that spending time in nature has a significantly beneficial effect on our psyches and the inherent design of our bodies is that they are designed to self-heal given the chance. Maybe this is an important throw back to our very beginnings when we were abundantly conscious of our total dependence on the Living System and lived by our wits. The sad part of our current existence is that everything we have comes from some shop, which sources pretty much everything it sells to us from some production facility which has processed the original and natural products into something synthetic which our bodies have to learn to metabolise.

In Nature there is no pretence, no intermediary processing, no separation from our origins and when we walk barefoot in the park or in the bush or in the running river we become truly grounded again and start to rediscover our souls. This is good for us and for all those around us!

Tony Frost

Written by : Sirocco Strategy Management

Sirocco was established to work with organisations to guide them in their strategising, and to ensure effective the implementation of their strategies. Implementation depends 100% on the buy-in and commitment of the people in the organisation.


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