Is Our Dystopian Future Here?
The Oxford English dictionary describes dystopian as follows: relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or ... 'the dystopian future of a society bereft of reason'.
This morning whilst watching the news there were the following headlines;
|Train tracks - the relevance of this photo will follow|
- In Guatemala the Fuego Volcano erupts, 69 people are killed
- Oil prices go up and we see the biggest increase in petrol prices since we started measuring this, in a month (6p increase in the month of May, which may sound insignificant but equates to an actual increase of 5 million pounds across the UK in a month)
- Train travel in many parts of the country is so significantly impacted people can't get to work
- The plastic problem in oceans, whilst being addressed at some level across Europe, is not being addressed by America or China, with similar disregard by them, for CO2 emissions
A decision will be made in government today, whether to add another runway for Heathrow, even though this could have a major impact on air quality in the area (this decision went through later today)So in summary, car travel has risen in cost significantly, whilst the value of sterling has dropped by 2% meaning that the cost of living has not met these price rises (this is not even considering the increase in the cost of energy bills, which is expected to be another £600 a year for an average family). Similarly, if you decide to take the greener option of the train, you are likely to be persistently late for work which is costing the nation millions in lost work hours, and the cost of train travel has become significant, meaning that even the greenest of us are considering going back to using the car.
Oh hang on, no, we can't afford that either....but we have to get to our place of work...which is on average 45 minutes away, by whatever means of travel you take....looks like we are well an truly f**ked on the travelling and getting to work front. So travel is currently bereft of reason.What about the environment, all these volcanoes, are they an issue? Not according to some experts (I think the families of the dead would disagree), who say this is normal and there are between 10 - 20 active volcanoes at any time. However, in a 2009 study, it was said that there was an increase in eruptions as the earths temperature has risen and in a study in 2014, a study said that when there are changes to the speed of the earths rotation caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon there are more eruptions.The rationalists amongst us say there is more concern these days because everything is filmed on our phones so we are more aware of it and how scary it can look?I think this is one for you to decide.As for other environmental issues, we all just need to do more to sustain our air quality and our environment, and petition our governments to do better on this front.Maybe buy a smaller car, or have less cars. On the street that I live, I think we are the only family with one car, everybody else has two or more, there are other ways to travel, bicycle is a great option (again the government need to improve cycle paths), or just walk.You may think, that, that won't make a difference, and no, you on your own won't, but persuade a friend, than it's two of you, then four....we still have the power to make these decisions ourselves. Lets make them before governments have to make them for us. Do we want to be told how many cars, babies, houses, we can have...we are not far from this point, overpopulation is rife, houses are unaffordable and the gap between the rich and the poor is getting greater.And yet there are empty houses and few projects to renovate and renew them for families who are struggling economically, instead big firms want to build on our green and pleasant land instead and make housing that is only affordable for the rich.
Arty barbed wire short to represent dystopia....OK, I may be taking libertiesBut I digress.Are we living in a dystopian future? Are we living in a society bereft of reason? To some extent I think we are.Some men and women would rather pay for lip fillers (£450 at my dentist - per go) than give that £450 to charity or save for a home or buy some trees to be planted. That, to me is bereft of reason.
(Having said that, I pay for needless tattoo's so I am not exactly without blame on this front)People believe the nonsense spouted in the red top newspapers, where the underlying message is racist 'Get the immigrants out', sexist 'are all beautiful women boring?', 'I thought tattoos were for sluts', 'women become good cooks at 55' or homophobic, where a school teacher was outed by the press and then consequently committed suicide. All of that is bereft of reason, to me.
Women hold a sixth of the senior roles in the UK's top companies and men are 40% more likely to be promoted into a senior management role than a woman with equal qualifications. Surely, that is bereft of reason
That Government has now approved another runway at Heathrow knowing that it will reduce air quality - What about the people who live in the area? What about the people who already have asthma? What about the animals and environment in the area? I just don't understand how this is OK
Donald Trump believes that climate change is a hoax. That is so bereft of reason that I don't even know what to do with that, apart from quietly die a little inside and pray to the God I don't believe in, that my children will have a world to live in when I am gone.
Currently, in the UK we spend approximately £44-45 billion pounds a year on defence, a £110 billion on the NHS, and £11.3 billion on environmental protection. I think I would change some of these numbers around a bit. However, consider this, the military are spending more on computers and cyber defence than anything else at the moment. This is probably wise as a nationwide cyber attack would bring this country to it's knees and ultimately, at that point what we do with the environment, travel, the NHS and the military won't matter.
Imagine no phones, computers, laptops, no internet. Imagine if none of that worked, most of us have our homes internet connected, including heating and our televisions. Imagine if nothing worked and we went back to paper and pens, but isn't our sewage and water connected? yes it is. A nationwide cyber attack would be devastating, not only because of the above but also because all our weapons are digital which means they can be hacked.
Currently experts are deeply concerned about the likelihood of hacking and is on the top of most governments and militaries lists of things to do something about, BUT, as the military and the government build better defences, hackers get better too...
So, am I some conspiracy theorist that thinks the world has gone to pants. No, my little piece of the world is wonderful, I have a beautiful family and home, I'm just worried my children and my children's children are going to have to lead very different lives, because my generation and those that went before me royally messed everything up.
My advice, cherish what you have, change what you can, and live as green as you can.
And sod you dystopia.
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