Sunday, 20 June 2010

Too Little Space

Last night, at half-time in the Brazil vs Ivory Coast match (yes, I watch some of the World Cup!), I flicked over to another channel where they just happened to be talking about ecological problems in the Philippines.

They happened to show an island that was so small you could see the detail of the whole island in the camera shot, and the island was covered with the multi-coloured roofs of so many, many huts.

So, the immediate question was "How do they find the foods they need?" The answer was, of course, that fishing was the essence of their survival. But the population of that island (and the surrounding islands) was becoming so great that the fish supplies were being rapidly plundered ... and in such a way that big damage was being done to the coral reefs. They were dynamiting the fish, and using poisons, to capture their needed quota. The resulting scenario was bleak ... the future of the fish stocks was in jeopardy.

Luckily, the problem was already being addressed in another area of the islands. Money was being put into a conservation project to restore the underwater ecology ... and it was working. But the money for that project was coming from voluntary donations from western sources. What, therefore, will be the situation if those voluntary donations begin to dry up as a result of the recession in which the western world is embroiled?

The scenario was also a warning to ourselves. The UK is on the verge of being overcrowded; young people are being marginalised in the job market. We too, especially if the population increases much more, could start to embark on desperate measures to survive; and using measures that are against the interests of sustainability.

The moral is that we need less to live within the bounds of sustainability.
Small is Beautiful and Less is Wonderful.