2011/01/11

It is a moral issue.

In response to a post in Hot-topic.co.nz I suggested that the solution to the present issues confronting us can best be addressed by moral force:-

"Erentz; I most respectfully but strongly disagree with your contention that government is a necessary element in the process of advancing the change required.

I see the issue as a moral issue, not one that 'government' can or even needs to get involved in.

We are told repeatedly by 'government' that the market can lead to change in the products and systems we have to use; carbon-free transport for example. If that is the case, (and it has been for a while) then we-the-market can choose to force those changes.

For example I suggested at a City Council hearing that the most effective thing our city could do to reduce food miles and non-recyclable packaging would be to include a dozen sheets of small stickers which read "I didn't buy this product today because it came from too far away!"  and "I didn't buy this product today because the packaging is not sustainably produced or recyclable!".  Include these with every notice to householders for a year for them to take with them shopping and the change would be remarkable.  They saw the threat to their commercial rates-base however, and demurred.

The moral issue here is well known to most of us:-

It is wrong to keep on doing what we are doing to the Earth.  It is wrong because it is having an impact on all of us today, and the impacts on our children and future generations are certain to be worse than we can imagine.  Therefore the moral issue relates to the choice between business-as-usual and some other thing.

We do not need government to make these choices, and we do not need government to make these choices known to the market or to any powers-that-be who may have any useful interest in our choices.

The greatest issues of our times have not been solved by government cooperation or action, but by moral action declared by conscious non-violent actions as evidence of the moral stand.  The two great examples of the use of moral force are South Africa's abandonment of apartheid and India's freedom from the British.  Neither of these remarkable events required the 'cooperation' of governments, but rather the governments fell beneath the force of the moral onslaught.

These shining lights contrast markedly with every other 'solution' that has been tried; with perhaps the notable exception of the elimination of CFCs in relation to the ozone layer depletion - which was achieved cooperatively because (again) the problem and solution were clear and morally it was the morally right thing to do.

There is no other practical way forwards for us;
*We must resolve and declare the nature of the moral issue in terms that the poorest most uneducated and disadvantaged members of our society can grasp, see the rightness of and act on;
*We must apply our individual moral force  to the issue by 'becoming the change you want to see in the World' (MKG).  If this change is seen as good, then it will encourage others to the rightness of the need for change.
*We must, if need-be, apply non-violent means, including civil non-cooperation against established institutions which are obstacles to the required change to achieve the morally correct end.

That is the only way to take this matter beyond individuals and get the movement that is necessary."


Thanks,

Nigel

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