My ten year Faceversary ticked over just recently. It was more a time for reflection than celebration. A whole lot has changed in the world of social media. I didn’t even have a smart phone back then. I was using my old iMac desktop (we never used to call them desktops till laptops came along. Ditto landlines before mobile phones). I remember logging in and logging out each time I used Facebook, too! Who does that now? And whatever happened to changing your Facebook language to pirate?
Anyhoo, back to “Not being on fire”. This Facebook page began not long before I signed up. I don’t think I really knew what a ‘page’ was when I liked it. I just thought it was funny. I wasn’t the only one. It never quite cracked a million likes, but it came pretty close. Not bad for a page that is really nothing more than a funny title! Its also fairly sage advice. Not being on fire is something we should probably celebrate more often. Especially when we are looking down the barrel of climate change catastrophe.
In those ten years social media has evolved from bordering on the inane to becoming a highly politicised platform for evermore oppositional views. From a newsfeed filled with cute puppies, home cooked meals and exotic beaches, it’s now species loss, glyphosate residue and plastic polluted oceans. I’m as guilty as anyone. Have we simply created echo chambers for our own views or has social media evolved into a genuine platform for change? Its hard to imagine how all the recent student strikes about climate change would have gained such momentum without it.
On the eve of a federal election I am optimistic that people are wanting meaningful change, a paradigm shift that sees economics subject to the environment, not the other way round. There is no economy without a healthy environment. There is also no justice, equality or peace without a healthy environment. We are already beginning to exhaust our resources simply mitigating disaster, let alone maintaining any sort of reasonable lifestyle. We simply cannot sustain even the current cost of flood, fire and drought across the globe.
But a healthy environment is not simply the absence of disaster, it is one that thrives, grows and nurtures, just as individual health is not simply the absence of disease, but the presence of well being, meaning and happiness. Some are already calling this the climate change election, and protestors and even governments across the world are declaring or calling for a state of climate emergency. So where was I again? Oh yes, not being on fire! Let’s vote for the people that want not only to not be on fire, but alive and well and happy, and that can only happen with a healthy environment.
This is a good read on the subject: https://science.anu.edu.au/news-events/opinion/how-do-we-go