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Soothing the conscience

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The world is on fire and I am warming up, I once wrote. But after a conversation at a party some time ago, I found out that there are also people who don't warm up, who don't even look. It doesn't interest them. It doesn't touch their lives and they have enough on their own and their own problems and struggles. That made me observe my own role again for a moment. If I am not watching, I might be emptying a cup of water into a blaze. I am doing something by now, but it is not nearly enough to really make a difference, to turn the tide. It's enough to ease my own conscience. It is. But something is lurking. There is another pilot light, and it suddenly jumped back on because of this observation.

What is needed is a powerful coalescing force of nations that stand up against pollution, stand for sustainability, fight against slavery and a better world in a general and specific sense. But it's not coming. And it's not coming because it doesn't affect people personally (unless in the wallet). It's too distant or too abstract. And politics is too divided to be decisive, too populist to be to be visionary.

J. Moltmann writes about a passed bill:

'Because children are the weakest members and the coming generations have no voice in current decisions, the cost of the present gains are shifted to them. This contradicts the righteousness of the Kingdom of God.'

Will we let it come down to that again in this generation? In my opinion, the solution must be sought within the current capitalist system, using political ambitions, responding to human nature, it must be close and concrete. I am thinking of technological solutions that save money and time, but are also sustainable in terms of energy and yield. Taxing one in order to finance the other and make it attractive. Remove barriers and encourage pioneers. Visionary politics, backed by scientists, supported by the new industry. And the old industry? It must dissolve and reinvent itself. The latter probably first.

And in the meantime, the forerunners are needed to try out new (green) technology and invest, so that after further development and scale up, it can also become affordable for the masses. So forerunners; forward with the small steps. By itself it is not much, but together enough to get the masses going. And the politicians shuffle neatly behind.


Erwin de Ruiter

"One man tries to express himself in books, another in boots; both are likely to fail." - G.K. Chesterton

1 thought on “Het geweten sussen”

  1. The last sentence brings a smile around my lips. I welcome every initiative to make planet earth more beautiful (read ´clean´) and to preserve it. We have to get rid of ´after me the flood´.

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