Thursday, 16 April 2009

Dinner table conversation

Last night the Scraper and I went for a meal with another couple to the White House. The main topic of conversation was the generally sad state of the world, starting with dishonest and hypocritical politicians and ending with the sad way we treat the earth. Now, there's nothing we can do about politicians, after all, it is a truism that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and no matter how idealistically they may start out they soon revert to the nature of the beast.

Besides, no matter how hard they try (in order to get re-elected) they cannot please all of the people all of the time.

Our friend mentioned the Obama circus coming to town (DON'T get me wrong: I am seriously pro-Obama, not just for the sake of the USA but also the rest of us). He brought Five Hundred personnel with him, his own armoured vehicles and helicopter.

What would be the carbon footprint of that little jaunt, I wonder.

However, I believe there is something mankind can do about the environment. And guess what, I believe mankind not only can but will. I am an optimist. I don't know what form this action will take, I am neither scientist nor clairvoyant. We could remind ourselves about the time not so long ago when the nuclear holocaust clocks were about to strike twelve and we were all told to hide under a door or the kitchen table in the event - well, that acute fear has disappeared from everyday life. 

We could go further back in history and think of the first trains and cars - wasn't civilisation as mankind knew it then also going to come to an end? All the untold numbers who were going to perish never did, did they.

When push comes to shove, mankind will find a way out. Mankind is infinitely inventive, resourceful and adaptable.  

Our friends are both in their eighties. I asked him - after a prolonged bout of ranting about the economy, the environment, etc. etc. -  if he was glad he was old, without responsibility for the future, able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labour for whatever time there was left.

He looked up, thought for a moment, then said, with a smile:" I don't know that I am old."
Considering that he is disabled through a stroke, and will never see eighty six again, that is saying something for man's optimism and adaptability indeed. I was mightily impressed.

The meal was excellent in all respects.

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