Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Age of Stupid and the Cow Paradox

I've been trying to find the balance in my life. And I tend to fail, everytime.

Today is/was the international day of climate action and I took part in Egypt's 350 event- we watched "The Age of Stupid" 

It made me cry.

It also made me think. It made me think of how multinationals are just another form of colonisation, of how Shell exploits all the less developed countries like Nigeria.
It made me think of the misplaced people and the made me think of the capitalist elite of a developing country who think they are filling a market gap, while they are only satisfying their own greed. It made me think of "developed" countries that just don't care...for fear of ruining their landscape.

Fernand Pareau: “I think everyone in the future will perhaps blame us for not thinking to protect the environment. We knew how to profit, but not to protect.”

It angered me, really, how everyone defines development, and how everything is just concerned with development. Why do we want to develop if that would only mean turning into consumerist, greedy, gluttonous people? I don't want to develop, I only want a better life. I want a better life for all those who live impoverished! I don't care how much they earn, as long as they happily live. As long as they go to bed satisfied- that should be our goal, not freaking raising per capita income!!

Development should not be measured by consumerist measures, because consumption, mere consumption is a sin! And now that the Western, developed countries got their wake up call, we want to develop? What on Earth? What kind of rationale is that anyway!!

Alvin DuVernay: “In my opinion our use or misuse of resources the last 100 years or so, I’d probably rename that age, something like The Age of Ignorance, The Age of Stupid.”

No I don't necessarily want to belong to a "developed" country, I only want to stop this from happening in my country...

I want to go on a train knowing that I will be safe. Knowing that animals are going to be safe. I want to know that no train is going to hit a cow, stop for maintenance only to cause yet another accident, this time killing more than 30 people!

No pretty pictures this time, just an ugly truth.


S.Elisabeth said...

This makes me sad =( I live in a developed country and I see all the secret horridness of it every day. The corporate, greedy injustice of companies (like the YMCA!) that are supposed to be "non profit" or "good for the community." And I feel for the countries like yours who are going through it =( I hope the world can realize its mistakes and change them

Anonymous said...

i couldnt agree with you more here. makes me so frustrated how many people in the developed world couldnt be bothered to think about the results of their actions; how many tend to take everything for granted...

Chanelia said...

I liked reading this especially 'cause its a topic I am very passionate about.I have been meaning to see 'The Age of Stupid'.My sister saw it and highly reccomended it.I'm originally Nigerian,so I understand what you are talking about and I also wrote a thesis on the exploitation of oil and ruining of the environment by Shell oil company in Nigeria.I like your blog by the way!

Mohammed J. said...

The Age of Stupid is by far the best documentary I have seen. I feel your anger, it's ridiculous what's happening. But the ugly truth is that Human Beings are greedy by nature, always wanting more. But I believe things can always change to the better, and our generation unfortunately has to recover the mess of the generation before us.

keep believing, love.

Winnie said...

Wow, food for thought indeed.

I could say so much on this subject but I'm not political sciences student and er...possibly leaning towards the hated consumerist side of a marketing student! However, I wonder about the whole development issue.

Surely the first step would be to improve the ecomony to enhance the quality of life for that country? I feel as though it's a vicious cycle with not entirely good results because at the end of the day it still points towards Capitalism...we'll all burn ourselves out eventually. Take a look at the incredible industrial revolution that China is going through. It's scary.

Seriously, a great post. I love posts that make me think!

Erimentha said...

wow. great post sara!

that photo of the people at the pyramid is amazing and the 'age of stupid' sounds really interesting and sad too.

thanks for making me think more about climate change.
you rock!


Nitin said...

lovely post. i think this sorta reminder should happen. but more often than only once in a year. Not at every time when its the last week of October , there is no point and sitting and whining about it. there is no need to sit and pray about it. hoping things are gonna change. cause if you are sitting and thinking , praying, or discussing about it. waiting for a change and common consensus, change will never ever happen. we already know and have all the necessary tech that is required to make life less complicated, and minimize our effect on the world and make it safer for everyone. all you have to do is do it. companies and corporations, governments and bureaucrats are never gonna do it for you. no political system is gonna correct it. every one is working for profit in those systems.let it be in terms of turnovers or taxes. thats how they make money. and you can never make it profitable for them to make that change.

its is you. and that is the only Allie that you can count for this, do your part. and be a part of a bigger commmunity.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

It's a very sad reality :( And it seems like it'll take so long to fix.

Great that you went to that event, some of my friends were there :)

Selma said...

Great post Sara!!!
It is a sad reality, one we all should (if not already) be aware of. Some may be in denial, some may not know it yet (due to whatever reason).
Glad to hear you went to such an event. :) Good one!!!

E said...

I feel that anger too. More often than I would want to.
Great post!

in company with sparkles said...

I read a book last year called The Invisible Heart - An Economic Romance, which I think you would enjoy. It's a brilliant novel and even more brilliant theory.
One comment by a character is that, while Western companies that delegate labor to underdeveloped countries do get cheaper labor from them, they are still helping those countries. The people there get paid far more in those companies than they would for their own countries' jobs. So who are we to complain that they don't get paid as much as an American (for example)? We are the ones who have a materialist and consumer mindset and high standard of living. This is sad and unbalanced. But what it means is that what we see as unfair may still be wonderful to them. If we are truly concerned for workers in other nations, we'll do things more constructive than work against their opportunities to be employed by western companies. In addition, if they were paid as much as they would earn in America, prices would rise so much that it would be impractical and it would work against it. Consumers would pay for it - and they would refuse to. It's a vicious cycle.
I know many laborers in undeveloped countries are misused. However, in most situations I think we see that negatively because we can't imagine that it's a good job for them - when compared to the rest of their country it is. We're blinded by our own privilege.

Just some thoughts! There are so many facets for this. I admire your involvedness.


Eva Internazionale said...

I'm glad you care.

Some Girl said...

The Age of Stupid. It's completely fitting but it's sadly the reality.

Inside the Cabinet of Wonder said...

lovely post.
i can see you are passionate.

Saskia said...

An ugly truth is just the right description... people can be so inward looking and accepting. We need more passionate people like you, we need to look outward, we need to wake up.

Great post Sara.


Elizabeth Marie said...

You caring is beautiful...and I hope it inspires many others to care, because you my darling are an inspiration.

Manju said...

Oh thank you for this post Sara. i'm going to check out 'The Age of Stupid'

Jodes said...

This is so true and it really angers me as well.
I can't watch documentaries about corporations, capatalism, war, or whatever without getting so angry I have to leave, take a breather and come back.
It stuns me how inhuman people are.
I can't understand how someone can seperate themselves so from what they're doing to other human beings that it doesn't affect them
I think we all need to help the bottom first and bring everyone up to a more stable level before we start trying to improve and profit for ourselves in the first world.
Have you heard of ?
I think you'd really love it!
Great post, doll.

pennycones said...

Only just come across your blog just now.
Great to read some of the real things going on in this world!
Check out 'cool people care'. I'm sure you would love it :)
Bye for now.

Rosie said...

hello dear!

thank you for the lovely comments you left on my blog, i am ever so sorry it has taken me such a long time to reply. but each one is appreciated and loved so much!

what a powerful post. my goodness, some things in the world are so sad and awful. congratulations to you for bringing awareness to people and helping such a worthy cause. i admire you a lot for that dearest.


missy. said...

dude you have some pretty serious passion when you write. i love it.

Spardha Malik said...

Sara, I'm from a developing country too and I know EXACTLY what you mean..
this was such a good read.

Consumerism is not the right way! i totally agree.

Kristin said...

So sage words from me. All I can say is you are wise beyond your years.

Miss Meg said...

Such a good read and such a sad reality indeed.
Your passion deffiently comes through.