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The cave will be quiet and empty next week, for the Old Man is off on his travels, until late next Friday. A lot of water will pass under the bridge between now and then, so there will be some catching up to be done.

In the meantime, I have been ‘inspired’ by several developments in thought and ideas from a range of sources, first amongst which must be James, William, Michael, Paul Baer and some of the kind people who have paid a visit to the cave recently.

So here is something for us all to ponder ’till I return. Please comment if you wish; I’ll catch up and post your words as soon as possible.

Climate Science, the Environmental ‘movement’, and international policy, are all dealing with how we might help shape the world our children, and their children, inherit. The fundamental subject matter is the future. If the arguments about whether the climate is changing and whether pollution is a ‘bad thing’ are broadly accepted as given, how should we proceed now?

Of course, it would be foolish to try to answer this question before we ask the preliminary one of import; what kind of world do we want to imagine for the future?

This is not simple. We so often tend to think in terms of the world of our immediate acquaintance, ‘our’ world, if you like, but here, there is the challenge of thinking about a much bigger picture. Why is this necessary? Because none of the really important problems which face us ‘at home’ are truly local problems; they are universal, in the sense that any policy, strategy, or ideal has to be workable for the planet as a whole. Climate change and pollution, energy production and consumerism, equity and justice, apply everywhere and impact everywhere.

So, what do we want for our descendants? More of some things, less of others. The chance to do some things, the chance to avoid others. Assuming, for a moment, that certain principles are given; a fairer world, one where there is less warfare or murder, one which recognises, at least in principle, the equality of value of the existence and survival of each and every inhabitant of the planet, a world where more people are free to live the way they choose to without fear of persecution, insofar as this does not prevent others from doing the same. These can be allowed as the barest minimum of our expectations. So how do we achieve them? Are there other important fundamental principles which we must (should?) take into account before starting on a road to Tomorrow?

Two requests, then; answers or suggestions for this: what is it we need to do, most urgently,  to ensure a better tomorrow?

Then answers or suggestions for this: What other principles should guide our decisions and our actions? In other words, what rules do we want to make for our new, exciting, dynamic, better world?

As always, be loved.


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May 2007