Our planet and our priorities


A blog by Canon Saro 12th October 2021

There is an old epigram that “if you want to forget about the pain of a broken heart, just hold your breath for two minutes”. At least for a short time, you surely forget it and pretty much everything else. Nothing else worth worrying, but grasping a breath. Suddenly, all our priorities change!  

It is taken for granted that we always have life's very fundamental necessities. Having access to clean water and clean air seems ordinary. Indeed, it must be; but unfortunately, it is not always the case. In every corner of the world, we can find people struggling for their daily water or even breathable air.  

When we hear about famine, drought, or air pollution, we might, inadvertently, think about a third world country in the middle of the desert or a new-born industrial area in a developing country. What if we find out the air pollution is the cause of 28,000 to 36,000 death per year in the UK , or it is one of the main reasons for lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and respiratory diseases. Or what if we realize that statistically, in the UK, the risk of flooding for our households is more than the burglary , and it is ever-increasing due to climate change. 

We have already heard about environmental issues, climate change, and global warming. Of course, we care about them alongside our routine daily activities, or in our spare time, or whenever the opportunity arises. At the end of the day, there are many urgent matters to deal with in our lives; we cannot leave everything to solve one problem.  

Although it does not seem too unreasonable, that is not a helpful approach for sure. It is about the priorities and how serious the problem is taken. I do not think it would be wise to wait for the time that we have to change our priorities. Like the time we are struggling to grasp that last breath. Maybe it is too late.  

Do we really care about the environment, nature, and climate change? Actions speak louder than words. In the last month, during the UN general assembly, our prime minister talked about humanity's need for growing up and behaving maturely regarding climate change. That was good, although, probably raised some eyebrows around the audience, remembering the newly approved plan for the coal mine in Cumbria. Both sides of these kinds of debates have always many valid arguments and legitimate reasons for their action. And here is not the place to intervene. However, at least we all can agree that there are more than sufficient scientific evidence and ongoing disasters in the world that can make us think about the environmental issues and our responsibilities toward future generations.  

Our genuine concerns lead us to our small but consistent steps. Steps like: supporting the scientific researches, reducing our carbon footprint by using green energies and energy-efficient appliances, recycling our car oils, more biking less driving, turning down the central heating, loading the washing machine fully to avoid wasting water, driving slowly to save fuel, and hundreds of small actions like these in our lives which lead to global changes. Furthermore, where general awareness and public concerns arise, the democratic systems move toward enhancing the situation. New rules and regulations give new directions to the industry and society. In the 1990s, there were not many wind power plants on the planet; because the technology was not yet well-developed, it was not economically justifiable. But, the will to move toward sustainable energies changed the dynamic of power generations in many countries and still continues to improve and develop.    

It is all about our priorities and how much we care about the situation. Even if we are not still in the stage of denial, not taking any action does not make any difference.  Empty words and gestures do not change the world for good. It comes from comprehensive knowledge, forethought, planning, and hard-working in a collaborative manner.  

Photo by Ella Ivanescu on Unsplash