Recently, people have asked on social media if we ought to have lockdowns for the environment. I can see why: reports showed that carbon emissions in the UK fell by a third as a result of quarantining us all against COVID-19.
However, we need to look at the impact of any measures on a wider community and see the bigger picture. Personally, I think the benefits to our carbon footprint from lockdowns have risen as a result of curbing the activities of the better off, while increasing risk and transmission amongst the poorest.
Meanwhile, activities that could have stopped while the world tackled COVID-19: wars, deforestation and the corporate machine of expansion and driving up profits, could have decreased more. Governments tackling runaway capitalism could help prevent fires, emissions, deaths, sickness, floods, locusts and devastation in countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil amongst poor communities, which have the smallest impact on carbon emissions.
During 2021, the Amazon Rainforest has started to contribute to carbon emissions for the first time ever. Fires have raged through forests in Siberia. Yet, still lobbyists for multi-national corporations have to keep increasing profits, expanding and enriching their shareholders. Corporate action is the biggest problem faced by the whole planet Earth and every living organism dwelling here.
Any changes for the good can harm profits, which corporations are legally bound to prevent from happening. Any corporation, which makes a genuine gesture to improve the responsibility it takes for its impact, health or the environment risks being sued by shareholders. Efforts to reverse these improvements become increasingly devious, manipulative and damaging as the world becomes more literate, educated, tech-savvy and connected digitally.
We are grossly misled over food, materials, infrastructure and remedial actions, which are often mere window-dressing to improve the images of corporations, while they increase their destruction behind the scenes. Lobbyists and PR people such as the Centre for Consumer Freedom – suspended on Twitter – do the dirty work for multi-national corporations. The latest methods to influencee the market majority have become so insiduous that anyone trying to even discuss them gets called names and labelled heretic, anti, activist, extremist, police, conspiracy theorist or some other accusation of working against humanity for a personal agenda.
Anything, which might help those in need is craftily discredited, displaced by aggressive marketing or even smeared on Wikipedia. Julian Assange, who tried to expose the system, is incarcerated. Distraction and deflection techniques are widely used. No means is below the corporate struggle for market share, reputation, position and influence.
How can any destructive actions be reduced? Whether it is deforestation of the Amazon, consumption of fossil fuels, logging, pollution, pipelines, sanitation, stealing and privatising natural resources, mining, smearing the opposition, intimidating journalists or labelling dissenters, it will happen. In order to prevent change by decreasing the diversity of those involved, narrowed views, pally questioning, cronyism, bigotry, state sanctioned entitlement, removal or neutralisation of organisations who protect citizens, forming of fake consumer bodies, victimisation, blaming customers and placing “controlled opposition” stories in the press to fool people rages on.
Even our education system is sold to corporate sponsors. We learn by rote to memorise and regurgitate useless facts, which never become internalised. People who learn by doing, maintain their attention span and research below the surface are segregated as special needs to stop their ideas ‘polluting’ the conditioned majority. Governments and corporations spend millions of dollars advertising their aggressive messages to the majority, inviting people to snoop on neighbours and ostracise and publicly ridicule those that do not conform. Companies can remove negative content about them online instead of responding to it.
The only way we can fight back is to be aware of who is doing what, the impact and to be sure to vote with our feet and our wallets. What can we do:
- Refuse paper shopping bags and get in the habit of taking your own
- Buying high quality produce from local retailers and producers – you will be surprised how much less food you need and how much easier it is to cook. Added benefits are fast and noticeable improvements to health and freedom to enjoy cooking and eating sociably.
- By finding information on the nutrients we need from food and how to fill gaps left by chosen diet with supplements, we regain inspiration for creating in the kitchen. Also, the freedom to choose what foods to eat or not based on facts not marketing messages.
- Boycotting corporations burning the Amazon Rainforest, particularly beef, palm oil, soy and paper, particularly for the sale of junk food.
- Engage with neighbours to combine resources to access real, organic, unadulterated foods in areas with less access to full-service grocery shops.
- Use herbs and spices to create your own healthy, remedial natural sauces and flavouring, which also cost less than ready made.
- Eliminate hidden salt, sugar and trans fat by cooking with real ingredients from scratch.
- Make tasty, satisfying and delicious salads to take to work and leave more time to relax during breaks.
- Reduce time spent cooking and increase participation and learning for family members by cooking meals from scratch.
- Reduce the amount of rubbish produced by your household.
- Invite friends around for dinner and enjoy conversations while cooking and eating.
- Reduce cooking time by eliminating conflicting, methods, temperatures and timings from pre-prepared food.
- Benefit from more time, money, energy and mental wellbeing as a result.