Monday, 14 July 2008

Bring on the Apocalypse

I have just finished reading this fantastic book by UK investigative journalist and gardener, George Monbiot. 

I say: Don't read this book! Don't read it if you are happy living your life in a bubble of abstraction. Don't read this book if you don't want your dearly held beliefs turned inside out.

Monbiot says: "The central mystery of the modern state is this. The necessary resources, both economic and political, will always be found for the purpose of terminating life. The project of preserving it will always struggle. When did you last see a soldier shaking a tin for a new rifle? Or a sponsored marathon raising money for nuclear weapons? But we must beg and cajole each other for funds whenever a hospital wants a new dialysis machine. If the money and determination expended on waging war with Iraq had been used to tackle climate change, our carbon emissions would already be in freefall. If as much money were spent on foreign aid as on fighter planes, no one would ever go hungry.

When the state was run by warrior kings, this was comprehensible: they owed their existence to overwhelming force. Now weapons budgets and foreign wars are, if anything, an electoral liability. But the pattern has never been broken."

I say: I often found myself wondering how Monbiot continues to be published when he takes no prisoners, exposing corruption and inequality in organisations ranging from local to national government, to armies, to corporatised scientists, to the church. 

Why aren't more journalists writing commentaries as hard hitting? Why am I even describing it as 'hard hitting', when he's just writing the facts? Where are our writers? What are they busy doing? Why does it feel as though the public conscience of our civilisation rests on the shoulders of a handful of people such as Monbiot?

Monbiot says: "The claim that homosexuality is “unnatural” is more interesting. This could mean one of two things. Perhaps the Pope is suggesting that it lies beyond the scope of “normal” human behaviour. If so, this has uncomfortable implications for an association of old men who wear dresses and hear voices."

Hats off too to our talented friends at We Made This, for the book cover design.

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