A significant amount of money is spent worldwide on research for cures for various medical conditions which afflict the human race. This is fairly understandable when you consider the issue on a superficial basis. There is a growing incidence of fatal cancers that claim the lives of loved ones, making research in this area very desirable. Similarly the cure for AIDS would save the lives of millions of South Africans and indeed millions of people around the globe. We could go on and on listing these scourges of mankind.
Perhaps we should not just start thinking a little out of the box, but in fact jump out of it altogether for a moment. I have a growing realisation how a single affliction is causing untold misery to the entire human race, ironically many of the wealthy as well. The materialistic nature of our modern society drives us ever on in the quest to make a buck, often sacrificing people and especially family as well as our precious environment along the way. Corporates, individuals are hell-bent on making another buck, increasing the bottom line and providing the life blood for our materialistic dreams and cravings. There is an invaluable lesson to be learned from nature, and it is the simple concept of balance. To put it in simple terms, too much of anything is bad, right? Well, apparently not.
The seemingly incurable condition known as greed, pervades our entire society from the impoverished labourer playing the lotto to the bulk of our politicians, whose heads are so deep in the trough they can barely see the light of day. I shall not mention the obvious example which is so close to home and affecting this entire town.
Imagine for a moment how the world would metamorphose if all politicians were there to fulfil their role, and not feather their own nests – the results would astound us. Imagine if businesses actually considered the impact on the environment of their money-making activities, and took responsible decisions to work within the limitations of the environment and not to plunder this non-renewable resource. Imagine if they stopped externalising the cost to the environment. Acid mine drainage is possibly the scandal of all scandals to rock this magnificent country of ours. The large mining companies raped our country, withdrew minerals from the earth and made off with stupendous profits. Where are most of them now that we are faced with this crisis of epic proportions, the financial cost of which is likely to be borne by the taxpayers?
Let me bore you no further, but suffice to say that greed is taking its toll on the fabric of our society, as more and more mothers are drawn into the workplace, fathers commute to the big smoke in pursuit of the folding stuff, and our sacred family unit continues to emulate its dysfunctional counterpart in many other parts of the world. Greed is the single largest culprit that must answer for many of the environmental ills that are coming to light, as a relatively few enlightened souls embark on their journey to share and enlighten the rest of the herd.
Chris Behrens, Chris Behrens Consulting Engineers CC – Working towards a greener tomorrow