It’s all about the money.
I don’t necessarily want to go into prosperity doctrine and how I dislike the whole idea, but obviously with a topic like this, there are going to be a few encounters.
So, we have a few words which easily attach themselves to the word ‘crisis’;
There are quite a few alternative sources for fuel and energy, things that are sustainable and won’t throw us completely off balance in another area as we are doing now. For instance, the increase in energy demand can be met by more burning of old dinosaurs thereby lessening the energy worries but increasing the weight applied to the word crisis in ‘environmental crisis’. This is not sustainable, not because it is not financially sustainable, it is really the most sustainable choice if we like thinking short term and as a species we have shown a propensity for very little else. It is not sustainable from an environmental perspective. The patently obvious reason for un-sustainability is the environment. Anthropogenic climate change is not really a disputed topic anymore; it has become an accepted occurrence. Well, it is not disputed in the same way that the moon landings are not a disputed occurrence…
The more we consume, the more energy we use, the more we affect the climate. A phrase that is often used is “save the planet” however, it isn’t really the planet that needs saving. The planet could go on for quite some time, it’s the humans on the planet that will be in for a rather hard time.
So, we have these crisii (I can hear the screams of anger over my Latin abuse already) which when you get right down to it, are only there because the methods of solving them are expensive. I believe the detestable term to be “not economically viable at this time”. We are in a financial crisis but not in the way most expect. The mad rush for a monetary return for any service rendered is the real crisis. It’s far more complicated than that, granted. Affluent countries can’t just burst on the scene in the third world and install all kinds of water purification and magic crop growers free of charge because someone will want to take control of it, so they can make money, this usually involves a lot of shooting and dying. Handing freebies around also doesn’t really solve that many problems. You have the genuinely needy, the ones that would work and contribute if they could, but can’t. Freebies for them, to help them out are good. But then you get the others, the bottom feeders that could contribute, but it is easier to look and act helpless and just hold out hands for all the freebies. The problems are numerous, and yet the root cause is money, the passionate love of money.
Millions will die rather horrible deaths, which are avoidable, because it is not economically viable at this point to do anything about it. Now this is where my christianese comes in, and this is where it conflicts with the financial prosperity doctrine most often preached. I can’t see how God wants me to have all the best stuff, and lots of it, which costs a lot, and takes a lot of energy to produce. I can’t see how he wants me to drive the best car, because firstly the ‘best’ cars are most impactful on the environment because of manufacturing cost and secondly because of their consumption of oil. I would concede that perhaps he does want me to have a fancy car or ridiculously large house, but if this is really the case then I think I would get that, without having to pay it off every month in huge instalments.
The thing is that things like happiness and a prosperous life are definitions rather coloured by our culture. Everyone says that money doesn’t buy happiness, but we chase after it anyway. Indicating that the statement is made with absolutely no confidence and rather that it’s an untrue statement. A prosperous life therefore has to include money. If we are not financially prosperous, and showing it, then there must be something wrong. I mentioned a life of abundance in a previous blog post, I believe that definition is biblically accurate. Our financial and material prosperity by means of exorbitant interest rates and instalment sale agreements means that we are unable to help those around us. I’m not talking the unnamed masses, I am talking about the families in our churches, or social circles that are genuinely struggling. You can’t help them because we need to fit tyres onto our ‘blessings’ and ‘necessities’.
We can only pay our domestic workers a minimum wage because our 6 figure cars need paying off. Our cars often cost us monthly what many people earn in half a year! There are all kinds of issues surrounding paying your domestic a liveable wage. What happens if you move, that person must now go from earning R3000 or R4000 from her generous employer back to minimum wage, which causes all kinds of problems. So the solution is not a quick fix, it’s not sufficient to just decide to up the salary, it needs to be a rather large cultural and social change. But don’t let that be an excuse, you can still make a difference in a real way, by just being a little less material focussed.
Perhaps the problem is less money and more selfishness. I want, I need, give it to me now. Money is just a means to fulfil self.
Anyway, zooming back out from the terrible desire to have all the nice stuff to the bigger and uglier picture. I believe we are at a place technologically where so many of the worlds crisii (there’s the screaming again) could be solved, if not for that little horrible phrase mentioned earlier. So, sorry most of the global population, sorry fellow countrymen, sorry neighbours and family members… We see you are struggling, and we would like to help it’s just that.
It’s not financially viable at this time