In a world that’s become obsessed with neutralising our carbon footprint it’s alarming to see where that extreme might take us. Ever since Al Gore buried our consumeristic ideals under a myriad of charts and statistics, our thoughts have turned to a life less intrusive – and possibly, after reading this woman’s lifestyle, a life less fortunate.
Honestly, is life like this really worth living? Sure, she’s healthy – a resource that’s becoming scarce in our fast-paced lives, has very few concerns, has time at her disposal and is only bound by the limits she places on herself – which are fairly onerous for the average Westerner.
Emine Saner, the journalist reporting the story on Joan Pick, asks “It seems a bit joyless to me (where are the treats?)” and it’s the question I found myself asking throughout the article. To me, it seemed that this woman’s life was some masochistic self-flagellation for the sins of our ancestors. She was prepared to solely pay back to the earth the dues that her current generation and those before had selfishly, yet unwittingly, taken from it.
The other question Saner asked throughout the commentary was “Is her lifestyle extreme or the future we must all face up to?” If it is, then I’m off to slash my wrists now. I couldn’t imagine a world without roasts at least once a month – let alone never. No cooking! Are you joking?
It seems to me that this is the epitome of the other side of the pendulum swing. I’m all for reducing our carbon footprint, embracing an earth that needs better stewardship and altering my lifestyle so that it isn’t so selfish. But this? I’m not sure this is what life is all about.
If I were to have a magic wand and could solve the earth’s problems overnight I certainly wouldn’t be aiming it at reducing our lifestyle. Instead, I’d be pursuing better energy sources that are not detrimental to our environment yet could still provide for our needs, and maybe even some of our wants. Life is definitely better now than what it was even a hundred years ago and I’m keen to see where we will be in another hundred.
Is the only way to move forward to go backwards? I hope not.