The world seems to just get stupider and stupider over time. But even considering that, there are certain truths which never seem to gain any traction, even when we had a reasonably sane global society. I was reminded of this again today when hearing my neighbour mowing his grass again with his petrol lawnmower, while shirtless. I didn’t hear that he was shirtless to be clear, but the guy is a leathery sun seeker. I knew he would be. But anyway.
As you might have expected if you’ve read my stuff before, the two undeniable facts I was reminded of are the fact that perfectly manicured lawns are awful for everything, and also that there is no such thing as a healthy tan. These facts are so ignored in society to the point where when you hear them, you instinctively think they must be untrue, even as someone who’s heard them and understood them multiple times already.
If you bring up to anyone that there is no such thing as a healthy tan, they will think you’re the craziest person they’ve ever met, even though it’s a stone cold fact. Any expert will tell you to wear a hat and cover up in hot weather, and even to limit exposure and wear sun screen in cooler weather too. This single fact is honestly more controversial than even climate change.
Something like rewilding is probably less controversial than sun safety. People generally understand that having more trees and more nature is a good thing. Even Trump has talked about planting more trees. But when it comes to private gardens / yards; people will look in horror at long grass, weeds or overgrown bushes. It’s unquestionably the best thing to do for nature. What do they think was there before their houses were there? Do they think humans mowed the grass and planted perfect flowerbeds? Nature just figures it out. Things grow and things die. It all works in one big cycle without any human interference at all. You would think that’d be pretty obvious to anyone, but it’s really not.
There are so many of these seemingly obvious facts that most people fail to grasp, but my mind always comes back to these two. I don’t know why. They’re maybe what I associate most with the suburbanite morons I have to coexist around. I think if we can’t get to grips with these, then what chance do humans really have moving forward? We let people die of pollution that doesn’t need to exist. We eat diets that make us obese. We don’t exercise enough even when other countries have shown how easy and fun it is to cycle everywhere locally. We have e-bikes now and even that giant technological leap hasn’t sped up our transition away from cars by that much. And on top of it all, we heat our planet up to the point where our lives become progressively more miserable, and we never do anything about it.
We keep allowing bad things to happen and we don’t learn from experiences to make things better in the future. We’re just really, really dumb. How else can you say it? Humans are stupid. Especially in countries where the fascists are taking over. But even in smarter countries, can you really say they’re making all the obvious right decisions there either? I don’t think so.
I don’t think there is a country that’s got all of the basics right. I think if we took the best from every place, we would be at least close. But does global collaboration look likely to you when we can’t even agree on basic facts? Going back to tanning and rewilding, I really don’t see everyone letting their gardens go wild or covering up in the sun any time soon. And as long as that remains the case, I don’t see where any real change is going to come from. You can’t move forward when facts are debated and large parts of a population are divorced from reality. You just go around in circles while ever more damage is being done. We don’t have facts and we don’t have solidarity, so we have nothing to build from.