Sunday, April 14, 2024

Clive Bibby: Beware the Ides of March

Although Shakespeare’s immortal line has long been associated with bad omens, the true origin of the reference to the “Ides of March” is more accurately linked to an ancient festival celebrating the changes of seasons. In fact, it was once associated with the Lunar New Year. 

Consequently, during the course of this post, l will refer to it in the more positive context without the “beware” bit.

So, l will use this explanation as a way of introducing my thoughts about the immediacy of a call to action.

There is no question that we as a species are at a crossroads where positive decisions should take priority over a tendency to put all the world’s problems in the “too hard“  basket.

Whatever we do, whether we remain consumed by self interest or decide to do what we can in support of those faced with extinction if their plight is ignored, either option is as relevant today as they have ever been. And they will not go away just because we chose to ignore our responsibilities to our fellow man, woman and the environment of which we depend for our survival.

But in order to contribute to constructive changes that must happen, we need to be realistic about the sort of help we offer - what and where it is needed most and how we deliver our contribution without damaging our ability to make it happen.

Most people who are receptive to the call for changes to the way we operate are mindful that any programme for reallocating resources has to be introduced in a manner that is sustainable.

It makes no sense to introduce plans that would destroy communities in the process simply because not enough attention was placed on the consequences of “over zealous” reaction to problems that require careful thought. The daily news shows us that we don’t have to go far in order to find ideas that are being promoted as answers to all things but, if implemented could have cataclysmic effects on those who live and depend on the land where the changes are to be made.

For example, there is currently much ill advised focus on recommendations that have the ability to transform regions into communities inhabited only with native vegetation and bird life plus the ghosts of Tupuna who once lived on the narrow strips of land adjacent to the foreshore. In the process, there is talk of radical reductions, even total elimination of livestock numbers. This is madness.

However, for some, that appears to be an acceptable outcome based on what is deemed to be a duty to protect the Whenua.

I don’t agree that these draconian measures are necessary because my research tells me that it is possible, with some “give and take “ for both plans to peacefully coexist in an environment that benefits from the reduced activity.

It can be done.

Even the new government thinks it is a “no brainer.”

Why don’t we just cut them some slack and let them get on with it.

2024 would appear to be a good time to start.

Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.

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