BINNEKRING BLOG

What did you do in the war, Daddy?


Text by Solar Santa (Ronnie Jack). Free pictures from Pixabay

I grew up in the aftermath of World War 2. My father served in armoured cars in North Africa against Rommel’s Afrika Korps. As a child I would ask him questions about what he did fighting in the Western Desert.

But now there is a war of a different kind. This time the enemy is us. The planet is fast reaching the tipping point where life on Earth is going to become very nasty. Climate change is now acknowledged by 99% of the world’s scientists. Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish schoolgirl who is igniting the youth of the world’s awareness of the danger, said it best: “Our house is on fire”.

So, Daddy, what are you going to do in the war? Become a denialist, bury your head in the sand, and assume it will be someone elses problem?

Or become proactive? The Good Ship Planet Earth does not have life boats.

The smart dudes in Burn HQ recognize that we have to do something to offset our carbon footprint as well as other important issues like plastic waste. They are gearing up to include this in our mission. A new Green Queen will be appointed soon.


We consume huge quantities of fossil fuel simply trekking into the distant desert. Unavoidable given the paucity of electric vehicles at this time. And 40% of our attendance is from overseas. Not many have the luxury of overland travel on a camel to avoid burning jet fuel.

So what to do? We can’t prevent the devastating deforestation in the Amazon, eliminate the terrible wild fires in California or shut down the massive coal fired power stations in Mpumalanga. But every bit counts and there are 7 billion humans on the planet so a collective effort will be huge. My neighbor calls this “n groot klomp mense”.

If I was elected to be the Boss of the newly constructed World Utopia tasked with avoiding extinction here are my orders:

1. Lock up all megalomaniac politicians who exist only for the power and the loot. Who support the fossil fuel industry lining their pockets. Throw away the key. Or simply vote them out.
2. Cultivate a mindset in the global village that works tirelessly to search for real world solutions. Flying to Mars is fine but will take time. Better to concentrate on home turf.
3. Pay the really smart people to come up with feasible solutions. Dumb ones get to clean up the plastic mess in the oceans and the beaches. By hand. Expect to rub shoulders with the Trump family.
4. Only allow electric power to be provided by renewables. The technology is available and working. All other dirty power sources to be shut down. Candles supplied for those unwilling to upgrade.
5. Transport to be exclusively electrically powered. High speed trains, electric boats and even electric aircraft. Cars with batteries a no brainer.
6. Stop eating cows. They fart great quantities of methane and are part of the reason the Amazon forests are being cleared for grassland.
7. Plant mighty forests and shrubs eager to gobble carbon dioxide. They exist.
8. Ban plastic other than for essential items.

I am old now and do not have the energy any more. So won’t be applying for the World Boss job. Sorry. It will take time to get the politicians and their vested interests off the gravy train. And break down stupid international borders. Better to leave this job for the youngsters. After all it’s where they are going to live for the rest of their lives after I’m gone.

Instead, you can play your part and save me the trouble. The Burn boffins in DEAR (Department of Environmental Affairs and Regeneration) will be encouraging reduction in our carbon and pollution footprint. So expect a question on your Burn ticket application: “What did you do in the war, Daddy?”

Burners are smart people. So finding ideas to help should be easy. Solar panels instead of generators, LED lights, electric vehicles, camel trains into the desert, forests planted, plastic recycled, vegan food, whatever. You can do it.

Solar Santa
Magaliesberg
August 2019

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