Wednesday, September 17, 2014

John Riminton

It all depends on how you look at things. In the US a leftish Democrat, pondering a stable economic Report may lament that there are still such a high percentage of the population below the poverty line while a right-wing Republican, looking at the same figures may relish the fact that his opportunities to increase his personal fortune do not appear to be at risk. It seems impossible to look at any situation and not be influenced by one's perspective: octogenarian/teenager; Muslim/Hindu; boy racer/traffic cop. The alternatives are endless and cannot always be seen as right vs. wrong.
All this arose for Malcolm as he grappled with his own problem.
He was a geologist working with an international company that had recently been granted a government licence to mine off-shore minerals from the sea-floor. He had played a major part in preparing the successful application and had been rewarded by promotion and a hefty salary increase greatly appreciated by his family
The trouble was that he had developed a touch of the Greens.
As a scientist he could not ignore the evidence of the IPCC on climate change and it effects on global balances. Their new mining venture would probably take 15-20 years to exhaust the resources of the large area covered by the permit. It would use huge quantities of energy and almost totally destroy the sea floor ecology over that area, while the minerals extracted would be on-sold to other companies that would use even more energy to bring those minerals into a usable condition.
What should he do? Resign, with a letter spelling out his reasons. That would cost him his job and make him virtually unemployable in any comparable company, especially if his reasons were “leaked” or should he soldier on and assume that his company's contributions would not make any appreciable difference to the global scene in the long run and that, in any case, humanity would adapt to change as it had throughout its past history?
Worrying over this problem during one sleepless night it suddenly occurred to him to look at the issue with the analogy of a Romantic landscape painting. A detailed foreground showing a secure idyllic rural scene, smoke rising straight from the cottage chimney, children playing in the garden and, in the distant background, a hazy mysterious horizon.
Expressed in those terms it hardly seemed a choice at all.

1 comment:

  1. I love this John and so approve of your sentiments..cheers Jan