I felt thoroughly sick riding past this yesterday. Listening to that machine chew through all this life just so we can devour more stuff.
It forced me to think about a couple of things – firstly the technology that allows our massive consumption as a species. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use wood-based products, that is part of the cycle of life, but what really struck me is how much wood ends up in recycling or landfill when what we should have been asking is ‘do I even need this product?’ in the first place.
What care and attention does that machine show to these trees? It just gobbles them whole and spits out giant toothpicks. Do we really need massive houses (or even worse second houses), do we need that new kitchen/bathroom/wood floor? Can’t we just gratefully, and gracefully, take only what is enough?
Which feeds into my second thought yesterday and that’s the boom of ebikes. They’re everywhere. I totally get that they have a place in our lives – my uncle has about eleven stents in his veins and can only still get out on his bike because he knows the battery will get him home if he gets in a pickle. It’s a new lease of life for him. This is technology at its finest.
Yesterday (and yes I’m being contentious) I get overtaken by a group of lads at least ten years younger than me on ebikes. What is the point? If you’re not fit enough to ride the route then the bike ain’t gonna help you on the descents. Also you’re gonna get around that trail in half the time – which means you’ve literally reduced your outdoor enjoyment.
So many people wearing the most expensive kit on thousands of pounds worth of bike whose riding abilities are highly suspect. In this case technology just seems to fill in the gaps so people don’t have to learn the skills, but at least they ‘look the part’.
I understand everything’s a double-edged-sword, and that to create is to bring something into this world with the capacity to both restore and dismantle, it just feels like we’re freewheeling through the fallout of S T U F F, with no clear skills developed as to how to navigate a thoughtful way forward.