The bees won, yippee!

Albert Einstein

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

Albert Einstein

Avaaz came through once again with another win against big business. I was very happy to hear the news about the bee killing pesticide being banned from European usage. I was also perplexed throughout the battle to protect the humble bee as to what the other side were really thinking.

With modern-day technology I can pick and choose a cause I want to be a small part of anywhere on earth; save a small puppy from being abused, try to stop tens of thousands Canadian seals being clubbed to death, help put an end to fracking for natural gas in destructive ways, boycott giant food behemouths controlling the natural world of food because governments give them the rights to do so, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

I can’t help but always trying to see the other point of view as I know there is always another one lurking. The other side exists but in my mind’s eye I try paint over the big corporations with my own skewed point of view. It never works though. Inevitably I’ll meet someone who works or worked for one of these large corporations, and have an interesting conversation about oil exploration, their life living around the world, and find we have many things in common, including a love of the planet, its people and natural resources.

So do I throw my hands up in the air and give up and buy an SUV? Do I support companies I feel aren’t doing the right thing? No, but I do try to throw away my big paintbrush that says, “Him bad, she good”.

The other day I watched a film “Escape to Victory” an 80’s film about a WWII prison escape. It was one of those feel good movies on the lines of the classic, “The Great Escape”. After the movie my wife and I commented how nice it must have been when you knew exactly who the enemy was, there were rules to combat, and at the end of the day, or a few years, there were clear winners and losers. Again, I know this is a naive point of view, and having never fought in a ground war I speak totally out of turn.

The confusing part though is trying to figure out where we are today? Who is the enemy? If I believe every petition I read and sign in my inbox, the enemy is the person I helped elect into office, the company who feeds my family, the large corporation that makes the machine that washes the family’s dirty clothes and also the many companies that bring electricity to our house. It boggles the mind and can start my head spinning uncontrollably.

So now yet another ‘enemy’ has been beaten back. The bees stand a bit of a better chance to do what they do best – fly around pollinating nearly everything we need to survive as a species. So would I be crazy to think a company that didn’t care if their product was wiping out the bees at an alarming rate was the enemy? Another huge faceless corporation sinisterly rubbing their hands together counting the billions in profit coming through the door every year, world be damned attitude. I’m dipping my paintbrush right now in my can of Joe is right paint getting ready to swab on another stroke to every single employee at Bayer in Germany, that is until I go to the market on Sunday and meet the young woman who works as a secretary for the company in Cologne HQ, and is down here with her two children to enjoy some French food and sunshine, then the brush gets timidly hidden behind my back once again. Like the time my family and I were cycling in the north of France and knocked on a random door to ask if we could camp out in the neighboring field. We were then invited to a cool drink and spent a lovely warm evening in the sun chatting while our kids played with their children on their bicycles. My wife and I sat down with the nuclear engineer and his wife and were then told all about his work at the nearby nuclear facility, and how clean, safe and wonderful nuclear energy was.

Why do human faces always have to be put on the supposed enemy? It really makes things so damn difficult. Give me the good old days when the Nazi swastika was evil and everyone who wore it embodied that same evil. That is of course until you have a chat with the ninety-eight year old German WWII veteran who was just doing his duty as a scared eighteen year old in an era where his only real crime was believing his motherland was doing the right thing.

So the list goes on, we support the very same companies that want to poison our bees, because they sell aspirin that heals our headaches. We buy washing machines from bomb makers, and electricity from an industry who have given us, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima to name the few tragedies that spring to mind.

Is everything okay as long as there is profit to be made? After all everyone needs to feed their families. Does this excuse all of those working for some of these companies that seem to not give one ounce of thought or care about the rest of us? Or are there people working in those companies who care very much about the rest of us because actually they are one of us?

Maybe the time has come for all of us to stop blindly backing politicians, industries and corporations that abuse our natural resources and ultimately ourselves. Accountability isn’t a crime and should just be part and parcel of modern-day life. Is it a possibility in our modern-day world? I don’t know, but if we keep on living with blinders on, our inboxes and daily lives will be an ever growing stream of petitions to be signed and people to fling our anger at. We’ll be meeting more and more people who are very nice to talk to but their work is toxic to the health of us all. Wouldn’t it be much nicer if our world tipped the balance and we no longer needed to make excuses for our employers or elected officials because they all acted for the greater good? I feel deep down to the marrow in my bones it is possible, and also inevitable.

Let’s put away the paintbrushes and at the same time make sure we try to drop all those excuses from our daily vocabulary and get ready to be part of the greatness that awaits the fate of all humanity. It’ll happen, we all just need to bring awareness into our lives, homes and workplaces. It takes a bit of effort, but so did saving the bees, and I shudder to think of a world without bees.

About thebikeguy61

I was born in The Bronx, in NYC. I traveled a fair bit of the world by bicycle for many years. In more recent years I have moved around Europe with my wife and 2 children. My first book was published in 2010, "Cycles of a Traveler". Back living in France after a fantastic voyage across America with my family. Next book on its way, and always more interviews to look forward to.
This entry was posted in Energy Consumption, Food, Health & Well-being, Life on planet earth., Modern media & Journalism, Money & Economics, Natural resources, Recycle - Reuse - Rethink, Technology & Progress. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The bees won, yippee!

  1. David Murray says:

    Nice one Joe . I think this is a very important issue . We all tend to categorise things in terms of black and white in order to try to understand them but in fact it’s never that way . Multinationals don’t exist without the people that make them exist and those people are just like all of us . They
    have family and loved ones just like all of us , and they have hearts and souls just like all of us . The problem is that they live in a completely different space – they don’t read blogs like yours and if they did they would just write it off as dreamy hippy eco bullshit which doesn’t take acccount of the “real world ” . Their real world is not ours . So how do we influence these people who have the power ? How do we get them to understand what they are doing in a different light ? Well , maybe they don’t read blogs like yours but maybe some of their loved ones do and just maybe they will challenge them . Like the right wing anti-gay politician who suddenly becomes an ardent supporter of gay rights when his gay son comes out .We need to somehow touch these people , because , really there isn’t a “them” and “us ” , there’s only an”us” and we all have the need to love and be loved. Imagine that the chairman of the board of directors of Monsanto has a grand-daughter whom he dotes on , she can’t do anything wrong in his eyes ,but then she grows up and takes up environmental studies and she starts challenging him at every turn . Imagine the effect that could have .
    So we have to keep chipping away and getting the alternative viewpoint out there , and most , very most important of all, fight to keep the internet free because that has multiplied the power of the alternative voice enormously . Anybody who’s reading this and hasn’t already done so could start by checking out AVAAZ .
    Keep on blogging Joe !


  2. thebikeguy61 says:

    Thanks David, will keep on “Chipping away” and hopefully small chinks of light will become bigger and bigger. We all need other points of view to challenge and move us on!


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