Thursday 31st December, 2009

Blink. There's another person on the planet, screaming their first breath, feeling the touch of air on their skin for the first time, bundling together all the needs and potentials of a human life in a small but noisy package.

Blink. There's another tonne of carbon in the atmosphere, future lining for asthmatic alveoli and immediate contributor to the greenhouse barrier trapping warmth and accelerating climate chaos.

Blink. There's one less barrel of oil, one more step towards scarcity of everything from fertiliser to fishing lines, TV screens to car tyres, antihistamines to antiseptics.

We can continue, and in so doing pile up a nice little stack of domesday scenarios, and each one generates a whole raft of questions and considerations about how best to live and work. As a parent, though, it often seems as if the entire edifice can be boiled down to a simple essence: how to best ensure the survival of our child? To which question it is clear that there are no individual answers. We're all in this leaking ship together.


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