In this time of turmoil and the stoked fear that permeates through media outlets, it is easy to lose context. Perhaps this is the wake-up call we all needed.
We live in a finite world - an obvious truth that seems to be neglected by politicians the world over. Yet, almost daily, we hear voices talking about the lack of growth, various ideas for stimulating the economy and other voices drawing concerns about the level of borrowing.
It seems a fairly straightforward observation, particularly if you have travelled to impoverished parts of the world, that we in the west, generally speaking, have had our metaphoric "bums in the butter". We are spoiled for choice, from food to clothing, from cars to gadgets. Our standard of living has been incredible, yet there are vast areas of the world where our fellow human beings still have to walk miles just to fetch some water that may or may not be potable. Swathes of our population do not have enough to eat, where they are making do on grass and rats, where death and disease are rampant, and medical facilities do not exist.
It will not be as bad as going to prison - where all your freedom and right to choose is taken from you - but we in the west are going to have to learn to get by on less. Our standard of living cannot continue increasing in a finite world - not with the number of people living on our planet. Something has to give.
Science will catch up with demand and will have all sorts of mitigating effects - no doubt. But science can't replace extinct living organisms - certainly not without any living DNA. And also - when you are dead - you're dead - science can't do much about that either.
It seems terrifyingly evident that we will have to make some quite severe adjustments because our model - the way we live now; it's not working. We will not survive if we bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is going to be fine - you know, the model that says, "don't worry, we'll work it out as we go".
As David Mellor famously coined the phrase - we are drinking in the last chance saloon.
We now have a new Prime Minister of the UK - Liz Truss. Not a universally popular choice, but that's where we are. She wouldn't have received my vote, but I am all for giving her a chance.
Politics is one thing - selfish, greedy strikers - rising energy costs - runaway inflation - a war in Europe, tyrants to be stood up to all over the world; Prime Minister Truss's poisoned chalice is undoubtedly full to overflowing.
All of these issues will have to be dealt with - but my fervent hope is for more long-term - cross-party - international consensus on planning for the future of our world. Failure to do this - and every second counts - will have severe consequences for future generations. Not taking action now would be entirely wrong. We are running out of time, and we are crying out for strong, determined and visionary leadership.
I am unsure, but I do hope Truss has it in her, and I wish her well - for all our sakes.
Rikki - Suffolk - UK - 7th September 2022