The world was a very different place in 1958, the year I was born.

As I turn 60 this week, I’m taking stock — of my own life, the state of the world and the future of our planet.

Planet Earth’s future is uncertain as we begin to finally realise what a mess we’ve made of things as we’ve evolved and grown and developed new ways of making our lives easier. These ways have had a profound effect on the natural systems of our world.

Chlorofluorocarbons used in refrigeration and car exhaust fumes and aerosol spray deodorants and a growing meat eating population demanding more and more flatulent methane gas producing cows have all been, we are (I think reliably) told, responsible for global warming. This is defined as “a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants.” We’ve really made such a hash of things; made our planet sick —but unwittingly I think. Still, the invention of non biodegradable plastic has come back to haunt us. We’re filling our oceans with mountains of trash, we’re poisoning our earth with pesticides, we’re genetically modifying food, or radiating it to make it last longer. All of this is seen as progress, as us developing into something other than what we were in 1958, the year I was born. We proudly think we’ve come into the “modern” world and made ou...

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