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You Are In An Abusive Relationship

(Just not yet ready to admit it)

Air pollution from smokestacks
Industrial air pollution (source:

We all know that relationships can be fragile.

We all know (or should know) that help can be found, that the abused should not feel alone, that there is a choice, that victims need not suffer the mental and physical torture of perverted power.

Most of us also know that relationship management requires effort and that sometimes, despite best intentions, things don’t always work out. The fallout can be messy, the trauma long-lasting — and sometimes, sadly, beyond repair.

The first hurdle to clear is denial. Admitting to what seems like failure is, like any other addiction, essential — and few clear it at the first attempt. Only then can work begin on resolution.

How much more difficult can that be for the serial abuser?

That, in simple terms, is the position that faces each and every one of us.

To varying degree, directly or indirectly, we are all abusers of our relationship with the planet.

Sure, this is not a relationship that was chosen — and there’s no getting away from it — no easy escape route. No matter how much abuse you hurl at your planet, she doesn’t answer back . . . or does she? Your world cannot take much more of this.

We speak of climate change as if that is some super-natural phenomenon beyond our control. We do not admit to our everyday Planet Abuse. But if we did, if we cleared that first hurdle, each of us could begin to work out exactly what we will do about it.

Some will say that this is surely someone else’s problem — that our rule-makers need to change their rules. Some will seek revenge and try to prosecute crimes of Ecocide — even though this is nowhere codified in international law. But we all know that it will make no difference — except perhaps to add a silky satin sheen to governmental green paint . . . the better to hide their dogmatic cracks.

So, go on, admit it. Say it out loud. I am guilty of Planet Abuse. The question, now, is what to do about it.

We all have choice. We need not inflict further suffering. We can, and must, change the way we live. We can travel less but explore more. We can consume less and grow more. We can pollute less. We can cycle (and recycle) more. We can save energy. We can find renewable alternatives to plastic. We can buy local foods, litterless and litter-pick more. We can plan better housing and eliminate poverty. We can build local community effort to evaluate the extent to which we reduce Planet Abuse. We can stop blaming others for our own sins. We can better educate our children to respect their planet. We can even try to educate our appointed leaders — the corporates and financiers as well as those elected (and paid) to serve everyone except themselves.

You may think that individually your small voice can make little difference. But, by not making the effort, each and every one of us will add to, and not subtract from, Planet Abuse.

So please, don’t tell me about growth in GDP. Tell me how much and how fast we are reducing Planet Abuse — and make that our primary measure of national wellbeing.



Some ‘Groupe Intellex’ stories can now be found as Podcasts on Spotify and similar channels.



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