Integrity, part two.
A lifting of the importance of integrity is the key to our survival.
Let me start by reflecting on the difference between ‘truth’ and ‘integrity’.
Here’s one of the definitions of Truth: conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
Here’s one of the definitions of Integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
So while in yesterday’s article, I frequently referred to the word ‘truth‘, determining the ‘fact or reality‘ of a wide range of issues associated with anthropogenic climate change is not always straightforward. Many of us probably have a strong intuition of the ’cause and effect’ of man’s footprint on this planet but a strong intuition is not the same as truth.
Then let’s turn to the notion of integrity. This is a much bigger issue, to my mind, the appalling lack of integrity! Illustrated by one simple example. How many leading politicians from any number of countries have demonstrated soundness of moral character; honesty with regard to the changing climate, even offering something as simple as “I don’t know!“
There’s a saying that pilots use, “If there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt!” Come on, politicians and leaders, at the very least there is doubt!
OK, let me move on!
If integrity is partly defined as honesty, then while it’s easy to take a pot-shot at the world’s politicians maybe we need to look closer at home; ourselves. Are we as honest with our own self as we now need to be?
Here’s an example that supports that question.
A few days ago there was a report on the website The Daily Impact about the crash of US fisheries. Let me show you how that report opens,
Report: US Fisheries Crashing
We live in a country in which every household has two TV sets, most of them receiving hundreds of channels, and two cell phones, many of them “smart.” One of every two households has a computer connected to the Internet. This country is currently in the middle of a hotly contested presidential election. And yet among the things that have almost completely escaped public attention is this: last week the US government declared fisheries disasters on four coasts.
Reflect on that paragraph. Surely it’s a reflection about the lack of integrity, of honesty, about our society?
The report ends thus,
The disaster declaration covering all these dire situations makes them eligible for Congressional aid, along with drought-stricken farmers in the Midwest and Southwest, flooded-out homeowners in New Orleans and along the Gulf, the fire-ravaged states of the far West, and the derecho-pounded Northeast. Congress will no doubt be delighted by the opportunity to help.
We eat nearly five billion pounds of seafood every year — about 16 pounds for each of us — and 85 per cent of it is imported (according to NOAA). Yet in the wake of this grim assessment of a large proportion of the domestic industry, and the questions it raises about the future sources of seafood, there is no discussion of “fisheries independence” or “peak fish” in politics or the media. Only in such outposts as this website and Mother Jones will the dire warning from the Commerce Department be reported as what it is — a dire warning.
Then there was a recent article on the Australian Permaculture news website about the US food and dairy industry. Here’s how that opened,
Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.
Filmmaker Kristin Canty’s quest to find healthy food for her four children turned into an educational journey to discover why access to these foods was being threatened. What she found were policies that favor agribusiness and factory farms over small family-operated farms selling fresh foods to their communities. Instead of focusing on the source of food safety problems — most often the industrial food chain — policymakers and regulators implement and enforce solutions that target and often drive out of business small farms that have proven themselves more than capable of producing safe, healthy food, but buckle under the crushing weight of government regulations and excessive enforcement actions.
I’m not going to insert that YouTube video into this post but you can link to both the full article and the film here. For anyone interested in the fate of the family farm in the USA, the film is a ‘must see’! Once again, the theme of integrity, of adherence to moral and ethical principles; honesty, comes to mind!
How I do want to close this rather personal reflection on present times (some may call it an indulgent reflection!) is by including a video from this seasons TED Talks. It was brought to my attention by Christine over at her excellent blog 350 or bust. The video is about resolving conflict,
William Ury, author of “Getting to Yes,” offers an elegant, simple (but not easy) way to create agreement in even the most difficult situations — from family conflict to, perhaps, the Middle East.
The reason why this seems like a very appropriate way to close this is because the way things are going at the moment, avoiding conflict could become rather important, rather soon!