Liam’s anger overwhelmed him. He knew what he was angry about but not who he should be angry with. He saw the need for the new WOVEN philosophy of humans in nature not above nature. He saw the need but found it difficult to accept. What had it come to when humans deserved no more regard than bears, bees, penguins and oak trees? How could that really be true?
He knew that the target for his anger shifted between his generation and current politicians and policy makers who introduced endless new regulations and prohibitions. But why hadn’t previous generations acted? They too were abused in his angry moments.
Beth worried about her father when his anger overcame him. His arguments were vehement but not always reasoned. When he raised his voice and damned The Powers, his wife Amelia put a finger to her lips and nodded towards the listener. Liam usually fell silent at this signal but seethed inside all the more. Angry but unwise to give vent, Liam depended on Beth and Amelia to lower the temperature of his anger.
Beth’s home education through the National Education Service allowed her to study at times to suit her. Liam sometimes watched the screen or briefly wore the virtual reality headset and listened to the modules too. Her fellow learners frequently were directed to discuss the learning materials. Liam recognised that his daughter’s generation took a very tough line on climate, ecology and the environment. They knew who they were angry with. It was Liam’s generation. The learners blamed their parents for inaction and resistance and denial about the seriousness of the issues. This added to Liam’s anger as he realised that his own daughter and hundreds of thousands of her age held their parents responsible and this felt unjust to Liam as he knew that his parents’ and grandparents’ generations were the root of the problem. They hadn’t acted decisively when they had the reins.
Liam’s anger grew greater when he watched and listened with Beth to her International Education Service modules and heard kids around the world expressing the same view about their parents.
Liam’s anger seemed to be rekindled each time The Powers issued another regulation for guidance or instruction. The regulations were many and varied. Essentially they were of two types, Advisories and Mandatories. The Advisories were issued with a notice period indicating when the new rule would become a Mandatory. So Advisories signalled a transition period before the penalties for non compliance would kick in. The modus operandi of The Powers had evolved over a decade from democratic processes of decision making to steering the ship by rule-making and central edict. This had been accepted by a populous confronted by expert opinions and the evidence of their own experience and observations. Public protest against the issuing of regulations consisted of mockery, usually by giving the new regulation a rather disrespectful title.
Today, Liam’s anger was fired by the Green Spaces Maintenance Advisory from two years ago becoming the Green Spaces Maintenance Mandatory. It prohibits cutting lawns and grass areas shorter than 15cm. intended to support more diversity of plants and consequently invertebrates and bird life. The public’s mocking title for this Mandatory is ‘The-no-low-mow order’. Beth and Amelia saw the value and how the order supported the aims of bee-nurturing of honey bees and all bees. They could see that it would encourage the invention of new techniques and technologies to support the new craft of bee-nurturing. They reckoned that it would provide them with an opportunity to earn more Social Credit rewards than standard Apis husbandry. They were a little excited about it.
During the two year period of the Advisory they had managed to persuade Liam to allow some of their living unit’s limited open area to become a little more meadow-like. The increase in wild flowers, particularly vetches and clovers had encouraged bumble bees and other flying insects and added a foraging source for their honeybee colonies.
Liam cursed his modified mowing machine that could not cut lower than 15cm. It worked perfectly well but the result was not as pleasing to him as the traditional close cut lawn. He felt it was an aesthetic disappointment. In his more cynical moments he reckoned that the mower industry had enjoyed a massive boom since the new machines had come onto the market. He fought against making up some conspiracy theory about ‘The-no-low-mow order’ having been contrived for the benefit of that industry.
Liam hated ‘The-no-low-mow order’. He hated its imposition. Perhaps it was the act of imposing the Mandatory rather than its purpose that made him most angry. Being in nature not above it came with a degree of regulation that he found difficult to accept. He wondered what his parents and grandparents would have made of it.
To be continued.......