50 / Lessons from our feline friends

For Future's Sake!

Hi there! Welcome to For F*ture’s Sake! — the newsletter urging we upend everything and slow the f**k down.

Reading time: 2 minutes

Part 1 - Essay

Life itself is enough

This is my cat, Belle, and she might be on to something. Unless she’s hungry or in danger, she spends her days in a tranquil glow. Passing the time exploring, playing and sleeping, she never questions her life (as far as I can tell!) Life itself, it seems, is enough for her.

All animals have these qualities. They just seem particularly pronounced in cats.

Humans on the other hand — particularly of the modern variety — are consumate worriers. We’re rational creatures who — philosopher John Gray says — “attach ourselves too heavily to some overarching purpose. We spend our days in the laborious pursuit of a fantasy of happiness, struggling with the pressure to make things meaningful.”

That’s why we turned to philosophy and religion and therapy — to help quell our anxiety.

So what can cats teach us that these founts of wisdom can't?

Cats have co-existed with human beings for 12,000 years. Back in the day, they worked as pest control in exchange for scraps. But for all this time, they’ve also been showing their self-conscious companions something else — No, not how lick your own bum — How to live sustainably!

The human animal never ceases striving for something better, but cats make no such effort. They never get bored and it never occurs to them to be happy. A cat’s default state is one of contentment and — as far as we can tell — they don’t regret the past or fret about the future.

This begs the question: Is consciousness overrated — the pursuit of meaning too?

Cats live in the moment. Life itself is enough for them.

What about you?


Part 2 - Leaving A Legacy

A world-first for the future

Sophie Howe is a public servant with an unenviable task. Her constituents are impossible to reach, they never voice an opinion and they don’t even bother to vote. That’s because they haven’t been born yet. The world’s one and only Future Generations Commissioner represents the unborn citizens of Wales. Her mandate is to ensure political decisions taken today don’t compromise the interests of Welsh citizens tomorrow.

Coal-fired power down

During the first term of the most coal-friendly president in American history, 145 coal-burning units at 75 power plants have closed. This has eliminated 15% percent of the country's coal-generated capacity — the fastest decline during any single presidential term.


Part 3 - Random Bits

  1. The Japanese Desk Tent is not the solution to any of your problems.

    3. This is not a photo from a sci-fi film you’ve never seen. It’s actually US Dept. of Agriculture workers hoovering up hundreds of 2-inch-long invasive Asian ‘murder’ hornets. They located a basketball-sized nest (the first one ever found in the US) using a radio tracker tied to a captured wasp by a line of dental floss. And that’s after the wasp chewed through the first few attempts!

  2. Trolled by offspring.

Until next week, stay safe — Scott.