A Brave New World
It strikes me that we caught like rabbits in the headlights of an on-coming truck. If you buy all the Peak-Everything scenarios (if you don’t, you’d best move along now, as the rest of this will just annoy you), then we are headed for what, in the words of Mat Stein is ‘ The Perfect Storm: Six Trends Converging on Collapse‘.
In the piece he traces the trajectories of six key drivers or vectors on the planet, and extrapolates their point of collapse. Which are all more or less at the same time. Go figure. It encompasses Climate Change, Peak Oil, Collapse of the World’s Oceans, Deforestation, the Global Food Crisis and Overpopulation.
It is a brilliant piece, sobering and enough to make you stop and take notice. Well, it did that for me anyway.
Recently I read the Unsuitablog, by Keith Farnish, and his piece titled ‘Monthly Undermining Task, August 2010: Crash The Mainstream Environmentalists’ Party’ Which pretty much did my head in as regards the chance to do anything to stop the approaching storm. Switch to Compact Flourescent Light bulbs? – Sure – knock yourself out! Buy a car the size of a sewing machine and hum around – sure, why not!? Recycle your ink cartridges, drink water from the tap, start a worm farm – Will it make any difference? – No. None at all.
Even the august institutions we feel are doing their level best to turn the tide, by Keith Farnish’s measure, account to nothing but more of the same. And he makes a strong argument that they are in it for their own ends as much as any other. In the words of Buddha, the root of all suffering lies in Greed, Anger and Ignorance, and we are seeing plenty of that going about at the moment.
James Lovelock, father of the Gaia theory, threw in the towel in March 2010, saying that he felt it was all over, bar the yelling….
“The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.” He said , putting the blame at the door of politicians and democracy.
And I would agree with him. Politicians and Big Business are not going to get us out of this mess. They got us into it. AND WE SUPPORTED THEM, WITH EVERY DIME WE HAD. We cannot see ourselves as victims of a system. We ARE the system. So it is time to stop whining and get on with fixing it. Politicians are not going to do it – despite however much they may say – because when all is said & done, more is said than done.
And Big Business (whoever that may mean) are not going to do it until it is in their greedy little self interest to do so. (Humans are waaay simple, really).
In the immortal words of Mahatma Ghandi – “Be the change you want to see in the world”. That’s all we can do.
So where to from here? – and why this blog? Well, I follow a diverse number of blog and news feeds and view them through my own particular set of filters. I guess that I would rather believe that there is a way forward, that even in the Kali Yuga, the End of Days or whatever you may call it, things are unfolding pretty much as they should, and we will find a way out of this mess. I am starry-eyed and optimistic enough to allow myself to hope that we will come out better off than the state to which this last spasm of Greed, Anger & Ignorance has brought us. If you look back at how far we have come in the abolition of slavery, abuse of women, children and animals, a growing consciousness of the rights of others, the environment and the protection of these in law, I have reason to believe that we are a growing and evolving species. Are we doing as well as we could? – no – but think back on how the world was 150 years ago, and I would agree with Ken Wilbur’s impression that ‘we are coming along at a fair old clip’. If you consider how much we have managed to achieve since the Industrial Revolution, it would be silly to throw everything out with the bathwater. Did we go wrong? – of course we did, but they may have been unavoidable mistakes in our evolution. It doesn’t matter – it is what it is, and it was what it was. Its a mess, and now we have to clean up, as best we can.
Sure, we’re all going to hell in a handbag. But I’m not ready to chuck in the towel just yet, thank you very much. It starts with a vision. This blog is an attempt to create that vision.