A Revolution in Human Thinking

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

There are many issues in the world that threaten the future of the world and civilization. One major issue is modern economics and the growing demand on the earth's natural resources.

A Revolution in Human Thinking

Progress is “change”. But what is the distinction between good progress and bad progress? From the human point of view, we delude ourselves that these changes always result in improvements and growth. We’re now reaching a crucial period where human progress and unlimited technological and economic growth threaten the very existence of humanity.

Human beings are living the most counterproductive existence than any other species in our evolutionary history. Man’s great arrogance is to believe that mankind really can become God and even turn over and upset and revoke somehow, the laws of the universe. We have tried to prove this with our ability to change the climate and even more true with genetic technologies, trying to use whatever new tools we can to try and change the future. We’re anything but Godlike. No amount of technology or human ingenuity can possibly overturn the laws which govern this planet which are intractable, immutable, and real. Science has never been able to do that.

Human Progress

Progress can be seductive as things appear to improve or change in technology, agricultural development and growth in our economy, but this capacity of modern science that seems so wonderful to us has a double-edge sword. The problems in the world are not technological, but ethical. We need to intelligently find new ways to live within the real limits of our planet and create a safe operating space for humanity. We have used are brains in ways that are detrimental to the environment and society, but our brains can also work together to find solutions to some of the harm that we’ve inflicted on our planet. It is imperative that we make moral progress, that more people acknowledge the humanity of one another.

Natural resources of which nature provides, is clean air, water, uncut forests, rich farm lands, minerals, oil, and metals to name a few. But nature is not this huge bank that we can just keep drawing on. We have to think about the finite nature of the planet and how to keep it alive so that we too may remain alive. Forget the idea that you can have as much as you want, because until mankind surrenders to the fact that it lives on a finite planet, and it must have balance with that planet and with the planet’s resources, with the animal life, and all the other life, there can be no happiness for anything. Nothing grows forever. We must live within nature’s limits. This model should be universally applied to all people.

One example takes us back to the semi-nomadic period of hunter-gatherer when mankind hunted mammoths. They reached a point where the weaponry and their hunting techniques became so good that they destroyed hunting as a way of life throughout most of the world. Discovering how to kill two mammoth instead of one or drive an entire heard over a cliff, killing hundreds was progress that ultimately led to a dead-end. Like the ancient hunters who thought that there would always be another herd of mammoth over the next hill, our society today shares that same optimism that nature will always provide for us. As soon as you grasp for that kind of growth, you begin to compromise integrity and the way you view everything that is important differently. There must be a balance between growth and the resources and the planet.

Human Demand

Unlimited economic progress in a world of finite natural resources doesn’t make since. It’s a pattern that is bound to collapse. Conventional economics is so fundamentally disconnected from the real world…it is destructive. Life is being sucked out of national economies and the debt keeps doubling. Big-business corporations and those within governments who support this approach by continuing to provide this level of production and consumption are not being realistic. Economic growth does not change the game. What will fundamentally change the game is what people in western civilization don’t want to hear…we have to use less! One person in the United States or Europe consumes about 50 times more resources than say a poor person in a place like Bangladesh. Americans constitute less than 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy, eat 815 billion calories of food each day – that is roughly 200 billion more than needed - enough to feed 80 million people, throw out approximately 200,000 tons of edible food daily, the average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons- while more than half the world's population lives on 25 gallons. In the United States, fifty percent of the wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years, eighty percent of the corn grown and 95% of the oats are fed to livestock, fifty-six percent of available farmland is used for beef production, and every day an estimated nine square miles of rural land are lost to development (Paul Ehrlich and the Population Bomb).

We can see the effect that this is having on our environment. The effects of pollution and industrialization have multiplied ten-fold and the damage is terrifying. I think the problems that we’re seeing now with hunger, massive inequity, climate change, or the loss of biodiversity have been driven over the last 200 years by a system of overproduction of stuff and overconsumption of stuff and has been inflated to the point to where it is not in any way reasonable. There are so many small things that we could do without surrendering our standard of living, but most people simply are not willing to make these small sacrifices because they have been so totally high jacked by the power and persuasion of our materialistic culture. Everything we do is based on the exchange of money. The media and the advertising men have turned us into obedient, little consumers, trying to buy ourselves to happiness in a throwaway society. Corporations will tell us that they are just giving us the things we need, and there is truth in that, but we have to decide what price we are willing to pay. We as individuals drive the demand for these resources. As long as we are all aware of the fact that there is blood in this demand, and that is the decisions we want to live with, then so be it.

Human Choice

Our consumer choices are the easiest ways for us to get involved in a very meaningful and powerful way .The way we choose to spend our money has more influence in our society than anything else, and can change everything. The minute we start taking responsibility and spending our money wisely, every politician, every corporation, and leader around the world is going to know that we have woken up. All of the abuse in our system happens because we just roll over and take it. When we get involved and start making the right decisions, everything changes.

We’re many generations overdue for a revolution in our thinking. Not a revolution of blood and violence; which is already happening. But a revolution that’s probably the hardest kind, the kind that takes place inside the human soul and the human mind. To be able to tear everything down, throw everything out, and start with a completely fresh piece of paper and say “okay, how do we solve this problem?” Every living system of earth is in decline and every life support system of earth is in decline. These together constitute the biosphere that supports and nurtures all of life, and not just our life, but 30 million other species. It is completely understandable that people bury their heads in the sand, and if we don’t look too closely, life doesn’t seem too bad in many areas of the world. But that is going to change and there is some logical outcomes to the way this system works that will affect every one of us.


Submitted: December 03, 2012

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