Here’s my Christmas message.
I have said this before somewhere but this time it is delivered by well-known, highly respected scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki who begins to look more and more like Santa Claus as time goes by.
It may be thought that this is a bit of a downer at this time of year but it is not really.
I am not a person who needs to be surrounded by ‘happy talk’ all the time. I am a realist and a positivist. I do not think negatively.
I am a complete, autonomous, free-thinking person, living a life of order or disorder as I see fit, based on my own decisions, within the bounds of my personal capabilities and the incursions, intrusions and other interactions, good or bad, that I experience as part of the world that exists, or appears to exist, around me.
I have ceased to believe that whatever happens was ‘meant to be’, as though something or someone was in overall control of things, working their plan. We are all the product of the decisions that we ourselves make at every moment, modified by effects arising from the decisions, whether instinctive or sentient, that all other creatures, big and small, have ever made in the past and further modified by effects arising through the moment by moment application of the natural laws of nature. A butterfly fluttering its wings on the other side of the world has as much effect on each of us as the tsunami wave or speeding freight train whose path we may cross at some moment in time, or the healer, teacher, lover, benefactor, ne’er-do-well or psychopath that we may meet at some point. It is all good. It is all positive.
Even the imminent extinction or near extinction of the human species is a positive event.
Think of all the existing species that our actions endanger which would be saved, the quicker our exit is determined. Think of all the new species that would arise after we have gone. Life, positive life will go on, without our help or interference. And if there are any of us left to carry on afterwards, those fortunates (though they may not initially see it that way) will enjoy the new experience of not trying to, or actually never again being able to, dominate the rest of nature for their own convenience but actually living in harmony with it.
That is what I call a positive message.
Human extinction is a foregone necessity because our own actions have allowed us to grow too big and too dominant to ever cooperatively, harmoniously and successfully work together to bring about, I should say ‘return’, a natural balance to the beautiful planet that we as a species were lucky enough to inhabit, whether you believe that our short stay here is a one-time gig or a recurring phenomena which might allow us to ‘do better’ each time around.
It is certainly a positive message, although some would criticise you for it, but it is also reality. Any species that destroys its life support systems destroys itself. So few people understand this really simple fact, though. Maybe our big brains are just that—big but not containing much.
Thanks Bev. I noticed that you featured the same David Suzuki video in a recent post.
I got excited yesterday about another article I saw on resilience.org, this one: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-12-23/former-bp-geologist-peak-oil-is-here-and-it-will-break-economies.
I think I may blog about that soon. It is the sort of article I have been waiting to see for a while. Most articles around peak-oil, transition and resilience are getting to be pretty much same-same and don’t inspire, or reflect that the writer thinks they are on to something that will help the situation or turn the tide somehow. I don’t usually go for those, but this one at first impression seems to paint the right sort of picture..
This article is from a former oil industry geologist and basically says that we have at most seven years (until 2020) before the walls start to crumble, the wheels come off, whatever is your favourite euphemism for collapse.
The arguments are simply based on the oil situation, which is good, but I like to keep my options open on just what other influences might be the first trigger event. Yes, it could be oil but it could also be the climate which I doubt is going to get better over time and could throw multiple spanners into the works, for example pandemics, famines or irreparable coastal flooding and infrastructure damage that no government can afford to repair. It could be a last ditch attempt at resource control through conflict but I don’t think there is a superpower left that can afford another war. I have noticed quite a few conflict opportunities go by recently without a hint of a threat from the usual suspects. I think the main contender for first trigger may be financial collapse as those who are heavily invested in markets see the writing on the wall and decide to take their ill-gotten gains out of the system, leaving a hollow shell which will not stand by itself for long at all and leaving all the little people to crash along with it.
Population growth doesn’t often get much of a mention since Albert Bartlett passed on, except for David Attenborough and I haven’t heard David Suzuki mention it before the recent YouTube video, but in itself it could potentially provide a primary trigger even before any of the other possibilities intervene. It will certainly add another dimension to any trigger event leading to collapse.
I didn’t mean to say all this but sometimes it is hard to stop. Best wishes.