What exactly does it mean to be a person? I asked this question last post but I didn’t find an answer. Surely there must be something deep within us that defines who we are. Is our need for some kind of definition part of our common identity?
I like to look at humanity as a whole. I understand that in our global society, the notion of nations is fast becoming a detriment to our progress, but what exactly is this niggling need for nationalism? Is it as simple as needing someone to compare oneself against to find some solace in judgement? Or is just a throwback to outdated cultures?
I’m a survivalist. I’m interested in the survival of our species. I honestly think that the way we’re living our lives is going to inevitably lead into a global destruction. It’s a simple forumla, and it all has to do with energy, both electrical and biological. We’re eventually going to run out of food. That’s pretty much a given at this point. I read a report that claimed 96% of the fish stock has been depleted. I know for a fact that there is no more ‘All you can eat Crab’ at Red Lobster because when they had that special, we ate all the crab. The voracious apetite of the North American middle class is a site to behold. Consumption! They used to call Cancer ‘consumption’, and now we revel in a consumer orgy of buying power.
The wool has been pulled over our eyes. For so long we’ve grown up with the promise of infinite supplies. It’s been our god given right to exploit the world for our gain. It was given to us, remember? According to the holy book at least. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO REALIZE THAT SUPPLY IS FINITE?
There is a limit to what we can take from this world before it collapses. There are 6.2 BILLION of us here, and that number is only growing larger. Does it have to get to 12 billion before we realize that this one planet simply cannot sustain that much human life? Everyone seems to forget that life on this planet is about balance, and that if you upset the balance too far in one favour (read: us in the 20th century), all the scales are going to collapse? That it will tip too far and we’ll all end up hungry?
People are starting to say that it might be too late already. I figured it was too late 2 years ago. I figure that we’re already on a mad descent into hell, that things are going to start collapsing around us and most will be left asking why? Why did this happen? Ignorance! Laziness! Gluttony! Energy gluttons, all of us.
It’s incredibly difficult to convince them that they’re wrong. Once you’ve accepted a false meme it’s nearly impossible to dislodge it. It becomes a part of you and the way you think, so how can you ever betray a part of yourself even if it’s completely wrong? Most people are afraid to admit they’ve made a mistake. I guess it makes us vulnerable; that feeling of complete nakedness is discomforting. Still, if we’re ever to thrive in the new reality around us then we have to accept that we have err’d.
The error was believing that this world was ours for the taking, that we could exploit our garden with wanton glee. If supply is finite then we’ve unavoidably cut off generations of future humans existence with the depravity of our global culture, but more specifically our North American culture. We started it off folks, we might as well step up and admit our fault.
Nobody does though, nobody steps forward. Sure there are outliers with the right message which the masses watch with amused disinterest, and that’s never enough. Not when the masses are the problem. We need real change to our culture if we’re going to survive the coming storm. We have to step forward as leaders and say that ‘this is not right, our lifestyle is a cancer. Our gluttonous desire for energy means the biosphere is dying. If we don’t at least admit the problem then there’s no chance we’ll solve it.’ I think it can be done. I’m a firm believer in humanity. I think we have what it takes to go the distance in this Universe.
It takes change though because any future for humanity requires a different culture. We simply can’t expect to survive as a species if we don’t take a hard look at what it’s going to take to survive longterm on this planet. I don’t like a lot of science fiction because it gives us this hope that we’ll be settling people on different planets any day now. I really don’t see that happening any time soon. My philosophy is that if it’s not in the hand, there’s no point in counting on it. We must realize that this is the only home that humanity is going to have for who knows how long.
So we each have to make a choice, a choice which will not go unnoticed. We have to decide whether to have a hard look at our culture or to ignore the warning signs and forge along on our current course. I think a lot of people get trapped in their false belief of being only one person. You’re not just yourself – you’re also every action you take, and more importantly any choice that affects other people to take action. That’s a legacy. Your legacy.
See, once enough people starts to realize just how important they are to the Universe, then maybe we’ll have the confidence to step forward and say ‘I think things need changing. The amount we consume is detrimental to the long term health of this planet. I will change my lifestyle to reflect my concerns. I will make a difference.’ If enough people start saying this then the rest will start taking notice.
Maybe then we can have a serious talk about our life on this planet, and what we want to leave for our future generations.
Whats the best way to effect this change? Talk to the people in your life and see what they think. Argue with them, agree with them but at all costs communicate the conservationist meme to them. Start the snowball. If we’re going to change the world then we need to get it rolling. A thousand voices may be all it takes.