This is not a call to sit back and do nothing. Instead it’s a carte blance to do something else, anything else.
Recently at COP21 (Paris Climate Conference) the leaders of the world sealed the deal on human history. I wasn’t under any illusion that any agreement would “save” humankind. I also realize that climate change isn’t just about those of us who live in the dominant industrial culture. What happened in Paris at the climate conference only confirms the insanity of a culture built upon infinite growth on a finite planet. It confirmed our predicament. Our current living arrangement is killing us and everything in its path and there’s little to nothing we can do about it.
World leaders agreed to try and keep the preindustrial base line temperature from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Currently we are already around 1 degree above preindustrial levels. Of course this agreement is non-binding and does not keep fossil fuels in the ground. What this agreement does is simply kick the can down the road. In reality billions of us cannot see that it’s not just fossil fuels that must be abandoned but civilization itself. Whoa … civilization? Yes. Simply replacing fossil fuels with renewables doesn’t stop the mindset that infinite growth on a finite planet is possible. It is not.
Today we add about 228,000 people to the planet (births minus deaths) and we owe this to to our infinite growth mentality. Today we push nearly 200 species towards extinction daily. Today upwards of 90% of the large fish in the oceans are gone. Today we’ve dammed most of the worlds rivers. Today polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. Today we care more about our economy than the planet that supports it. Today we are already dead, we just don’t realize it yet. Those are strong words but nothing in our behavior nor the facts on the ground prove otherwise. We will go the way of the Dodo and by the same hand that sent it packing.
This is not a call to sit back and do nothing. Instead it’s a carte blance to do something else, anything else. It’s a golden ticket to live instead of just making a living. It’s a chance to rise up and be heard with absolutely nothing to lose. We can leave this planet with our current legacy in tact or we can fight for something larger than ourselves for once. How can we get started? We can begin by listening to those who have never been born into the industrial culture. We can start by listening to those who have been marginalized and oppressed by such a culture. We can begin by mentally and the physically moving away from this deadly culture.
When you live in a death phobic culture one comes to understand that killing everything in sight is how we put off the inevitable. We fear the other without ever realizing we are the other. We think of nature and each other as separate. We live our lives in a compartmentalized state of disconnection. All COP21 did was confirm that we get what we deserve when it comes to our leadership and how the planet reacts to such leadership. Even former NASA climate scientist James Hansen called the conference a fraud. Remember, the dominant culture has been very clever, but in the end nature bats last. Enjoy the ballgame.
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