Friday, August 10, 2012
Civilization At the Crossroads. What If We Make the Right Choice?
While the future of human civilization looks gloomy, mankind might actually make it through this century repositioned to face a wonderful future. It all depends on whether we can muster the courage to choose life - for all. If not, we may be condemning ourselves to life for just about none.
I've just finished Tim Flannery's book, "Here on Earth." It's the follow up to his "The Weather Makers" which is basically a primer on the many aspects of global warming.
Flannery's final chapter focuses on the super-organism he labels mankind. He contends that the behaviour of our super-organism over the next few decades will seal our fate one way or the other.
He doesn't advocate rule by one world government but, rather, the same arrangement of governments we have today only all of them accepting, abiding by and enforcing the common rules we'll need if we're to get by.
"The immediate challenge is fundamental - to manage our atmospheric and oceanic global commons - and the unavoidable cost of success in this is that nations must cede real authority, as they do whenever they agree to act in common to secure the welfare of all.
...When profiteering at [the Earth's] expense is regarded and punished as the gravest of crimes - both because it represents a theft from the whole world, present and future, and because it may not remain theft but, as its consequences ramify, may become murder or genocide as well - then a sustainable future will be ours. Such a moment, if it ever comes, will close a chapter in human history - that of the frontier - which has characterized our species for fifty thousand years. In early 2010 we edged a fraction closer with the commencement of a campaign to have the UN's International Criminal Court recognize 'ecocide' (the heedless or deliberate destruction of the environment0 as a fifth 'crime against peace.'"
We're still resisting the idea that we live in a finite world that must be shared. Instead we wrestle to either hold on to or increase our share of that finite existence. We still see the world in the construct of 18th century economics, 19th century industrialism and 20th century geopolitics. We cling to those notions even though they are of rapidly declining utility and increasingly threaten our way forward.