Proposal to Stop Global Warming
A Modest Proposal, Wherein We Do Not Need to Eat Our Young.
There are so many proposals out there to help us learn to reduce our carbon footprints, that it is becoming confusing and counterproductive. Most ignore the highly endangered two ton gorilla in the room: Stop having babies. Our carrying capacity on this planet is rapidly reaching its limit, seven billion people are going to make an impact, whether you deny the science or not. Seven billion people need clean air to breath, clean water, and soil that can produce food. All these resources are already being fiercely fought over. You already know the debate over fossil fuels; it is hoped that the Gulf oil spill will make people wake up and smell the noxious Texas Tea. This is a kind of oil slick, rainbow promise one is loathe to see, but it does offer hope.
There are really only a few ideas that will stop the present course of climate change. There are simple concepts, things that have preceded every major global cultural shift to date. People ended slavery only when it made economic sense. People allowed women more freedom only when women began seeing themselves as worthwhile citizens. People only began to care about diminishing resources and extinction when we recognized we have the power to make critical choices.
Number One: Reduce population. Change how people think about the earth, resources, our place and our obligations. This goes back to our two ton gorilla. People will not stop having babies until they are empowered to have the education and means to reduce reproduction rates. In impoverished nations, this is simply not available for most until we actively involve people respectfully to improve their lives, and ours. Eco-tourism is one way, green energy may be another. In one way or another, a population crash is coming.
Nature, wise beyond our comprehension may already be doing this. Or as some scientists attest, we are doing it to ourselves by constant immersion in toxins that are in our food, clothing, household goods, and cleaning products. There are substances in plastic that are directly linked to infertility. Whether you believe in the Gaia hypothesis or not, infertility is a medical fact in most western, plastic dependent civilizations.
Number Two: Check your values. Realize it is our psychology, philosophy, and religion that drives our endless striving for “security.” Thus, realistically environmental degradation is very much a psychological dysfunction of the collective society. It is well demonstrated that people will do damage collectively that they would never dream of doing individually. As an example, the gulf spill was generated by the false belief that off shore drilling is safe. Safe to whom? Well certainly safe to the corporate profiteers until it was not SAFE anymore. Psychology also teaches us we are easily converted to brutal savages and it is best to admit it rather than give up our power over it.
Number Three: Grow up about religion and ideology. For thousands of years people have fought over who has the greater God. Recognize that God, or no God, we have this incredible web of life we call the Creation. It is vital for biological diversity, which in turn is vital for survival. Evolution, (or if you must call it Intelligent Design) is driven by environment, more precisely genetic diversity. It requires that we re-think our connection to the external world and the well being of earth’s inhabitants.
Number Four: I changed my mind about Intelligent Design. There is no room for truly ignorant or self serving “science” in the debate about Climate Change. We are in trouble. Weather is impacted by natural cycles, AND human behavior. Time to quit fighting about it and deal. Stop thinking about conflict issues for a while and just investigate how cement is made, another anthropogenic source of climate change. Someone out there will have an Eureka moment. Staying in conflict keeps us stridently attached to denial.
It is also a form of denial to think could ole’ human ingenuity will kick in. That ingenuity was based on what were once seemingly unlimited resources and far fewer mouths to feed. We can take that rocket ship right off this rock once we figure out how to launch the more than 200,000 humans born each day, master speed of light travel, and have perfected the fuel technicalities. We need to look at facts no matter how ugly the truth is. Humans deny the unpleasant; it is a defense mechanism for our survival that has gotten totally out of control. So number four will be for us to take control of the facts and interpret them wisely with forethought and caution. You CAN handle the truth, its coming to your town. For some of us, it’s here.
Number Five: Stop buying Crap. We are lured to buy more and more stuff, even the aforementioned deadly plastic that is collecting in mid ocean gyres at a very distressing rate, wreaking havoc with marine life, and adding its noxious toxins to our food, water, and soil sources. It is a fallacy to blame China for its immense carbon footprint if anything you own came from China. Take responsibility.
Number Six: Avoid falling into the political agenda morass. There is so much political agenda out there that even environmentalists with the loftiest goals are sullying their noble efforts, and conservatives are trying to convince everyone that it is the environmentalists who are trying to destroy your freedom, end capitalism, or turn your quiet suburban neighborhood into a recycling mandatory/hippie/nazi/Stalinesque commune. Confused? Yes, that’s where your head begins to explode and thereby adds more toxins to the air pollution that well intentioned political movements always end up spewing everywhere. Over saturation of opinions over facts is yet another layer of toxic pollution that clouds the issue.
Number Seven: Grow some of your food, or at least buy locally. Tremendous amounts of energy are consumed, food production is artificially subsidized, and unknown substances make their way into your food because we don’t yet have the discipline to learn to eat locally. We did this for 100,000 years, some classics are worth preserving. The same holds true for other resources, keep living local and the artificial propping up of unsustainable industries will erode from within. Just a word about vegetarianism here, you don’t have to go Freakin’ Vegan to make a difference. Yes, eating lower on the food chain will reduce your carbon footprint. It is better for your body, your planet, and most certainly to animals seen as food. But, be careful about being sucked into that political agenda above. Eat meat, if you like, but think about what you eat, too. The best way to be is honest with yourself.
Number Eight: Talk about Earth. If there is something you find to appreciate about the wonder of creation, the supportive sustenance provided to you and your family, give voice to that appreciation. For too long we have been programmed to believe that this “land is your land, this land is my land” for exploitation rather than appreciation. Maybe possessiveness of resources helped create the industrial revolution, but it has had a cost we cannot ignore. If you love trees, flowers, birds, wilderness, fresh food, the miracle of our molecular chemical connection, the migration of butterflies, or the indescribable feeling of both belonging and being beneath a blanket of stars overhead, say it. Own your connection to life rather than being owned by material things. Teach your little ones, if you haven’t gone to extremes and eaten them already.
Number Nine: Recycle your green washed views. If you are thinking quite smugly about the amount of recycling you do, reexamine it. For over a decade now giant corporations have exploited people’s best intentions by producing ever more hummer loads of consumer goods. When Earth Day was born there were very few disposable products available. In our end times of global warming, however, you can throw away thousands of products from disposable toilet brushes, to disposable toothbrushes. Products are printed with those hope inspiring recycle triangles on the bottom of each container. But know this; less than 7% percent of plastic is ever recycled. What is will still be a molecular presence of both particulates alien to the natural world, and billions of tons of waste, even “safely” underground in landfills that are unnatural in such concentrations. It’s even worse for plastic shopping bags and wrappers. Increase your self esteem, save a life, and save some money. Re use canvas bags. Aside from plastics there are heavy metals, toxic herbicides and insecticides, factory farm waste water runoff, and millions of tons of poisons. Think about resources from now on in a Cradle to Cradle, that is use to use potentiality, rather than as a buy it, use it, toss it mentality.
And for the love of God, please stop buying bottled water!
Number Ten: Wake up. Be Awake. Stay awake. More power-green power-to you if you are already staying as economically and environmentally aware as you can. Psychology and Economics are the two realms in which an environmental paradigm shift will impact all of us the most. We cannot return to the “good ole days” of an agrarian, or hunter gatherer society. We don’t have to, and technology, green jobs, green energy and green living, are entwined with one another as surely as we are part of the hydrology system that runs water through our blood, off of glaciers and into oceans. There will be droughts and famines, with their attendant epidemics and refuges. It is up to us to intervene with transformation, rather than annihilation.
We are alive because we have oxygen that is created each day with an exchange of breath between ourselves, all animals, and plants, all vegetation. We are Eukaryotes, and we are also made up of Eubacteria and Archaea, the only other forms of life yet discovered. To simplify, we are different only in terms of our structural complexity, size, and behaviors. Don’t despair if you think you are not superior to other life forms, you are other life forms, and life is the most rare and precious gift known in the Universe. We are the life forms with the most self awareness, to squander it upon destructive patterns, or to deny it by attaching to base materialism and degenerate values is beneath us. We can count on this now more than ever.
Our oceans are over harvested. Our rain forests and their rich diversity are challenged. Rare and beautiful species die out every day, including some which could have helped cure cancer. Our crop production land is dwindling and compromised by pollution, corporations, and most importantly too much consumption. It has been said that we are dying of consumption. We have to choose carefully what we consume. Don’t swallow any agenda, demand the truth, and let a walk in the woods convince you of what really matters on this planet.