In 2006 I wrote Save the Planet? Not Economically Viable - Here is a Re-Think for 2011
I know that there has been "action" taken so far on our great climate crisis, or at least that is what we are led to believe. The media, the government, the corporatacracy et. al have worked very hard to convince the general public that it is the consumer's habits which are the problem; just buy "this" and you are helping the planet. They make laws and design punishments which seem to be rushed through in order to make you believe that the guilty party has been identified and action has been taken. (The frothing at the mouth begins when the public receives word of a POB - point of blame)
This action has been all about the blame game and whom better than the people who buy the crap they manufacture. The crap & scam oops I mean cap & trade system, passing the buck to consumers, the enactment of by-laws and permits, you are now a criminal, pay a fine here and light-bulbs and thermostats and recycling and kids being snitches and enviro-cops and ... wait, what was the topic again. See how easy it is to get distracted. Buy this and it will all be better.
As it became politicized, like everything else, being concerned for the environment became about profit and then it mainly turned to crap (thanks Al Gore - nah, never just one point of blame).
(Now where was I) Oh yeah, saving the planet, saving the animals, saving the environment, saving the whales, saving the people, saving the children ... (Stay on target) and most of all saving money, Do we really think that we are going to be able to save anything without first saving ourselves? "Saving ourselves from what?" you may ask. Well, our collective naiveté, selfishness and ignorance for starters.
In my 42 years of existence (and that is a deliberate word), I have been witness to the forming of a sociological norm which is, quite frankly, pathological. I have shuddered at the growth of two things which I believe have been the basis for our degradation: Politics and Economics. Look around and really think how many things, which are a danger to our Planet, have a root cause of one or both of these 'ics'?
Look around some more and ask yourself "What do I see as an improvement in my lifetime?" (and I don't mean a "convenience" or that this about YOU)? I mean a real improvement which can be viewed in history as a definitive evolution of the human species. Do you see anything?
OK, let's define it further. Let's take the necessities of life and assume that by their ease of or struggle for, can determine the outcomes in human evolution; more factors taken care of, more "civilized" behavior.
1) Water - Why do people not have access to water? Would not a population which did not have to "pay" for the most basic human need have more chance at learning?
We are told that it is "expensive" and we defend that. The search for a POB will have you believing it's our toilets, our hygiene habits, our lawns (they help us to identify the culprits) so buy this new thing (usually with a high energy footprint) and you will be helping. So we hop into our gasoline powered vehicles and go to the store to purchase said products which have a long line of oil in their production and delivery; and we feel good about doing "something".
What we are not told is that for every 2 litres of Coke which is produced, it takes 4 litres of fresh water or a pound of plastic at 24 gallons(think of how much plastic is in our "convenient" lives) or that for every pound of steak it takes over 500 gallons of water, 1,851 gallons to refine a barrel of oil and up 28,100 gallons to process 1 ton of sugar cane and produce refined sugar.
They are making water a commodity to sell back to us and using it as quickly as possible to sell us inferior goods which were never built to last; and we must foot the bill even more?
People don't have water because they don't have money. Whether to build infrastructure or through corruption - this does not deflect from money being the root.
2) Food - Why is there hunger? Can we really call ourselves a "civilization" as so many people starve to death?
We are told that there are too many people, not enough land, cost restrictions(?), logistical problems which all boil down to money. So people starve because they cannot afford to eat. Wow... And then we invade other countries claiming to be protecting their people and bringing them the advanced system of "democracy".
As for the land argument, a lot of corn seems to be taking a lot of land for feed and fuel as 1 example. And as to the too many people argument, Google how much food is thrown away each year; the math says yes, the greed says no. And I didn't even mention Monsanto :-)
2) Shelter - Why are there homeless?
I drive by countless places which are empty; either for rent or sale. I guess the problem is still economics.
3) Knowledge - Why is information not free? What is the number one factor needed in order to advance a society (and I don't mean bigger TVs)? Intelligence.
Do you think that an intelligent society would waste so many resources on war?
4) Peace - Why do we still wage wars (have no mistake that it is us who wage).
Part of this can be attributed to number 3 and a large part is economics; "war is good for economy".
5) Technology - Why are technologies released in increments and even stymied?
One could put this into knowledge and definitively economics; there is no profit in building something that lasts or which can replace your current revenue flow.
Root) Money - it all comes down to this. I know you're thinking "It's not that simple" but yes it is. You can try to defend it then try to make logical assumptions using the rules of economics and ... STOP! In the end it all comes down to it.
Maybe money has played it's role in history and now it may be time for a more equitable way of moving human society forward. (If you're thinking that trading chickens comes into this equation, please close the browser window as this may be a wee bit too advanced for you; they're re-running CSI)
I have never been a big fan of money but I always knew I needed some; that was eventually well "trained" into me. I trembled at the power that money yields and wondered how it could make people seem to shed their humanity. Then it hit me; fear and survival. Many forms of control are enacted using these two mechanisms.
I watched them compete to get that dollar out of the consumer's pocket and put it into their own; families, friends, lovers....all a consumer in the end. This is not just about money but also about that perceived driver of all things good today; competition which occurs at even the most subtle of levels and heralded as being good for "growth" (all types).
I know that I am human and that as such I belong to the Earth and in return it belongs to me (not in an ownership way but rather a symbiotic one); this applies for everyone. The Earth's resources belong to everyone for the betterment of everyone (and again, if you're thinking "socialist" or any other "ist", move along to the next blog, you'll just hurt yourself here).
I know that there has been big talk in the past about fixing and action and ...well, none of the "action" ever took place. War, poverty, scarcity, hunger, inequality and slavery are not new and seem to be what is hampering a growth in human consciousness and the evolution of the "intelligent" being on this planet; the root, as I have mentioned, usually goes back to money.
Yes I did mention slavery as we are all stuck in this machine which prints money out of debt then gives it to the very people they borrowed it from so that they could lend it back to us (brazen). Then they cut social programs to balance an imaginary budget which enriches only the marginal top of a pyramid scheme we refer to as "freedom" and which feeds the military industrial complex and war.
Look around you again. Do you see any changes in your lifetime? Are they for the better or for the worst? Are we advancing as a species or regressing backwards. History does seem to have a way of repeating itself; especially if it is always written by the same fools.
Can we really save the planet? I think we have to save ourselves first. More scams and laws are not going to cut it if this indeed is a real and present threat. Driving "democracy" like a steamroller through countless "developing" countries and crushing cultures in the wake is not a solution. There is a need for something different, maybe Jacques Fresco has some answers, maybe others do too. Nothing is definite yet; Think about it.