Our Dying World
I look at the jet trails contaminating the sky, and I weep for the planet. I hurt. I ache. It is painful. I became exhausted and blocked it off for years, but I can no longer suppress my grief. I see the planet withering in front of my eyes, and feel both helpless and guilty.
I do my best, and clearly that is not enough. I must speak. You must speak. We all must speak. It is past time that we allow this to continue. The people that put short-term gain over the future must change their ways. Whether through ignorance or wilful greed, their choices are wrong, and we are complicit in accepting their cheap baubles of instant gratification.
Instead, we must make our choices in harmony with the future of the planet. The future is hard to predict, and we cannot always know which path is best, but we surely know what paths are bad for the future.
So speak up; we have no time to lose. As individuals, nations, races and humans, we must act now to make a better world.
I see the things you see, Phil, and my recent reading/viewing of Cloud Atlas has provided me a too graphic visualization of where current trends lead. I have come to believe the only hope for avoiding the planet poisoning corpocracy lies in disrupting the scarcity paradigm of civilization. I realize that scarcity and competition have been drivers of biological and social evolution thus far, but with the shift of our physical world into an information world we have seen how the game changes exponentially once we start mucking around at nanoscale. As an antidote to despair try reading Abundance (Peter Diamandis’s recent book) and Ray Kurzweil’s new book (he just became Engineering head of Google!), both of which helped me remember that the remaking of the world as information follows a non-linear course, and tends to reframe enormous problems so that solutions become not only plausible, but inevitable. Otherwise, I suppose we probably are fucked.
I watched Diamandis on TED http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html and was very impressed. The NYT review of “Abundance” says “There’s a curious absence of alarm over climate change in “Abundance,” perhaps because arresting its effects will necessitate not only a huge technological push but also the messy business of changing human behavior, radically altering government policies and brokering international accords.”
So thanks for a counterpoint view. I’m not a completely bleak pessimist; my positive angle is summarized by Internet + Steven Pinker “Angels of our Better Nature”.