So what are we to do? The whole world seems to be brainwashed into thinking we have an endless supply of concentrated energy at our fingertips which will send us to infinity and beyond, but the truth is, we have burned through a large majority of available concentrated energy in just a few hundred years, likely reached and passed the time of maximum oil extraction, and have begun the end of life as we know it. Maybe it is easy to brush aside now because life is still relatively easy and everything seems business as usual, but that is itself the problem. That is exactly what we have unfortunately been fooled into thinking. We have been feed false number, false stories, and more generally been provided a total lack of important information. If you ask a politician, someone who is in charge of preserving the American way of life and their success measured according, if we have, doing what American’s do, ensured our own demise within a century or two, of course they will say no. But, ask a well educated scientist who studies our physical earth the same question, and you will get a hugely different answer. Who do you think is more trustworthy?
Some 22 years ago, a group of the world’s leading scientists issued this warning:
“We the undersigned, senior members of the world’s scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.”
Well, we have not headed their warning and are now a minimum of 22 years more late to start the great change that is needed. Perhaps it is already too late. Perhaps there will be an inevitable economical and ecological collapse in the future, no matter what we at this point. But, still, our best option is not to do nothing as we have essentially done in the past 22 years. Even starting now, any effort to reduce our fossil fuel dependence and return to sustainable lifestyles will help smooth the transition we will undoubtedly face. There are so many reasons to become sustainable, just pick yours. It is difficult for me not to harp on the doom and gloom scenario we are facing, but for now, I will move past it, and talk about my plan.
It has only been quite recently that I have realized how absolutely unsustainable my lifestyle has been, and when I realized, it hit me hard. For days, I pondered over the information I have read and learned – yes, it all makes sense, but haven’t we taken this problem seriously? There is this amazing and horrifying reality which is knocking on our front door, and we, collectively as humans, have chosen to ignore it. Why have statements, like the one above, become so easy to ignore? Well, knowing what I feel I do now, realizing the severity of the consequences of our ignorance, I can ignore it no longer. I, even if only in the company of the small minority that holds similar views, must start to work towards a completely sustainable lifestyle. Morally, I can not continue to gobble up what isn’t mine at an ever increasing pace. So, what am I to do? One option would be to immediately drop all reliance on concentrated energy sources. History ,however, has shown that these types of efforts are generally unsuccessful. Instead, I am going to begin a personal program paralleling what we all should have begun years ago; a gradual transition into a sustainable life, a better life, my dream.
The dream. My dream has been a changing one. Once it was owning just a few houses in various parts of the world, all equipped with hot tubs, game rooms, personal theaters and the such. Later, it became to find truth in this complicated world, work to further our understand of how things work, and make a reasonable paycheck in doing so. I still would like to understand more about our earth, but I have come to realize that not all knowledge is necessary to justify or enjoy or existence. This does fly in the face of most scientific goals, but we must realize, in striving for a ever more knowing and powerful existence, we will permanently destroy the good things we have. By luck, we are specs on a hospitable rock flying through the void of space and should feel lucky to be aware of such. Is it really going to help us in any way to exhaust every possible technological pathway, insuring our own doom, only to realize we should have stopped a long time ago if we ever wanted to enjoy what we have? There is no solid line. Some technology and some knowledge seems good, some seems bad. I believe we might learn from considering the old saying, “Everything in moderation.” We need to begin to grow and learn at a pace commensurate with the resources we have available to us. Life is not some race. In promoting a competitive nature in all of ourselves, we have come to believe that the faster and greater your do something, the better you do it. I just no longer see how this can be true. Competition can be fun and it is likely what drove us to evolve. I enjoy racing, a comparative test of physical ability. But, even in these, there does not have to be a loser. Everyone wins when everyone’s intention is only to have fun and improve themselves and each other. We say these sorts of things to our kids but then never really embody them because we know we can succeed with that mentality in this society. We need to change that. That is my dream. My dream now is to live in a world where we all work hard together to live sustainable lives. We remove the unnecessary energy wasting technology and focus on ways to power the positive technologies in sustainable ways. We become social again, not through electric pulses sending bytes of information from one flat light source to another, but in person. We talk, we hug, we work, we sleep, together as people. There doesn’t have to be violence and there doesn’t have to be starvation. These things only happen because we choose for them to happen. I unfortunately don’t know how to change the world. I wish there could be world peace – it is so easily within our reach. But, I do know how to start changing myself, and just maybe, if other people do likewise, that is the change that starts of the dream, a peaceful and sustainable world.