Posted by Tim Stobbs on April 17, 2009
Have you ever noticed something really weird about us? I know one that drives me a little crazy trying to understand. It’s the fact we are so calm in the face of a the destruction of the planet. I mean there is huge amounts of ice falling off the Antarctic, species going extinct every year and we do nothing. In fact when faced with that knowledge we are calm.
No one is losing their heads, no falling governments, riots or even people fainting. In fact after watching someone read a piece of news like that you can’t even tell they have read something like that. Are we not rational beings? Can we not put two and two together and see if the world stops working they way it is suppose to that will be bad for us as a species at some point? I’m going to assume that we we have the capacity to understand this, so what gives?
Some people think we have just heard too much of news like that and we have grown insensitive to it. I disagree we have never reacted in horror once at what is going on. It is something else. I think it is a cultural myth that is keeping us from reacting to the news in the expected emotional way.
I think the belief that we are seperate from nature is the problem. There is man and our little sub-world and then there is nature which is the stuff that surrounds our cities. In our minds they are seperate and distict. At least at the belief level. So if large amounts of ice fall off the Antarctic, that’s nature’s problem and it doesn’t effect us. Our cities are still standing, I’m still doing the same job and eating the same food. Our sub-world is in tact.
The problem with this concept is we walk around with blinders on to the problems until it is too late. Only after a problem has gotten so big that it crosses over to our sub-world do we react to it. Even then as long is it isn’t happening in our backyards we are likely to ignore it. So by the time these issues collectively touch every city on the planet, it will be too late. We ourselves will be the endangered species. It may not happen your lifetime, but it will happen.
So what’s the solution? It’s easy said than done: we are nature. We are part of this process and we will either learn to live sustainability on this planet or die as a species. That’s it. There are no other long term outcomes. Given the strakness of the reality, I don’t blame people for believing in the myth. No one wants to believe they are responible, even in part, for the destruction of mankind. Even if it is true.
Well that’s my thoughts on why we are all so calm. Do you have a theory? If so please share.