Every day we get new incontrovertible evidence that our global economic model is broken. Incontrovertible proof that global climate change is indeed caused by human activity. Much of this new evidence is denied by those who are accumulating great wealth from that broken economic system. The journey toward deep sustainability is hampered by the well-funded denials that are designed to create doubt in the minds of the general public.
In her book This Changes Everything, author Naomi Klein makes the point that our global economic system is based on petroleum, greed, and the concept of extractivism. The global climate change and weather intensification that is already beginning is showing us that unlimited economic expansion is one of humanity’s most embedded and dangerous illusions. It ignores the reality that anything that is not limited in its growth by negative feedback systems will ultimately increase towards infinity, and its own destruction. For example, when things get out of balance in the natural world, nature kicks in her negative feedback systems to reestablish balance…..the balance needed to ensure survival for the living systems she has been creating for the last five billion years. The intensity of storms increase. They become both more frequent and more violent.
Nature Is Speaking To Us
Nature is not punishing humanity. Nature is neutral. Her one and only focus is on re-establishing balance. She is not worried about humanity; she is simply protecting the living conditions needed by all of the living systems she has created. And what we are experiencing in the climate intensification that we are beginning to experience around the world, is just how fast her negative feedback systems can increase.
We live on a fragile and finite world. The uncontrolled extraction of our planet’s natural resources and the air, water, and land pollution it creates is now being challenged by nature and her negative feedback systems. Natural systems that are struggling to bring our planet’s living systems back into balance.
What nature is telling us is that the exponential growth in pollution created by our dependence on petroleum is not acceptable. She is telling us very clearly that we have to end that dependence. We have to end the uncontrolled and unlimited extraction of our planet’s natural resources. It’s an economic practice that is harming the natural habitats of other living systems and the many beings that share this planet with us. Extractivism is dominance based. Extractivism is based on taking, not on giving back. It is the opposite of a compassionate reciprocal sense of stewardship.
Nature is neutral. But she commands great power. Her negative feedback systems will quickly intensify until we accept the reality that nature “will” win this conflict. Not humanity. Our attempts to control nature for the last 150 years has been another dangerous illusion. Nature is going to win this conflict, and we are rapidly running out of time to recognize that reality.
Our Global Economic Model Is Broken – Everything Is Going To Change
Our global economic system and its greed based resource-depleting activities have to end. And when they do, as Klein points out, everything is going to change. Humanity is going to need a new economic model that is based on our becoming a species that lives in right relationship with the natural world. This new economic model will need to offer the benefits of our natural world for the mutual benefit of all living beings on our planet…..not just humans.
The forces of greed that control the old economic model are not going to give up their power willingly. The moment they lose control of the existing economic system, they know the world and their wealth will change in ways that they do not want to experience.
It will be important for humanity to recognize that these people, and the multi-national corporations that they control, know full well that they are destroying our planet. They’ve known it for several decades. They simply don’t want to give up their power and wealth. So they funnel huge financial resources into controlling the media, financing climate deniers, and buying thousands of barrels of ink to control the media and our perceptions in order to create doubt.
We Are Not Talking About A Dark Conspiracy
The coming challenges and problems facing humanity in the next couple of decades are not the result of a dark conspiracy. These people, the 1%, are not evil forces taking over the world. They are simply folks consumed by a hunger for greed and power that makes them blind and indifferent to the pain and suffering they are creating. They would rather see the planet destroyed than give up their privilege and power. It’s that simple. They know that “everything will change” if they loosen their grip on power. They will not go into the night willingly. It will take a lot of us to loosen their grip on power. But I believe that day is here if we can work together.
We need to embrace the realities that face us individually and collectively and begin creating a new economic model that sustainably dismantles the existing model. The new economic model will need to include the concepts of mutuality, mutual benefit, and respect for all living beings on the planet……not just humans. Like it or not, we are intimately dependent on the other living beings that share this finite and fragile planet with us. If you doubt that concept, consider the tiny honey bee. A single honey bee collects about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. To make one pound of honey, bees fly roughly 50,000 miles. Honey bees and other insects pollinate more than 1/3 of all the food we eat. So far we’ve killed off over half of our bee colonies. Not only are we losing our pollinating friends, but most of the food we consume from monoculture farming comes from petroleum fertilized dirt……not organically living soil.
Right now our global economic model Is broken. To end our dependence on petroleum means “everything will change”. And the longer we wait to implement a new economic system, the more violent the changes will be. The changes are coming. The only question facing us now—will we act in time to minimize the suffering those changes will create.
I have faith that when enough of us accept the realities listed above, we will have the ability and the will needed to create a just and sustainable human culture. Everything will change, but I believe those changes will create a better world. Of course, if our goal is to change the world, we will need to begin by changing the way we think, from a focus on “i” to a focus on the collective “we”; from our primitive ego’s what’s in-it-for-“me”, to a more awakened human consciousness that has learned to ask what’s-in-it-for-“us”.
Our new world will be created by you and I as we become the change our world needs. The changes needed, however, will come from the bottom up, not the top down…….but only if “we” work together to create that change.