Sunday, October 12, 2008

Split Personality

Our economic system is in shambles. The sub-prime mortgage crisis and plummeting stock markets are the start of the biggest recession since the 1930s.

To make things even worse, human numbers — almost seven billion — are well beyond the carrying capacity of the good Earth. Oil production has passed its peak. World grain production is decreasing. The ocean's fisheries are being depleted. Global temperature is rising. And I could go on.

After the Second World War, cheap energy, mass production and technological innovation brought good times. Society enjoyed the best 60 years of human existence. But now that Golden Age has crashed onto a reef.

As discussed in my last blog, communism and now capitalism have been brought to their knees by a common human trait: greed. Today our society is characterized by conspicuous consumption, superficiality, vanity, materialism, mindless entertainment and, most of all, greed, which comes in many shades. Instead of planning ahead, we have instant gratification. Instead of kindness and consideration, we have vanity and narcissism. Instead of ethics, everything is condoned. Instead of honour, we have "who cares." Instead of charity and sharing, we grasp for more.

It's the tragedy of the commons on a grand scale. To hell with others; let's live for the present and abandon the future.

Technology will not solve our problems. The solution lies much closer: between our ears. We need to change our attitudes and become more caring of our neighbours and considerate of future generations. We must learn to control our greed. But how?

Human beings have split personalities. We desperately need to find ways of curbing the negative traits, especially greed, and fostering the positive. But how?

Send me your ideas. Let's talk about this .... our survival depends on it.

2 comments: said...

Choosing not to speak with a forked tongue......

The economy is saved, now how about turning attention and financial resources to saving the Earth from a meltdown?

It looks as if the Wonder Boys on Wall Street, who caused the current disaster in the world's financial system, are going to rescue the family of humanity from a meltdown of the global economy.

Is it too much to ask some of these multi-billionaires to provide wealth to save the world from the global "meltdown" of Earth's ice pack that is occurring in Greenland, Antarctica, the high mountain ranges from the Arctic Cordillera, to the Andes to the Himalayas?

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001

Simonfromlondon said...

Great blog and good luck with your book. I manage the OPT blog which does mainly "report the consequences" rather than prompt discussion, though we do propose some solutions on the main site. Are you in touch with OPT?

Simon Ross