"Until recently, the planet was a large world in which human activities and their effects were neatly compartmentalized. ... These compartments have begun to dissolve. ... the various global crises that have seized public concern ... are not separate crises ... They are all one."
Written over twenty years ago, it is as true today as it was in 1987. If we were to analyze the root causes of most of the world's conflicts we would find a recurring theme of imbalance. Poor vs. rich, famine vs. abundance, cities vs. nature, war vs. peace...ad nauseum. When humans live in harmony with nature their essential needs are met. Everything needed to survive is available. Materials for housing, clothing, and tools. Food, clean air, and clean water all provide for a healthy population. Healthy people tend to be happy people.
In her 1992 article Utgard , Diana Paxon wrote:
"The human brain is an example of an organism which has developed by adding new structures and functions to older ones. Most people today have access only to the newer levels of consciousness, and are disturbed by the "irrational" emotions that shake them when the older parts of the brain are aroused. In the same way, our civilization thinks of itself as "modern," and has trouble understanding the social movements that arise when deeper needs revive older ways.
A major paradigm shift in our relationship to Nature is taking place in this century - a change that must occur if humanity is to survive. Ours is the first generation to be aware of the fragility of the environment. "Primitive" people retain an instinctive awareness that the only way to survive in an environment that is more powerful than they are is by learning to live in harmony with its forces. But as civilization and the development of technology have given humans more control over their surroundings, Nature has become an adversary. In the natural world, birth and death, creation and destruction, are parts of a continuing cycle in which both are equally crucial to long-term survival. Modern man can accept this in theory so long as he remains insulated from its realities by his technology."
Are we addicted to technology? Will it be the cause of our demise? Not necessarily.
Humans can create technology that is sustainable in its manufacturing, with energy that is clean and from renewable sources. We can use our formidable technology to address and conquer our waste problems, clean and reclaim natural habitats. We must find a balance again. We must take action.
By creating processes that eliminate further pollution and reclaim damaged environments, we can stop our inevitable destruction. The earth will survive. If we don't change our ways, and soon, it is the human race that will become extinct.
Until next time, become the change you imagine.