Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Right Here, Right Now

It sometimes seems a wonder that the human race is, at this point in time, at this very juncture, with this very dilemma. Not a moment too soon, not a moment too late.

Imagine if the grand ecosystem of the planet had been much less adaptable, much more delicate, and people in the early 20th century were already getting the hems of their petticoats and coattails wet in rising tides from melting poles. The technology being that less advanced back then would certainly have meant our demise, not being able to save us from ourselves.

The fact that our own technology today is evolving practically exponentially is a comfort. Do we have a chance to technologize ourselves out of this? It's kind of the only hope, isn't it?

It also seems...planned. I'm not going theistic on your ass, don't worry, after all, I do rely on science and healthy scepticism to keep this very physical problem in the physical paradigm wherein it presides. But really, how lucky are we that this is all happening at precisely this moment in time?

Look how far we've come. We're more co-operative and peaceful than we've ever been in our entire history. I have faith in the human race. Technology is bringing movements together. Can it also geo-engineer us out of catastrophe? If anyone in the history of time has the chance to find out, we're it.


  1. I would debate with some of the points you made here, if you don't mind;).
    Ok - maybe the early XX century people didn't have our technology, but the dependance on technology is exactly the reason why we are more vulnerable then people hundred years ago. If all this mess happened in 1900, ok, it still would be a mess, but that time so much more people lived in the countryside, cultivated the land, were tuned with the rythm of the nature so they would cope better with the extreme weather, or poor harvest, etc.
    We do have better technology now, but how much of it is actually practical (not virtual). I think we are much worse of now then we would be then.

    Other thing - you say that we are much more cooperative and peaceful then we used to be. But are we? I remember how struck I was when I read statistics about civilian casualities of war trough the centuries. Hundreds years ago civilians were only a small percentage of war victims. Now, when we are supposedly more advanced, they are majority of casualities. Actually the safest people during the war are soldiers. Where is the progress in that?

    I think we are living in barbaric times, and this fact is covered by the blindness caused by glamour of technology, and colorful, loud noise of information we are exposed to in the West.
    Rest of the world doesn't have this illusion. People of Africa or Middle East, they know - it's been worse then ever. The hypocrisy of governments and institution has reached unimaginable dimentions.

    Sorry for being negative here, but I think to make a progress first we have to face the reality.

    I see it in this way - up to begenning of XX century we were going into right direction - towards bigger unity, justice, humanism, there were beatiful social movements based on the principles of brotherhood and enlightment. But then it was crushed, and now we live just in one, not even too good version of reality.
    We still have the movements, beatiful ideas, but they seem to be accepted only by the margin of society, they are not massive...

    But maybe something is chanaging now, I want to belive that we are reaching a critical mass and people will reclaim the future stolen by banks and governments.

  2. Don't mind one bit!

    I've fallen over a few articles lately dealing with the decline of violence, this is just one of them, that I've bookmarked


    Certainly, violence isn't obsolete. Far from it. And even the way some countries deal with f.ex. the death penalty (lethal injection in the US) is a symbolic way of "pacifying" the violence of the act, even though the outcome is the same. But as a whole, I do believe we are more peaceful than ever now.

    As for the other bit, I can see your point, but I think I was coming more from a standpoint of - wow, how lucky we are that the shit didn't hit the fan immediately after the onslaught of industrialization. Industrialized cities at the start of the last century were notoriously unhealthy environments before EPAs and Clean Air Acts were enforced. Imagine if the planet had already had enough then? I don't think we'd be here to discuss this now if that were the case.

    So. I think we're still the lucky ones. We have high standards of living, our technology is still evolving, and with the critical mass being fulfilled shortly (or whatever term people want to use) we could just make the turnaround possible to avert the crisis.

    It almost seems divine, is what I'm trying to say. Maybe we are the divine. This is our moment.

  3. Hi Jennie

    A surprising perspective in the mist of doom and gloom, but you strike a chord I think. If we look at the climate challenge from a more spiritual perspective it's kind of logical that mankind has been presented with this potential disaster.

    For more than a hundred years we have had a very widescale and extensive materialistic development on earth. The world population has grown and we have become extremely interconnected. Spiritually we haven't exactly had a gold age, but a lot of people now don't have to worry too much about having their basic needs met, which is a good thing.

    Maybe this crisis shows us that we are ready to take another step towards a more mature collective existence. Maybe we have become too much like spoiled children focused on just having our needs met, and now we are forced to once again to focus on responsibility and caring about other people.

    And as always we don't change our ways voluntarily, and the more we have moved down the wrong path, the more difficulty we have to face for us to really change.

    Earth will be here long after we have gone, and in the big perspective, environment really doesn't matter, but it matters to us, and that we have to learn - the hard way it seems.

  4. Hey Rune!

    Thanks so much for your comment. It was difficult to put this into words without getting too spiritual, so I think your comment is a good supplement! When you look at any of the diagrams that in one way or another explain the amount of time the earth existed before life, then bacterial life, then under the rule of the dinosaurs, then humans, then humans with tools, then humans with the wheel, combustion, industrialization etc etc, we are only the slightest speck of dust at this point in time, it would surely seem we're at the cusp of the very end of everything. When in fact, our own technological prowess and scientific advancement tells us that we are at just the right place at the right time. We do have what it takes. It's extraordinary really. We must use it though, that's the catch. Getting those damned material interests out of the way once and for all. Exciting stuff.