According to boxer Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
Industrial civilization punched the planet in the face, repeatedly. We wonder why Earth isn’t the same planet with which we grew up. We offer apologies, including recycling and hybrid automobiles, but we’re unwilling — as a society — to pursue substantive change.
And now it’s too late. Earth is done with humans. We’re walking around to save money on funeral expenses.
My response: Pursue what you love. Pursue a life of excellence. Throw off the cultural shackles. All of ’em.
We’re all in hospice now. Let’s give freely of our time, wisdom, and material possessions. Let’s throw ourselves into humanity and the living planet. Let’s act with compassion and courage. Let’s endow ourselves with dignity. Even if all the data and forecasts are incorrect, even if Earth can support infinite growth on a finite planet with no adverse consequences, please convince me there is a better way to live.
And let’s not forget the immortal words of writer Edward Abbey: “Action is the antidote to despair.” After all, I am not now suggesting, nor have I ever suggested, giving up. Our insignificant lives have never been about us. They’re about the shards of the living planet we leave in our wake. As pointed out by Desmond Tutu, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Anybody can cheer for winners. Essentially everybody I know sits on the sidelines cheering the favorites. I’m proposing we stop sitting on the sidelines. I’m proposing we get to work on behalf the underdogs. I’m proposing we start working to save the living planet. I’m proposing we start by dismantling industrial civilization.
Is there a better metric of a person’s character than how she treats those who can do nothing for her? Let’s treat others with respect as we leave this mortal coil. Let’s extend the concept of “other” to humans within non-industrial cultures. Let’s extend the concept further, to non-human species. You might think they’ve been doing nothing for us, but they’ve been providing for our own existence. Let’s return the favor.
I presented at MultiKulti in Chicago on Sunday night, 30 March 2014. Description and audio file are here. Video is embedded below.
I was interviewed on the radio by Mike Nowak on the morning of 30 March 2014. The podcast is here.
I was interviewed for an article in Truth-Out: The Vanishing Arctic Ice Cap was published 31 March 2014.
Radio interview from Tampa, Florida the morning of 1 April 2014 is described and linked here