Is humanity as successful as it thinks it is?
“Is modern civilisation sprinting in a long distance race?”Certain changes in my life, including the birth of my son have called into question for me, the fundamental question. Are we as a species really successful?
For a few generations including my own, the outlook was bright, progress was bountiful with year on year developments in medicine, technology and agriculture. This progressive golden age has increased our species numbers like never before. Success is ours, or is it?
Drilling down to the basics and working our way back up to the surface of our new modern world, this philosophical mind food is important to chew over because it is now the modern world which are putting our successors at risk. Was success just a brief fleeting moment in this epoch of time?
The children’s story of the Tortoise and the Hare best describes the situation. To use an Olympic themed analogy, our modern civilisation is sprinting in a long distance race, burning up our calories and resources in a few generations, leaving future generations nothing but an empty and exhausted planet to survive on.
Success as viewed by our modern world only comes if you have built up (hoarded) huge amounts of personal money that you impoverish others, and use the natural world as disposable property. The ecology of the whole planet is being sacrificed to only benefit a few, while the many forage around for the scraps.
Success as viewed from a modern perspective is causing humanity itself to fail as the planet’s ability to keep the bio-sphere suitable for life begins to wane. Success as defined by the dictionary is: “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.”
Humanities endeavor is primarily consciously or unconsciously the survival and long-term continuation of the species. With this, we are failing.
Can we create an era of healing
The race is long and we have sprinted from the start line.
In a recent debate, I had with an American chap, astonished me because, he genuinely thought that technology would find a way to keep all modern civilisation flourishing for many hundreds of years to come. I had to point out to him that:
“Population growth is unsustainable, emission burning is unsustainable, marine fishing is unsustainable, forest depletion is unsustainable, species loss is unsustainable and an economy based on growth is unsustainable”.
If and only if, all these factors are overcome, then possibly our success as a species may be possible. A World War 2 sized effort by all the countries of the world to begin to reverse the already obvious damage we have caused, and may begin an era of healing for a long-term vision.
However, the current system of rewarding money hoarders for destructive practices will only continue to see the human race tire before the end of the race. A successful and clever athlete will always keep some back for the future.
The track is long, but our sight is short, so I can only doubt that the human bravado our recent generations are acclimatized too, will soon run out of steam.
Success only comes if you can finish the race.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt September 11, 2012
Founder of Heat My Home.