A Study of the Needs and Limitations of Our World
(see also Welcome #2 2016 June 14)
It is very likely that our civilization is at a crossroads — because of the consequences of global warming, we will either go extinct, or we will mature as a species. I hope for the latter.
Yes, on the surface, global warming is a technological issue, but it is a super-wicked problem (see my Post #2: The Issues of Global Warming, Part 1) — we have created it , and we may not solve it in time to allow our survival. We are currently in what Laszlo (in Evolution: The General Theory) called a cascade of crises (see diagram).
I strongly believe that global warming is not a technological issue; it is a reflection of our immaturity as a species, and thus is an emotional existential-spiritual issue. We may solve the technological issues, but likely we will then create another crisis in its turn.
The purpose of this blog is to examine the human issues that have lead to global warming, and to initiate discussion of how we can effectively respond. Four categories will be explored:
- a brief study of how and why we have gotten to this situation,
- a vision of who and how we need to be as a civilization,
- the forces that oppress us in preventing this vision from actualization, and
- the forces that can motivate us to achieve this vision.
Thank you. Please participate — it is our future.
Please also visit my website aplacetwobe.ca.
(Note: all books referenced in these blogs are listed in Media.)
3 thoughts on “The Human Side of Global Warming”
Pure science when properly done and not driven by the profit motive has given us our modern civilization. It has allowed the average life span to rise from under 40 years to in excess of 70 in the last three centuries. It has saved countless mothers and children from the dangers of childbirth. Science has never offered that it has the only truth, merely that it offers the best explanation for circumstances as they are. Always true science is open to change when facts prove theory wrong. The arts, beauty in all its forms, philosophy, the workings of the human mind and the culture that allows the human (at least in his own eyes) to rise above the level from which he is descended are the culture granted to us by the science that you feel is part of the problem.
Surely wisdom does not need myths to allow itself to exist. Unless I am completely off base, my concept of wisdom is the capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct of that life, perhaps more generally, soundness of judgment. I have great difficulty when I am forced to defend my choices using the myths and legends concerning gods and/or a God. Surely wisdom cannot depend on that for its validity.
I find it unfortunate that our civilization is in fact based on myth rather than reality. I have become convinced over my 78 years that our civilization would be far better off if we were prepared to develop our own code of conduct which would allow us to live together in harmony rather than accepting the religious codes which drive people apart and prevent us from from accepting ideas of other cultures, ways of life and religions.
Many times and in many ways, I have quoted (source unknown): “A science that does not incorporate spirituality is dehumanizing; a spirituality that does not incorporate science is delusional.” Thus I totally agree with the contributions of science; it is the “done properly” that bothers me — more and more in my lifetime I have seen the distortion of science by scientism, and by political agendas. So point one for me is that science has never offered that it is the only truth; I agree, but scientism has, and unfortunately is a prime driver of scientific materialism. Point two is that I also object strongly to the use of primitive religions that “drive people apart” — that is not religion, it is egoism. There is so much more to spirituality than this limited view — see, for example, my posts “Are you spiritual? What is spirituality?” of June 23 and 24. We need a spirituality that includes science as well as mystical experience. I am deeply spiritual, but I have no use for much of the nonsense that passes as religion or even spirituality. The need for myth though is what drives us as human beings — consider the works of Jung and Whitehead for deeper aspects of this, for great depth, of how human beings function.
Also, check out the blog of Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC.org, Daily Meditations). His language can be churchy, but he is an example of someone whose spirituality is very mature.