Sorry to be so late this week. As you know, I got involved with quite a lot of photography related to the climate change march. And today’s blog will talk (again) about the root cause of climate change. If we ignore the root cause (of anything) it will just circle around and come back to bite us in a different form, so all you climate change marchers, you need to ALSO deal with the root cause or you cannot succeed in your projects unto the seventh generation (or even the third, that would be your grandchildren) and beyond. Here is this week podcast transcription
God did not design a world in which we can have everything we want. And what a good thing that is! We would have messed it up in short order. We are not God and we do not have the wisdom or the capacity, even with computers, to understand and keep track of and balance all the millions of interacting parts of a sustainable life form such as our Earth. And of course all of our food, water and air, that is our survival, comes from our living earth.
Instead, the miracle of this living earth is precisely that it is designed to sustain itself. If we don’t completely mess it up, we can be quite certain that there will be a future for us to live and strive for because the Life of Earth is sustainable. However, it does not operate solely to serve human desires, and as Chief Oren Lyons said to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now (DN130809). “The Laws of Nature are such that we will suffer in direct ratio to our transgressions. It’s as simple as that. People should understand this, there is no mercy in nature. None whatsoever. Only the Law. Only the rules. If you follow those laws and rules, you’ll have regeneration, again and again, and if you want to challenge those laws, then you suffer the consequence, and that’s where we are right now.”
That is a reason to be alive. For the future. That we should not create more suffering, now or in the future, because of us being a part of all Life.
I guarantee the reason for human existence is not profit — or fame. Probably, the purpose for our lives is that very sustainability — that very intricately balanced sustainability. Or maybe it is the search for deeper meaning, in fact to reach out for God, within the task of sustaining and growing His creation.
In any case, we all do have an obligation to the future, and one of the best expressions of this fact that I’ve heard are again in the words of native American Chief Oren Lyons, this time speaking to Bill Moyers “We are now. Now is us. We’re the seventh generation. I’m sitting here as the seventh generation because seven generations ago there were people looking out for me. Seven generations from now someone will be there, I know. And so each generation makes sure that seven generations is coming, all the time. . . And that’s accountability. We’re accountable. We and you and I, we’re accountable, yes we are, and they are going to call us. They’re the ones who are going to say Why did you do this, or Why did you not do this?”
Indeed we could grow a sustainable future, with much resources for everyone, so long as we limit our numbers to what the earth has available to give, both to ourselves and to the other Earth species that are responsible for maintaining the viable conditions of air water and food energy, and at the same time every child could have at least the chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in other words, a rewarding life.
But not, as we are doing today, not if we continue to produce more children than we have resources to support. Sooner or later, regardless of our technological genius, a population that grows greater than the available resources, like any Ponzi scheme, falls down into a terrible morass of suffering. And we will have nobody to blame but ourselves. Not the Bible, not God, not nature – because we know what we are doing to cause the suffering and we refuse to stop doing it.
Of course we do understand that overpopulation will end in disaster. Our problem is that, at the same time, we must all honor our humanity, and part of that human imperative is our built-in sense of compassion.
As an American Buddhist friend has said:
“About babies – totally agree there are too many. Governments need to stop subsidizing them. No tax deductions after the first birth. No fertility clinics – adopt, borrow, or put up with it. But I’m less hard-hearted about letting people die, though the logic hasn’t changed. Only because I was on a scary small plane ride with a young woman with a tiny baby, coming back from hospital birth. It would have been her second, but the first time the weather had stopped planes from flying so she couldn’t get to the hospital. Before that I would have said, this is normal and how it should be. Just like if it were my children and grandchildren getting ebola, I wouldn’t be able to say it’s normal, it cuts the population problem.“So if we’re going to protect individual lives, we really, really have to change our norms about having babies. Every child deserves full attention of at least five adults, that’s what I say. I’d like to see a movement.”
This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS FM radio in Bryan, Texas.
A copy of the podcast is available at:
Democracy Now DN130809
Filed under: bare bones biology, BBB Audio Transcripts, Population | Tagged: Bill Moyers, Chief Oren Lyons, Democracy Now | Leave a comment »