Getting our Act Together

You know I’m not into jumping up and down and waving my arms, because arm-waving doesn’t change anything. Well, it does change human behaviors, but it has no other impact on the ecosystem. People who really care about other people will find out the facts.

I’m here to give some pointers toward that information. So there is another alert today from Oxfam, via the BBC. Oxfam is worried about our communal ability to deal with the challenges posed by the rapid changes in our world.

Oxfam logo states: “We are thirteen organizations working together to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.”

I do not think they will succeed unless you and I work very hard to ameliorate the foundational cause of modern poverty. The modern cause (in additional to injustice and all the other historical causes) is that we are reaching the limits of the earth resources. We all knew we couldn’t go on forever taking more.

But our project is long term. We can not cure the shortages overnight that have been building up for hundreds of years. And in the meantime Oxfam is one of the most effective and highly rated and respected organizations to fill in the gap while we are getting our act together.

Collaboration beats Conflict

On the front page of the New York Times, “Where education and assimilation collide” by Ginger Thompson, raises once again the problem of immigration.  This is not a “fightin words” article.  It’s very well considered evaluation of a real problem, which is essentially one of human rights.

Humans have a right, or at least a need, for decent living conditions, and they will do what they can to get them.  This is completely understandable.

Americans also have a need for decent living conditions, and there is a limit to our resources; therefore our generosity has limits.  This is completely understandable.

A few weeks ago I was astonished to hear Linda Chavez say (Bill Moyers Journal 10/17/08):  “The whole population control movement is at the heart of the immigration control movement in this country.”  Surely she must understand the overpopulation is not a “movement,” or an opinion.  It is a factual reality that can be proven by counting up all the people and all the resources.

Or maybe Ms. Chavez’ opinion is that our  human rights problems would be solved if everyone were free to go anywhere.  The world might come to that, I suppose.  In the best of conditions, if we were to work together.  However, this is not the best of conditions. The earth can not make more energy (food and other energy sources) than it already is making.  But we keep  increasing the population.  Therefore, no matter how hard we try, people will be starving and they will do whatever they can to solve their problems.  Just as you do.  The best way to understand how this works is to read Collapse, by Jared Diamond.090313tgt_dsc9440s

I think it is time to stop yelling at each other about something that is NOT different among us — and talk together about our common problem.  There is more than one way to solve any problem, but some ways are more useful than others.  Personally I think talking and working together is better than killing each other.   Especially if we really care about human rights.