We Are Destroying Our Planet, and We Are Responsible

We humans are destroying our planet—and we are responsible.  We spread pollution through our industry, our overpopulation, our fertilizers, our trash, and our insecticides.  We wreak ecological havoc through our unsustainable farming, logging, mining, fishing, and exploitation of the world’s other natural resources.  We are making our home unlivable not only for ourselves but for the millions of other animal and plant species with whom we share it.

If you do not agree with me, or hold any doubts about the seriousness of our ecological situation, just google “global ecological crisis” or any similar string of words and read a few of the articles.  This is difficult to ignore.

Yet the norm ignores it—or simply doesn’t place it at that high of a relevance in their lives.  And to me this makes sense, because the reality of what we’re doing is horrible—and because there is no other planet to which we can realistically escape.  It is normal to want to block out this horror—just as it is normal to retreat into fantasy to bolster a sense of empowerment.  It is normal as well to prioritize comfort over restraint and to prioritize self-deception over self-reflection.  It is normal for people to live lives of tunnel vision—of work, home, food, debt, family, politics, entertainment.  It is also normal for people go on having children to keep themselves happy, and normal to dump these global problems into their children’s laps.  And if their children end up living the same way, which is what normal parents teach their children to do, they will only pass this mess on to their future children—if they’re not sterile by then.

Our unconsciousness is leading us toward extinction, and as the coming decades pass this will become only more obvious.  This I guarantee.

Addendum:  I wrote this essay in 2004.  Some years have passed since then, and I can now confirm that my guarantee was correct:  more people are waking up to the obvious, becoming more conscious.  And soon a lot more will, exponentially I believe.  We are living in a time of real psychological revolution.  Meanwhile, I am waking up more too—growing more self-aware, more experienced in life, more distant from the norm, and simultaneously further down my path of helping to define a new norm.

But the sad, ugly reality remains:  as a species we are failing to live up to our potential as human beings.  And I hope that changes—just when?

A video I made on the subject:

6 thoughts on “We Are Destroying Our Planet, and We Are Responsible

  1. This is not an intellectual exercise. You have to feel it from the heart. We are trashing our one and only home because we are unconscious. We listen to rubbish on the TV and in the papers all of which are designed to distract us from the real issues. There are groups that want to control at any cost and we are slaves in a system so powerful that they have convinced us that this is normal. But it’s not. It’s totally reversible and we can all live together in peace and harmony. But we need to wake up and take back our lives. We are the vast majority and soon we will awaken from this nightmare and things will be as they should be. As they used to be.

  2. I don’t mean to be rude, but you really ought to list some evidence to support your views. This is really important to you, right? Surely you must be able to name a few books, link to a few articles or cite a few statistics to prove your case. Telling people to “just Google it”, so to speak, does not make for a compelling argument.

    Incidentally, Hans Rosling has plenty of statistics to prove that population growth is already slowing, that we have already reached “peak child”, and that overall human population will peak sometime this century. http://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/

    Concerns about overpopulation are hardly new. In 1968 Paul Ehrlich published “The Population Bomb”, in which he famously predicted that hundreds of millions of people would die from starvation during the 1970s. But reality proved to be far better than he imagined, partly because population did not expand so quickly as he’d thought and partly because technology allowed us to feed people more efficiently. Perhaps your own fears for the future will likewise prove to be overstated.

    Is there pollution? Of course there is. Is that a problem? Of course it is. But that doesn’t mean that we’re “destroying” our planet, or that humanity is on a path of self-annihilation. If you’re concerned about Global Warming, for instance, you should be comforted by the fact that temperatures have actually risen much slower than the IPCC (and other such authorities) originally predicted. http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/paris-climate-conference/ . That’s not to say that Global Warming isn’t real; obviously it is real. But it’s not about to destroy civilization; apparently it’s something that we can reasonably live with.

    Unsustainable farming? Which of our practices are unsustainable? At what point will our farming system collapse? And what evidence do you have to support those views? And if there’s something wrong with our current methods, remember that new advances in technology are paving the way for farms that use less water, less insecticide, and even less land. http://weburbanist.com/2015/01/11/worlds-largest-indoor-farm-is-100-times-more-productive/ .

    You say we’re making our home unlivable? What makes you believe that? Sure, pollution is a problem. But there’s a big difference between “flawed” and “unlivable”. At what point exactly will “millions” of animal and plant species go extinct because of our actions? And what percentage of currently-existing species will remain? It’s a fact of nature that 99% of species that have ever existed went extinct on their own terms, long before humans started mucking things up. It seems to me that, although we’ve increased the extinction rate, we haven’t done so to the extremes you’re implying. It’s sad that we killed all the passenger pigeons, but most species are doing ok (thanks in part to the Endangered Species Act and such).

    I’m not denying that humans often harm the environment. I’m just saying: I don’t think we’re doomed. Even without radical change, I think the human race is doing ok. And I think the biosphere is ok too.

    If you’d like to argue otherwise, please cite your sources.

  3. The Answer to the problems and suffering we continually create, is due to a lack of understanding of how the natural laws that govern the automatic movement of life actually work. This is our own fault. No effort has been made to really understand it. This is because we have become slaves to the intellect. Therefore destruction is inevitable.

    Its funny how people like to ask ‘well ok how do we change it? What do we do then mr preacher? Why dont you tell us? You answer the questions?

    The simple truth remains. Every individual is here to grow in awareness of themselves and world around them. this happens quite naturally through experience. But it doesn’t happen by pointing at people for answers. No one out there is going to change life for you. For must first learn to quiten your mind. Over time if you are still seeking the answers quietly without predudice. Doors will opens.

    Unfortunately to even get to the beginning of this stage great suffering often continues to spiral like an endless cycle. Because of stubbornness, laziness, and material gain. we place science and learnedness above real spiritual knowledge which is not a religion but an energy which exists in all living things. Us included. We either choose to become one with it. To flow with it. If we do not……we will be crushed by it.

    It is my responsibility as well as everyone’s. to become aware of this for themselves The journey for the truth must be made alone. And It doesn’t matter what I say because in the end. No preacher, no religion, or political ideals are going to save us.

  4. So the potential of humanity is?
    To stop leaving a carbon footprint? (By going back to the pre-industrial age? How?)
    To “damage” the environment less?
    To “repair the damage”? (How?)
    Is using petroleum inherently wrong? Why should it be – after all, petroleum is just as natural as a tree.
    Is refining/using any natural product wrong? Should we eat raw grain kernels instead of baking bread? Wear fig leaves instead of weaving material and sewing clothes?
    Before “environmentalists” start preaching, they should first answer these questions.

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