Many of us comment merited scepticism regarding the global political will to address our economic woes, immoral species loss and unmitigated climate change.
All are symptoms of where progress over recent decades has led us. Arguably, it is a stale mate position that trickle feeds resources in growing exponential quantities as the given group becomes more defined by privilege.
In short, many of us realise that human activity, in its current fashion, cannot continue and we as a collective sit fixated, like the rabbit lost in the fast approaching headlights…
So how do we change?
I’ve spent a little time on this subject lately and I truly believe the battle starts with values. The committed sceptics on any given topic has a set of clearly defined and articulated values. They are nothing special, radical or perverse. They are simple messages that each one of them can agree on. Remove the illogical conclusions drawn on important subjects, such as climate change, the messages are, for the most part, the same as those most people would agree on.
Conversely, the values provided largely in the pop-media and from various activism groups, whether truthful or not, do seem self-righteous, radical and unfamiliar. Talk to many vegans and passionate vegetarians, for instance, and you will soon catch the whiff of, “I’m better than you, because I demonstrate that I care (or because I’m healthier etc).”
Whether or not this is the case, “environmentalist” topics comes across or are deliberately smeared like this in any of the dank and murky corners. Look at Jo Nova’s handbooks for instance.
The story playing out in essence is just a larger version of Easter Island, yet with one crowd concerned about cutting down the last forest and the local chieftain concerned only about having the biggest stone statue (today, the statue has been replaced with the suburban house and SUV).
Yet, we should never stop talking about our values, which are in fact largely about shoring up a future that will give our children and their own the best chance of fulfilment. It is about putting a rich wonderful world on “lay-buy,” and paying a little bit for it each day so that eventually it is our gift to them. Our basic “grassroots” values are key and ought to be the things that matter to every one of us, spoken in an ordinary way.
Next, it is unlikely we will see the types of changes that are needed to avoid the worst of expected biodiversity loss and climate change waiting for the global leaders to do anything constructive. Politically, we are still obsessed with the notion that growth will solve all our problems, which seems to be at odds with the last four years economically and far longer when we look at our resource bank.
So what do we do?
I see real potential in the “open” spectrum. Within the information era, the open shareware, wiki / forum styled developments, I find to be interesting. While people worry about the accuracy of knowledge in such arenas this is something I think is not worth much concern (see below). I like how they seem to happen organically. Where people are given access to communicate, communities develop and trade begins.
I believe we have the tools freely available at hand to circumvent the traditional leaders and providers. Think of Earth Hour and how easily an idea of that nature can travel around the globe in the modern age. There’s no reason why spatially irrelevant communities cannot coordinate such activities, trade ideas, shortcuts, improvements and values in the same way.
It needn’t be windbags like myself or the committed sceptics commenting on life and you, the reader, simply reading. Communities do not work like that.
Change doesn’t start with the individual. Neither does it start with our leaders – at least not anymore. I believe it will be communities working together, based not on location, but shared values, which will nudge us in the right direction.
* My blog is but a small example of this fact. It is little different historically that people shared their ideas with whomever may be listening. Today, the audience is just larger. But so too is the pool of critics. Lies used to have the advantage, but with the speed of a good search engine and global access to premium resource bases (such as online scientific journals), this edge is slowly eroding. With greater access, it is likely more difficult that unmerited and unqualified assumptions will be taken seriously. It will be; back up your claims with facts or be fed to the trolls.