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Life Arts

The Rise and Fall of Man

By       Message Bob Williamson     Permalink
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Our mortality is the thing we understand from the time we become aware. We will all die. This is our underlying strength and overriding weakness.

Man's design flaw was built in. You and I cannot be sustained forever. Is this why we have designed all other things to follow the same principle? Designed for Demise. Take care of today, tomorrow will look after itself.

If we accept this, maybe the concept of sustainability, of an infinite future, could not have been built into our endeavours, as we planned that future with our demise as the inevitable outcome. As we know we will certainly die, have we designed all other systems to follow us in the developed civilized world? Have we in effect designed end of life into all our activities?

The financial crisis has happened before, as it is happening now. It repeats a pattern and is a simple example of how we illogically sleepwalk down a well trodden road to nowhere. Man has evolved into an invasive species that unlike all others that survive on available and sustainable resources, cohabitating in balance with others, we consume out of balance with the laws of nature. We change the natural environment to suit, not just our needs; but our wants. We consume. We consume out of balance to the point of extinction not only of all other ecosystems on which we also depend on for our own survival, but soon to the tipping point where it will be written 'The Rise and Fall of Man'.

The model of developed and developing economic industry has a single and simple flaw. It was designed by man and designed for demise.

From the time in history when we changed from hunters and gatherers, we have designed out sustainability. We have discarded any guidance that was provided by nature, which is the model of sustainability, in favour of a redesigned manmade finite future. The demise design selected wasn't planned by our ancestors with malice but we continue to follow it illogically and at our ultimate peril.

All species of plants and animals adjust to their natural environment, living in a sustainable way on available natural and renewable resources; if they don't, they perish. If they are invasive and consume more than the natural environment can continue to provide, they are doomed.

We tell our children to share but we show them how not to. Finite resources means going, going, gone. But every industrialized process, every commercial practice, every economic activity, every consumption pattern, revolves around the depletion of finite resources until they are going, going, gone. From the time of the first unnatural activity design, we have continued to build on what is a basically flawed process. Even though we can look back and see the outcome for past civilizations whose over consumption of resources caused their ultimate extinction, we choose the same outcome. Our activities are not designed according to the laws and guidance of nature. Each of the cups, whatever the resource, if finite, will run out-built in inevitability.

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Had we started the process of man's endeavour without knowledge of our own mortality, we may have emulated the natural system. Any future that has a sustainable future, not a finite one, needs to start with a complete redesign. We are good at looking back, not forward. We react to issues, not to seeing them coming. It's not our fault, just our training. Live for today, tomorrow never comes. Don't worry about it, it may never happen.

But we do have the advantage of 20/20 hindsight on this. We can historically see where civilizations went wrong. We can now see a future, which unless we actually want one that is finite, we must change. It is still our choice!

As I look around me, and you can do the same, everything I have has come from our collective finite resources. It's nearly all extracted, milled, mined, distilled and depleted from fossil and finite resources, unsustainable and designed for demise.

When we ask ourselves honestly and logically the following questions will our decision with 20/20 foresight be to continue with the growth machine until our demise?

The business, economic model of ever increased return on investment, indefinitely. Designed for infinite sustainability?

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The developed and developing country's drive for sustainable increases in GDP, exports, prosperity, and job growth. Designed for infinite sustainability, or designed for demise?

The democratic process for the short-term election of our political leaders and decision makers. - Designed for sustainability of sound policy?

Manufacturing until we run out of resources. - Designed for infinite sustainability?

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Founder and Chair of the Greenhouse Neutral Foundation

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