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Ecology Is the Meaning of Life. We Must Act Now To Save It!

By       Message Glen Barry       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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While deep pessimism about our future is certainly warranted, workable solutions to climate change and our broad-based environmental decline do exist. They include ending the use of fossil fuels, protecting and restoring ecosystems, agro-ecological food production, reducing population and inequity, and establishing a steady state economy. Plainly, however, transitioning to such solutions to avert global ecosystem collapse is not going to be easy. It will in fact be highly disruptive. Yet, there is no alternative to reaching for these solutions, if, together, humanity is to survive and enjoy well-being within Earth's ecological boundaries.

Industrial growth at the expense of ecosystems and climate must end as soon as possible. For the survival and well-being of human life and all life, intact ecosystems must remain the context for human endeavors. Huge potential exists to further develop organic permaculture-based agro-ecological systems for growing our food. Ultimately, we are all challenged to gain our daily sustenance by working on the land and creating something of worth from our hands and minds that is consistent with the regeneration and nurturing of ecosystems. 

We each must cultivate a sense of enoughness--an awareness that more isn't always better, particularly if it undermines our natural habitat and thus our ability to survive.

It is not too late to embrace an ecology ethic. But the longer we wait, the more limited will be our options. Despite pernicious trends in ecological decline--and allowing for the possibility of a deep resiliency in the Earth System of which we are unaware--out of love of life, we owe it to Earth, to kindred species, and to kids everywhere to try everything possible to save Being.

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Growth in industry, population, consumption, and inequity cannot be maintained. Together we must reach a steady-state economy in which natural capital is replenished, not diminished. We must also urgently pursue reductions in human population, which has the most basic human impact upon the climate and ecosystems and can cause the biosphere to collapse. Two effective measures to that end would be to educate all girls and provide birth control to all.

Ignorance and superstition must be banished through education and by promoting a love of truth, justice, knowledge, wisdom, and fairness.

For capitalism to have any future and avoid social, ecological, and economic collapse on a dead planet, it must learn to price external costs and environmental risk now, while rejecting its obsession with growth as the ultimate measure of well-being. Otherwise, industrial capitalism will have to be replaced soon, simply to enable most humans to survive, let alone thrive.

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Alternatives to our present economic practices exist that are fair and reward hard work. Sadly, however, we find it easier to contemplate the end of life on Earth than to embrace essential social change.

For human survival and well-being, committing acts that destroy ecosystems must somehow be made unacceptable, and prohibitions against such acts must be enforced. The environment movement must make more of an effort to communicate the complexity of ecological crises, their profound risk, and possible solutions to them--while resolutely rejecting and outing greenwash that legitimates ecocidal activities.

The green movement must also move beyond awareness-raising stunts and build a broad-based movement to seize power and to implement the ecological policies necessary to sustain Being.

Only total societal reorganization away from destroying ecosystems and burning fossil fuels can save Earth and humanity. Either humanity together finds a way to implement difficult ecological policies to end the use of fossil fuels, protect ecosystems, and achieve a steady-state economy--or it is the end. No measures except indiscriminate terrorism targeting innocents can be off the table in efforts to protect ecology.

Hope in Ecosystems

Today, free your mind and senses to see ecology everywhere, in everything you do, and the myriad ways it suffers from human hubris, indifference, ignorance, and overuse. As long as together we still breathe, there is hope we can sustain Earth. Realistically, however, the state of ecosystems and the biosphere is grim and worsening. We must start in haste today to build the world that is possible and needed.

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Love and respect for other peoples, species, nature, truth, justice, and equity offer the only lasting basis for global ecological sustainability and show the only effective way forward to avoid final ecosystem collapse. For a sustainable, decent future, we must go back to the land, stop burning fossil fuels, and nurture ecosystems and one another.

We are one human family with inalienable rights and duties to freedom, work, equity, peace, justice, and sustained ecology. Profound inequity, ecological collapse, persistent injustice, nationalistic perma-war, superstition, and ignorance when faced with truth--all are sicknesses that mar our human potential and will prove fatal.

Together the human family will either learn to live well together within intact ecosystems and without fossil fuels, or it will face a period of profound suffering, followed by biosphere collapse and the end of being. Together we could end the current system's elite rule, inequity, injustice, and gross ecological negligence at any time. Either we act together soon, courageously, on the basis of truthful ecological knowledge, or else each of us alone faces misery and a final apocalyptic global ecological collapse.

Ecology is the meaning of life. Truth, justice, equity, and sustainability are the ideals by which it can be maintained. Let's act on these principles now!

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Dr. Glen Barry is an internationally recognized environmental advocate, scientist, writer and technology expert. He is well-known within the environmental community as a leading global ecological visionary, public intellectual, and environmental (more...)

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