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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/31/13

Immodest Proposals

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There are so many sciences that I've lost track. Many sciences don't communicate with each other; too bad. Einstein said he was able to connect ideas and knowledge already known; he made the connections. Maybe the many branches of the many sciences have become so wide apart that they cannot be put together any more. But I am convinced that is where the solutions are. And it may be that science all too often is no longer about knowledge but about profit. We can and often do hide what is known, it can be owned and patented.

The real reality of today is global warming, now manifesting as climate change, actually climate crisis. A reality that should be an overwhelming priority for all humankind. It is much more threeatening than the debt or the budget or the economy or foreign affairs or wars. But a few corporations that have enormous amounts of money and make enormous profits see those profits melting if we, all humans, did what we should do. And so they sow confusion and doubt about super storms that are just bad storms, floods the size of France are an accident of nature, the burning plains of the Midwest a peak in normal ups and downs. These corporations also own the Media and now own politicians. We down here are suffering lacks and losses and leave the bickering to the poltical parties.

It is not difficult to find the real facts but we have been thoroughly conditioned to believe the brief bits of news that are allowed us. A few words of the truth; a whole page for doubts, half truths, lies that confuse. And we are too occupied with surviving in a world made for the 0.01% to dig tidbits of truth from The News. 

At my age, living simply, I have time to find reality now and then, here and there. Because I need not worry about my own survival, I can worry about my children and grandchildren. I know that when they can no longer escape accepting that the planet is radically changed, they will wish that we had done something. I try to pass on my guilt to that far away 0.01% whose only effort was amassing more wealth. My guess is that their wealth will buy them a little time but not enough. Even they cannot escape reality. A reality we created. That too will be evident. Two words come to mind: hubris and greed. 

We were not thrown out of paradise. We chose to leave when we had the crazy notion that we knew better. We thought ourselves so smart that we could make a better paradise. We craved control. We made empire after empire. Every one of them failed when we used up the riches of the earth around us and fouled our empire with our wastes. Until the last empire that stole more riches than all previous ones combined and spread more poisonous wastes wide and far. We who thought we were in control were ourselves controlled by insatiable greed.

We know so much and understand so little. What is so hard to understand about survival? The very first understanding is that we are part of this planet, part of nature. We don't own it. What there is, is all there is. 

The second understanding is that we are no better than all other life. We are one with the four-footed and the feathered and the trees and plants of this world. We cannot control, we cannot kill except to eat. Not for ideologies or theft.

We would not have survived for more than a hundred thousand years if we had not known those understandings. When we imagined we knew better we were wrong. We are still wrong. Survival does not, cannot, tolerate wrong. It is that simple.

The planet, global warming, has no special feeling for us humans. We may have lit the match but fire burns where the wind blows and dry grass and trees beckon. We think we control burning oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and then forgot the smoke, the water we used to control the fire,  to consider consequences. 

We think we cannot stop the horror of our wars, the stupidity of our life style. We need our cars to drive to work, we need our refrigerators. We need our manufactured food. We need out frantically progressing innovations,  If our hearts fail, we can buy another.

We can imagine a million dreams but cannot imagine the end of I. The end of our species is even more impossible to imagine. And yet we all know that the end of I is reality. The end of WE is now in our own hands. 

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robert wolff lived on the Big Island, called Hawai'i

his website is He passed away in late 2015. He was born in 1925, was Dutch, spoke, Dutch, Malay, English and spent time living and getting to know Malaysian Aborigines. He authored numerous books including What it Is To Be Human, (more...)

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