Global Conflict and Climate Change. . .
When President George W Bush declared war on Iraq and followed up by inferring that “God is on our side”, I found myself saying - “Wait a minute! We said this a thousand years ago during the Crusades and have continued to say it with monotonous regularity right into the 21st century.”
And where has it got us over all those centuries? Absolutely nowhere as a civilisation I would beg to suggest. Suppose we were able to “beam down” into the present a Crusading Knight of 1000 years ago - (chain mail and all!) - What might his reaction be to civilisation now?
I think he would be completely speechless when confronted by such things as a microwave cooker and seeing food cook without fire – to say nothing of cars, light bulbs and space travel - just a few of our many spectacular achievements in a relatively short space of time. If we were then to say to him “We’re going to war with some Muslims over the water, fancy helping out?” I’m sure his reaction would be enthusiastic approvable and support.
The point I am making is that in spite of stratospheric advances in our technologies and all that we surround ourselves with, we seem totally incapable of achieving a similar development in the manner in which we interact as a species.
Indeed, with the genocides in Kosovo and Rwanda we seem more barbaric now than when we lived in caves. I would go further and suggest that the atom bomb is no more than a sophisticated 21st century “club” – and the caveman’s club was a lot more environmentally friendly!
Based upon bygone values and vested interests, caused by an inability to properly coordinate our decision making functions of logic and intuition, we continue to use outdated “labels” with which we identify each other – Black – White – Man - Woman – Jew – Gentile – Muslim – Pagan – Shaman – Atheist etc. Interacting within limiting beliefs which accompany these labels and create judgemental opinion, we continuously leap into action and reaction with each other which usually results in violence.
Instead of seeking to understand we seek to control, because each label believes it has exclusive rights. This exclusivity demands “control” of a water hole, “ownership” of property, (be it a field, country or human being), acknowledgement of the “one and only” True God . . . and so on.
In so doing we build “pyramids of power” which provide anguish and torment for those at the bottom, and supposed increasing levels of personal security and comfort as we move higher up the pyramid. At the heart of the problem lies a fear based upon our feelings of separateness and detachment from each other, this planet and the Universe as a whole.
We often manipulate this fear to enhance our ability to control each other, resulting in a collective suppression of our ability to interact positively and evolve to higher levels of human achievement.
It is our beliefs that cause our ceaseless conflict with each other and have created the desperate global situation we now find ourselves in – and therefore it must follow that they are totally incapable of providing solutions to these problems.
Consider the situation surrounding global warming. We believe it is our right to take from this planet whatever, whenever and however we choose, without any thought or responsibility for managing what we are doing – and still continues today in spite of accelerating climate change.
We are seeing increasing droughts and drying up of riverbeds, as well as flooding from whatever causes and rising temperatures. All of these changes in environmental balance directly affect our water supplies and seriously hinder food production, leading to our increasing inability to feed ourselves. We are now further increasing this dangerous situation as we begin to our use our food stocks for ethanol production to propel our transport.
If we now place in this equation our belief in financial management and the law of supply and demand to regulate what we use, then a growing shortage of food means ever increasing prices. This in turn will see an increasing number of people unable to feed themselves as basic life sustaining nourishment is taken beyond their financial capabilities.
We are already beginning to see the price of basic foodstuffs rise to feed the growing demand for ethanol. Rising grain prices directly affect the prices of our other food sources such as meat and eggs, where up to a 20% increase in prices has occurred over just the last 12 months in China alone – and theirs is quite a large population!
As this problem escalates our traditional political institutions will need to be seen to be doing something, and so we lapse into blame as one nation accuses another of hoarding. The application of “labels” begins as hatred is stirred up between supposedly differing groups, be they racial, religious or any other ethnic grouping.