(Article changed on November 22, 2013 at 10:59)
There is one graphic in Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth that should stop capitalism dead in its tracks. It shows a large balance with two trays. In one tray hangs planet earth. In the other tray hangs a stack of gold bars. The gold does not represent actual gold, which is only a metal that comes from the earth. The bars represent the concept of profit, Western culture's religion -- the alter upon which we are about to sacrifice our lives.Thinking that it is reasonable to weigh the well-being of Earth against corporate profits reveals the height of our psychopathic insanity. What value is profit if the planet has been sterilized of complex life forms by climate change?
Yet, directors in both large and small companies, as well as
leaders at all levels of government assume they make that choice
daily. (So do you: by continuing to work at one of these companies
or by purchasing their products..)
How has all this come about? By people submitting themselves to
the will of the god, Profit. Attributing money in and of
itself with value makes Profit our god. This god is purely cerebral
and cannot grasp that human life occurs only within the
delicately balanced bioweb of a living planet. Directing our human
intelligence to serve the god Profit is
making the earth inhospitable to the last man, woman and child
. Think ahead. The Profit god assumes that if there are still black
numbers clicking across computer screens, the result has been
successful. Try eating the digits on your computer screen or some
What can you do? You can change your mind. You can make a new decision. You can take your personal dignity back as a man or woman, as a human being, and go heretical, rejecting the god Profit. Then you can use your position of power within an organization to dismantle or redirect that organization towards new objectives.
For example, let's say you manage a company that mines coal, the main fuel used to generate electric power. This week you could call an extraordinary board of directors meeting and admit together that you are no longer willing to dedicate your lives to liberating massive quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. You could decide that such a life is beneath your dignity. You could then change your corporate goals.You could retrain your managers and your employees to use their intelligence, energy and equipment to rebuild towns from the ground up making them sustainable. Provide towns with geothermal and other alternative local power. Take them off the grid. Redesign towns around community meeting centers, gardens, bicycle and walking paths instead of around cars. Make driving unnecessary and food growing local, integrated into community life. Rebuild homes and buildings into passive houses , heated by solar and body heat alone. Recycle everything. Bring the town's carbon footprint to zero.
Can you feel the difference in this new purpose? Would this be something to get out of bed in the morning to accomplish? Could you do this?