Climate change. Global warming. Sustainability. Eco-friendly. Environmental sustainability. Pollution. Whatever you want to call it, however, you choose to see it, as long as we miss the underlying, foundational problem, we will continue to address it like we address any “disease” in our society. In the case of actual disease, by throwing drugs at it instead of working to eradicate the root of the problem. When it comes to other problems in our society, the solution usually involves throwing money at it in no effective manner whatsoever. Either way, this creates a further imbalance, distracts us from the real problem, and does nothing to solve the problem at the level of its inception.
In an article from the Post Carbon Institute entitled Why Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us, author Richard Heinberg presents a sobering and excellent overview of where things stand with regards to our environment and the future of the human experience upon this Earth.
Whether due to hope, naivety, or ignorance, many people believe that technology will fix and solve our environmental problems. Yet as research is showing and experts weigh-in, this is not likely to happen. To understand more about this, watch the great little video above, which is also featured in Richard’s article.
The root of the problem, as Richard explains, is in our values and attitudes. As long as we value a disposable society, as long as we don’t take responsibility for what we buy, consume, and throw away, and as long as we continue to live from a selfish perspective as if the world revolves around us, we are bound to self-destruct.
Society is addicted to growth, and that’s having terrible consequences for the planet and, increasingly, for us as well. We have to change our collective and individual behavior and give up something we depend on—power over our environment. We must restrain ourselves, like an alcoholic foreswearing booze. That requires honesty and soul-searching.
This is why, as with all things, change must come from within. No legislation or business proposal or technological advancement is going to save us from ourselves. We need to change ourselves, and to be effective change specifically at the being level, even more so than at the doing level. Sure, we can change some of our actions and “do the right thing”, either due to inspiration or force, but as long as we ourselves don’t change in our thinking, such changes are almost always temporary. We are bound to revert to old habits when either the inspiration wears off or no one is looking.
The time is now, the stage is set and this needs to be our finest hour. Will we be part of the solution or continue to be part of the problem? Will we break through our own resistance and reluctance and become a positive change in action or will we continue to succumb to destructive habits and addictions? The opportunity for positive change and hope is within each one of us, and I hope that you seize your greatest potential at this pivotal time on our Earth.