Tuesday, July 02, 2013

John Michael Greer and the Future of Humanity

I read a lot of blogs about climate change, peak energy, sustainability, and humanistic religion. Here's an excerpt from a good piece I'm reading this morning:

"Cheap, easily accessible deposits of the resources on which industrial civilization depends have been exhausted, and replaced with increasing difficulty by more expensive substitutes, at steadily rising costs in money, labor, energy, and other resources; the national infrastructure and the natural environment have both been drawn into an accelerating spiral of malign neglect; standards of living for most of the population have been sliding steadily, along with most measures of public health and meaningful education; constitutional rights and the rule of law have taken a beating, administered with equal enthusiasm by both major parties, who seem incapable of agreeing on anything else even when the welfare of the nation is obviously at stake."

After spelling it out, Greer talks about how as humans, our response has been split:
1. we believe that technology or Jesus will save us and/or ignore the problems and continue to focus on how awesome civilization and humanity are, or
2. we believe that the apocalypse is upon us and we're all going to die, if not in a fiery blaze than in a world of pestilence and war

Greer doesn't like either of these. He challenges us instead to question the narratives that frame our culture - both messianic and apocalyptic - and be aware of our biases. He asks us to look at empirical evidence, patterns, cause and effect. I personally think that being aware of how things work and being respectful of life and natural limits is the way to go and is the foundation of how we should live. Maybe I'm becoming a bit druidic myself ;-)

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