Journey 

read, think, evolve

Volume 1 Number 22                                                                        November 4, 2000

This week my horoscope tells me, "The time is right for you to meditate on the impact the mass extinction will have on your personal life during the next 30 years -- and what you should do about it."  Sounds right up my alley.  

According to a poll of the members of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, human beings are causing the largest mass extinction of life on Earth since the demise of the dinosaurs.  (Duh)

Patriarchal religion's transfer of control of the Earth to Man has had its advantages, but we took it way too far and we are turning the Earth into wasteland that won't support life of any kind.  There is a very limited range of circumstances (oxygen levels, temperature, moisture, and who knows how many other variables, intricately intertwined and interconnected) that allows life to exist, and it is rarely found anywhere in the Universe.  

There are plenty of scientists who say everything is just fine, but the real truth is that we aren't smart enough yet to know the answer.  The problem is way too complex and there are way too many variables for us to even begin to figure out what the impact is.  Eventually we will develop computers powerful enough to model the Earth and know enough to write the programs necessary to derive an approximation.  Until then we need to destroy a lot of current industries and create a bunch of  new ones.  (Figure out how to turn sun and wind into cheap power and stop using coal, nuclear, natural gas, ... to generate expensive power.  Figure out how to build houses, furniture, boxes, paper, ... without chopping down any more trees.   Figure out how to mine the asteroid belt and stop mining the Earth.  Figure out ...)  (It's painful and expensive to make major changes like that, but in the long term we will be better off financially (e.g., a lot more electronic toys will be sold if power is cheap and available everywhere in the world.) and life will continue.  (I don't know what to say to those of you who are longing forward to the end of the world and "rapture". ))

Actually, the biggest problem is that the corporations that must die or radically change themselves, are spending billions to convince governments and people around the world that there is no problem and no reason to evolve.  

That is painfully obvious here in Montana, USA.  Historically, most of the good paying jobs here have been in the mining and timber industries.  Despite the fact that we rank in the bottom 10% of the states in the USA economically and we rank number one in the USA in the category of most people working more than one job, the Republican party controls the state.  Normally extremely poor sections of the USA like this vote Democrat, but that doesn't happen here because the Democrats have supported environmentalists and anyone suggesting shutting down even more mines and timber operations is seen as evil by many people here.  I can empathize with all the people who just want good paying jobs to support themselves and their families, but the corporations are manipulating them and playing on their fears in order to avoid facing reality.  The same thing is playing itself all over the world.  Whether you are talking about the rain forests of Indonesia or Brazil, the mines of Chile or Eastern Europe, ..., there are millions of people just trying to make a living and corporations telling them that they have to destroy the Earth or starve.  

I don't know what the answer is.  Realistically, once we do evolve scientifically to new building materials, energy sources, ..., those jobs probably won't be in Montana, the rain forest, ..., and a lot of people will have to face the reality that they have to move to where the jobs are, or live in poverty.  There will probably be compromises (e.g., people working in the mines of the asteroid belt and maintaining a home pretty much where ever on the Earth that they want to live when they aren't working.), but evolution requires change and sacrifices.  

I suppose one interim step might be to pay people not to cut trees and mine the Earth, but a better answer would probably be to retrain and relocate them so that they can find work that will support their families.

Well, I will continue to ponder and grasp at answers to how to avoid mass extinctions (in particular the extinction of the human race), and hopefully others will will do the same.

My horoscope also says to vote for Mr. Gore for President of the USA next week, but I am going to vote for Mr. Nader and the Green Party.  Mr. Gore doesn't stand a chance of winning in Montana, so voting for him would be a waste of my vote.  At least this way I am helping the Green Party to get at least 5% of the vote, and sending a message to the Democratic Party that I think they need to stop driving down the middle of the road.  (If we continue to drive down the middle of the road, the human race will become extinct.)  (Tis time for harsh and hard changes, and politicians owned by the corporations simply aren't capable of leading us into a new and better world.)

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