Of the numerous issues
being discussed in the race for the Presidency, the most pressing ecological crises are tragically not amoung them. This is most unfortunate, for failure to alter the present course humanity has chosen is unbelievably irrational. The only logical way to confront the ecological quagmire our species has collectively
created would obviously be to do so as quickly as possible. In the opinion of many biologists, three of the most urgent environmental
problems which must be remedied immediately, are the global destruction of forests,
the exponential growth of the human race, and our “modern” civilization’s continued use of fossil fuels.
The desolation left in
the wake of humanity’s “development” of our equatorial forests is possibly the most tragic event in our
species miserable history. Genocide, after all, is genocide. The incineration of our homeworld’s living jewels translates into millions of years of evolution
laid waste in the name of limitless greed and blind promiscuity. Simply put,
this is the greatest holocaust since the end of the Cretaceous. Fortunately,
it is quite possible to reverse the situation in many a cooperative nation. Labourers
currently employed in the “development” of their own nations’ forests, such as unsustainable logging throughout
Indonesia, the Congo, and a seemingly endless parade of impoverished nations, could simply be paid the same amount, if
not more, to plant seedlings and rejuvenate the remnants of what remains. Currently,
the timber industry pays no more than a few billion dollars in wages annually throughout the tropical biome.
The industrialized nations of
our world could easily create and fund an agency, which would pay loggers to change the nature of their occupations and initiate
the resurrection of their national forests. In the long run this is not
only the sole rational choice environmentally, but the only logical economic alternative as well. Continued economic practices throughout the tropics are shortsighted to say the least and reason dictates
we change the way the timber industry operates as quickly as possible. The next
President must become actively involved in rejuvenating our world’s remaining “carbon sinks” instead of
simply allowing a few ignorant timber barons to desecrate our planet's genetic heritage in the name of short term profits.
The second dilemma which must be dealt with
and granted, much more difficult to solve, is the exponential growth of the human race.
A serious attempt to reduce our numbers, or at least check growth, is obviously needed.
Since most, if not all of the continued growth of our species occurs among the most impoverished people of our planet,
is it not imperative to support education, contraception and financial incentives encouraging small families? The fact of the matter is that hundreds of millions of individuals are unable to purchase contraceptives
simply because they are too costly or inaccessible. Sad as it may sound;
innumerably more poor people would be practicing family planning if the possibility presented itself.
Now there’s an obvious
reason these two problems aren’t being discussed by either the Vice President or the Governor. Both issues involve so many nations, it’s extremely unlikely, from a deep understanding of our mythological
pasts, as well as our prophesied futures, enough humans would have the intelligence to follow the logical and rational path. Another problem is these two dilemmas essentially involve the industrialized nations
of the world encouraging poorer countries to develop their nations’ resources responsibly and at the same time create
a population plateau. And perhaps the main reason this year’s presidential
campaign fails to address these problems is because the voters are so economically focused.
After all, … business is business … and from an ecological perspective, an inconceivable mess.
The final problem many
an ecologist would like the next President to deal with, however, involves the industrialized nations of the world making
an extremely unlikely renovation, one which would show less technologically advanced nations the West is seriously committed
to creating ecological sanity. One must remember this “modern” society
we have constructed had its origins less than two hundred years ago with the Industrial Revolution. For the most part coal powered steam for the better part of a century until oil became the primary source
of energy in the latter half of the 1800s. The Age of Oil should have ended approximately
twenty years ago, say a decade or so after the Arab oil embargo. Unfortunately,
the energy industry seems as willing to end our habit for overseas crude and convert to renewable sources of energy as the
poorer nations of the world are in halting the incineration of their own forests and breeding exponentially.
Is it not tragic, as our
species throttles headfirst into the Third Millennium, on the threshold of an Exodus amidst the stars, we continue to wallow
in our own darkness, greed and blindness? The consequences of failing to deal with the present trajectory our species has
plotted are unquestionably catastrophic. Perhaps only a few of us can comprehend
why these problems are easily among the most pressing of our time, perhaps only a fraction of our species has the intellect
necessary to understand the true problems our species faces in 2001. To end with a few quotes;
the power of human stupidity RA Heinlein
The use of modern
technology to tear resources from the earth is bringing the
the brink of collapse. We are a species out of harmony with nature,
in the indulgence of its desires at the expense of other living beings.
John E Mack
William Frederick Binder Copyright
Virginia Beach, Virginia
The 21st of