Reality Break


Reality Break 2004 | Blueprint for Third Millenia | Real Politic

Reality Break



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.[1] 

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.[2] 

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.[3]

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;


Never underestimate the power of human stupidity RA Heinlein


The use of modern technology to tear resources from the earth is bringing the

biosphere to the brink of collapse.  We are a species out of harmony with nature,

gone berserk 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 September, 2000



[1]For more information: Science, September 22, 2000, Managing Forests after Kyoto.  

[2]For more information: Scientific American, January 2000, The Unmet Need for Family Planning.

[3]For more information: Scientific American, September 1989, the entire issue focuses on energy sources.