Of human blindness

| May 12, 2022

I have always thought I was a glass was half full person however, I am finding recent events are causing me to acknowledge humanity is on a downhill run. I now see, and clearly, my glass is half empty.

For a while now I have been subscribing to an online bulletin “New Atlas” that keeps tabs on the latest advances in modern technology, science, medicine, energy, renewable energy, aviation and a whole lot more. 90% of it is stirring stuff.

Reading all this cutting edge news both impresses and makes me feel good. I know that that some people and organisations are caring and pointing the way to the future. There are many innovations under way that will improve our lives and the way we live.

It is my opinion that of all the many challenges humanity faces, our burgeoning world population poses the biggest threat, shored up with and by, capitalism. There are just too many people on the planet. Capitalism is a cancer that feeds upon itself.

Consuming ourselves

A good percentage of every new addition to the human race will require manufactured things to get through life. Most of this manufactured stuff requires extractive technology to produce the raw materials and then, secondary technology to refine it for further use and to add value.

About twenty years ago I wrote about how New York City manages its refuse. It was delivered in rail cars and dumped at a siding; it was then dozed into ever growing stockpiles that really, are small mountains. At the time, the top of the rubbish dump was higher than the Statue of Liberty ! Across the world, the evolution of this environmental disaster grows by the day.

Capitalism both creates and feeds the economies of the world to provide things we think we need. The system encourages further or new investment for further resource extraction. Industry requires workers. In today’s world, as in the industrial past, the socialistic gap between the rich and the poor, grows as we live. Workers are the modern world’s cannon fodder. It has ever been thus. Some have, many do not.

For many years now, worldwide scientific advice to governments has predicted disaster due to industrial emissions fouling up the stratospheric envelope Earth exists in. Capitalism, business interests lead governments into further chasms of environmental degradation. It’s a never ending cycle.

Australia’s grim future

From here on, I confine my comments to our situation, that of Australia’s future welfare.

The looming federal election in 10 day’s time is exposing a majority of voters subscribing to the scientific based view that human induced activity, pollution of the planet, is the main driver of the creeping warming of the planet. The Indian and Pacific oceans are warming. The evidence is profound and growing alarmingly.

Over the last decade we’ve experienced abnormal weather, severe droughts, rain events, bushfires and earlier this year there has been absolutely devastating wet weather along the east coast in three states. Almost all of us grandparents can see a grim future for our grandchildren, they’ll have to cope with rising outdoor temperatures because their forebears failed to heed the many warnings that had been flagged but largely ignored over the last few decades.

In a nutshell, there are too many people on the planet, extracting from nature resources that mostly, cannot be replaced. We’ve outsmarted ourselves with the processes and things we’ve made. Take plastic for instance; the many forms of plastic we accept for everyday convenience is now washing into our oceans and floating in ‘rafts’ measured now in square kilometres.

So, I see my glass as half full and the content slowly diminishing. From what I’ve read, the human race is past the point where remedial action may have been viable. Our demise won’t happen quickly. Too many humans are insular, thinking only of self preservation.

RIP Homo Sapiens, adieu.