Caring For The Earth And Its People
A failure to learn and think in the insterests of humanity,
has run out the clock.
Either acctidently or intentionaly people encounter situations that test their mettle. This has been going on for several decades in our new technological civilation. A summary is in order:
1. The business of marketing fossel fuels in the face of full knowledge of their harm reveals either a determination or need to prosper regardless of the consequences. This may be a reflection of hunter-gatherer tribal instincts. The need to function in small groups with an opportunity to show determination and courage is important as evolutionary psychology has shown, reflecting a need for social acceeptance and reecognition. The lone wolf who cries out against this tide is rare and rarely succeeds. This has been proven again and again and most recently in the useless wars started by the United States in Vietnam and Iraq. Irag has been an especially disturbing tragedy for it was passed in front of the leadership (Congress) with very poor evidence and a determination to decieve. There was no lone ranger riding to the rescue. The aquiescence of our government to shallow evidence is deeply discouraging. An Ivy education did not provide insite and courage
This is a most discouraging characteristic of humanity.
The first time I listened to an interview of George H.W. Bush the subject was the 150 prisoners on death row in Texas. The journalist inquiredd if the governor was certain of the guilt of all the prisinors. The govenor answered yes and that ended the conversation.
I have heard many such inverviews, but with 150 lives at stake a follow up, to penetrate to the nest level was missing. And in the case of death,a grilling was in order. The governor was eventually taken in by his secretaries of defence and state and began a stunningly tragic war.
The connection is clear. Neither the governor-president, the journalist, the secretaries of state and defense, the House and Senate, Colen Powell and the people of the country did not, on the average know now to find the truth nor the consciousness necessary to look for it.
Such capacity to unwind a complex situation, even in the face of inevitable enormous costs, and unclear goals reveals a civilization of shallowly educated minds. Evolution did not provide what was needed.
Perhaps it could be changed by wide, deep and extended education. My knowedge of history is inadequate but it seems the Skandanvian countries have accomplished this. Germany is still up in the air.
The one time I have found this seemingly well recognized on the subject of climate is by the World Ecomonic Forum: "We act as Homo technologicus, with the mindset of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Alongside the technological revolution, we need an equally unprecedented cultural revolution in the way we connect with the planet. (emphsis supplied)
This I believe is possible with a combination of sufficient time (at least two generations) plus an event of such power as to cause the civiliztion to rebuild with need of advancement deeply recognized.
2. One would think by this time that sensitivity to the state of the environment both natural and societal would have advanced sufficiently. But technology, although helping in many ways, has proven to be an entertaining and shallow diversion.
3. Even in the bastions of higher education (I have Harvard and MIT in mind) the perspective does not include a deeper acutity of vision. The previous head of the Harvard Business School stated flatly that its purposes was to teach how to maximize individual wealth.
Perhaps it was a peronal shortcoming of mine but eight years at MIT did not teach me how to understand mankind.
I have often wondered while observing the political wars in the United States why at least one prospeective leader did not devote a speech to the dimensions that would descrbe a fully developed human being and the associated society. In other words, what should we expect life, particularly in America, to be. Our education is too shallow and unable to overcome the distorted views we have of each other and the limitations of our evolution.
I have also asked myself while contemplating everything from the big bang to violence, cruelity and failure to care for our fellow citizens, what might have been the purpose of the creation. My conclusion is sentience in combination with consciousness and intelligence. This combination is the one thing we have that is uniquely our own and what has given us the ability of figure out that we began existence as a singularity. But more than that what in day to day life has this has brought us.
Sentience brings emotion along with awareness. These bring a combined experience that I think of as celestial. It is as simple as breakfast conversations with my wife, the challenge and satisfaction of seeing our child become a man, and communication with other individuals in deeply satisfing ways.
Music has been a fundamental part of my life and it is what brought my wife into my life. Ironically, after a life of symphonies, there is a single musical note that is burned into my consciousness.
I had belonged to an artist's club in Boston for many years. One evening the presentation was of an unusual string quartet. The musicians were in their early twenties. They were from Israel and had been chosen by Issac Stern while they were but eleven years old to come to the United States to study and play together at the New England Conservatory. The program was a Mozart and a Brahams quartet. I sat near the front in a salon type room with wonderful acoustics. I closed my eyes. The Mozart began with a single, unison sustained note played on all four instruments, My first thought was that I had gone to heaven. The beauty of maany strings, each playing a different pitch with perfect intonation was stunnung these qualities contined thout the evening.
It is important to realize that the performance was not just the players but the teachers, the instrument makers and obviously the composers.
What could this possibly have to do with global warming. I think a great deal since my enjoyment also required a lifetime of listening, so I could experience all dimensions of that note, and all that followed.
Our scientists do not study human commucation. They speak only their own language: "significant" usually means extremely important to a point not appreciated by non-scientists.
The socialization, profiting and sattisfaction of hording and domination captures the tribal mind. In the absence of an education and society tuned to a wider range of deep appreciation of all forms of what sentiencde can bring leaves scientists and non-scientists with a narrow experience of humanity. True reciprocity is missing. And the warming continues.