THE BIG PICTURE - John Wawrzonek

WHEN WE HAVE GREAT PROBLEMS, we need to look in the largest context to find where they began, so we may understand them..

Our democracy is fragmenting and soon we will loose the enlightenment we struggled so long to achieve, that is based on reason and reality and the actions those demand.

Instead we have been tempted by dogma, simple rules that do not require the effort of study and thinking deeply. We have been led into temptation and have fallen. If we have much, we want more and are willing to let the poor die so we can have it.

I think it is a form of hoarding left over in our genes from when we were hunter gatherers that civilization was supposed to quiet but instead, for at least some of us, it escalates out of control.

If that were not enough, The earth is toasting, on its way to being burnt, and mostly we're not paying attention. We don't learn enough science, our scientists are poor communicators, and we have reached the point that by the end of the century it is expected that each year 150,000 people in Europe will die from heat, hunger, flood, drought and disease.

This is a preamble to the thoughts, data, and examples that follow. But to make it short and to the point there are two things we must do:

1. Repeat the enlightenment and eliminate dogma, whether political or religious as stone walls to obstruct thinking deeply.

2. Face the fact that stopping carbon emissions is futile. We must, of course, reduce it as much as possible, but the real challenge is to remove from the air the carbon we have put there over the centuries. I doubt we can do it because we will not be willing to commit the resources necessary. We will build bigger houses, rather than save the earth.

There are several books critical to our understanding. The most important is Karen Armstrong's The Great Transformation, a history of our civilization such as it is. Others I will refer to in later sections.

My guess is, given what I want to talk about, your eyes will glaze over, so I am going to put in a picture from time to time, maybe like this one with a little symbolism, to break the monotomy. This is, of course, a mountain side (in Vermont) with rocks to fall on our heads, and a tough climb for old guys like me.

On to the beginning: Looking out the window.

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