Most of my scientist friends and colleagues, when they speak or write to each other about this topic, have a very dim view of humanity’s near term future on Earth. “Near Term” in this context spans the next several generations of humans.
The problem, of course, is the systematic taking apart of our life-support system, a global action in which we are all, collectively, embarked. Their dim view stems largely not from failures of science and other disciplines to identify, measure, and scope out the problems we are experiencing around the world, but from:
- failures of education regarding the Earth and how it works plus what we are doing to it,
- failures to accept the magnitude of the changes that must be made quickly enough to reverse the dangerous trend,
- failures of current political system design (and/or operation) to recognize the scope and immediacy of the problem, and
- failures to take actions of magnitudes worthy of the need.
(For a very effective short cartoon video, “300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds” showing what has brought us to the current turning point, check out this youtube link.)
Fortunately, academics in other fields outside science and many other educated and aware people have formed the same view of our future and are recommending a new movement to address the problem. This group has finally recognized the larger systemic nature of the problem faced globally — failures of governing systems to function on behalf of human sustainability, health, and general welfare. Two of four bullet points at the web site of this new attempt to create real change states the case thusly: Continue reading
Occasionally, the smart mind of a keen observer will see a political trend and hypothesize that it may be more than this, something that could crystallize into a new way of governing. Mr. Englehardt has just done this with respect to the U.S. political system, and offered it to us in a “Tomgram,” a description of what he sees, somewhat tentatively, at his TomDispatch.com blog. I have excerpted the most salient points from that below. As Tom said in his introduction to the original, “Have you ever undertaken some task you felt less than qualified for, but knew that someone needed to do? Consider this piece my version of that.”
The following is reproduced by permission of Tom Englehardt.
Originally posted at TomDispatch.com
Excerpts by R. McCluney 27 MAR 15
There are five areas in which at least the faint outlines of that new [political] system [in the U.S.] seem to be emerging: (1) political campaigns and elections; (2) the privatization of Washington through the marriage of the corporation and the state; (3) the de-legitimization of our traditional system of governance; (4) the empowerment of the national security state as an untouchable fourth branch of government; and (5) the demobilization of “we the people.”