As a result of modern capitalism, we, as in modern man, live with powerful advancements for our health, our education, and our well-being. However, entitlement encouraged by huge corporate machines, cleverly disguised by marketing strategies, lead us, “The horse” to water. But it is time we stop, and do not drink.
Never before in the history of the planet did, we live in a safer and more secure civilisation. By we, I mean western capitalist societies. But as we enter the Anthropocene from the Holocene, man and the planet have had enough. The model of violent consumerism and heavy manufacturing is broken. Over the last century the damage done by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels has lead us to the point of no return and as a result the blocks of our financial, political and environmental divide are too wide and too big. The west has robbed and pillaged minerals and resources in the name of commerce to the detrimental effect on other national communities and our planet as a whole. This damage is irreversible and impossible to be hidden or ignored any longer.
Global economies must stop measuring their success in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and begin measuring in “environmental repairing strategies.” For want of a better phrase. The huge profits made by the few must start benefiting the earth and not just the people at the top. The American dream was built on credit and the boom in electricity and the use of oil. Never will that return again and a successful system must stop being measured by material ownership.
The irreversible must be steered in new directions. This is the decade in which long term plans need to be made and changes need to be done or man and the planet as we know it will not survive. The recent catastrophic fires in Australia and United States are obvious evidence. The recent pandemic proves that what starts elsewhere affects us all. All environmental issues are global environmental issues and there is no escaping the damage. The ‘Holocene’ has seen our planet thrive from stabilised water levels, predictable weather patterns and civilisations that have grown on different continents for 10 thousand years. Where as the new ‘Anthropocene era’ is a millisecond in comparison and has impacted the environment enough to constitute a distinct geological change. One million species of plant out of 8 million is now threatened with extinction. The Anthropocene has a possible beginning date of only 1945 and at the time of the first atomic bomb, while others, believe it is much earlier and related to modern agricultural methods.
With 40 percent of the rain forest now destroyed by the hands of man we must plant more trees and allow the forest to regenerate. Governments must hold corporations accountable for all environmental damage and make sure historical events are not repeated. But we are up against man who invented solar power almost 80 years ago. Let that sink in for a minute.
Unfortunately, the majority of the short-term change and immediate positive impact is in the hands of our governments, law makers and corporations. Individually we have been excused for not making conscious efforts ourselves. It is no easy task when running a family or just fighting to survive financially and mentally in a capitalist world that is designed to make us spend and fight to survive. But spend and fight we must. Spend time educating ourselves, our friends and our children and fight the corporations and governments when not stepping up at this crucial time.
We must make new conscious decisions and not add to the rot. I believe awareness and newly learnt moral behaviour will make positive changes over time. We must redesign and re-educate ourselves. We have incredible power.
Photo: Chris Fallows