I wish I had all the answers to the worlds problems but I don’t. There are some things I know we’ve got to do if we are going to survive on this planet let alone thrive and find happiness and meaning in our lives.
Some of the things we must do, we must forgive each other. As the old saying goes, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth just leaves us with a lot of toothless blind people.”
We need to find a way to live within our means, this is a lesson I’m learning the hard way in my personal life as my own personal means have shrank considerably. But on a planetary basis, we’re running into this as well, we can only extract so much raw materials and create so much waste before we starve to death while drowning in our waste.
This means we need to recycle everything. The nutrients we extract from the soil, we need to get them back into the soil.
We need to stop depending upon one-way chemical reactions between atmosphere and minerals for our energy needs and shiftp towards energy sources which can be sustained indefinitely.
Even though I have elaborated that I think there are enough hydrocarbons that they could provide for our energy needs for a long time, we’re altering our atmosphere in undesirable ways and we do considerable environmental damage extracting hydrocarbons.
Tar sands are being mined in Alberta Canada, oil (heavy crude) extracted, cracked, and then sold to the United States. It takes a ton of sand to extract a barrel of oil, they extract it in huge open pit mines. This results in a huge amount of toxic trailings. The tar sands are largely below forested land. They have to clear all the trees to get at it.
We’ve got tar sands in the United States as well, huge quantities, but it is deeper and not readily accessed via open pit mining so here companies are experimenting with in situ methods of extraction. These involve heating in some way in order to lower the viscosity enough for the oil to be pumped.
We also have oil shale and extracting the oil from it has it’s own environmental consequences.
We have huge quantities of coal, and it can be processed into liquid fuel, again with environmental consequences.
Bottom line is that extracting hydrocarbons will get increasingly difficult and increasingly destructive to the environment, and burning them is always destructive to the environment, so we need to move on to something else.
We need to find a way to get along, these wars, not only do they inflict tremendous human suffering, but they waste tremendous resources and prevent the international coordination that we need. Today, pollution is no longer a local problem it is global, the same is true of resource exhaustion.
We need to find a way to stop producing crap we don’t need. Our existing economic system would collapse if we did this, there needs to be a way to modify or replace it with something that is efficient for the production and distribution of what we need but doesn’t involve marketing a lot of useless crap and producing that useless crap.
We need to find a way to love each other even with our differences, and respect our differences and accept them. Only if we can start thinking on terms of what is best for the planet as a whole can we make the right decisions for our planet.
Each of us, we’re all connected more than we realize with each other and with every other living thing on this planet, and even perhaps with the things we don’t ordinary think of as living.