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Your Responsibility to Climate Change
What we have is a rogue economic system that threatens the future quality of our natural environment and our survival. We have no choice but to fight against extinction.
Our Responsibility to Climate Change
Felix A. Pacheco
Pretty much everyone can agree that the climate in the U.S. and in other countries has changed dramatically in the past few years, and I am sure we are all concerned about it. We have been experiencing; longer and hotter summers, stronger and more violent hurricanes, more frequent tornadoes, flooding due to extra heavy rains and forest fires due to drought conditions in California and the South West. Also, we are all aware of the devastation due to climatic events in different countries through out the world. There have been numerous documentaries on TV and other media on the subject of the melting Arctic and Antarctic icecaps and the ensuing consequences. Most people are left bewildered and feeling helpless in the face of this looming disaster. There is no denying the feeling that somehow we are experiencing, or will be experiencing serious consequences due to the changing weather patterns.
The question is, is this a long cyclic event that has repeated itself over the millenniums, or is this somehow related to the way mankind, as stewards of this planet have created conditions that have directly effected the ecological balance of environmental systems worldwide? Or, could it be a combination of both? I believe that we are on the brink of a gradual environmental collapse. But, what is the driving force of this declination.
If it is a combination of the two possibilities, then the question is, could it be that human activity may have tipped the scale to the point of no return, as when we abuse our bodies and think that we can stop and our good health will miraculously be revived? We all know that certain bodily organs cannot rejuvenate after a certain crucial point. Have we pushed almost past the limits of environmental rejuvenation? The earth's biosphere, is after all a living Petri dish of interrelated organisms living in dynamic balance.
There is no denying we are all part of the problem. Recycling is not enough of a commitment to override the effects of global toxicity, we must be mindful of what and how much we buy and how earth friendly it is, and be aware that the media-driven corporate need for growth through marketing and advertising has become a major force for obsessive consumption and travel-along with paper pollution and the resultant U S Postal Service over-dependence on junk-mail distribution. And obviously, people's carbon foot print should be diminished and the problem of global overpopulation be addressed and dealt with. The fact that planned obsolescence is a given in industry is insane and consumes an extreme level of human and natural resources.
We all have to be willing to give up some of our excesses and be conscious of the fact that there is enough world wide, so we don't have to fight like gluttonous gnomes over the carcass of plenty. There is no such thing as the chosen people or chosen race. We are all chosen and have to live in symbiotic balance with nature and in harmony with each other on this small planet. After all, what choice is there for our society, taking all you can get but living in fear and paranoia, or creating a society that is truly humanitarian and inclusive.
I don’t believe that we can confront Climate Change without considering social, economic and religious beliefs about our primacy as creatures apart from nature and that there really is no implicit price on the abusive over-exploitation and degradation of the natural habitat, or making unethical use of these resources for profit.
The belief that we are apart from nature and not part of it is derived from the Christian belief in the creations story in Genesis. The fact that science has a considerably more believable story is abhorrent to most Christians and other First Testament believers. This makes science suspect in their eyes and obscures the truth and validation of Climate Change. We also have to consider that many millions of people have their retirement accounts and investment portfolios tied to nonrenewable resources, and they are not open to scientific climate research.
When we talk of globa environmental collapse, one would imagine that most thinking individuals would choose an alternative. After all this is not a left or right political issue, or is it. There are not a few who believe that God is punishing us for not taking the righteous path and will bring an end to the world and there is nothing we can do. There is yet another group of constituents that look forward to the end of the world, or Armageddon. They are the Evangelical fundamentalists who believe they are the chosen ones and can’t wait for Tribulations and the chance to stand eye to eye with God.
They and the water, mining, petroleum and energy industry along with their investors do not believe there is a major problem. 'Big Oil' thinks they just have to repackage their image as earth friendly and continue to expand operations, using the absurd goal of economic growth (jobs) and progress
Is it possible to limit economic growth and progress? There are natural limits to growth, since it is a linear and finite process. After all, there is supposedly even an end to the universe. Progress is infinite and not necessarily linear. Real progress is not about incessant marketing of things and gadgets for everyone, or a proliferation on TV of mindless entertainment, sports, and talking heads. It should be about giving priority to creating institutions that offer opportunities for self advancement and fulfillment of an individual’s full potential within society.
Corporations will use every legal leverage that their positions in society allows them, and then some, to not comply to any regulatory legislation limiting their exploitation of non-renewable resources and they will fight against taking financial responsibility for eco-devastation due to their activities related to the extraction of fossil fuels, mining of raw materials, and the manufacturing of plastic water bottles and the resultant pollution of nature and the oceans' ecological balance.
But remember, corporations have no natural and inalienable rights. They have no soul or conscience. Fining them for wrong doing does not punish anybody but the working poor. Therefore individuals that have a consciously shirked their corporate social responsibility should be punished. Corporations are simply an economic-political entity, but 'they' and their investors rule and control politics. The Magna-Carta and the French Revolution were not primarily about corporate rights. Corporations are chartered by the people for the benefit of the general public and if and when they no longer serve that purpose or create harm to society they should be dissolved.
The three main tenants of capitalism are profits, return on investments and growth. If an economic entity is not growing it is dying. It will lose market share to the ones that are growing or be acquired by a larger business. Consequently, there is seemingly no limit on how big mufti-nationals, corporate agriculture, conglomerate financial investment firms and banks can become and it is not reasonable to expect capitalist enterprises to limit their growth and market share, or to cede dominance over third world counties.
Many of us have a profound existential sense that there is something increasingly wrong or insidiously corrupt in almost all our institution, including Western mainstream religions. This malaise permeates all aspects of our lives.
Those politicians who capitalize on this fear are self serving and tend to increase antagonisms and paranoia against others. We should be aware that our National Interest is not necessarily the interests of the working man, which is to have a secure decent paying job, with benefits and the security to enjoy them. The American Dream wasn't always to become a millionaire or become rich and famous. Supposedly, with greater opportunity, hard work, and luck any one can become 'successful', but in most cases hereditary in terms of a middle class environment, privilege and family accumulation of capital trumps all.
No one willingly gives up their power, rich or poor. Naturally, the richest and most powerful will do whatever it takes to maintain their position and power, including surreptitiously emboldening extreme right wing groups by their tepid acquiescence. These White fascist hate groups are only too ready to serve as proxies and unofficial enforcers for police, National Guard and military powers, and they in turn will be defended by most conservatives. Eventually even these most privileged few will not be able to buy their way out of environmental ecocide.
If we can’t look to governments, corporations, big businesses or religion to mitigate global pollution and degradation, what hope is there I believe that the natural economic laws of ‘self correction’ will come into play. The cost of necessities (commodities) will continue to rise faster than the earning power of the lowest sixty percent of the populations. People will by necessity consume less and create alternative economies to compensate for their diminished expectations of their needs, but not necessarily their wants.
As Democratic Capitalism continues its downward spiral and our society unravels, there will be more hopelessness, joblessness, homelessness, drug addiction, crime and violence, along with failing human services institutions, including Health and Education. Of course, the most reactionary and backwards elements of society along with hired goons and security apparatus will pull out all stops to maintain the status-quo, but they will be fighting a futile battle against evolution.
The causes, which are symptoms of a sick and failing social-economic system will not be apparent to, conservative reactionaries, philistines and the politically backward, so they will look for scapegoats to blame and will consequently provoke greater polarization of left and right, causing increased fascist repression against social-political activists, including students, artists, intellectuals, university professors, popular entertainers, public radio,and mass media journalists which will in turn drive the forces of discontent into more unified expression resulting in more demonstrations, protests, political turmoil, anarchy and eventually revolutions or civil war.
When a social/political system become retrogressive it will wither and die of its own inertia, and another system will take its place. One hopeful scenario is that a small group of people who believe that irreversible damage is being perpetuated in the name of growth and progress and will feel that it is incumbent on them to create a mass movement that will develop a truly sustainable free market economy with equality of opportunity and justice for all.
The earth will regenerate itself in millenniums of time and will continue to exist no matter what we do. But, we are digging ourselves into a deep hole with no escape. How much can we take from the earth before it is depleted and not livable. What we have is a rogue economic system that threatens the future quality of our natural environment and our survival. What we need is a new spiritual world-centric view based on indigenous knowledge. We have no choice but to fight against extinction.
Felix Pacheco August 2017 'You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.'