Are We –Is Industrial Civilization– Lost, Heading Into a Wasteland?

What is Gaia doing?

As we look to the unfolding of
the tremendous transitions
our world is entering into,
I offer hope.

All along, with Gaia, something has been going on.

Many things have been going on; surely you have remarked on some of them. Perhaps on:

  • When life on this planet in the  age of dinosaurs was practically extinguished by a century-long ash cloud from a huge meteor crash,
    life bounced back.
  • The age of eight-foot beaver and Guinea pigs and the huge canine teeth of the saber-toothed cats was followed by a wave of relative miniaturization.

And something is going on among the higher primates:

  • All over the world humans settled into villages.
  • All over the world, the first villages had no roads.
  • All over the world, as village culture developed, we settled on having
    a main path, a main street through the community.
    Not everywhere, but way more often than not.
    Predictably.
  • And then came private property. There was a lot of resistance, but that way of doing things fit well enough with who we are, at the time, that most human societies adopted it.

Having some things culturally recognized as “mine, to do with as I wish,” did wonders for human initiative, from agriculture to patenting inventions.

Something’s going on.

Property has its natural limits though.
Humans owning other humans seemed logical for a time, but it turned out primates have a natural sense of justice, and this sense of fairness was so disturbed by owning humans, that we gave it up.
There was lots of resistance, but like main streets
and the practice of property ownership,
the idea of an essential human freedom
not
to be property
came to be adopted almost everywhere.

Something is going on.

Now we are at a tipping point regarding the use of fossil fuels and climate change.

What will happen?

Something.

Something evolutionary. Something bigger than we can understand, at first.
There will be a lot of resistance.

Maybe it will be another step back from property.

Property allows us to own coal beds as big as counties, and coal plants to power cities,
but we now realize we can’t own the air where the smoke goes.

Like the inhabitants of those first villages without roads, world-wide, we have identified a problem.
How can we organize ourselves so that this works better?

Is there a technical fix like hydrogen fuel cells or cold fusion?

Or will we respond to the degradation of air,
sea
and land
with a more fundamental shift?

I don’t know.

But I do know: something is going on.

Something
of which humans are an exquisite part.

Something we can only dimly understand.

Still,
we can look for it.
We can try to work with it, rather than against it.

Being pregnant and giving birth are uncomfortable, but they are only parts of a larger process.

We might be entering a new axial age.

About Richard O Fuller

Quaker, living in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Industrial Civ., Transition. Bookmark the permalink.

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