Climate change or cultural change?
By Stella Baker.
This is serious business
On one level among ourselves this is all about communication, and sharing, and compassion, and empathy, and community, and society. This is about building consensus. But see when we turn away from our family, our community, and even our society and we turn to the hostile world outside, this is when it becomes propaganda. It becomes a struggle for the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
We feel that most people who read this will understand our position and stand with us. We're not here to protest, or disrupt, or convert anyone to anything. We are here to point out to people that they consented to and agreed with this position all along. It has to be this way because we all stand for something which is pretty straightforward and unambiguous.
This is what we stand for - life, survival, evolution, caring, nurturing, compassion, empathy, relationships, feeling, love, joy, happiness - are you opposed to such things? It is hoped that this is going to become more than just a mere article or blog post. It's hoped that you will share further, repost, print out, and get this across to people.
This is not for the greater wisdom of Stella Baker, of Qultura, or of anything or anyone else. These are words which need to be said, which need to be empowered, which need to be shared. These are words which need to be wafted across people's consciousness. The first step to resolving any problem is an awareness that such a problem exists.
Trying a different approach to climate change
There are many people who are concerned with the issues of a dying planet and with the aspects of global warming and climate change. There are others who are not concerned or who remain unaware of climate change or the rapidly diminishing natural habitat and groundwater. It's important not to attack them, nor to alarm them or frighten them, but to inspire them, and motivate them, and to try and appeal to their inner humanity and better nature.
We are our environment
We live on a planet which can be defined as a planet which produces life. For billions of years this planet has been producing various life forms out of the sea, which covers two thirds of the planet, and also produces various life forms on the land. There are numerous plant species which are all attached to the planet such as plants and trees and there are various animal species which move across the surface of the planet through swimming, walking, and flying which together form part of this planetary ecosystem. We - human beings - are part of this ecosystem.
This means that life is the experience of existence specifically on this planet. We cannot live anywhere other than this planet. We cannot breathe anything other than the air in the atmosphere. We need access to the water in order to be able to live, just as we need access to a habitat within a certain range of temperatures in order to be able to live. There are no alternatives. This planet is all we have. We are a part of this planet, and what this planet is, this is part of who we are.
Overpopulation is not an excuse
We cannot claim that there are too many human beings on the planet because despite the fact that we have been using money for centuries and have been trying to develop various ways and strategies to share the resources we have yet to create a system where the entire human species is free from poverty and deprivation. We simply do not know if there are too many human beings living on the planet. How can we tell if we have too many people on the planet when we've never reached a point where everyone on the planet has access to what they need in order to live? We have never reached that point where everyone has everything they need in order to live. We have always had a situation where most people have not had access to sufficient resources in order to live. There is no evidence that we are overpopulated as a planet. There is however plenty of evidence to suggest, and suggest strongly, that we lack the humanity and the decency to share the available resources with every human being on the planet, or that we give responsibility for sharing the resources to those who lack the humanity and decency to share those resources adequately.
What if the object of desire here was alcohol?
What if we elected raging alcoholics into political power and looked up to each other for our ability to drink alcohol? What if fetal alcohol syndrome was seen as desirable and we encouraged our children to drink from a very early age? What if the purpose of life was to go out and get money to be permanently pickled and where our governments were made up of politicians who got sloshed on a daily basis? Would this be acceptable to you?
But what difference does it make that the object of desire isn't alcohol but control of money, property, and access to natural resources? Does the fact that the object of the addiction here - money and control of access to natural resources - make the behaviour any less addictive, or abusive, or narcissistic? Does it add any more weight to the empty promises to change with no follow through? Does it add any more significance to the lack of social responsibility or the missed deadlines?
Addiction is the only word which covers this
An addiction can be defined as something which brings short term benefits or relief but which carries a long term negative consequence and involves abuse. You can be addicted to anything - heroin, cocaine, alcohol, to sex, to food, to shopping, to money, to power, to control, to attention - whatever gives you that dopamine hit. But the addiction will be the exact same. The object of the addiction will bring short term relief or gratification at the expense of a negative long term consequence and inevitably involve abusive relationships.
Why are we enabling addiction at the expense of our legacy as a species?
This for us is the central question. We are not going to pretend that human extinction is the same as the extinction of any other species on the planet. It's not. It's not a natural extinction by any means, because the loss of natural habitat is not something which is taking place for reasons which are beyond our control. Unlike other species we are proactively participating in our own extinction through our addiction to excessive material consumption, excessive material control and the gathering of exaggerated, excessive material resources. None of this is human behaviour which is either normal or natural. It is behaviour which is addictive, compulsive, abusive and pathological.
If you starved and beat your children to feed an alcohol addiction you would quite rightly have your children taken away from you and be convicted of child abuse. Likewise if you abused, beat and starved your pets such as dogs or say farm animals to feed a similar addiction you would have your animals taken away from you, and would be convicted of animal abuse and be banned from ever having any access to animals ever again.
So what is it that makes it so acceptable when the object of desire is money or control of resources and the objects of abuse are the planet, other people and other living beings on the planet? We are guilty of a crime that our forefathers and ancestors could not even conceive or imagine. We are destroying our natural habitat, looting the planet and abusing other people and animals to feed our addiction on a scale so widespread that it defies comprehension. Our corporate profit, our luxury apartments, hotels, private jets, and excessive material wealth has been stolen from the legacy of our unborn children and the legacy of our species.
What kind of people would choose to do such a thing? This is a crime beyond war and genocide. Modern warfare is the extermination of the innocent and the poor by military means at the behest of those who have everything. It is the genocide of part of the human species. But to destroy the potential of the future for our children is a crime that simply boggles the mind. This is the endgame of our domination culture. Make no mistake this is the Final Solution.
What are we expecting here?
9/11 was a turning point comparable in history to anything else such as the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Blitz. We have Western governments which have replaced activities of government with activities much more typical of organized crime - trading in weapons, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, and so on. We have reached the point where people who have moral dignity feel they have no other option left but to somehow throw themselves onto the cogs of the machine to try and take a stand against the behaviour and culture which has become so toxic, so abusive, so addictive and so mindless.
Of course you can take a pop at Extinction Rebellion, who are taking a moral stand here. Take a pop at us Qultura if you like despite the fact that we're a tiny community organization, unfunded, not backed by big money, no teenage girl media figures nor have we got George Soros's phone number. We are completely standalone. For sure many in the Extinction Rebellion movement are middle class but poorer people are made so poor that they're desperate for money and unable to support themselves, or they are so scared of being sanctioned and losing part of their income for up to three years they don't get much time to protest or take a stand. Black people cannot take a stand because they know they can be easily disappeared.
You might have also noticed that the people who are okay with enabling the addictive, abusive compulsive behaviour which is destroying our planet also seem to be the same or similar people who are themselves determined to wage a war against the poor and minorities in the world. Funny that, isn't it?
You can make a difference
I know this sounds like a cliche which you might not want to believe, but you can make a difference. Qultura started out around a decade ago as a small Fringe company which worked to promote social mobility and helped people to break into the performing arts. Now we are a small community cultural development organization working to create projects in the local community for people to come out of social and personal isolation by shifting the emphasis away from consumption and spending money back to spending time in the local community with people and shifting the emphasis back onto personal individual experience, individual creativity, social interaction, and developing both connections between people and connections in the local community.
Much of what constitutes climate action isn't really action at all - outside the serious environmental action and protests where people are investing their own, time and energy into putting themselves out there on the front line, often with little support - but is made up entirely of yack - lots of people talking the talk, but very little in the way of actually getting up and walking the walk and doing what is really needed, which is coming together as communities and collectively as a species.
There is no organization out there which is standing up to the politicians in defence of the human species or the planet. If there was you would not find the discarded from our excessively materialistic societies forced to sleep in the streets, the children growing up in hunger and deprivation, the increasing number of people who just cannot make ends meet despite working, the masses of lonely people out there, and the people who die, day in, day out, simply because they have neither the support, the care, nor the resources to continue living.
If you think there are people and vast organizations working on this, forget it. For sure there are lots of people waving their hands around and blabbering about it, and they are everywhere. But the number of people who are actually doing something positive and constructive towards this are miniscule.
We can save ourselves and our environment
We can turn this round and save our environment, and ourselves. We're using the analogy of the comparison between smoker's lungs and non smoker's lungs just to make this more graphic here. It's pretty much the same situation. We are dealing with addictive behaviour which is killing us off. The only difference is that we're passing the smoker's lungs onto our children, and grandchildren, not the healthy set of lungs. Between 5-10% of GDP and a change of culture is all what's needed to beat the addiction here.
So what is it going to be? Which is more important to you? Survival of the species or the addiction and continuing the culture and patterns of behaviour which are toxic, addictive, abusive and compulsive? Where do you see the future of the human species lying?
It's important to understand that this is not about saving the planet. The planet existed very well without human beings for billions of years in the past. It will exist just as well without us in the future. Only the terminally psychopathic would lack the empathy and the will to divert the small amount of resources needed to save our species or not show any concern for their inability to honour the natural contract and agreement which they entered into when they were born. The planet and its Gaian level of consciousness will stick with the species who do uphold their end of the bargain and contribute to the life of this planet. The planet will not stick with the species which disrupts the planet and how the planet functions.
This is no different to when you get an infection or virus which impacts on your health. You seek to eliminate and kill off the virus or bacteria so that you can survive and live. The planet does not need plastic pollution or pollution from fossil fuels to support what? A Shakespeare or rock and roll? There hasn't been rock and roll for half a century or more, nor has there been a Shakespeare for centuries. Atom bombs just don't cut it in the Gaian scale of values.
So what is the point?
The point is simple. It's an addictive abusive culture which has resulted in centuries of the gross misdirection of resources. But it's also far too much enabling of addiction and organizations who are either ineffective or working against the human species and the planet.