Let’s see, should we continue to destroy the planet so we can keep our jobs, or do we have some re-thinking to do? What good are jobs if we have no food, clean air or water? Really. Really?
Two days ago President Obama made an impassioned plea that we DO SOMETHING toward reversing the situation of climate change. He said, “I don’t want my grandkids not to be able to swim in Hawaii or to climb a mountain and see a glacier because we didn’t do something!” I am about to become a grandmother myself, (color me happy!) and I know the place from which he speaks. The urgency becomes much more desperate and focused when powerful parental instincts to love and protect are ignited. I have been feeling this enormously. What can I do now to assist in this situation for my children, and for their children? It is honest to say that I think about this every day, and with the next generation on its way the instinctual concern becomes even more pressing.
The first target in Obama’s proposal is power plants, which produce more emissions than cars, airplanes and homes combined. If we force them to reduce these emissions on the schedule being outlined, critics who will fight this proposal say, it will cost us jobs and your electric bill will go up. Repeat here my first paragraph. Really? It’s like fighting to keep your bartending job on the Titanic while it is going down.
I think of Einstein’s oft quoted statement that you can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking that produced the problem in the first place. We have to significantly move to other levels of thinking. Not soon, now.
Many of my readers know that I was raised listening to Buckminster Fuller who was a family friend. Bucky spoke often of his belief that our economics and political system were set up based upon the assumption that planetary resources are limited so therefore we have to fight to get enough for our own. With the advent of new technologies, we now are capable of providing plenty for everyone he states. Our outmoded structures must be dismantled as they are based upon faulty assumptions. We can now focus creativity, time and effort on creating “Livingry” rather than “Weaponry”, Bucky’s words. What if we were to really do so? Can you imagine if the trillions of dollars – and all of that genius, time and energy – that we put into to defense could be directed toward creating an abundant life, opportunity and education for everyone?
One of the points Bucky made well is detailing what it COSTS us to have people working at jobs they don’t want to do just so they can get money, rather than stay home and use their energy and creativity to come up with solutions for what the world really needs. He believed human spontaneity and ingenuity, if given freedom, would be limitless and generous in generating Livingry. I remember in early adolescence hearing him make a statement that I have thought about my entire life: “Rather than spending your life trying to make “cents”, do want makes “sense” instead.” I have put faith in this admonition.
We can think of these times of necessary change as great opportunity to challenge and rethink outmoded systems and logics. Change is scary, certainly, but it can be an enormously creative time if we personally and collectively accept this mission to recreate our future in harmony with Nature on this planet, carefully attending to Her demands, logics and reasoning.
Buckminster Fuller radically rethought our systems of mathematics, which he found to be based upon faulty assumptions, in his book Synergetics. And he radically rethought our systems of living in nearly all of his writing and speaking. Look him up, I pretty much guarantee you’ll be moved and intrigued. Every day of his adult life he asked himself what he could do to benefit the most people, and urged every other human to do the same. Let’s do it.
My greatest desire going forward is to work to create dialogue among humans about how we can think for ourselves, outside of the systems that are telling us what to think, and begin to rethink failing structures for living. We have to think together, not alone. Think with me on this. Let’s share our ideas. Our grandchildren, and all of Earth’s systems, depend on us.