Sunday, September 21, 2014

ISIS and the Greens

The modern world is currently facing the worst environmental problems ever seen in recorded history.  There is also an increasing divide between developed and ancient societies as seen in the rise of the so called Islamic State.
This first statement is to my mind a fact that is decreasingly avoidable. It bears closer inspection which may shed some light on the second issue.

Lets start at the very beginning. The environment of this planet has changed dramatically since it formed from a cloud of gas, dust and rocks at the start of the solar system. From a molten globe, the surface eventually cooled enough for water to collect and seas to form.  This water then froze from time to time encasing the entire planet in ice - grinding away the very rocks themselves. These forces are totally natural and predate the formation of Earth by 13 billion years or more. They have the greatest power ever to effect Humans - there is utterly no reason to think they have stopped now just because we have invented mobiles phones.

The term 'modern' used above to describe the world was deliberate, it was that part where technology developed to the point where human actions can add to and change the ageless underlying natural environmental mutations that gave rise to life in the first place. Other parts of the world did not do this. Other parts of the world lived and changed with the environment - adapting to rather than fighting against it. Not a great way to increase GDP, but it lets a human society stay stable for thousands of years.

'The wolf in the fold', 'The Grass is always greener' and 'Keeping up with the Jones's' can define the change from one way of living to the other. Taking these one at a time, in a stable society, it only takes one firm and continuous nudge to topple it unless it reacts against the force - one wolf in a sufficiently docile fold will grow fat and destroy the others (- then starve itself, that will be touched on again later). Secondly - presenting the lure of an easier way of life to a people living in a stable yet subsistence only society can create considerable disturbances in the otherwise quite sustainable culture. Finally, once the fold is all wolves ( living on external supplies ), not all wolves will be equal, some will have more than others and in this new go-getting paradigm, more has to be 'gone and got' to feed our growing need. Where does all this extra stuff come from ? Why, the part of the world not yet 'modern'.

After a while, even a peaceful society, when used as a source to fuel a growing external world, recognises the need to act to protect it's own way of life. They begin to lose any docility towards the outside world - if indeed there was any in the first place - and look for anti-wolf protection. But, in order not to destroy what they seek to preserve, they protect in their own way. Much as an invaded country's subdued population may resist the invaders. Think French Resistance, Dad's Army and Palestine.

That's finally killed off the metaphors. The point laboriously worked towards is as follows. Change is natural, we have to live with it. Our technology has now reached the stage where continued Jones's following does not have to be at the expense of any Smith or sheep - or anything - but, it is only one small part of that technology, the Green stuff, that does no harm as it increases GDP, all the rest of it causes stress and damage to anyone not supported by it.

How do we wolves in the 'modern' world protect ourselves from older society's freedom fighters and activists ? Leave them alone. Run our way of life without the need for external input - go green as soon as possible, or we may kill ourselves off before the wrath of newly empowered older societies do it for us. We have no right to continually despoil the parts of the world we don't either live in or want to visit on holiday - and now our technology allows us to live - as we do today - without destroying the ability of others to live their own lives. It makes people angry. Surely we have grown beyond that. Making ourselves be as 'green' as possible is our own best protection and the way to our only sustainable future.

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