It’s very welcome to find world leaders finally talking seriously about climate change, but I wonder how far any of them understand the scale of the change we need to make. The climate crisis has arisen from decades of false accounting and political denial, and we will not address it by doing the same things over again and expecting to get different results.
The first people to be aware of the impact of burning fossil fuels on the global climate were the fossil fuel companies themselves. They have devoted decades to suppressing the knowledge, and then to funding climate change denial – because accepting the science meant that all the reserves of fossil fuel in the ground, on which the value of the industry and the economy of many countries (critically, of America) depended, were worthless. They could not be utilised. The science threatened to turn their balance sheets upside down.
And so we embarked on a global zombie deathmarch. We know the impact we are having on the conditions for life on earth. Collectively, we know a lot about what we need to do to reduce and reverse that impact before it’s too late. But for decades, our political leaders did not seek out that knowledge, and the policies pursued by businesses and governments alike continued to ignore it. They all joined the fossil fuel companies in denying the science, and tried to hide behind ill-informed popular opinion to justify their dereliction of duty – and I don’t just mean Trump. I mean all of them. Business leaders, Prime Ministers, Presidents – anyone with any influence and power has to a greater or lesser degree joined in the Great Denial. The truth is just too hard to face, because it confronts us with the stark fact that money is not reality. Money is just something humans dreamed up to facilitate trade. Yet we have created a global society where you can’t live without money, and now our dependency on money is killing us and the planet we live on. The whole species is suffering from addiction, from a habit we seemingly can’t kick. And it is going to kill us.
Unless we change the way we think about money. Unless we learn to understand and value the intrinsic worth of a living ecosystem and each individual living being within that ecosystem, human or not. Until the people making crucial decisions about our future understand this nothing will fundamentally change. We will continue on the zombie death-march, and the denialists will become increasingly zealous and increasingly unhinged as they cling desperately to the lie of money and destroy everything of value.
I don’t want to be continually protesting against things and signing petitions – trying to shut endless stable doors after innumerable horses have bolted. What I want is confidence that those elected or appointed to make decisions on my behalf make good decisions. Decisions informed by science. Decisions designed to maintain life on Earth. Decisions aimed at improving the wellbeing of the people of the Earth.
I do not have such confidence right now. Rather the opposite – I am convinced that the majority of decisions are informed by prejudice and emotional judgement; do not consider sustainability; and are designed to serve the money-god, not the people. I share the Gaia’s pain.
I still want to believe people are better than this. That we have the courage and intelligence, as a species, to turn away from the drug that’s destroying us and embrace life. I hope there are enough of us who want to embark on that journey to defeat the fraudsters and the denialists before they destroy us all. If there aren’t, then maybe humanity doesn’t deserve to survive. The tragedy is that we will probably take life on earth as we know it down with us.
There is no barrier to changing behaviours and habits of thought except an unwillingness to change. Every one of us needs to be willing to turn up to Monetarists Anonymous and say, hi, my name’s Sue and I’m addicted to money.
Those decision-makers derive their power from us. The people who just live their lives day by day, trying to make ends meet and stay sane. Those who don’t make the decisions. We are trapped in this system that makes us dependent on money. If we’re going to get out of it, we’re going to have to do it together. Change together.
Haios o ja, ja o haios erth. Ush eloh.
The Spirit is me, I am the Spirit. We are one.