Which world are we trying to sustain?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Which world are we trying to sustain: a resource to fulfill our desires of material prosperity, or an Earth of wonder, beauty, and sacred meaning?

While many of us would want to, no doubt, sustain the Earth, and simply for the very fact that we need her to live there are others, the capitalists who do not think, it would seem of the future in terms of survival, thinking they can buy themselves out of any problem, who are but interested in the material things and in making ever more profit.

They and the governments that they control because they are indeed the shadow government of the world talk about growth, growth and still more economic growth, and of needing to grow the economy still more. Why? Not that we, the ordinary people, benefit but that they can fill their coffers and those of their shareholders.

They do not seem to understand, and many of the general public seem to also repeat the waffle that they are force-fed by the media on behalf of the government and its masters, that the world is finite and that growth is not possible as such.

And then we have the dear people in the American Republican Party, even law makers, who make statements such as “too many wind turbines will stop the world from spinning, as there is only that much wind available” and that the use of solar panels will reduce the sun and its light.

However, when the mention is made of peak oil and the fact that the world is running out of oil, natural gas, minerals and such, they reply with the statement that G-d has put those riches into the Earth for our use and he will continue to replenish them and thus we will never run out.

We have to learn to think differently and act differently. So far we have almost entirely destroyed the Planet, causing the extinction of animals of plants by the G-d only knows how many species, believing that we have the right to rob everything from the Earth for our benefit and profit, because G-d gave us dominion over the Earth.

But, as I said in my piece “Climate change crisis reminds us that we are called to care for Creation”, that is a total misinterpretation of what is written in the Scriptures for dominion in this context means being a good steward and must not be confused with domination and a right to do as we please.

The latter is, however, the approach that the capitalist system has taken in exploiting the riches of the Planet for the financial benefit of but a few and the detriment of the rest of Creation.

Changing our ways does mean taking a different approach, that is true, and one where we cannot have a new flat-screen TV or new car or new this or that every five minutes and where things must be used until such a time that they really can no longer be fixed and made to continue to work; like it once was, at least among all but the super rich.

The notion of perpetual economic growth is a false one that will destroy the very Planet that we depend on for our survival and cannot be sustained on a finite Planet whose non-renewable resources have almost been depleted in their entirety. Neither can we continue to burn fossil fuels. Not just in the way we have done and reducing their use but we have to cease their use, period.

It is not (just) the CO2 emissions either that are at issue here but the general pollution caused by them, and nuclear is not an option either as their may be no emissions and air pollution from the power stations, the extraction and processing of the fuel takes a great deal of energy and the end storage of the spent fuel rods, which will be radioactive, and thus dangerous for the environment and us, for thousands of years. It does not need, I am sure, another Chernobyl or Fukushima to get that message across, at least not to the general public, I should hope.

However, our governments keep telling us, and even supposed environmental organizations, that we must have nuclear power in order to fulfill our carbon reduction targets. Hello! Is anyone home? Are we all stupid?

If we want to sustain a system that will sustain us then there is but one way and that is to change our ways and yes, it will mean a change of way of life. Either we do that or there will be no life. It is that simple and it is your call.

© 2014