Two Huge Successes Call for a Third

Altogether, humankind is way out on a limb that is severely stressed by the mass and activity of humankind.  The mass (in terms of population) is increasing (nearly 3x in my lifetime) and the activity is both overpowered and increasingly abstract.  By abstract I mean that intellect and spirit are not in balance with body and heart; we do not live and love according to the comprehensive design of our home.  In that, also known as the web of life, we are beings interdependent with all other beings.  We are different, but not so exceptional that we can go it alone.  We’re needy and needed.

Humankind reached its precarious and isolated perch by way of two very successful structural changes, the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.  The first featured harvesting recent solar energy as never before and the second came to feature exploiting ancient solar energy as never before.  A third, unprecedented success must enable much, if not all, of humankind to move toward the trunk, if not to various limbs, before the overloaded limb snaps.  The necessary movement includes harnessing, as never before, solar energy as it arrives and as it almost immediately effects movements of air and water.  It also includes preparation for the time when forms of ancient solar energy will be very expensive, if even available.

I opened with “altogether, humankind.”  However, in many significant ways, humankind is not together, is not a unity.  The UN and WTO notwithstanding, there is no we that can act conclusively to the necessary degree.  Historical and cultural factors created and sustain divisions that produce indifference, mistrust, scapegoating and violence of many kinds, of many scales.  And nations – even communities within them – are no more unified than the world.  Many, many people everywhere feel uncertain and insecure, or live in fear.  Comfortable or not, they hope and pray the limb won’t break, and humankind won’t fall, during their lifetimes.

The lack of unity in and among nations makes timely political action for the third great structural change unlikely.  In a few weeks, we’ll observe a restructuring attempt in Copenhagen by representatives of over 100 nations.  Even if those talks produce an agreement, responsive and effective actions by the separate governments are far from guaranteed.

I recommend that each person begin to invest available attention, time and energy in proactive movement toward the trunk and, as possible, to other limbs.  This appropriately-powered and affordable movement follows a declaration of interdependence.  It entails closing gaps between people in their locales.  It entails closing gaps between humans and the other beings in their locales.  It entails the unprecedented balancing and integration of body, mind, heart and spirit of each human being.