Things need to change, for our sake, for the sake of our children, for the sake of humanity. Just because we've been burning coal and oil for generations doesn't mean we have to be stuck in primitive self-destruction, burning more and more as our ecosystems collapse. Ancient people didn't stick with nomad lifestyles and decide to shun agriculture. We didn't cling to horses as our only vehicles, even though horse traders would have liked the automobile to disappear. Well, we have similar choices now.
It took quite a while before agriculture could predictably support human populations. It took quite a while before the automobile would be a reliable transportation source. It took a while before the telegraph, electricity and the light bulb became dominant factors in modern society. But they did! We gradually gave up our utter dependence upon animal labor and human foraging. Now, we call that progress. At the time, it was probably a very painful transition.
WE gradually gave up the pony express for the telegraph. We gradually gave up the telegraph for the telephone, landlines for cell phones, encyclopedias for the Internet. We gradually gave up gaslights, candles and fireplaces for electricity. We now need to gradually, but firmly end our dependence on coal and oil. We need to move forward into a better future, not stay stuck in ways that enrich greedy people while destroying our health and well-being.
This is a natural and normal process. We have reached the end of the road for dumping carbon into our atmosphere and pollution and other poisons into our neighborhoods and biosphere. The change will not be simple and it will not be quick. However, until we make the commitment to a sane existence, we will continue to assume that "it can't be done." We will continue to empower psychopaths to determine our destiny - simply because we are afraid, and because we lack a solid vision of a better world.
It is OUR future, not just the future of people like the Koch Brothers. Let them worry about themselves. We must not follow them blindly so they become richer and richer even when it means we will all go down the tubes while they book passage to some other planet. No, they are NOT smarter than us. The ability to run a business empire is nothing like the ability to guide a great nation and a diverse planet. What's good for the Kochs, it turns out, is horrendous for humanity in the long term.
So, this is a moment when we need to think like adults, like citizens responsible for our own destiny. We need to stop being children dependent upon a system that is outdated and abusive. This is OUR future. Let's give a green light to a viable future for humanity and other life on this planet. Let the coal and oil stay in the ground while we use our intelligence to figure out a bright and resilient future. We've done it before.
Keep your heads up. Don't despair. Don't let fear mongers tell you that change is impossible, that we need to withdraw from reality. We will handle the necessary change, as humans have done time and time again. And we will emerge stronger and better.
Earon Davis is a writer and teacher on personal and global sustainable resilience. Find him on LinkedIn at http://linkedin.com/in/earon