Something for nothing? Our favorite capitalist methodology. We exploit, expend, exhaust, excavate and expect to make a profit no matter what! We harvest to the point of clear cutting and feel content at the wealth that it produces when we do! We simply take all we can, as soon as we can, lest some other guy steal away a share of the looted booty that we have claimed as our own. Then we build and construct, overwhelming the land in fulfilling Joni’s elegant if dire prophecy of paving paradise to put up a parking lot!
We do a lot of paving and have already lost a lot of paradise.
Wherever you go, you will find us in maximum numbers these days. We are the anthropogenic harvesters pushing paradise to the edge and claiming what we take for our own! We are everywhere and it is beginning to show that we take and take all that we can at every venture!
The problem is that with paradise gone that we end up trying to live in a parking lot! Living in a parking lot is pretty tough going though. You are exposed to extremes of heat and cold, of wind and weather, flood when it rains and drought when it doesn’t. We didn’t evolve in a parking lot either. On the other hand, we are perfectly designed for life in paradise.
In paradise the rains are taken up by the flood plains and low lying wetlands and do no harm. The droughts are moderated by high water tables and underground aquifers. The forest cover reseeds after fires and selective harvesting unless clear cut and the bare land allowed to erode away.
The anthropogenic parking lot has become our fate but we don’t know how to exist in such an environment! We need rich farmland soil and lush forests, teeming seas and abundant fresh water! It was how we have evolved. The thing is that we could create or recreate all these things but we rarely ever do. We expect to exploit paradise not to create it.
To survive the future parking lot that we have recklessly created, humanity has no choice but to become the recreators of abundance instead of merely its continuing exploiters. Will we create an abundant anthropogenic future is the ultimate question for our species. We could, we do have the know how, the astounding breath of our science and the ability to coordinate our actions across the face of the planet as only our generation has ever been able to do using our computers and cells.
We could actually work together to recreate paradise quite easily. In many ways we take toddler steps with our international trade that can bring apples to an orchard across half the world virtually overnight.
This author asks whether we will understand that scientific cooperation and coordinated effort has become the only safe way to make a profit. Everything else will cost us. Like having built residential neighborhoods and suburbs on a floodplain will cost us in the end. Like trying to live in a parking lot is far more work and far too costly than is living in a sustainable paradise.
We need to tear up that parking lot and plant paradise. Those in denial condemn us. It is actually criminal and a kind of theft of the only future now left available to us. Sadly the denialists are most in denial about how much time is left before catastrophe makes destiny.