EARTHFUTURE by Guy Dauncey
NEW CENTURY is only nine years old and already our prospects for
the future have become a full-blown montage of hopelessness and
despair. It is true that if we continue with business-as-usual we
face a worse-than-dire future. I follow the climate science, so
I know. But enough already! The human spirit is perennially strong
and our global immune system is fighting back by creating new thought
forms to fight the virus of negativity.
In previous centuries, we replaced ignorance with widespread literacy.
We opened new horizons through science, technology and exploration.
We ended slavery, created democracy and overthrew fascism. We organized
labour, liberated women and won civil rights for all. What might
we achieve in this century? Here are seven possibilities totally
within our reach if we have the vision and courage of our ancestors.
First Wonder: A shift to 100% renewable energy: Energy efficiency,
solar PV, solar thermal in the worlds deserts, wind, geothermal,
tidal, wave, hydropower and bio-energy offer us far more energy
than we need, and once we have made the shift, this energy will
be available forever. No more wars over oil. No more air pollution.
And much less climate chaos.
Second Wonder: A global economy that respects nature: In Canadas
last federal election, if every voter had been younger than 25,
the Green Party would now be running the country. There is a growing
recognition that we can no longer treat Earths myriad ecosystems
as "negative externalities," following the blind stupidity
of mainstream economics. If our younger people have their way, this
century will see a sweeping, green revolution that uses legislation,
green taxation and global treaties to liberate nature from oppression.
Third Wonder: The end of poverty: Muhammad Yunus, who created the
Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, has shown how microlending can lift
the worlds poorest out of poverty, while Perus Hernando
de Soto has demonstrated how granting legal title can enable them
to turn their assets into liquid capital and participate with their
enterprise. This will take a prolonged effort, but the dream that
future generations will have to visit a museum to learn what poverty
was is still very much alive.
Fourth Wonder: The end of war: This is not a fantasy. By removing
oil from the equation of global conflict, we remove the major cause
of war. The second major cause nationalism is already
dying, as more and more people find a solid identity as citizens
of our shared planet, rather than of their nation alone. Global
peacemaking, peacekeeping and conflict resolution are expanding
their reach every year. After millennia of bloodshed, we can finally
Fifth Wonder: The end of cruelty to animals: This may be the hardest
wonder to achieve, yet all thats needed is widespread understanding
of the atrocious ways we treat animals in factory farms, puppy mills,
veal crates, bear bile cages, and so on. We already know from our
love of pets that the bond with animals can be enormously strong.
With persistence, we can end the suffering we cause.
Sixth Wonder: World government: Can any advanced planet operate
without world government? It is only the dying embers of national
pride that prevent us from embracing workable global treaties and
a democratically elected global assembly. Future generations will
wonder what the fuss was all about.
Seventh Wonder: One spirituality: When the worlds religions
were created, it was out of a realization that one supreme God would
end the bloodshed between followers of rival tribal gods. Today,
the same thing is happening as more and more people realize that
they can draw on the deep spirituality of any religion without embracing
its fundamentalist trappings. Science itself is on the verge of
a breakthrough to a unified field theory that will merge matter
The only things that hold us distant from these wonders are negativity
and hopelessness, the sad pillars of tired minds. We, ourselves,
could be the Eighth Wonder of the 21st century if we cooperate with
others to realize the dream.
Guy Dauncey is president of the BC Sustainable Energy Association
which welcomes your membership, and the publisher of EcoNews (www.earthfuture.com)