Wednesday, 11 November 2009

What blinds us to reality?

LINK to Guardian article, Too fearful to publicise peak oil reality by Madeleine Bunting
. . in reply to the Queen's question of a few years hence, we did see it coming but we chose to ignore it.
It's not just peak oil, but the depletion of many natural resources and the Limits to Growth (i.e. the planet's carrying capacity) in general, which some of us have seen coming and been warning about for DECADES, certainly since the early 1970's, when I became aware of the issues.

The fact that we - or, more to the point, those in power and influence in politics, business, academia and the media - chose to ignore, deny or massively play down its importance, will have devastating consequences, not for those responsible, of course, who soon enough, if not already, will be dead and gone, but for those who are still young . . .

It is too late to change that now, although we might still reduce the scale of the pending catastrophe and greatly increase our (children's) changes of survival and recovery. But before we can even do this, we must recognize and develop an understanding of what caused us (and those we trusted to lead us) to ignore, deny or massively play down the importance of what should have been (was to me) blatantly obvious: the inherent non-sustainability of our socioeconomic order, and of many of the values, attitudes and aspirations which underlie it.

What makes this so difficult for us to recognise is that these values, attitudes and aspirations, along with the subconscious motivations behind them, and the political and economic power structures they have given rise to, are themselves deeply rooted in our own Darwinian nature, i.e. the drive to exploit our environment (both natural and human) to our own personal (and immediate family's) advantage.

Until we recognise and develop an understanding of this (the perverted and rationalized self-exploitation of our own society as an environment), the situation, especially for our children, will remain hopeless.

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