Sunday, February 5, 2017

Respect and a Healthy World

Based on my research, there have always been two groups of people: those who respect other species enough to let them share the world, and those who see them as resources to be consumed and competitors for dominance of the world. These groups each have two subgroups: those who want maximum happiness for themselves; and those who want to have the most descendants.

Most people have always been in the second group, consuming and competing with the rest of the Nature, and in the subgroup adding more people. Until the beginning of the oil age, one in six people were in the first group, respecting other species; after that, those who were leaving more descendants moved to the second group rather than die. All that was left of the first group was the few hundred who were maximizing their happiness while sharing parts of the world that could still support them and other species, and even that small population began to dwindle.

The number and populations of other species have continued to fall under the onslaught of those who don't respect them, and now more rapidly as we pass the point where there are not enough of them to support their lives or ours. Arguably this places us in a dying world, as opposed to a heathy world like that which existed when a substantial part of our population was still in the respectful group. If even a tiny fraction of us are to survive the great extinction we have unleashed, we must try to make parts of the world healthier and ensure that they stay that way.

Changing even part of the world begins with changing what causes us to continue doing damage. One way to start is to all agree that the respectful group was right and the majority group was wrong.

This is unlikely since the majority seems to be under the impression that the same approach which enabled them to conquer the world can somehow help them escape the consequences of it, perhaps to the point of moving to another world that can be conquered. This is encouraged by the prospect of super-intelligent quantum computers, lifesaving biotechnology, and cheap energy from fusion. Timing is the biggest problem, since global warming is threatening to reduce our ability to survive before any of these technologies could make a significant difference (assuming they wouldn't cause more problems than they fix).

Agreement about the cause might reawaken respect for other species in more of us, enabling us to explore how we could still meet our basic needs while empowering other species (who employ Nature's own biotechnology) to improve their own chances of survival by repairing some of the damage we have done. Transitioning to a respectful approach toward those other species would also prepare the survivors of our efforts with the basic values they need to continue surviving.