EARTH MEANDERS: There Is No Hope October 09, 2005 6:56 PM
There Is No Hope
The Earth and Humanity Are Doomed
Earth Meanders, Dr. Glen Barry in his personal capacity
October 9, 2005
Recently I have taken some heat from a handful of readers that take
exception with a seeming lack of hope in these writings. Let me explain.
My work is prefaced upon two imperatives. Speak truthfully about the
Earth's condition, diagnosing the situation using the best possible
ecological science and ecological intuition. And propose only solutions
of a magnitude likely to be sufficient in providing long-term solutions.
What some perceive as self-righteous egoism is in fact indignant truth
It is acknowledged that on many occasions these writings portray a serious
global environmental crisis as being largely insurmountable given current
thinking. And it is possible that my own personal past history as an axe
murderer and crack addict (I am mostly better now except for a slight
twitch) color my judgment (lol). But seriously, a realistic assessment of
the Earth and humanity's situation finds there is no hope if humanity
continues on its present course, and bloody little hope unless we pursue
and achieve widespread personal and planetary transformations of an
unprecedented and unimaginable scale, and soon.
The fact that humanity and the Earth are both critically imperiled has
been found by countless studies and thinkers, most of which I have read,
from the Club of Rome in the 1970s to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
this year. I have internalized these irrefutable findings and part of my
mania - or ecological niche if you prefer - is to emotionally present and
respond to the ecological truth that the Earth is in a severe, perhaps
unsolvable, crisis. The world was simply not designed to hold ten billion
super-predators all consuming at the rate of a fat assed American.
The quest for ecological sustainability will not be served by half
measures or sugar coating the truth. The government will not save you.
They will not entertain any policy that undermines the power of the elite.
So, for example, they propose technical fixes like burying a bit of our
carbon to stop climate change. But given accompanying expansion of coal
burning, this would prove wholly inadequate to even begin to address
Most large environmental groups offer chimerical reforms that promise
continued over-consumption through better management. The WWFs of the
world tell you that logging the few remaining unprotected primary and
old-growth forests a bit more carefully will sustain both ancient forests
and the global ecosystem. They are wrong. We can not "have our ancient
forests and industrially log them too". Ancient forests are lost forever
when consumer products are produced by logging critically endangered
forest ecosystems for the first time.
For the Earth and humanity to have a chance we must choose to stop ancient
forest logging, reduce carbon emissions by 60%, make water conservation a
global imperative, place under protection large areas of oceans,
dramatically reduce human populations and stop consuming ourselves to
death. Failure will lead to massive ecological upheavals, collapsing
ecosystems and massive human deaths and suffering.
However unlikely, difficult or unpleasant, these are the truths; this is
what is required to save the Earth. Knowing the truth regarding the
Earth's pending ecological collapse, feeling and moving through the
despair, may lead to personal transformations powerful enough to fuel a
bright green revolution that transforms society. This is the only way
Granted, without hope we are not going to save the Planet. Similarly,
without knowledge and true understanding we are not going to know how.
False hope only obscures the truth and impedes progress in achieving
transformation in humanity's relationship with the Earth of a magnitude
necessary for actually achieving long-term global ecological
If the depth of your environmental commitment is recycling and sending a
yearly check to an environmental organization for band-aid forest and
climate policies doomed to failure, you may want to discontinue your
association with my own modest efforts. And if you want to remain
unchallenged, essentially putting your head in the sand - please
unsubscribe to Earth Meanders at
http://firstname.lastname@example.org or to
all lists with which I am associated at
As my organization Ecological Internet has recently completed several
projects, email volumes are going to return to historical levels (each
month about two action alerts, and three climate and forest news items
each, in addition to two Earth Meanders from myself personally).
I do not want to suggest I am not interested in responding to feedback.
In response I have decided to truly separate the personal Earth Meander
writings from the more mundane but important work of tracking news,
providing information retrieval tools and providing basic analysis done by
Ecological Internet. I assure the readership that I never purposefully
seek out bad news and am eager to report worthy positive developments, and
in fact frequently do
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October 09, 2005 6:58 PM
But my acknowledged "fast and furious" and
sometimes self-righteous style is me, and my work's fundamental organizing
principles of speaking truthfully and seeking sufficient solutions will
Contrary to the title of this essay, in fact there is hope. I have always
believed that good trumps evil, that the truth will set you free, and that
an informed and active citizenry in touch with the Earth shall overcome.
But this does not just happen. It sometimes takes a painful long look in
the mirror before necessary changes are identified and their
implementation commenced. To those that are truly onboard the ecological
sustainability movement, seeking the truth, working through the despair,
and committing yourself to the Earth; I suggest that when you look in the
mirror you will find the hope you seek. Be the hope. Hope for the Earth
will come from an informed, actualized, and mobilized Earth citizenry.
Let's make it so.
Comment at: http://earthmeanders.blogspot.com/2005/10/there-is-no-hope.html
Using the "Post a Comment" link on the bottom of the page. Emailed comments
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