I believe that we (the human race) are given the earth as well as a substantial intellect (relatively speaking) for the purpose to use and to benefit from that earth and what grows and lives here. We are a part of this thing we call nature and all living things in this ecosystem use what they find to benefit and prosper. We possess the higher intellect (than other earthly things) so we have evolved to use what is here at a more efficient level than other critters. By more efficient I mean we can harvest more of what exists (and what we raise) than those creatures (plants & animals) that we coexist with. It is the gift and blessing that comes with being a complex soul that lives at the top of the food chain. Of course clothing, housing, transportation and recreation are a part of this as well. Some think that everything that has ever been dug up and used by humans is wasteful and bad. I obviously disagree. Then comes the hard part. If we are given the higher intellect expressly to make use of our resources, then we surely are given this brain in order to both grow in our understanding of the world around us, and so that we can exercise thought and sound moral judgement in how we care for the gift we are given. It would seem to me that we have a responsibility to at least maintain (maybe improve?) the world for each generation that has yet to appear.
Conflict has been the MO of humans since shortly after we were brought onto the scene. We are conflicted with each other, ourselves and our planet. How do we use what we are given and remain a wise steward of those same subjects? Yes we will need substances like oil until we improve other forms of energy. By improve I mean making them affordable just as much as I mean efficient and safe. I think that using the existing resources (oil) is a natural thing but with all the power and brains of mankind is it really impossible to do so in a cautious and thoughtful manner? The Gulf Oil Spill damaged natural resources that are important to all of us. Many of those resources (shrimp, etc) are there for the harvest and they (food) are just as important as oil. Transportation without food is surely a losing proposition.
You and I may not have all of the answers but with the collection of independent thoughts there are answers. Right now.
Unfortunately the current climate of the U.S. and much of the world is that of political hatred and tribalism. My tribe is better than yours. That is every bit as primitive as it sounds. True democracy (representative republic ) is on the decline. Hatred rules with many. The expectations that each tribe has of their enemy, is generally something that their own tribe cannot accomplish either. Hypocrisy rules instead of democracy. Democracy is an acceptable form of government only when my tribe is victorious, other wise we will search for a way to get around the democratic process.
Democracy has been under assault (in the U.S.) before. It was 1868 before black American men were granted the right to participate in the democratic process, via the vote. Of course the larger assault on all things decent was the fact that those same men and women were held as personal property (slavery) until the end of the civil war in 1865. The Jim Crow south saw to it that many African-Americans (phony tests) could not vote well into the 1960s. Over 1/2 of the population of the U.S. could not participate in the voting process until women’s suffrage finally won the right for women to vote in 1920. It is amazing and ridiculous that it was twenty years into the 20th century before women were allowed to participate in the process. Democracy without equality is a fraud. In 1960 when I was still a child the corrupt voting process of one American city assaulted democracy by deciding the presidential election. Even as a child I was following politics and it did not matter to me that this corrupt election (in one city) meant that my candidate was the winner. It can be mentally crippling to identify yourself too strongly with one side or another. Democracy does not always mean you get to win. Even as a child I managed to understand that. From the mid 1990s through the 2000s the same kind of voter fraud took hold in several American states. It was on a fairly small-scale and no presidential election was decided by this corruption. A criminal voting process means that a few will deny others their participation in democracy. Do not let the above observations lead you to conclude that I do not love my country. America has a record of solving its inequities and doing so from within. We will continue to accomplish that.
There is a good side to conflict. The peaceful and respectful kind. Most of our world’s advancements have come though debate. Honest debate among people who think for themselves. Rather than letting the bosses on both sides, who have everything to gain, lead them via propaganda and stunts.
In the end I do prefer to be an optimist. The human spirit is a glorious thing. We have figured out a lot over time and I believe that the will power still exists to figure out still more. Of course I do have a genuine faith that an even greater force is at work.
When I read I generally waste very little time with writings that do not provoke me to think. That same provocation is my primary reason for publishing my own words. I am always happy to read and publish (here) the words of others if I find them appropriate. You can contact me via the comment area on this blog if you wish. Not to worry those comments are not viewable by anyone other than myself unless I publish them. I don’t publish private communications.
Today’s images were selected for no particular reason other than to celebrate the natural world.
Greek Valerian & Rain