Sunday, 17 February 2013

Dear Julia

Dear Julia
I am writing to you because you are the leader of the nation of which I am a citizen. Though the matter about which I write is essentially a global issue, the inability at this point for the international community to overcome the barriers that divide us into separate nations, compels me to pursue this matter at the highest level of governance within my own nation. I do believe that it is possible for Australia to stand up and take the lead that is required in the face of this issue.
Julia, as you are close to my age, I am quite sure that in the 1970s you attended high school and were compulsorily required to study science as a core subject. I can clearly recall that the “greenhouse effect”, caused by the increasing concentration of certain gases in the atmosphere, was well and truly accepted and documented in our science text books at that time. I also recall doing an experiment which entailed growing bacteria in a petri dish that contained a nutrient rich medium. Several days later, the teacher warned us not to open the petri dish because the bacteria population, which had consumed all the available nutrients, had died in its own toxic waste.  This warning proved to be too much of a temptation for at least one of us in the class and one or more petri dishes were opened.  The stench exuded from those petri dishes was overwhelming and nauseating. As I sit here today, I can, more than ever, appreciate the inclusion of those lessons in the curriculum and yet I sadly ponder why, we the students of that era, did not apply our understanding of nature to the real world when we left school.
We are bound by the same limits and laws of nature as those bacteria in the petri dish. The abundant supply of nutrients that has allowed an exponential growth of the human population has only been possible by the large scale burning of fossil fuels. The toxic waste of this consumption may be primarily an odourless gas, but everything associated with this exponential growth truly does stink. The multifaceted crises, that we continue to accelerate towards, are just as well accepted and documented as those two science lessons that we were taught in school nearly 40 years ago.  Unlike bacteria though, we have a highly evolved brain that possesses both consciousness of the consequences of unrestrained growth and a moral conscience that is screaming at us to do something about it. If we choose to ignore the reality of our situation, and continue with mindless consumption and growth, we must accept that we have consciously chosen the same fate as the bacteria in the petri dish. I do not believe that any informed and sane person would make that choice.
Julia I believe that you do genuinely care about the future of this planet. With that in mind, I would like to invite you attend “The Automatic Earth Tour” on Sunday March 17th at the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast. My partner, Linda, and I would also like to extend the invitation to have you and your partner stay as guests at our home on the Sunshine Coast on that weekend. I understand that you might not be able accept this invitation so I have included a link below that advertises the dates and locations of this event as it moves around Australia. The main speaker is Nicole Foss and the picture she paints, with eloquence and raw honesty, is alarming. But it is also a call, for every one of us, to seriously consider how we are going to best survive in a post carbon world. Nicole claims that our governments are not going to save us from collapse and that we must prepare lifeboats at individual and local community level. I would like to think that the Australian Government and society at large can work together to prove her wrong.
Recently your unprecedented early announcement of a date for the next federal election was lauded by many as an example of great leadership. Leadership of this nature is required on all fronts to tackle the real issues that confront humanity at this point in history. Business as usual is irrefutably leading us to a future that we do not want to see written in the history text books of our great grandchildren. The island nation upon which you and I walk is uniquely positioned, in many ways, to be a model of sustainable and just human habitation. You may or may not be the Prime Minister after the next election, but regardless, I implore you to heed the lessons we teach in our schools and to make the most of your position to lead us forward in a direction that nature necessitates.
Yours sincerely,
Sean Crawley

Thursday, 14 February 2013

To start again we first must stop.

The root cause of the current predicament that we find ourselves in is often discussed and debated. The enclosure of the commons, the rise of cultures of conquest and domination triggered by the climate change of the last ice age, the debt based financial system, human DNA, the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution all vie for the number one position as the root cause of humanities fall. I did read once, a long time ago, that the invention of the clock was the point in history that marked the beginning of our true demise. Regardless of the cause or causes, I have little doubt that "time poverty" is the number one barrier preventing the vast majority of people from fully waking up to the horrific reality that looms over our collective future. 

The ineluctable fact that every day the multifaceted crises that we face worsen, convinces me that a completely new tack is required. Yes, social justice and environmental sustainability are the pillars upon which change must be built. However, the fragmented and competing groups, congregating around these pillars, may claim victory in minor battles, but must concede that the war is being lost. The divisions and disagreements over root causes, best solutions, desired outcomes and even the necessity for change makes us all look ignorant, disorganised and destined to inevitable extermination by the forces of nature. Sadly, what is certain, is that, a global peoples' movement, marching to a yet to be written new story, will not be even remotely possible whilst every one of us professes with exasperation "sorry but I just don't have the time".

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Once upon a Sunday

This is a call to every human. The time for ignorance and complacency is well and truly over. Every person who has even the slightest sense of morality, whether that be limited to their immediate family or more widely extended to all of life and nature, must wake up to their complicity and participation in the vandalism and injustice that is being unleashed upon the planet - our only conceivable home. In addition to waking up, we must also accept responsibility to act to stop the madness and to act only in ways that make the presence of our species on this planet benign.

Yes, individually we must become the change we want the world to be, but the urgency of the crises we face demands that we also must not stand by silent and submissive to others who perpetuate the lies that endorse and encourage the mindless exploitation of animal, vegetable and mineral in a way that is undeniably accelerating us to a future of misery and suffering on a scale that no horror story could do justice. These others will  include, family, friends, workmates, bosses, leaders and celebrities. These lies are entrenched in the language, laws and culture of peer groups and nations. They are embedded in ideologies, religions and educational institutions and are enacted by systems of governance from domestic to global levels. The seemingly ubiquitous and omnipotent nature of these lies enslave us all. They nurture us to commit despicable acts against ourselves and the world at large. The disconnection, that these lies effect, from our own true human nature and nature as a whole, is not only virtually complete but has very nearly extinguished our capacity to save ourselves from immanent extinction.

The predicament we find ourselves in is that, despite possessing both comprehensive knowledge of the problem, the root causes and the readily available solutions, we daily submit to “business as usual” primarily out of fear. We fear that if we refuse to play the game we will be rejected wholesale by our own species and be denied our basic needs and rights as humans. The fear is justified. Refuse to go to work tomorrow to earn money to buy water, food, clothing and shelter for yourself and your children, and although the severity of the outcome may vary depending on where on this planet you reside, essentially you will be judged, rejected and either shamed or forced into conforming to the current “way of the world”. There are no places left on earth to escape from this mode of existence. The small pockets of benign human presence are rare and disappearing fast under the relentless march of the all-conquering malignant form of modern human domination.

Common sense is so far removed from reality that unless the common people wake up and act for the common good the contemporary delusion that permeates our minds and directs our actions has only one endpoint. Fortunately every one of us, given adequate time and space to honestly and deeply question what we do and why we do it, has the capacity to wake up to the utter hypocrisy of this delusion that is propelling us to certain disaster. That is, that the evolutionary appearance of our species on earth, despite possessing unprecedented intelligence, foresight and morality, has consciously chosen, in the vast majority, to accept and act upon a set of lies that oppose the laws of nature and has therefore created a destiny of collapse and consequent exclusion from the future.

If this is not to be the case, then humanity needs a whole new generation of awakened and moral leaders to seize the opportunity that presents itself. Given that each of us does possess the DNA that allows us physically, mentally and emotionally to exist in harmony and balance with nature, every thought and action that is not aligned to a just and sustainable existence must be questioned, resisted, challenged, dismantled and replaced. That fact that we all suffer from varying degrees of the delusion, we would be wise to approach these task with humility, compassion and respect for ourselves and others. But the excuse “I had no choice, I was only doing what I was told and besides everybody else was doing it”, which has been universally rejected as a defence for war crimes, is also not acceptable, in any sense, for crimes against nature that ultimately will lead to the suffering and death of millions of human and other life forms.

Incessant and mindless activity has led us to our present position. Considering that, the simplest assessment of what is required, at all levels from individuals through to communities, nations and the total global human population is for us to STOP and to THINK. Only then can we seriously expect the necessary impetus for change to be born. Individually and collectively, due to the seriousness of the situation and because nature itself works in cycles, we will need to STOP and THINK regularly.

In the not too distant past it was common practice that one day a week was devoted to stopping and not working but resting and reflecting. Today, human activity is switched to GO, at full pace mind you, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Surely each one of us, and the planet, deserves a break. A day when the machine with its orders and instructions for what we must do is simply turned off. Where we can do nothing or do something that could not be even remotely labelled as work of business. Let’s honour ourselves and give ourselves one day out of seven to get off the not so merry go round.  If we can’t reclaim a day of rest for all, what chance do we have of saving ourselves from the delusions we are presently slaves to. Given regular and universal time out, humanity will wake up to fully realise that no one person has any greater entitlement to their share of the planet over any other person. We will also have time to reconnect with the mystery and beauty of nature, thus becoming once again fully aware that our own existence is absolutely dependent on the continued existence of all other components of the living and nonliving systems that exist in the universe. At some point the dysfunctional daily actions that we mindlessly undertake will become so obvious and shameful to us all that we will be liberated, with renewed energy and joy,  to abandon our destructive ways and to co-create a just and sustainable future. Deep down we know in our very makeup that we are bound by nature to take only what we need and to share that equally with all stakeholders. We know this so innately that we teach this to our children in the very first instance. The current terminal trajectory of humanity is not due to flawed DNA but due to a flawed fictional story that has infected our psyche.

Let’s reclaim a day of rest and reflection each and every week so we can rediscover the joy and beauty of being a unique part of the ongoing evolution and mystery of the universe.