Discuss: From the Editors
What we know thanks to well-established scientific knowledge about biological evolution as well as the finite and frangible physical world we are blessed to inhabit would lead sensible people, I suppose, to conclude that there is nothing or precious little that can be done to change the ‘trajectory’ of human civilization. So powerful is the force of evolution that we will “do what comes naturally” by continuing to overpopulate the planet and await the next phase of the evolutionary process. So colossal, reckless and relentless, too, is the unbridled expansion of the global political economy now overspreading the surface of Earth. Even so, still hope resides within that somehow humankind will make use of its singular intelligence and other unique attributes so as to escape the fate that appears ‘as if through a glass darkly’ in the offing, the seemingly certain fate evolution appears to have in store for us. Come what may. In the face of all the global ecological challenges that we can see now and here, I continue to believe and to hope that we find adequate ways of consciously, deliberately and effectively doing the right things, according the lights and the science we possess, the things that serve to confront and overcome the evolutionary trend which seems so irresistible. Perhaps others would comment on human agency, human population dynamics, endless economic growth and the potentially catastrophic consequences of the unrestricted overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of the human species on our watch.
Do reasonable and compassionate human beings have a “duty to warn” of looming threats to future human wellbeing and environmental health, and then to sensibly help one another make preparations or are we to pose as if we are blind, deaf and dumb to the predicament and, thereby, let the least fortunate, most poorly situated and simply unaware among us suffer the consequences, come what may?
A much needed discussion with far reaching complexities. Humanity is nature, as much as any natural life form. If humanity continues a path of separation and destruction it will continue on a downward spiral.
Let me salute you on your unique perspective and perseverance in keeping the community energized and motivated around the story of nature.
Orion offers a forum for those of us who feel compelled to expand thoughts and actions toward global betterment. This is inconsistent among periodicals, most of which are directed at editorial scrutiny that frequently excludes the importance and value of broad based expressions that may ruffle feathers, spilling over into emotionally manifested lexicon. It is of value that we tap each source for fluidity, seeking level and harmony and such discoveries will not be revealed without tapping the roots of our souls.
Humanity is more attached to humanity than it is to the Earth itself, implementing human designed changes that occurred over long spans of time. If humanity is to experience longevity similar to Earths’ it is imperative that it links with Earth’s magnificence and the factors that have created its astonishing longevity. Blending is imperative, and we are presently not blending. Humankind is incapable of destroying the Earth, but it’s an absolute that we are capable of destroying ourselves. Earth will prevail.
Perhaps you would kindly devote one blog, just one, to sensibly “tracking” the extant scientific research on human population dynamics. A great deal of preternatural theory (eg, Demographic Transition Theory), politically convenient ideology (eg, Liberalism and Conservatism) and economically expedient theology (eg, Neoclassical Economics) falsely claim to have the sufficient support of science. Let us set aside these widely shared and generally accepted pseudoscientific branches of thought for a moment so that the best available scientific research of human population dynamics can be rigorously examined and meaningfully discussed.
S. E. Salmony contributes worthy commentary and may stimulate more complete studies and understanding of humanity. It seems at the top of the list relating to directional choices and the expectations regarding our future as a species.
I’ve been researching humankind’s historical attachment to war. It is of note that the very ancient cultures had less war, for whatever reasons. It would seem that modern humans should have evolved beyond war but have not, gaining greater power and weaponry to enhance war. Ancient cultures such a the Neanderthal likely were quite absorbed in basic survival and war failed to manifest on a large scale until populations grew and boundaries became important and distinct. The quest to dominate and control grew exponentially as cultures became massively urban forming governments that lead and mislead its populaces. Religious intolerance often served as a trigger for war. It’s an interesting study, and does cause one to ponder what path the future beholds regarding a continuing creation of war and its horrors.
Any suggested reading on this subject would be greatly appreciated.