Where Are We Now?
Modern society has definitely benefited humans and our way of life. We can live longer healthier lives, deaths by violence are decreasing, and technology allows us to advance, but at what cost? Though our industrial system allows us to live the way we do, it is not environmentally sustainable and is detrimental to our earth. Not only is it destroying our planet’s ability to provide life to all organisms, but it is also dividing us as a people. We are using earth’s resources at a rate that doesn’t give nature enough time to replenish itself, known as overexploitation. humanity is increasing its resource command and using more than nature can regenerate. If we continue at this rate, the earth will not be able to provide for us anymore. We are currently in a global overshoot. These statistics are mind-blowing; “80% of the world’s original forests are eliminated. 30% of the world’s arable land lost in 40 years.” I’m 20 now, in 20 more years, how much land will we have killed off. This is ridiculous.
Billions of people continue to suffer from environmental injustice, gender oppression, and racism. While the 1% of the rich consume the majority of the world’s money and sit comfortably, without being affected by the daily struggles that average and poor people suffer from. Women are usually the first to be affected by environmental and social injustices. “Billions of women around the world, they are denied basic educational and financial opportunities, they are barred from property rights, they’re denied basic legal rights and they are the victims of often culturally excepted the encouraged violence”. Racism is a huge problem, especially in the United States. It takes many forms for people of color; economic disadvantages, lack of educational opportunities, discriminatory policing, immigration restrictions, and mass incarceration. This dehumanizes us all. A socially just world would give all humans equal opportunities for success and survival.
In 50 years, the majority of life on earth including all of our beautiful endangered species may be extinct. For all of the people who can afford to go to Animal Zoos and watch the animals from around the world. Imagine those already suffering and unhappy animals no longer existing. The way we think of Dinosaurs being a historic and extinct creatures, those can be our elephants, tigers, lions, etc. in only a few decades. And it’s our fault.
How did We Get Here?
Western civilization has caused the mass extinction of many plants and animals, global warming, climate change, poverty, and more. It has created a radical separation between the human world and the natural world.
Racism has dehumanized us all. Breaking down the word itself “race” means we are ranking people and giving white people more value than others. Instead of changing the system to make it fair for all, society tries to change the people who aren’t making it in the system.
A New Story/ Illusion of Separation
We believe that we are separate from everyone and everything. This is what disconnects us from people and nature. We are related to everything from the soil to the sky. We are apart of the land in an interdependent way. It serves us and we should adequately serve it, but we don’t. This relationship with nature is very one-sided and we are beginning to realize it. If we can establish this relationship with the earth, we may be able to live peacefully on it and live environmentally sustainable lives. But the human population believes that we have to downgrade as a technological society, to get to that point.
What is Possible Now?
Good always prevails, even when we think it is impossible. Evil will not triumph. Giving legal rights to nature establishes a human-earth relationship that needs to be rejoined. Though some of our detrimental human actions and irreversible, it is not too late to have a change of heart and improve your individual ecological footprint. More people are engaging in direct action to address the crisis of global warming and climate change. There are programs that focus on healing the environment and protecting people. Waste is the product of bad design and this can be reversed. We should encourage programs and organizations that take part in this sustainable environment goal. We should do everything we can to personalize this goal.
Where do we go from here ?
Making a shift of any kind begins with making a specific commitment and taking action. The decisions we make now impact the lives of generations to come. An authentic stand can influence your thoughts and how you choose to live. It allows other people to see you and take a stance as well. A stance is doing all we can to give back to the wonderful earth that we call home. To be one with each other and nature and mend this interdependent relationship.