No Blame – The Mountain Above The Abysmal Water

Dear Humanity,

Your world is changing according to a specific law of physics. The thermodynamics of complex systems guarantees economic stress in the very near future*. Economic stress becomes psychic stress in short order. Psychic distress craves an outlet and more often than not that outlet will lead to pointed fingers.

Physics is the ultimate oppressor and it is doing a number on almost everybody. I’m not writing to tell you that your beliefs about social and economic justice are invalid nor that they’re non-issues.

I am writing to tell you that each of these valid issues is merely a symptom and not a root cause. They’re all a symptom of a civilization growing too big and having to deal with the consequences. The negatives of growth have outweighed the positives of progress.

Blame is a normal thing to encounter whenever a civilization undergoes the process of collapse. This blame leads to an acceleration of chaos, pain, injury and death. The larger the civilization, the longer this period lasts and the bloodier it is. This global civilization is the largest that has ever existed. This gigantic economy is larger than the Roman empire which collapsed for centuries into a very dark age. An age so dark we literally call it The Dark Ages.

A new dark age is upon us. I urge all of you to cast your blame aside. If you see the world crumbling around you and link that reality to the actions of a specific group of people you’re probably making things worse and obfuscating the responses that might actually do some good.

Gandhi was right when he implied, with his famous quote, that you can’t change the world unless you first master your self. If you want less hate in the world, become less hateful. If you want peace them become more peaceful.

No matter what your intentions are if you try to change the world with anger you’re only going to make the world an angrier place. If you try to change the world with disruption you’re going to make the world a more disruptive place. If you try to change the world with violence you’re going to make the world more violent. If you fail to empathize with and understand those you disagree with, it guarantees they’ll fail to empathize with and understand you. If you try to change the world while you harbor your own prejudices you’re going to make the world more prejudice in response.

These are the exact things we need less of right now!

Please go be the change but if you can’t do it with a cool head, empathy and a pile of understanding then you need to sit this one out and let the adults handle things. Your childish folly is not welcome nor productive.

*The stress is already here and will be worsening as time goes on. For exact details about why this is happening please see: http://www.paulchefurka.ca/ . For help dealing with these depressing facts please visit a Transition Town Meeting near you (Or seek out a local Green Wizard or Witch). You can think of their meetings like a collapse support group. They’re valuable. Go.

Reblog: The Carbon Trap by Paul Chefurka

Whether we realize it or not, everyone living on planet Earth today is caught in what I have come to call the “carbon trap”. The nature of the trap is simple, and can be described in one sentence:

Our continued existence depends on the very thing that is killing us – the combustion of our planet’s ancient stocks of carbon.

This unfortunate situation was not intentional, and is no one’s fault.

The trap was constructed well outside of our conscious view or understanding.

Its design came from our evolved desires for status, material comfort and security.

We recognized its seductive promise long before we knew enough science to discover its hidden hook.

It was built with the best of intentions by well-meaning scientists and engineers, whose knowledge of the consequences was both incomplete and clouded by their own evolved desire for a better life.

Most of us, even those who are aware of our predicament, distract ourselves by creating and admiring elaborate and luxurious appointments for our carbon-clad prison.

Many who can see the bars spend their time dreaming of ways to slip through them into the world outside – a world that they can see but never reach.

Those who are fully aware of the trap also understand that we now need it to survive; that leaving it (if that were even possible) would be as fatal as staying inside. We are victims of what complex systems scientists call “path dependence” – where we came from and how we got here puts strict limits on what is now possible for us to do.

One of the things we can’t do is simply open the door and leave. Even the fact that our carbon-barred prison is now on fire can’t change the cold equations. We are condemned to wait here until the walls burn down, when a few soot-blackened survivors may stumble out into the blasted and barren landscape left behind by our self-absorbed construction project.

This is why I believe that the one quality most needed in the world today is compassion.