Scientists have warned us repeatedly over the past twenty years about the consequences of climate warming and our share of responsibility for this problem. However, it seems that we do not want to listen or do not want to understand the seriousness of the situation. We are used to ignoring all which is problematic. Quick and easy pleasures have become our obsession. If we can barely deal with our problems, how can we really help a bear holding on to a piece of melting ice?
Today, most of us feel enslaved to a routine of consumism and its subsequent waste. Even if we want to stop it, we do not know how without making our daily life even more complicated than it already is.
It is as if we are co-dependent on a big monster whose survival depends on producing more and more things that we have to consume so it can fulfill its need of producing increasingly more...
...and therefore, we continue shopping and shopping for more and more stuff, even if we do not need it or do not have the money to buy it. After all, a plastic card gives us the illusion of purchasing power, minus the ever higher interest rates, which have created an army of defaulters world-wide.
The comsuption of more material "stuff" at cheap prices has had an increasing impact on the environment and on labor conditions of foreign workers who manufacture these products and, in the end, has not solved our deep insecurities and solitude or made us happier. Information technology seems to make us feel less lonely and less anonymous, but is this really so?
|Taken from www.theodisseyonline.com,:¨The adolescent bubble" by Hillary Smithin Lifestyle on Nov. 30, 2015|
We are suffering from a serious case of numbness. We do not really want to understand the problems we are facing today. To live in the "here and now" and "be happy" as much as we can is the slogan these days... until things become alarmingly bad.
Just let's think of one example: water
Since 2001, Lester Brown has
warned that "we are running out of water to grow food". Human consumption of water has increased for industrial use, agriculture, mining and population growth. Deforestation has caused droughts. Rivers are drying up and underground water tables are dropping all over the world.
Aldo Leopold, famous scientist and conservationist, said that "the way we treat rivers reflects the way we treat each other".
No doubt we are treating ourselves pretty badly!
While he was sitting down on a rock, looking at the ocean, he thought: "We need to remember that not even diamonds will have value without water. Is it so difficult to understand that we are made of 70% water and because of that we vitally depend on this precious resource?"
Copyright @ 2010 Nancy Barra,"Pensive", pastel on La Carte paper, 16" x 12", from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo
Then he saw a young couple walking towards the ocean on the rocky coast. They stood in silence looking at the horizon. He imagined they were thinking: "Is it too late for all of us to save the planet and ourselves? In what type of world will our children live?
Copyright @ 2010 Nancy Barra,2016, "Future Ahead", oil on canvas, 16"x 23.5", from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo
Like them, how many young people are now asking themselves the same questions?
Undoubtedly, the Internet can help us to connect the dots and see what is going on more clearly. I hope it can also help us to pay attention collectively to our shortcomings as a civilization and find together a way to reverse them. I hope so soon, very soon.
For the same reason it is good to remember Aaron Swartz
(1986 -2013), a gifted young Quixote of the Internet era, who told us that we all have the right to share scientific knowledge and ideas through the Internet so we can deepen our creativity and wisdom in freedom and at no cost. He told us that we should always be curious and reflective. He believed that everybody should have access to collective knowledge, which is our right as a species. I hope we do not ever forget his legacy so we can continue building together a better world for all, in a state of presence and not of voluntary numbness.