In the same way in which we anthropomorphise our pets, we have a nearly irresistible compulsion to anthropomorphise our consensual reality. Examples of this include Theism, in which our God(s) mirror our sense of self, and war, in which our needs have a paramount interest. Through this fog it has been challenging for me to attain a true accounting of the environmental consequences of industrialization, and a rational projection of the environmental consequences of industrialization’s future trajectory. The 8/2/13 issue of Science Magazine recently dedicated an issue to thistopic. The reality, as I have suspected, is much bleaker than what we are led to accept by even the most liberal media. In essence, even if all industrialized activity ceased now, by mid century, we will have driven the energy level in the Earth ecosystem to the highest level in the last 22 million years in 1/1000 the time this last occurred. Regardless of our actions, it is likely to take at least 1000 years for the Earth ecosystem to return to year 2000 climate levels. It will probably take 100,000 years for all of the anthropogenic carbon to be removed from the atmosphere. It is difficult to face these facts head on without feeling a little panic. A summary of these findings can be read here:
This is just one article from a highly comprehensive review of the anthropogenic influences on terrestrial climate in this 8/2/13 issue of Science. Transitioning to a living being centric consensual reality is a pre-requisite for enabling the cognitive tools required to make choices that maximize the potential for our survival as a species, and even the persistence of living organisms on our planet. In reality, we are in a war for our survival, not with each other, but with consumption decisions collectively made in prior years.
Committing our economy to invest in this war, instead of supporting individual and collective interests, will require a shift in our consensual reality. This shift could be described as simple acceptance that we simply another attribute of a living system which we call the Earth. It is worth noting that this transition would be one of the largest evolutionary leaps living things have made, and would be a defining characteristic of the Anthropocene – the age of life on Earth dominated by Human Beings. It can be tought of as the leap the living system that is life on planet Earth makes to self awareness. As the Anthropocene is already one of the 5 largest changes known to have occurred to the Earth ecosystem, it seems likely that if are around 10 generations from now to describe this event, it is because we embraced our role as stewards of this living system. The magnitude of this evolutionary leap can perhaps be best seen from the perspective that this would be the first time our behavior, as a species, utilized our innate neurological functions to manifest an intent, instead of our behavior merely reacting to our innate neurological characteristics, in the way living systems are designed to do. The evolutionary trajectory of animals has not provided us the innate tools to make this leap, however we, perhaps uniquely among animals, have the capacity to direct our will, to intend. We can direct our will in a way in which we behave cooperatively to the benefit of the Earth ecosystem.