There is a wonderful clean world that has been waiting for us. Some of us knew that to be true and some of us did not. Many of us have been educating, defending, and fighting for greener environmental practices and policies while others remain in opposition. Now we all are able to see first hand that the Earth wants to be healthy all the while humans have been destroying the life supporting nature.
"The great work of the present for every man, and every organization of men, who would improve social conditions, is the work of education — the propagation of ideas. It is only as it aids this that anything else can avail." - Henry George, Social Problems
We can see a return towards the purity of nature after just a few weeks into a global economic contraction due to the imposed halting of human activity. Some of the cleansing has been to the extent never seen before by people. Perhaps the forced slowdown could have been more economically strategic, however, there is no denying the effects.
"We need to revise our economic thinking to give full value to our natural resources. This revised economics will stabilize both the theory and the practice of free-market capitalism. It will provide business and public policy with a powerful new tool for economic development, profitability, and the promotion of the public good." - Paul Hawken, Natural Capitalism
The Himalayan mountains are visible again in India, the great smog cloud of China has dissipated, the Venetian canals are clear enough to see the fish, the air is cleaner to breathe everywhere, and noise pollution has been muted. Imagine what a year of conscious human activity would yield.
"There are people into whose heads it never enters to conceive of any better state of society than that which now exists." - Henry George, Progress and Poverty
Halting human activity is scary. After all, how will we interact, attend school, pay our bills, or put food on the table? There are plenty of unknowns involved that do not sit well with people. Thankfully, we don't have to halt human activity in order to clean up the house. We just have to adopt more conscious strategies for optimizing resource management as a society. There are other ways to go about living without all of the injustice and pollution.
"The progress of civilization necessitates the giving of greater and greater attention and intelligence to public affairs." - Henry George, Social Problems
Optimizing resource management with the help of green technology has the potential to bring us into a new age, which should be a priority now that the genie has been released. Addressing the massive waste, plundering, exploitation, pollution, and overall inefficiency around our utilization of the natural resources that we all need to survive would also directly affect other issues such as poverty and overpopulation while also resolving the unjust socioeconomic systems rather than perpetuating them.
"What is missing from the policy analyst's tool kit — and from the set of accepted, well-developed theories of human organization — is an adequately specified theory of collective action whereby a group of principals can organize themselves voluntarily to retain the residuals of their own efforts." - Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons
Technology has improved our lives in ways that we take for granted. We have medical technology during surgeries, educational technology in the classroom, data computation technology at the office, and entertainment technology at home. Our ancestors would likely have a difficult time figuring out the magic they perceive behind our 21st century normalcy.
"At the beginning of this marvelous era it was natural to expect, and it was expected, that labor-saving inventions would lighten the toil and improve the condition of the laborer; that the enormous increase in the power of producing wealth would make real poverty a thing of the past." - Henry George, Progress and Poverty
Technology alone cannot help to maximize resource management while maintaining a healthy environment, economic prosperity, and civil liberties. We must also educate ourselves on the importance of our collective health and well being within community where each individual plays a part. Each of us has the same basic needs and our daily actions affect others. A clean planet is not only beautiful to gaze upon but necessary for our own survival as well.
"An individual is so constituted that it is utterly impossible to attain happiness save by seeking the happiness of others, so does it seem to be of the nature of things that individuals and classes can obtain their own just rights only by struggling for the rights of others." - Henry George, Social Problems
We can do better. We have the ability, resources, and intelligence to make the world a better place for everyone. Our social, environmental, and emotional intelligence as individuals need to improve as well in order to create the support space to thoughtfully formulate conscious strategies for improving our collective structures.
"Extensive empirical research leads me to argue that instead, a core goal of public policy should be to facilitate the development of institutions that bring out the best in humans." - Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons
Who really wants to go back to the old ways of polluted destruction anyways now after such an awakening?
"In that spirit, and in no other, is the power to solve social problems and carry civilization onward." - Henry George, Social Problems
Our future generations need us to do better.
"How is it possible that the most intellectual creature to ever walk the planet Earth is destroying its only home?" – Jane Goodall, The Age of Extinction
We must do better.
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LAWRENCE BOSEK is the Executive Director of Progress.org. He enjoys educating on technology and healthy green living. After 15+ years of consulting in the technology industry and educating in college classrooms, he has expanded his focus to assist in the healing evolution of the noosphere through education and meditative well being. Lawrence also enjoys the natural beauty of the Earth and sky, progressing socio-economic justice, and writing essays as well as poetry. His poetic picture book, entitled Garden Of Love, touches on social-environmental awareness and the evolution of consciousness. Currently, Lawrence is busy advocating for an Open Source Civilization, completing a Ph.D. program, and continuing to be a part of the evolutionary upliftment of humanity.