To:    Comment at the Guardian
Re:    For our children's love and admiration, rather than their contempt and disgust.
Date: Saturday 27 January 07

In response to the Guardian leader, "Business as usual" on this years meeting of world leaders in Davos.

Link to article and thread at The Guardian.

"Some politicians and corporations are waking up to the challenge", it says in your leader, but it's not true.

They are waking up to the fact that global warming is REAL and that we DO have a problem, but like virtually everyone else, they are still a million miles away from recognizing the magnitude of the problem, its ROOT CAUSE, or the kind of measures necessary to solve it.

Most importantly, NO ONE is prepared to even CONSIDER the possibility that our entire socio-economic order, with free-market capitalism at its centre, could be INHERENTLY unsustainable.

Global warming is just ONE major aspect of an even bigger and more general "Sustainability Problem", caused by an ever-increasing number of technologically empowered but essential insatiable human beings, still driven largely (certainly when it comes to economics) by their animal nature, on a finite and vulnerable planet.

In view of what Charles Darwin is supposed to have taught us about human origins, it should not surprise us to learn that the existing socio-economic order is deeply rooted in humankind's (or, more specifically, European man's) animal nature and behaviour, which free-market capitalism developed specifically to serve and exploit.

It's a lot more than just an "inconvenient truth", which is why it is so difficult to recognise, let alone face up to, with us ALL totally immersed in, familiar with and dependent on it. But that, for the sake of our children and coming generations, is what we HAVE to do.

2nd Post (in response to [tudnogent], see below)
Of course everyone knows that we are animals - we learn it at school, after all. But that doesn't mean to say that anyone (even those who teach it to us) has understood the implications. Most people certainly haven't, not even amongst social scientists, whose job it is to understand such things, which is why their models of social reality are so deeply flawed.

Understand the implications of humankind's animal nature, and you begin to understand why, socially and environmentally, we are in such a hopeless mess.

What makes our economy (along with the grossly materialistic lifestyles and lifestyle aspirations it engenders) inherently unsustainable is the fact that it is rooted in our animal nature. And it is our animal nature which makes it so difficult for us to recognise.

Think about it.

3rd Post (in response to [Thallium], see below, which I was unable to post on the blog)

 "We are no better than rabbits". That is exactly what I'm trying to get across: the fact that we are animals, AND - more to the point - BEHAVE like animals. But no one - except perhaps in a biology class - wants to admit it, least of all our leaders, and generally those in wealth and power, who have been driven by their own animal nature to get where they are at the top of the social pile.

Does this mean that our situation is hopeless?

Only so long as we fail (or refuse) to recognise it. Once you recognise the extent to which our socio-economic order in rooted in and dependent on our animal nature you also recognise the imperative need (for the sake of our children and grandchildren) to change it. And we CAN - driven by our LOVE for our children, and (certainly in my case) by VANITY, which wants them and future generations to look back on US with love and admiration, rather than with contempt and disgust.

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[tudnogentJanuary 27, 2007 12:33 PM
Roger Hicks; so were all animals then, wow , great insight.NEWSFLASH!...Malthus is dead...


[Thallium] January 27, 2007 08:36 PM
Climate change is a problem with no solution. The nations of the world are about as likely to collectively overthrow capitalism as catholic priests are to stopping feeling up young boys.

Capitalism will fail only when economic growth is no longer possible. And economic growth will be no longer possible when our reserves of cheap (fossil) energy have been mostly used up. We still haven't figured a way out to limit our numbers, so what hope have we of mitigating climate change? We are no better than rabbits.