Author H.G. Wells once said, “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative”
Change is undeniably unavoidable, yet the human mind induces us to reach for realms beyond our current existence in the hopes that we will some day be “safe” and comfortable. It has been universally accepted that nothing lasts forever yet we have it hard-wired into our nature to satiate every desire and seek level ground, often at any cost.
We have enjoyed a safety, comfort and prosperity unheard of in the history of man, but it has caused significant changes in how we live, eat, farm and spend our daily lives.
To deny that truth is to deny the existence of consequence.
Burying our collective heads in the sand and ignoring issues only leads to greater negative feedback in the long run. You need only look at that forgotten cup of what appears to be cottage cheese in the back of your fridge to understand that reality.
More real life examples have begun to land at our feet in recent months. The abrupt closure of the Williamsburg landfill, record setting droughts and heat waves, a rise in annual flooding of residential homes and countless species dying off in record numbers.
Dwindling diversity clings to existence under our unrelenting attack but lost in large swaths of monocultures, waste and egregious over-exploited of land, sea and air.
In the 1905 book Modern Utopia, Wells described humanity as such: “But man is the unnatural animal, the rebel child of Nature, and more and more does he turn himself against the harsh and fitful hand that reared him.”
Our comfort and role in the world is one that was created out of our intelligence. We have taken the world and bent it to our every whim and want.
As political parties begin to pander to voter concern over environmental issues we must rouse our vigilance and re-awaken our dormant ingenuity. Solutions are being offered but not all are genuine or practical. Discussions must be had and solutions offered that do not use our current consumerism as the basis for policy. We must adapt and change our perceived role in nature.
Many have decried the climate change conversation as nothing more than hysteria and a quick tax grab by government as if that is a unique occurrence in our democratic system. All governments are ultimately in search of power or furthering their reign. Their motivations are not altruistic or remotely responsible to the people they govern.
Innovation must originate from the community. We must re-engage our natural intelligence to forge a new path that holds sufficiency and sustainability as our core values. Our local history and work used to serve those ideals. They built our rural communities and the nation we call home.
We are faced with an abundance of opportunity to create new directions that will ripple through the generations to come. Rare is the moment were local action can affect global change.
To do so, we must first come to grips with our wants, pleasures and excesses, but rather than wallow in self-deprecating guilt, we must act.
Times are changing and intelligence will be our salvation and compensation.