Necessity or Greed?

(a reflection on human condition, human decisions, human behavior)

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Emily Spence, 28 July, 2007.

Weighing The Benefits And The Deficits Of Advancements

an excerpt in the mids: … Yet, at a certain point, the whole process in its current configuration will, certainly, collapse as there is not an infinite supply of oil, coal, electricity and goods to serve ever expanding needs, including the ones related to the billions of people climbing out of poverty (currently living in shacks) so as to purchase their first cottages with wall outlets, cars and so on. At the same time, they will want all the trappings (a myriad assortment of products) that go along with their new economic improvements. Further, they will want families in any size that they choose (like the one billion + Chinese, who are, currently, in a heavy revolt against the one child per family policy).

In this sense, researchers, who warn that we are behaving like bacteria in a petri dish, do pose a somewhat accurate analogy in terms of its applicability to humanity [1]. Moreover, we DO know the manner in which those dish experiments end.

Indeed, it’s not as if we haven’t been forewarned for some time (i.e., by Thomas Malthus in 1798, Paul Ehrlich, Al Gore, Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins and many others) about the consequences of our species being motivated to always have more (more personal belongings, more population, more yield from each farm plot, more spacious homes, more cars per household, more travel, more shopping outlets, more fiscal gain for one’s own individual family, and so on). As such, we’re, collectively, winding up with some of the horrific predicaments described in a wide variety of environmental reports [2].

Of course, one tragedy in this overall situation is that humankind is poised to obliterate a large number of other species in the wake of our desire to have ever more. (If they are not killed by being turned into commodities, they will be destroyed collaterally, such as by the effects of global warming [3].) Another, perhaps worse one, is that we could have avoided most of the looming starvation, suffering, panic, spread of pandemic diseases, lack of water in some regions, fires, floods and misery had we, previously, adjusted our population and consumption patterns on a willing basis rather than, as always, let “nature take its course.” Yet, it always has, in the final reckoning, done so, hasn’t it?

So, in the end, our unwillingness to, deliberately, cut back on our trend to employ everything for which we can find some use and the booming population explosion will, likely, have dire consequences. Consequently, the limits in our overall resource expenditure and population can be expected to be achieved by devastating measures — ones not of our deliberate choosing.

All this in consideration, one of the saddest accounts that I’ve read concerned a Kurd stealing a loaf of bread that was being dropped from an aircraft flown overhead by US troops during the Gulf War. He took it from the hands of an elderly Kurd woman, who he overpowered by force. She had caught it first and meant to feed her husband and herself with it. The grabber took it because he had eleven children and a wife. (Can one imagine being faced with this parent’s dilemma?) … (full text).

My comment: WE only are always acting and deciding … no God, no Allah, no anywhat … only we.

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