In economic crisis, it is more important than ever before that people begin to protect ways of making a living along with sustaining a cleaner environment. Green jobs and green infrastructure, fueled by green energy, are the only answers available to survive in a finite earth with finite resources. What is the alternative, to simply destroy civilization? Resource wars, poverty and instability are on the rise until human beings step up to create ways for all people to make a sustainable living with sustainable resources.
There is no such thing as sustaining life without the raw materials that create life. Nature does this for all organisms, but people learned so effectively to exploit nature's gifts that now they threaten ecosystems, abundance, diversity and more. The former age of consumption is just that, the age wherein so much of earth's resources have been consumed, that now the earth itself needs time and healing to recover. Borrowing energy from fossil fuels has made energy, credit and even human life seem cheap and affordable, but that has never been the true story, or reflected the true costs.
Earth's healing can only come from either a mass die off of the most offensive earthlings, or a change in their behavior. Most people opt to save humanity, biodiversity, beauty and knowledge. The alternative is to continue to consume as if there were another earth to be consumed. This reality is so enormous and provocative that many, many people cannot seem to get past their denial. They have only known one relationship with the planet and that is to consume it. To cooperate with it, is new, better, and will rely entirely upon human willingness to learn from nature, ingenuity, dogged persistence and faith in abundance of human resources combined with earth's lessons in efficiency.
Most minds link resources to the idea of "products" for consumption and perhaps that is even more applicable when one thinks about how people are now produced in a past economy based on throw away convenience. Consumers are produced in large numbers, in factory style industries, offices, online and, often in non-natural settings, and with all manner of additives, packaging and distribution. At present, still, humans are made of what they experience, and they experience that life seems almost disposable, at least in first nations of formerly abundant resources.
All living organisms are made of endless cycling of elements. Carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen, and other basic elements are involved. People have yet to completely learn they can manage without garbage, toxins and waste. This happens when they realize they are as much the products of dynamic and on-going exchanges of energy as we are made of elements.
People can begin to appreciate that they are made of what they eat what they drink, what they breathe and even what they live in, wear and work with every day. Alternative energy not only protects water, air and soil, but connects people to these things. Solar, wind, geothermal, clean nuclear, and many, many renewable can be innovated toward better storage systems and toward big advances in technology as the jobs markets continue to grow.
People have created, however, a curious idea about the environment as being something separate. Each time one may read a headline about saving the environment, or how important the environment is, one has the sense that it is something other than their personal selves in an ever unfolding matrix. They also use the word “nature” as if it were a separate entity. There is even the idea put forward that nature is against life, or something to be controlled, even conquered. At best, it often seems people are arrogant enough.
People depending upon community and local concerns are imperative. They need food and water to survive. To change human awareness to be able to benefit from that which humans are, living aspects of nature and environment; could require a new language which dispels the myth of separateness. Or at the very least it requires a new way of thinking of the collective life organisms of earth that make human life, and indeed, all life possible.
Climatologists, biologists, Ecopsychologists and many other scientific fields have all come to the same conclusion that collective thinking of humans as apart, or other than nature, has led to disastrous errors in respect to how humans treat one another and the planet. The idea of separateness leads to racism, hatred, war and exploitation.
It is no less true for any resource, be it human diversity, forest, desert or energy. Therefore, recognition of humanity as an animal with the intelligence, forethought and ability to implement lasting and durable sustainability on the planet, is quite a new thing under a very harvest-able sun.