Monday, July 03, 2006

300 year vision

I’ve challenged students, friends and business associates to imagine a future 300 years from today. A simplistic short-term bottom-line focus is leading to a global “flat-line”! Let’s plan for life on earth 300 years from now, or even a 1000 years from now. We must become “Y3K” compliant! By way of good planning, execution, and wisdom we may get to the year 3000 with lives worth living. Seventh Generation quotes the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy on it’s recycled paper product packages:

"In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations."

I have grandchildren, and am young enough to possibly see great-grandchildren. For me, leaping to 300 years or seven generations is getting easy. Today's "little" actions impact our children's children. Our immense intellectual powers look into the edges of space-time, and with powerful computers model the trends of global warming. We cannot play deaf and dumb without seriously denying responsibility.

Environmental changes are slow. Mothership Earth is going down, but most of us don’t see or act upon it yet. The way to "humanely" kill a calf is by placing it in a vat of water and slowly turning up the heat. Eventually, the water gets hot enough to kill the calf without the calf noticing how hot the water really is. This will be humanity's fate on earth.

There are thousands of little, personal decisions made everyday that determine the next 300 years. Drive the car? How far? What kind of car? What is the fuel efficiency? Can we walk when possible. Do the office email at home rather than commuting to the office. What kind of paper products will we buy? How many children shall we have? How big a house? A second house? Do we need to fly somewhere for a vacation? Are there ways to feel wealthy without consuming mother earth?

The developed world is encased in technology. The solution is now more cultural than technological. Let’s breath free again. It's time for a great re-tooling, re-valuing of how we live, think, and exchange goods and services; time for a true revitalization of civilization along more human and earth friendly lines.

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