Staying in balance.

We, as in humanity, could be very close to the end!

Now my sub-title could be argued as being a tad provocative and, perhaps, it is. But I wanted to catch your attention and then hope that you stay with me for today’s post.

Jean and I belong to the Humanists & Freethinkers Group of Grants Pass. At last Saturday’s meeting the main item was a talk given by William Kötke: His website is here. Bill, as he was happy to be called, is the author of the books The Final Empire and Garden Planet (the links take you to the respective Amazon pages). Bill also has more details of his first book here.

The essence of Bill’s talk was that when we ‘evolved’ from a life of hunting and gathering to developing the land for agricultural purposes we lost our connection to the planet. For the simple reason that as foragers we depended on always being able to find edible wild plants and fruit, and therefore lived in balance with the land, but when we started to farm we became protective, materialistic and greedy. For having more land, even if one took it by force from another, equated to making more; making more food, using the surplus to buy favours, sell, etc.

Some of the facts that Bill presented in his talk were truly frightening such as soil loss; a topic I highlight in tomorrow’s post.

But for now just settle down and watch this interview of Bill filmed by Woodburn Community Access Television.

Published on Jan 10, 2016

Author and Futurist William H. Kotke shares with Woodburn his years of knowledge and understandings of the Human History and The Current Dilemma all of us face as a species.

Is there a way forward?

Yes, I think so and it’s all to do with communities; more on that in a later post.

Is this anything to do with dogs?

Here’s what the Welcome page of this blog says (in part):

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer.  Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming,  thence the long journey to modern man.  But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite.  Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

Dogs know better, much better!  Time again for man to learn from dogs!

I rest my case.

11 thoughts on “Staying in balance.

  1. Paul I have not read the books, but I am sure a bit lost. When I was born 1950, world population was about 2.5 billion. Now it is soon 7.5. How many were there during hunting and gathering days? Anyone who proposes going back to something similar must be thinking of getting rid of at least 7 billion. Is anyone here volunteering his or her descendants?

    1. Per, firstly you are completely correct regarding the role of horses although they came to be influential after the start of agriculture.

      But regarding the inability of the planet to support an ever growing population then that’s the equivalent of defying gravity. One way or another the population will be reduced.

      Did you watch the interview?

      Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  2. Through the years I feel that we as a species have lost our connection to spirituality. I am not speaking of religion, I am speaking of the reverence for our place in the universe. We no longer view our existence as something special. We are no longer aware that in comparison to the scope of the cosmos we are a speck. As a species we think we are entitled to everything. This entitlement or divine right has bled into the way we treat all living creatures including the earth & its resources. We have to learn to connect with one another. Yes, thanks to technology we are a global village but we have lost our ability to view each & every person on this planet as unique & special. Until we find our way, until we learn to treat each other & our planet with respect, then I am afraid we are on a dangerous trajectory.

  3. He reminds me of Permaculture co-originator Bill Mollison (of my home Tasmania) whom I believe he references a few times in his book.
    Yes, there are a number of major converging problems that threaten our existence 1) loss of natural systems, including topsoils and bees, 2) depleting resources, including oil, rare earths and phosphorus and 3) climate change and water shortages. All of these are compounded by human population overshoot. These problems will lead to millions of refugees on the move. And as Mr Kotke says, millions of deaths worldwide. Unfortunately, the latter is the only thing that will allow the natural environment, wilderness and the diversity of other species to survive. Although the next 10 -15 years or so may see the great robot revolution, this, imo, will be the apex of technological innovation. After that, everything will crash big time. (And we could well see an economic and financial collapse much sooner). I agree with the writer James Kuntsler’s view of a future 30/40 years hence – for the survivors – of a life similar to that of the mid 19th century – as outlined in his World Made by Hand novels.

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