Yesterday I wrote on deartedandjody that the new version of a book on my proposal to democratize money was moving at a snail’s pace. My friend Cj commented “I wouldn’t worry too much about the money thing, in 80 yrs time the global warming will have finished us all off with several ‘big ones’ by the sounds of things.” Her comment got me to thinking about the way we, human beings, seem to respond to small changes around us—we either don’t notice or we don’t believe they are real changes. But then, we do notice some that seem to threaten our grasp of things and our grasp on things. By grasp I mean both our understanding and our ownership.
Out understanding of things is predicated upon our experiences (experiential and indirect experiences we have by reading or listening) our beliefs and our wants. All too often, our understanding does not include empathy for others in who have had different experiences than we have had. All too often our understanding is based on a very local or parochial view of the world. So, Cj’s comment that “in 80 years time the global warming will have finished us all off,” is one that accurately expresses our, human beings, response to a subtle change that has manifest itself in regions of the world in which most of us do not live or even visit—the Arctic, the Antarctic, low islands, and high altitudes. While the rest of us experience once in a thousand year storms, droughts, wild fires, and the like about once a year, we brush them off as anomalies. Besides, those once in a thousand year events, on average happen to someone else (millions of someone else). So, understanding will come too late to too many that global warming is taking place and eventually it will reach a tipping point with too much carbon in the atmosphere will make the change impact everyone and be, as scientists say, irreversible.
But understanding is not the only reason for our doom in 80 years. Ownership is another. We grasp things, own them and hang on for dear life. While we might argue that we manage what we own and keep it up to snuff and increase its value, on balance, that is not quite accurate. Largely prolonged ownership tends to cause real and other property to deteriorate over time. We get comfortable with the small cracks and inefficiency so we call them character and let them go. Large corporation tend to get a bit complacent with its resources and over time giant corporations tend to become ‘historic’ and no longer the titans of an industry they once were, if they continue to exist at all. They too get set in their ways and some of their inefficiency catch-up with them. None-the-less they, like human beings, hang on to what they have with a death grip—that all to often is a death grip. In a very parallel sense, people who hold white supremacist thoughts, either explicitly or implicit, hold on to power by denying others access. This is becoming more and more obvious in the US today as whites slip into minority status. These with supremacists talk of values and history as if that alone were reason to hang on to something they never had. By the same token we localize this ownership and trash our neighborhood property with our garbage and trash—check out floating islands of trash in the oceans and on some remote beaches as evidence of this lack of stewardship beyond our immediate property lines.
Finally I would add our wants, desires, or wishes for how we want things, fantasies if you will, to the list of culprits for our demise in 80 years at the hands of climate warming. Simply put, we don’t want the climate to change. So, we don’t beleive3it or we deny it. Then too, if we are in business and it costs us something to minimize our carbon footprint, we will eschew the cost on the basis of either belief or denial. As the Gore lecture serice made into a documentary was titled it is “An Inconvenient Truth.” https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497116/ A truth which will cost everyone something in the short term and everyone everything in the longer term.
I would submit that our wants and desires or wishes for how we want things in the future is the biggest problem as it is the one which dictates if we, human beings in every country, will take action. I assert this ad all of our political will and decision making processes are tied up in moneyed interests. Moneyed interests rule the world. So, a better response to my friend Cj’s comment would be, it is more imperative than ever than we change how money is created. For under the current system, dominated by moneyed interests, there is no motive to ward off climate warming, for it is in the moneyed interests of the word’s short term interests to keep making a profit.
If the average citizen were the recipient of newly created money rather than the bankers and financial wizards as they are now, perhaps, our priorities could be modified to the point where the warming climate may get noticed and an impetus to take action can be made?