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November 5 2012 2 05 /11 /November /2012 19:29

The title of this post is simply another way of impressing on all of us that our very survival as a species will depend on the degree to which we can contrive truly to see ourselves as if from the outside. It also depends on how far we can allow ourselves to experience the reality of others as if from within.

 

I was again made very specifically aware of this today, November 5th, by reading the excellent article by Charles C. Mann posted on 3quarksdaily today (originally appearing in the Orion Magazine, and available either from them at:

 

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/7146

 

or from 3quarksdaily, November 05, 2012.)

 

Basically, Dr. Mann's article is a similar kind of "wake-up" call as that penned by Rachel Carson so many years ago, but this one is primarily concerned with the possibility of the survival of our human species. It perhaps needs best to be read in conjunction with Lynn Margulis's Symbiotic Planet, particularly if any given reader's concern is related to the validity of the science referred to in the article.

 

It should also, perhaps, send readers scurrying to the preview of catastrophic human disaster envisaged by Gwynne Dyer in his book Climate Wars.

 

More important, however, from my point of view, is that Mann's article, while alerting us to the danger of our early extinction, has virtually nothing to say about the manner in which we may be able to contrive our survival. Unfortunately, and as many readers of the article have already commented, Mann's final paragraphs amount to little more than pious hope that, somehow or other, "things" will get better. Indeed, his overall summary simply seems to epitomize the very selective disregard of our responsibility towards one another that I have frequently remarked upon in previous posts.

 

Never mind! He is indeed alerting us to the scientific evidence. It's up to the rest of us to supplement that evidence with a greater commitment to understanding our shared responsibility for the ways in which we ourselves contribute to the determination of our future. (The previous post is relevant . . .)

 

John.

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