Writeup in progress.
Plan first uttered here in August 2009. Resonance: Not much. (Best was that Neven in person came to my garden for a chat – that was before he started his famous Arctic Sea Ice blog.) Later uttered e.g. here, here, here, and possibly somewhere else, too.
First some inspirational quotes to warm up for the issue:
When someone asked the Vietnamese Zen poet Thich Nhat Hanh, “What do we need to do to save our world?” his questioner expected him to identify strategies for social and environmental action. But he answered: “What we most need to do is to hear within us the sound of the Earth crying.” When the Canadian geneticist David Suzuki met E. O. Wilson, he had one big question for the eminent biologist: “What can we do to stop the catastrophic level of extinction that’s going on around the world?” Wilson surprised the younger man with his reply. “We have to discover our kin,” he said simply. “We have to discover our relatives, the other plants and animals who are related to us through our DNA. Because to know our kin is to come to love and cherish them.”
— Paul H. Ray, Sherry R. Anderson, The Cultural Creatives (2001) p.314
What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?
— ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (2013)
I consider that the natural biological manner of living is constitutively aesthetic and effortless, and that we have become culturally blind to this condition. In this blindness we have made beauty a commodity, creating ugliness in all dimensions of our living, and through that ugliness, more blindness in the loss of our capacity to see, to hear, to smell, to touch, and to understand the interconnectedness of the biosphere to which we belong. We have transformed aesthetics into art, health into medicine, science into technology, human beings into the public….and in this way we have lost the poetic look that permitted us to live our daily life as an aesthetic experience. Finally, in that loss, wisdom is lost. What is the cure? The creation of the desire to live again, as a natural feature of our biosphere, the effortlessness of a multidimensional human living in a daily life of aesthetic experiences.
— Humberto R. Maturana (Never published book ca. 2003)
Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a co-ordinated view about the planet, it’s going to get worse and worse.
— Sir David Attenborough (2013)
It has long been felt, even by philosophers:
Why is Earth keeping silent at this destruction?
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm …
— The Doors (1970)
The arch nemesis of existentialist nihilism, Hans Jonas, destroys it thus:
That nature does not care, one way or the other, is the true abyss. (…) The phrase of having been flung into indifferent nature is a remnant of a dualistic metaphysics, (…) What is the throw without the thrower, and without a beyond whence it started? Rather should the existentialist say that life — conscious, caring, knowing self — has been “thrown up” by nature. If blindly, then the seeing is a product of the blind, the caring of the uncaring, a teleological nature begotten unteleologically
— Hans Jonas, The Phenomenon of Life, Ninth Essay (1966)