Would more of our problems be solved if we spent more time thinking less about ourselves?
Our big problem is our self-centredness. And when I say ‘our’, I mean ‘our’ as in ‘our species’. Yes, feel it's our anthropocentricity that that is at the heart of so many of the real problems we face. These are, in effect, not ou problems, but the the world’s problem.
This feeling came into sharp focus for me this morning as I was listening to BBC Radio 4 hearing Nick Robinson and others discussing in excruciating detail the ins and outs of UK Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt’s dealings with News Corporation, the Murdochs and the BSkyB deal.
The minutiae of how a Minister might have behaved, and whether his behaviour should or should not cost him his job is of course an important issue.
But in truth it pales into insignificance alongside the trouble we’re in if we remain on our particular trajectory. We have a distorted world view shaped by the media and that’s one reason to ensure media moguls like Murdoch are brought into line.
It is of course another question whether or not the Leveson inquiry will be able to do anything about this – or whether it will be just another bit of window dressing to give the public the impression everything is being done to ensure independence of the media. Ummm.
But framing a balanced world view is hard for many when the mainstream media offer very little coverage on things like rates of primary rainforest destruction, effects of deforestation on greenhouse gases, the declining state of the oceans, the skyrocketing rate of species extinctions, the poisoning of the soils, water and the air…..yet all these things are among the indicators that the planet is in real trouble. The 'Earth system' or Gaia will need to take action accordingly do what it has always done — and respond. It is already, undoubtedly responding, but let's not be restricted to viewing such responses in human time scales.
The sooner we get to grips with the fact that we are part of Gaia and the ‘super-organism’ that is she, the sooner we can help create a pathway that offers a rosier outlook for our species — and the rest of the rest of the planet with which which we are inexorably linked.
But to do that, let’s stop being so introspective and human-focused. We are part of a much bigger system and now, we are the bad guys creating the majority of the problems facing the millions of other species on our blue-marble of a planet – we need to ship up, or ship out – quite literally!
We’ve got more on Gaia and relating this to the human health crisis in this week’s feature, and we’ve put together a short 6 minute video for those who prefer audio-visual delivery!
Happy non-anthropocentric, big picture thinking and world changing!