The state of the world is of course dire on every front: ecological; economic; political; moral; spiritual. Worse, is that the people with the most influence in the world the virtual oligarchy of governments, corporates, financiers, and their chosen intellectual and expert advisers — haven’t grasped the gravity of our plight, and don’t really want to, and are often in denial. On the whole, they simply pursue their own agendas, according to their own established ideologies. 

Much of the trouble springs from the inadequacy of present-day, siloed education which leads people – including or perhaps especially the most intensively and expensively educated, of the kind most likely to achieve positions of influence – to look at the world only through their own specialist eyes and imagine that they have thereby grasped the whole picture and know how to react. Thus the policies that descend upon us from on high are not well-informed and well-directed — not wise — but are compounded largely of ignorance, hubris, self-interest, and bluff.In short: our problems are dire, but there is little real sign that humanity is responding appropriately — or that we have the radical vision, or the collective will, or the people in positions of power, that are needed to do what’s needed. 

Yet I cling to the thought that human beings are basically sensible, and nice, and eminently capable, and that even at this late hour, with the forests on fire and the sea-levels rising and our fellow creatures disappearing by the hour – all that and the rising tide of human desperation and the ever-present threat or reality of war – we might still rescue ourselves and at least enough of the natural world to make the endeavour worthwhile; and indeed that this, technically, should almost be straightforward. Broadly speaking it’s just a matter of doing conceptually simple things well.

First, though, we have to clear the ground; to re-think everything we now take for granted from first principles, and to re-structure accordingly. Indeed at this stage of the game we require nothing less than a Renaissance; “re-birth”; metamorphosis (change of form) and metanoia (change of mindset). Furthermore, we, people at large, have to make the Renaissance happen. We cannot leave this critical undertaking to the powers-that-be because many of the most powerful people don’t want to know and the few who are up to the task are typically side-lined by those with their eyes more firmly fixed on power. 

All-in-all, alas, there is little room for optimism. Yet, as St Paul insisted, we must never give up hope – and there are some good reasons for hope. There is no truly coherent vision but there is no shortage of good ideas or of good will. Billions of people worldwide want the world to be a better place and are willing or eager to work to make it so.  Many millions are already on the case, already doing things and developing ideas that could lead us in the right kinds of directions. There are already enough good ideas and thinking people out there to form a critical mass that really could turn the world around. All that’s really needed is a coherent philosophy to hold the whole endeavour together; that, and a little more coordination

And although wild nature is horribly fragile – often entire ecosystems that seemed forever secure have disappeared almost overnight – it also has remarkable powers of recovery, sometimes springing back from a remarkably low base. So we need never give up trying (and if we do give up then the game is lost).  

Further thoughts

Of HS2 and GMOs

Share this article: Not harbingers of progress, says Colin Tudge, but symptoms of folly. Why do we continue to make the same mistakes?  Rishi Sunak has been desperately trying to explain to a bewildered nation and his own party and perhaps to himself why HS2 was a brilliant initiative when the government of which he … Read more

The absolute importance of the grassroots

Share this article: A meeting in Bristol next month – “Planet Local Summit” – will discuss the kind of initiatives that are needed if ever we’re to put the world to rights As the world burns and floods and the world’s most powerful people continue to offer more of the same — or else are … Read more

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2 responses to “The state of the world”

  1. Martha Stephens avatar
    Martha Stephens

    I agree entirely with you, Colin, about the terrible place we have landed in — on this small planet that deserves a better fate!

  2. Peter Post avatar
    Peter Post

    The crux of the worlds problems seem to be rooted in our current societal structure. Spreading the knowledge of what a sham it is in it’s current form is really the first important step to reform that we can all play a part in contributing towards.

    In this regard, the most excellent Zeitgeist Movie series, produced back in 2007 by Peter Josef should be brought to the attention of everyone. It is available free to view online. Few have heard of it as no mainstream channels would air it, since our media is largely controlled by the few in whose hands global power truly rests.

    A shorter and more straightforward enlightenment into how our fake money system works is another. Free to watch online and well worth viewing – Money as Debt II is a simple to understand, eloquent explanation of how our monetary system is a sham, and possibly the greatest fraud perpetrated against humanity in modern history.

    Cryptocurrency is in fact the perfect alternative to replace our modern monetary system. Sadly every effort has been made by the powers that be to undermine it in the guise of trying to find a way to regulate it. To that they have added plenty of reportage in the media under their control that promotes the false notion that it is all a Ponzi scheme. There is fraud, mainly because people do not treat their digital assets with the same care and caution they would afford were it a physical bag of gold coins. They pay out their crypto currencies to people they do not know, are never going to meet, and then wonder why they have lost it.

    Finally, we need to end the consumer based society that is fuelled by personal and business credit. A reset, as well as a change of mindset is required. The constant desire to upgrade what we have to the latest bit of kit is unsustainable, but has been essential to keep consumerism fuelled. The old products, despite efforts to recycle, end up in landfill and or polluting our environment. Legislation is needed that requires every product to be upgradable through firmware/software, and spare parts to remain readily available at reasonable cost for a considerable period of time.

    We also need to see a shift in the regulation of Big Pharma. Currently they have a stranglehold on prices, and intentionally produce products that produce a cascade of side effects which in both the long and short term require dependence on ever more of Big Pharmas products. This starts with their use in the food chain, and continues all the way through to our own use of them. They also intentionally produce and promote products which alleviate symptoms over eradicating the causes of those symptoms, thus requiring a long term use of the product. None of this is in the best interest of humanity. Their products are widely promoted above natural products that cannot be patented, and considerable money and used of the puppet media is employed to rubbish alternative medicine products.

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