Not a New Year’s resolution, but I’ve decided to do a few things differently in 2019:
1. Opposing people spouting B—S—.
I’m looking around, and there are entire swathes of population who cannot distinguish any more what is true and what is not. Or how to find out what is true and what is not. They have been conditioned, time after time, to first accept slight BS, and then more, and then outright lies, and now they think up is down and left is right, and dare anybody who disagrees. The consequences are dire, from making it hard to improve the lives of people (even themselves!), to avoiding various disasters like run-away global warming. Humanity cannot afford this. We need to make a concentrated effort roll back the lies.
Miss Manners wouldn’t approve, but my goal in 2019 is to stand up, publicly, in opposition to any and all BS. Silence would be more polite, but in 2019 and for me, truth needs to beat politeness.
2. Asking the question: how are you expecting your children to live in 2100?
Humanity has been going on for thousands of years (or more, depending how you count). WIth the exception of possible intervention by their gods, our ancestors could have a reasonable expectation that humanity would continue similarly for their decendents. Not any more.
If you read the 2018 climate report, and about things such as what the New York Times called the “Insect Apocalypse“, and that soil may be gone in 60 years, and about the decline in Energy-returned-on-energy-invested over time etc., and mill this in your mind for a bit and extrapolate, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that coming generations will be much worse off than humans have been for a long time. In fact, it is now openly being discussed that humanity may not have a future at all.
The situation is bad, and getting worse, and we are doing almost nothing, compared to the size of the problem, to address it. (CO2 emissions in 2018 are still growing!) If we really meant it, wouldn’t we try, for example, for a global treaty to reduce global defense expenditures by 50% and instead use the money and the man power to make life sustainable for humans on this planet?
But perhaps the discussion is too abstract, and the numbers are too big for more people to engage. So my plan is to ask people how they expect their children to live in the future: where will they live? (Not Miami; that’s gone) Where will they go on vacation? (Airplane travel is almost certainly out) What will they eat if the soil is gone? How will they keep warm?
My attempt will be to raise awareness by making it concrete for people. Because no action is possible without a lot more awareness first. Most people care about their kids, so perhaps that makes it specific enough. Let’s see how this goes.
3. I want to write more.
Well, here’s a post. It’s slow going though. I did only about 30+ posts last year. I need more practice writing. This year I want to do a lot better.
4. State my values more frequently.
All the religions I have some knowledge of have very similar values, and for good reasons, such as:
- be kind
- help not only your friend and your neighbor, but the traveler, the foreigner, the poor and the lost
- value children
- be truthful
Most people claim some religious adherence. But most of the people who are considered “sucessful” these days do not display those values; often the opposite. I think we are committing a mistake here.
So I’m planning to state more often what I think better values are, in the hope that perhaps I can contribute a teensy bit to make things like being kind a bit more fashionable than, say, being exploitative, again.