Michaeldgriffiths's Blog
One's man Chaos is another person's Entertainment

WildernessPunk- Positivity/Negativity

Hello and welcome to this week’s WildernessPunk. I’m going to endeavor to get a new one of these out every weekend this summer. Aren’t you excited? Is doing this a positive accomplishment, or do you dread what sort of depressing negativity I might scrape off the crusted, overused bong our planet is becoming?

I’m not writing today to go into the positives and negatives affecting you and your world. Instead, I seek to discuss the opposing methods which could be used to improve our planet’s current declining condition.

If you are reading this, I assume you care about the health of our world and wish for things to improve, yet what’s the best path for us to pursue to make this happen? I’ve read many articles and books (I’m reading one currently) where the author runs off a laundry list of all the horrible things humans have done to our earth and the reasons why things are just going to get worse in the future.

Is painting the grim picture the best thing we can do to affect a positive change within ourselves and our culture? Sort of a drug rehab philosophy; You must hit rock bottom before you realize you have no further to go and only then can the true healing begin. I’ve worked in drug rehabilitation units, and I can say by personal experience I think this concept is bullshit. The idea that things must get worse before they can get better is false.

Let me give you an addiction analogy. Joe drinks too much. He just lost his job and things are going downhill for him. By AA logic it will somehow help him to lose his housing too and only when he becomes homeless will he be ready for change.

I disagree. Following this AA scenario through, Joe will go to recovery for 28 days and then walk out sober and homeless. He will have to get a job, hold it for three months (at least) while crashing in his car/friend’s sofa/park bench to have a chance to rent a new place. Hmmm, do you think this will be easy? Will Joe feel like a loser and become depressed? Maybe he’ll need a way to relax or just get bored sleeping in his car. Just a sip and he could forget for one night though…

But what if Joe decided to get his act together, or his friends and family helped him, before he reached rock bottom.

  • Joe doesn’t lose all his things and waste his money starting all over.
  • Joe will have other methods to entertain himself instead of drinking such as a television, computer, music, books etc.
  • Joe will have a much easier time finding a new job and keeping it if he has clean clothes and can take a shower each day.
  • Joe will feel more relaxed and have a better sense of self worth than if he was sleeping outside and this sense of self worth will help give him the strength to know his life just might be worth the effort he’s putting into it.

This is less true when it comes to our environment. Do we need to hit rock bottom before we struggle to improve? Perhaps people will be more interested in making a change by then, but will cutting down all the rain forests before we wake up help us in any way? I’m going to say no. Our goal should be to keep as much alive as possible before we enact change, so we’ll have more left worth saving. If all we have left are cities, corporate farms, and animal factories, personally I’d be inclined to say why bother.

So do we get there with scare tactics (negativity) or with the hope that our motivations and innovations will win the day eventually (positivity).

Let’s break it down.

Negativity: +

  • Proving the severity of the situation could force people to act.
  • Scientists can show us what we shouldn’t be doing to our planet.

Negativity: –

  • When a problem seems insurmountable some might wonder if there is any reason to try.
  • Depression can lead to stagnation and apathy instead of action.

Positivity: +

  • Believing we can create a better world leads people to discover how we can make this better world occur.
  • Having the confidence that we can make a difference helps motivate us to do so and create new innovations which can help save our globe.

Positivity: –

  • If people think scientists will discover some new tech which will save us all in the end, why worry about our behaviors now?
  • People could get false virtue flags while they are driving 50 miles a day, eating more meat, and killing all the native plants in their yard but they have earned it because they recycle 15% of their waste.

In the end it will probably be a mix of both camps which will save us. I, however, would prefer to stand with the positivity camp. The more we change, adapt, and innovate the better our chances of survival are. I hate to stand on the shoulders of the myth technology will save us, but still, other than a human ending plague, I think technology and new innovations are this globe’s only chance.

Here are some new ideas on the horizon and in some places some of these have already started to happen.

  • Biodegradable machines, such as cars can be made from plant fibers.
  • Meat can be grown/cloned in huge vats and then distributed to grocery stores. (Side note: I did write a novel about this in my Skinjumper series, I guess I should get the William Gibson award for 2013)
  • We could design a bacterium which could eat all the extra carbon in the oceans.
  • Governments could use tax money to help fund science instead of making billionaires richer and supporting the military industrial war machine.

So let’s get positive people. Remember, worst case scenario, we die off and in a 100 million years from now our house cats will have evolved into bipedal hominids and can give civilization another go. Wait, cats? Maybe we should try mice instead.

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You can grab a little of my fiction here

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