Noting an excellent article in Scientists for Global Responsibility newsletter, “Why we must prepare for a low energy society, I searched online for the author, Dr Mandy Meikle, a Scottish microbiologist.
I’ve also been reading indigenous writings and a bit of anthropology.
The problems we are creating are not a function of humans. Homo sapiens is quite able to live sustainably – indeed we did for hundreds of thousands of years but then something happened. Not settling down and planting a few crops to supplement the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but owning land.
Owning land for the first time usually involves killing, enslaving or ousting those who lived there before you arrived. If no people lived there, then you’re free to do what you want with all the other species who lived there – eat them, burn them, build houses out of them, or just get rid of them because you can’t eat, burn or build houses out of them.
Western culture dominates the world and while it sounds paradoxical, western culture is global. It’s the culture which dominates industry and trade. No longer does it matter whether you are in Asia, America, Europe or Africa, the chances are you are dominated by western culture. You might be one of the few who does not live by it, but if you are living on resources required by western culture you’ll soon know all about it.
CHS’ co-founder, Winin Pereira, would have been very interested in this reflection.