Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cycles of The Earth

As a child I always loved to wander around ruins in the Highlands of Scotland and imagine what kind of people once lived in those places, and where they are now? I had a good imagination, maybe I should have been an Archeologist? I could imagine how the buildings looked when they were new and when people lived in them. I could always see the people of that time as though they were actually there and I was not. In my imagination, their world existed and I was some future phantom briefly visiting their lives. Then I would return to my own time and the buildings became empty bones of stone covered in moss and peat.

I would spend hours following and studying old earth eaten tracks that used to be, for the people of the time, newly built roads. They are today's old roads where grass, shrubs and heather widen the cracks. I always wondered, where did those people go? Why were their houses and castle walls jagged skletons on the landscape? What kind of people were they? Will this world follow the same fate as their world, and will a child one day in the future wander among the ruins of the 20th Century, wondering what kind of people lived in the broken ruins lying like dinosaur skeletons swallowed by the earth?

The decline of the 20th Century is as inevitable as the fall of Rome. The people who have built the world we live in today, may still think like the Romans, but their buildings will one day disappear as the earth and nature re-inherits the space. Nothing we build lasts forever, and most probably our grandchildren's children will not want to live the way we do now.

I say this, because over the past few months I see many comments from politicians and Governments calling for more building programmes, and re-population projects to reverse the natural decline in many communities. I wonder to myself, have politicians never wandered in the ruins of a previous civilisation, and wondered about those people's lives? Perhaps realised that decline is an important part of growth and renewal?

When it comes to moving indigenous people out the way in order to access a vital resource for the gobble (global) community, then there is little thought about empty skelton houses and long silent tracks that once were roads... But our modern towns, cities and empires must not be moved aside, fall into ruin, undergo change. Even though our way of life is dirty, polluting the environment, committed to endless expansion and is not sustainable. No culture in the universe could sustain these levels of growth and resource consumption and survive.

Many high level people with global public profiles are fighting to make sure that our world will continue to grow, multiply, increase, become richer, develop and feed itself. I wonder if this is reality or a slogan for endless political campaigns? Because in their world nothing is to die, nothing is to get smaller... it all has to increase.

(image: Jerry Mitrovica, Toronto University)
This climate map is one example of unregulated expansion and increase. It is a graphic map of increases in sea level due to the melting of ice at either of the earth's polar caps.

In the event of ice sheet melts near the Northern or Southern poles. The blue colors show a drop in sea level while the red and orange colors show a rise. Global Warming

That is what I mean by unregulated growth and expansion. It can lead to flooding. We have recently enjoyed relatively stable climates around the world since the Little Ice Age. Which, at that time, effected settlements in European and North America probably from the late 15th Century until the 18th Century. Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating affect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea.

Can fluctuations in the earth's climate bring down Empires? I would imagine that you can create an Empire during times of plenty, that is difficult to maintain in times of climatic changes that challenge your bumper harvests and growing economy.

Are We on the Brink of a 'New Little Ice Age?' Thinking is centered around slow changes to our climate and how they will affect humans and the habitability of our planet. Yet this thinking is flawed: It ignores the well-established fact that Earth’s climate has changed rapidly in the past and could change rapidly in the future. The issue centers around the paradox that global warming could instigate a new Little Ice Age in the northern hemisphere. Global & Climate Change Insitute

Climate Changes: 535 AD
Lydus wrote that, "The sun became dim ... for nearly the whole year ... so that the fruits were killed at an unseasonable time."

Michael the Syrian commented that, "the sun became dark and its darkness lasted for eighteen months. Each day it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow ... the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes."

In many ways I feel that it is irresponsible and short sighted to lead people to think that they can continue to expand, that communities can endlessly increase, get richer, exploit more resources faster. This form of thinking is not in touch with reality. For example, if you endless expand any substance on earth, you drown in it.

Everyone wants gold. What was the story of king Midas? Just imagine everyone wakens up tomorrow and everything is made of gold. What do you eat? Sure, let's double the world's population in one year and we can all be immortal... The earth is going to be a bit crowded. Our thinking is wrong and our thinking effects the world we live in on a daily basis.

Just to think that we can have more, faster, and tomrorrow we then have to have more than more to increase on what we had yesterday, is a recipe for disaster. When the child in the future walks on the broken bones of our civilisation and wonders where those people are and how they lived? That child may see that we drowned in a global Tsunami of materialism. I would imagine the people who survived to study the broken skeleton jutting out of the earth, are the ones who learned to live in balance and harmony.