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The Future Must Be Green, Red, Black and Female

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The human species must acknowledge that any future that allows us to retain our humanity will jettison capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy - and be based on an ecological worldview, says Jensen.

(These remarks were prepared for a private conference on sustainability, where the participants critiqued corporate farming, "big ag," and "big pharma" and industrialized medicine. There was agreement about the need for fundamental change in economic/political/social systems, but no consensus on the appropriate analysis of those systems and their interaction.)

The future of the human species - if there is to be a future - must be radically green, red, black and female.

If we take this seriously - a human future, that is, if we really care about whether there will be a human future - each one of us who claims to care has to be willing to be challenged, radically. How we think, feel, and act - it's all open to critique, and no one gets off easy, because everyone has failed. Individually and collectively, we have failed to create just societies or a sustainable human presence on the planet. That failure may have been inevitable - the human with the big brain may be an evolutionary dead-end - but still it remains our failure. So, let's deal with it, individually and collectively.

We can start by looking honestly at the data about the health of the ecosphere, in the context of what we know about human economic/political/social systems. My conclusion: There is no way to magically solve the fundamental problems that result from too many people consuming too much and producing too much waste, under conditions of unconscionable inequality in wealth and power.

If today, everywhere on the planet, everyone made a commitment to the research and organizing necessary to ramp down the demands that the human project places on ecosystems, we could possibly create a plan for a sustainable human presence on the planet, with a dramatic reduction in consumption and a gradual reduction of population. But when we reflect on our history as a species and the nature of the systems that govern our lives today, the sensible conclusion is that the steps we need to take won't be taken, at least not in the time frame available for meaningful change.

This is not defeatist. This is not cowardly. This is not self-indulgent.

This is reality, and sensible planning should be reality-based.             

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