How Camping Save The World: Strategies For A Healthy, Sustainable, Peaceful World
What if on planet Earth right now something was possible that’s never before been possible in the entire history of the human species? What if we now possessed the people, resources, technologies and capabilities to create a healthy, sustainable, peaceful world?
When I say “healthy, sustainable, peaceful world,” I’m talking about ending all wars and the use of violence to resolve conflict and ensuring a basic standard of living for each and every person alive right now. I’m talking about redesigning communities to function in harmony with the natural systems of Earth. I’m talking about breakthroughs in our effectiveness in living healthier, happier, higher quality, more fulfilled lives than ever before. I’m talking about growing and expanding our experience of joy, satisfaction and love in our lives. I’m talking about humanity thriving.
Given many of the current challenges and conditions of life on Earth and the context through which many see the world, such an idea may sound, at first, unimaginable, outlandish, or maybe even a bit naive, but when you consider the full portfolio of human accomplishment, humanity possesses countless examples of making possible that which, at one time, seemed utterly impossible. How long is this list that includes feats such as: running a mile in 3 minutes and 43 seconds, or 26 miles in 2 hours; holding one’s breath under water for 22 minutes, or lifting over 1,100 pounds. How miraculous are: medical advances that now allow us to X-ray, perform open heart surgery, transplant organs, clone mammals, and unlock the human genome; engineering wonders such as mega-dams, bridges miles long, skyscrapers rising over a half mile into the sky, or technological advances to communicate with people anywhere in the world? What of flight, space travel, walking on the moon, splitting atoms, or designing and building particle colliders? Not bad considering we come from a long line of ancestors that once were cave dwellers.
We match these feats with equally implausible changes in societal values on virtually every subject throughout human history – indigenous peoples, slavery, sexuality, drugs, the environment, treatment of animals, capital punishment, religion, nations once at war becoming allies, politics, governance, spirituality, and countless others. We have shown the ability to heal and recover from virtually every illness known, and some have even returned from death. We have demonstrated the ability to change our thinking, change our minds, heal from emotional wounding and forgive. Time and time again, our species demonstrates the ability to create virtually anything we’re able to dream up and imagine. Again and again humanity demonstrates that with enough focused attention, effort and energies,
WE CAN CREATE ALMOST ANYTHING!
THIS IS A BIG DEAL! It means that we are truly only limited by our minds and the power of imagination. Or as Henry Ford says:
“Whether you think you can or you can’t either way you’re right”
A key strategy in creating anything is focus, and it’s illustrated everywhere in life. The more we focus on something, the more it comes into being. Parents know the decision to have your child learn a language, sport, instrument or any other activity, opens up a universe of capability that’s simply not available to those who don’t similarly focus. Businesses gain expertise in their fields, those focusing on particular religions gain greater knowledge in their particular faith tradition, and nations develop greater expertise with their particular geographic regions and populace than those immersed in their own communities elsewhere.
So a critical key in our ability to create and manifest anything, lay in our ability to focus. If we can create almost anything, and focus is a critically important aspect of how life works, then why in the world wouldn’t we make it a priority to focus time, energies and efforts on building a healthy, sustainable, peaceful world? Through the use of “focus” we are individually and collectively afforded infinite possibility and potential. If enough people talked about it, defined it, and worked towards it, what might be possible for humankind, what might be possible for Earth?
We already possess in our toolkit the abilities to:
- Grow food locally and virtually anywhere the sun shines;
- Heal and cure the majority of illness through diet and lifestyle changes;
- Build inexpensive sunlit homes that consume one-tenth the energy of typical buildings and can even produce more energy than they use;
- Dramatically reduce energy waste and pollution, and meet all of our needs from clean, renewable resources;
- Live close to home or travel the world without ever needing to own an individual automobile;
- Engineer most of products to safely return to Earth’s ecosystem, and operate businesses that are both profitable AND contribute to the greater societal good.
What all these have in common is they illustrate efficiency strategies that can afford us paradigm shifting financial savings – GAME CHANGERS – and they exist for almost every aspect of the way we design and build communities and the infrastructures which support them. They represent trillions of dollars in savings and the unnecessary ballooning of our debt, year after year. Efficiency is the direct route, the shortcut, it’s about doing things with less work. Given the pressures and challenges faced by so many, who doesn’t want more free time – to do whatever we want? In this, efficiency can unite humanity. I mean really, who, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or political affiliation doesn’t want more free time?
Clearly, in the 75,000 or more years that we’ve been around, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to design communities that support healthy, happy, long lives with dramatic reductions in resource use. Would you doubt, given all we’ve shown to be capable of, anything less?
The scientific, technological and industrial power of modern humans is immense, I mean it’s really gargantuan. Look at Ford’s Rhine River plant, Tar Sands mining operations, mountaintop removal mining, nuclear power plants, oil pipelines, utility grids, weapons defense systems, the space program, skyscrapers, our national highway system, reservoirs, bridges, dams, sewage treatment plants, water lines or the resources to build an entire city like New York, just enormous.
You can’t tell me that these capabilities redirected towards meeting a basic standard of living, employing the most state of the art, cutting edge and proven sustainability strategies couldn’t, at minimum, put a BIG dent in achieving the redesign and redevelopment of sustainable communities for the entire human population, if not fully achieve this goal in a century or less. We’re already meeting the needs of over 3 billion people living a higher standard of living than at any other time on Earth, using many old and outdated infrastructures designed by our ancestors generations ago who lacked the benefit of all that we now know. This dysfunctional and inefficient global system, by modern standards, is also able to support another 3 billion people to live in poverty level conditions, as defined by the United Nations. It’s time to stop perpetuating such old, outdated, and broken systems. If we can rebuild entire cities post World War II in 10-20 years, how long would it take to transform our world? If we could do it in 100 years, could we do it in 50, or 40, or 30 or maybe even less? How skilled and efficient could we get at designing and building healthy, sustainable communities?
What might be possible if the powers of industry were redirected toward accelerating the widespread re-design and re-building of sustainable communities throughout the world?
With focused effort we could certainly at least accelerate this transformation that’s already begun. As certain planetary conditions worsen, we may need to rely on our technological and industrial powers in a new and different ways.
Clearly, the most inefficient activity that the human race is now engaged in is conflict, violence and war. Not only is it time consuming and resource intensive, as resources spent on armies, weapons, death and destruction all represent extraordinary resources that could be redirected toward healing and transforming our communities, but in conflict, we completely lose out on opportunities for synergy, and that’s where real magic can occur. Synergy allows us to work together to exponentially increase our output and productivity. Violence toward others is the most diametrically opposed expression to synergy and cooperation.
Peace on Earth isn’t only about these outer infrastructural aspects of society, there’s also an inner dimension that must be healed and transformed if our species is to make this happen. Clearly, human beings also possess the capacity to heal and grow, learn and improve, change, transform and evolve, and qualities such as compassion, forgiveness, and kindness can all be consciously grown and developed with intention and focused effort. This is another area where we’ve come a long, long way, and we’ve never had more tools available to help us do this than we do right now. This, in my opinion, is the real work. Once we’ve done our inner work, the transformation of our outer world will be a reflection this shift in consciousness.
There is no greater tragedy of modern life, than possessing solutions for so many of our world’s problems, and choosing not to use them. My intention in writing this book is to show that a healthy, sustainable, peaceful world is possible and highlight the fundamental principles and strategies I’ve learned in from over three decades experience in these fields that will most swiftly get us there. I don’t claim to have ALL of the answers, nobody does, but I do believe that we will never have a healthy, sustainable, peaceful world by chance. It’s not as if we’ll simply stumble upon it someday, but rather it will come about as a result of vision, intention, and focused efforts by enough people. I believe it’s time for humanity to think bigger, more boldly than ever before. I mean ending slavery, Hoover Dam, splitting the atom, man on the moon kind of big. We actually have the ability to leave the planet in better condition for our children, their children, and generations who’ll follow. Let’s change our conversations about one another and life on Earth and FOCUS our eyes on the prize of healthy, sustainable, peaceful communities for everyone. I hope you’ll join us.
Bradley Grove Hyson
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