Biosphere Consciousness

Jeremy Rifkin sounds an urgent cry for us to wake up to yet another dimension of consciousness, this time to the biosphere. Listening to his presentation of his book, The Third Industrial Revolution, seemed like déjà vue for priorities that once formed in farming communities. Early on, folks provided what was needed among themselves.

 People bartered their expertise. My PEI grandfather was the local animal husbandman and my grandmother the local midwife in the farming community where they raised potatoes and turnips, livestock and vegetables, and whatever grains they needed. The community generated their own fiddlers, pump organist, callers and pipers for socials; their own carpenters, cabinet makers, and team labor to build barns, houses, the school and church. They built their own boats to dig oysters and haul lobsters.

 Everything was recycled. Grain bags turned into jeweled quilts, old clothes were turned into hooked or braided rugs, compost was returned to the soil. Those who had electricity used it sparingly; lights were never just left on unless they were being used by someone for some purpose.

 Gifts were handmade- something knitted, sewn or carved, canned, baked or built. Each community was an autonomous unit that prioritized a certain quality of life and respect for the good earth and all its creatures.

 In the shift to thinking globally, we’ve sacrificed quality and respect for all of life and allowed that priority to be replaced by whatever makes the most money for whoever gets there first. ‘We’ and ‘they’ used to equal ‘us’. Today, ‘we’ and ‘they’ seem like totally separate entities.

 When Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine, he gave it to the public. He said he had a job and didn’t need the money. He clearly considered himself a part of the community.

Unfortunately, as new vaccines and remedies and seeds are developed today, that attitude has turned into the greed of not only wanting more money, but claiming entitlement and putting restrictions out that prevent benefits to others. Many countries are hard pressed to come up with the money to prevent disease.

 Today, we need to raise our biosphere consciousness and look at what has worked in the past and learn from it. We have the technology to develop autonomous municipalities, build energy efficient buildings that can generate more energy by recycling everything, grow our own food, protect our water supply, and prioritize quality education.

We can shrink the excessive transportation expenses for globalized produce and products. We can be mindful of our personal use of energy.

 The good news is that we have the technology to keep each other well. The bad news is that we have limited time to wake up, recognize, and use it wisely.

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