I share with you the view that humankind’s greenhouse gas emissions are, by far, the greatest existential threat to humanity’s survival – with one overarching exception.
That exception is detailed a little further down (where it will become clear why I present it in that order).
But first: The threat posed by global warming to life on Earth.
Global warming has been of concern to science since the 1950s. Yes, 70 years ago, scientists warned us that greenhouse-gas emissions were heating the planet.
Concerns have accelerated to the point where climate-change warnings and the disastrous implications for all of us are coming thick and fast.
To check the following stats and claims, please see the reference links at the end of this article.
- 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming and climate change.
- More than 99% of scientific papers agree that humans are the cause.
- Thousands of scientists signed a paper stating that ignoring climate change will yield ‘untold suffering’ for humanity.
- NASA confirms worldwide record-breaking bushfires, floods, high and low temperatures, high and low rainfalls, and sea-level rises.
Why do we give such little heed to the survival of humanity?
Many shy away from even talking about global warming, let alone the majority that takes little or no action on eliminating the use of fossil fuels and other avoidable greenhouse-gas emitters, such as animals farmed for protein.
One theory is that we humans remain instinctively hunter-gatherers. We have evolved by prioritising food, shelter, reproduction and acquisitiveness, yet still progressing amazingly in areas such as the sciences, technologies and the arts.
But, scratch our civilised veneer ever so slightly, and we have evolved little in the critically important area of self-awareness.
We have progressed minutely in developing our spiritual nature and understanding our symbiotic connection with each other, all other sentient beings and nature.
If skeptical about what I’m saying, look closely at the state of our global societies.
Are you aware of our mindless desecration of the natural world – the land, our rivers and oceans and the air we breathe?
Consider the terrible sociological, economic and environmental mess in which many countries and their people languish. Do you see the hunger, sickness, the extremely disadvantaged, the growing masses of working poor, widespread civil unrest, and many societies’ wretched states of unravelling?
And it beggars belief that in 2022 we, once again, see war: the destructive, inhumane, acquisitive Russian attack against Ukraine, creating the prospect of World War Three. What unmitigated psychotic madness is that?
With our survival in jeopardy, why aren’t we taking urgent action?
With billions of humans currently depending on mining coal, oil and gas and the continuing use of fossil fuels is a major challenge. Here are some other, common, everyday barriers to action.
Individually and collectively, we:
- Don’t believe the scientific evidence
- Do not realise the dire implications of the evidence
- Believe the 3% of scientists that say greenhouse gases are not the primary source of climate change
- Don’t appreciate the immediacy of the threat
- Believe we’re in a naturally occurring climate cycle, and our contribution is irrelevant
- Believe it’s beyond our control to do anything about it
- Are simply unconscious – don’t use renewable-energy sources ourselves – or take a stand and join the movement against the continued use of fossil fuels – or we talk the talk but do not walk the walk
- Hide behind the excuse that Australia contributes only 1% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, so what difference would we make – even though we (Australians) are the 10th highest emitters per head of population on the planet
- Are simply not interested, or don’t give a damn
- Believe that God will prevail
However, I put to you the one definitive, ‘overriding’ reason why we haven’t yet taken the necessary action.
The answer – as simple as it is elusive – follows in two parts.
PART 1 – THE PROBLEM:
You (and I) only experience the world we think into existence.
That’s the crux of the matter: Whatever we think, we experience as reality at any given moment.
It determines what we believe is true or false and what we believe is important or unimportant.
Yes, what we think into existence is our reality. And it is the only reality we can know until we think another thought, and then that thought is our reality, ad-infinitum, till we die.
And for most, we don’t consciously understand that we experience our reality as being ‘the truth’.
That ‘truth’ is held in place by our present state of awareness. Unless interrupted, that ‘truth’ will continue being ‘our truth’ for our lifetime.
Or until that moment, we wake up and see that what we think is ‘the truth’ – but only for us. That precious moment we see our reality for the illusion we lived in, until that moment of awakening.
Thinking our reality into existence has been succinctly put by many throughout human history. Here are three quotes spanning millennia:
- ‘I think therefore I am’ René Descartes (French Philosopher March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650)
- ‘Thought is not reality; though it is through Thought that reality is created.’ Sydney Banks (Scottish Theosopher January 25, 1931 – May 25, 2009)
- ‘As A Man Thinketh In His Heart So Is He’ (at least 11 references in the Christian Bible)
‘Thinking our reality into existence’ explains the inside-out nature of the human experience, as explored on The Realm of Possibility website.
PART 2 – THE SOLUTION:
We have two states of mind – named ‘Possibility’ and ‘impossibility’ for sound reasons.
Each state determines our degree of self-awareness or self-closedness.
OUR STATE OF IMPOSSIBILITY:
‘Impossibility’ is a closed-circuit state. It is limited to what we already know – what we have heard, read, seen, smelt, tasted, intuited, gathered and acquired during our life to this present moment.
We store all that information in our memory – called conscious and unconscious memory.
Our state of ‘impossibility’ confines us to living within the limits of our existing predispositions determined by our memory.
If fixed in our belief that global warming and its implications are bogus – a falsity created by erroneous science and adopted and promoted by socialists – that is our reality.
If fixed in our belief that climate change, as presented by climate scientists, is accurate and a threat to our survival, that is our reality.
Either way, we are closed to exploring and considering something fresh – new information by climate scientists on either side – pro or con.
When our minds are made up, we shut out new insights. We cut off from experiencing a new reality.
That closed-circuit state – our conditioned mind – contains everything we have accumulated over our lifetime. It is the repository of our knowledge, beliefs, opinions, judgements and experiences.
At our most blinded by our beliefs, it shows up in dogmatic stands we take. It is apparent in those of the radical right and the radical left – and most obvious in all manifestations of fundamentalism.
Our challenge is that our state of ‘impossibility’ – our conditioning – is essential to our everyday living and, equally, the central obstacle we face in our daily lives.
That state of mind enables us to function as well as we do, but only to the limit of our current level of knowledge and confined to our existing beliefs, opinions and judgements.
Whenever committed to what we believe is the truth of the matter, we are caught in the trap of ‘impossibility’ thinking.
Many aspects of our conditioned mind are fit for limited purposes, and many are not – each is an element of our lifetime accumulation and our state of impossibility when experienced as ‘the truth’.
On the upside: Without our conditioned minds, we couldn’t find our way home, add two and two together, prepare a meal, or have designed and built all the world’s human-created wonders.
On the downside: All our trivial upsets, arguments, worries, anxieties and wars result from our conditioning. Our bloody-mindedness, in one form or another, is our state of impossibility. It’s why we ignore the vast majority of climate scientists.
Clearly, without our conditioning, we are not human and can’t function – for better or worse.
It’s accurate to say that the human capacity to think is the blessing that has got us this far.
Yet, it’s a dangerously double-edged sword: without understanding the inside-out nature of how we create reality, our thinking is the curse that could bring about civilisation’s end.
Our life-long accumulation of knowledge, beliefs, opinions and judgements – good, bad and indifferent – is our limitation when not seen and understood as our internal roadblock to the yet-to-be seen and a fresh start.
OUR STATE OF POSSIBILITY:
‘Possibility’ is a state that exists beyond our state of ‘impossibility’.
We see Possibility when we see beyond what already exists or see what exists in an entirely new way.
More importantly, and essential to humanity’s survival, in that transcendent state, we discover a feeling of unconditional love and unconditional peace – translated into more relatable words – we find our inner world of kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense.
It is the realm beyond what we know – all our existing knowledge, beliefs, opinions and judgments, all the good, the bad and the indifferent.
‘Possibility’ exists for everyone but remains unidentified by most.
Sometimes we see beyond that which exists for anyone – like Einstein’s theory of relativity, what enabled the landing on the moon, discovering Wi-Fi.
It’s that transcendent state where we see our life afresh: the moment the alcoholic stops drinking, turning over a new leaf, when a mother looks down, cradles her baby and experiences the miracle of newborn life.
Might that understanding be what prompted Jesus to say, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you’.
‘Possibility’ is not limited.
Other examples of the wonders seen in The Realm of Possibility are inventions of all types, scientific discoveries, new musical compositions, novels, movies, TV series, and creative advertisements. New video games and business ventures – you name any discovery that surpasses what is known – are realised within The Realm of Possibility.
And the most essential and life-transformative experiences are our personal breakthroughs to a new understanding of the self.
Those moments of self-awareness take us to a higher order of seeing the inside-out nature of our human experience – that which exists within you – each of us.
This awakening occurs when we see beyond the known – the yet to be seen – and into The Realm of ‘Possibility’.
When opening to ‘Possibility’, our life transforms. We become a new person. We become kinder, more understanding of ourselves and thus more understanding of others. Our inherent wisdom comes to the forefront of our thinking, and a new level of common sense prevails in our decision making.
The most remarkable change is that we ‘get off’ our fixed positions around life. We see our beliefs, opinions, judgments and knowledge f0r the personal limitations we live in and how they limit us, our relationships, happiness, growth, and peace of mind.
No matter our age or stage in life, we can open to the unknown – the yet-to-be-seen – The Realm of Possibility.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The most dramatic shift in our state, is from being self-focused in our closed-circuit state of impossibility to focusing on what might serve the common good – how we might personally be in service to our fellow humans and the natural world.
And we make this shift in our understanding that we don’t know and can’t know with certainty what might constitute the common good. Notwithstanding we can’t know, whatever we do, we do it in the spirit of kindness, a new level of understanding and within the limits of our newly realised wisdom and common sense.
Our heartfelt intention is to avoid harming other sentient beings by caring for the natural world.
The words of that 1965 song by Hal David and Burt Bacharach when they experienced Possibility and created the song that included these words:
‘What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some but for everyone.’
Planet Earth and all life supported by our endangered earthly environment need our love and understanding if we are to survive and evolve.
To truly love is to think, feel and act with kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense.
Seeing into The Realm of Possibility (call that state whatever you like) is how we achieve that. From that new consciousness, we realise we can do no less than dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions we create.
And we make doing so a priority.
Fast approaching 8 billion humans on the planet, the message must spread faster than the rise in global warming.
But first, we must find ‘Possibility’ within. Once we do, we become agents of change, and no matter what we do, it will be with the genuine interests of the common good in mind.
For the world to change, we must first change ourselves. Seeing into The Realm of Possibility is the step we must take. In doing so, we transform our world and the world we inhabit.
Warmly … John