Why Should We "Live Now"?


Trail beside Lake Powhatan, North Carolina

OK, before moving forward, one qualifier - the title to this page could be changed to "What is "Live Now" all about?" One of the most important topics that I keep referring back to in many of my articles is to "Live Now." This is the shortened version of "Live and Love Now" and signifies the importance of paying to attention to what is REALISTICALLY and TRULY important in life. Most of us have been conditioned by industry and government to think of life in a particular way and we were brought up indoctrinated and culturally programmed into believing in many fantasies. Most everyone grows out of believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Unicorns, the Easter Bunny, and other mythological creatures. However, most people still buy into the myth of "human progress" and the belief that science can help us do anything and that "technology is good." Truth be told, there are unfortunately many things that science cannot overcome. Just ask anyone who has ever fallen and hurt themselves if science can overcome gravity and you'll probably get a smart aleck answer in response. Technology is often thought of in a positive light, but this completely ignores the harm that technology and its use have caused. All the predicaments listed in this blog (see list of FILES here) have been CAUSED BY technology use, either directly or indirectly, which in turn causes ecological overshoot, which in turn causes all the symptom predicaments such as energy and resource decline, species and biodiversity loss, pollution loading, and climate change. So, thinking that technology can solve precisely the predicaments it has caused is a failure of logic (this makes these thoughts forms of false beliefs and we then use these beliefs to deny reality [many times these thought processes are completed subconsciously without any real awareness by us when it occurs]). Yet industry and government continue blasting people with the constant praise for "the economy" and "jobs" and "technology" as if these things are actually good when in reality they have some very bad traits which make most of it all entirely unsustainable. Needless to say, it is this very line of thought (growth, the economy, jobs, and technology is good) that we are constantly being told which is actually just not true.

The entire point of my blog is to help people overcome these indoctrinated beliefs (false beliefs) and the associated denial and replace it with truth. I want people to know precisely WHERE we are as a species (as indicated in the files) with regard to these predicaments, WHO and WHAT we are as a species, HOW and WHY we got to this point in time, and WHAT we should be focusing our time and energies on now given this information. In other words, given this information, HOW shall we live? One must be smarter than the industries attempting to extract every last dollar in your wallet or purse or bank account. The bottom line is that industries, businesses, and governments aren't really going to have a way to solve these predicaments because: 1) predicaments don't have solutions; and 2) the underlying system we are all embedded within (civilization) is unsustainable. Most every idea that is proffered is designed to operate on this system of civilization and because civilization is unsustainable, NONE of those ideas are congruent with reducing ecological overshoot. If ANY of the symptom predicaments (climate change being one of the most popular) which most people focus on are to be reduced, they MUST start with reducing ecological overshoot. By focusing on individual symptom predicaments, the predicament CAUSING those symptoms is entirely ignored, and as long as it remains continuously increasing, so too do all the symptom predicaments. In other words, focusing on emissions distracts most people from realizing that continuing to use technology IN ANY FORM will only continue ecological overshoot to increase until society can no longer provide the necessary energy to power all this technology.

This is precisely what this blog is about and also why I am so passionate about it. I have no unrealistic ideas that this blog will make much of a difference to society, but if I help even one person who reads this compilation, then I will have been successful. Judging by some of the comments I have received over the past year, I do consider this blog a success! I still have a long way to go though...and this article from The Guardian from 30 dying people explain what really matters - a clarity they found about how to live now helps bring a note of reality to all of this. 

Over the years as my business grew and I continued doing more and more weddings, I began to run into clients who had hired Megasound for their wedding in previous years and were no longer married to their (original) spouse. I realized that I could be a great help if I could provide some tools for helping couples STAY married. Many couples in their early 20's just weren't truly ready to be married - it is a very serious commitment and one must have as many tools as possible to help them deal with the inevitable conflict that always arises in a marriage. Becoming certified to provide premarital counseling was a high point in my mind, as I could then help couples prevent different problems and predicaments from overtaking their marriage and toxifying their relationship. All of us have a special relationship with at least one other person, but we also have a special relationship to all the life that we share this planet with; and we depend utterly on the ecosystem services all the other life provides for us. This relationship with nature, unlike human marriages, isn't optional and most humans are not paying any attention to this relationship and not honoring or maintaining any commitment whatsoever to it. This is precisely WHY we are now in a mass extinction.

Degrowth is now the only option available to us, being we reached peak oil in 2018. This means that everyone still yick-yacking about the economy, growth, and jobs is hopelessly lost in the rear-view mirror. The economy and jobs and growth CAN NOT and WILL NOT happen without the necessary energy to power it, and even if the energy was available, this only increases ecological overshoot. We unfortunately have collectively painted ourselves into a corner - there's literally no escape. Continuing to utilize technology increases ecological overshoot which only steepens the Seneca Cliff (civilizational collapse) we face; especially once we can no longer maintain the level of energy necessary to keep everything humming along (there are already certain areas of the world where this is happening now). 

There are many levels of thought about what to do regarding the predicaments we face. Some people think that we must "fight (name your predicament) in order to save the world" not realizing that predicaments don't have solutions or answers and that more often than not the so-called ideas for solutions are worse than doing nothing at all. Many people often blame the government, capitalism, fossil fuel companies or CEOs and/or many others as if those people did this of their own volition and everyone else is blame-free, which is not the case. Many people think that electrification is the answer when in reality, how civilization is powered matters not one bit because it is unsustainable no matter how it is powered. More often than not, people tend to develop ideas based upon bargaining with the predicament rather than acceptance of said predicament. Wetiko is a very pernicious psychological issue that many people cannot see or think beyond. I have written about wetiko (aka colonialism) in several articles in my blog and you can access them by simply clicking here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here. This particular article is a perfect representation of the phenomenon, and a refusal to accept ecological overshoot and the ramifications thereof. The article demonstrates the refusal to accept that nature actually dictates our lives and that we do not have agency to create habitat without the energy and resources necessary to continue maintenance of said habitat. One look at extreme weather events shows that even the best habitats we can possibly construct are at the mercy of nature (see the links about British Columbia near the end of the first paragraph). It is easy to think about building a space habitat while here in the relative comfort of what nature has provided for us on Earth. It's a whole different matter actually being in a space habitat. Tom Murphy points out some of the reasons that this is an exceedingly foolish idea. It is this very way of thinking which is at fault for creating the very predicaments we face. The real trouble, unfortunately, is that self-reinforcing positive feedback loops, thermal inertia of the climate system, civilizational inertia of the human social system, the different lag effects of these systems, and the symptom predicaments which are part of the entire picture all have produced tipping points making it impossible to "bring back" the wonderful conditions of the stable Holocene.

The questions we should be asking are ones focused on sustainability and resilience - not necessarily ones about what we can build so much as whether what we can build is sustainable and will it be resilient through civilizational collapse. Speaking of being resilient through collapse, an organization named Just Collapse has a downloadable book titled A Little Book of Insurgent Planning which has lots of actionable ideas! It should be seen and understood that we cannot recreate what we currently have. Most people want a similar idea to civilization as it is today with a few substitutions in place of ones known to be unsustainable (non-renewable "renewable" energy devices and EVs instead of coal-fired grid electricity and ICE [Internal Combustion Engine] cars, for instance). Unfortunately, it is the system ITSELF which is unsustainable, so the entire system will collapse and will need to be replaced

So, the entire basis for how we think today must be replaced with a new paradigm. We need to accept that we do not control nature and that we are not in control of things the way many of us assume. These assumptions are based upon illusions; fancy stories we tell ourselves, most often subconsciously. This is WHY we need to Live Now and focus more on what we can do today, how we can express gratitude for today, and stop worrying so much about the future (see more about Loni James here). We don't really know that there will actually be a future for our species and many scientists have already explained that there isn't one. I have made the claim that we cannot save species from extinction, and while we may be able to keep certain species alive today with the power of fossil hydrocarbon energy and through the infrastructural platforms of today, these systems will not be available to us in the future. This does not mean however that there is no reason for attempting to allow the species which exist today to continue. I pointed this same reasoning out here with regard to my own writing

Read here about Paul Mobbs' journey and his claim to be a "planetary hospice worker" which mirrors much of my own story about how I came to this same realization. 

Let it be known that I do not make any claims in this blog which are not already well-known by many different scientists and that I don't base my articles solely on just one or two scientists here and there. Therefore, just because I post a particular scientist's claim or quote doesn't mean that said scientist doesn't have multitudes of other scientists saying the same thing and backing up specific ideas, claims, predictions, and/or generalities. These ideas, claims, predictions, and/or generalities are extremely uncomforting, yet more reason that the Live Now ethos can help provide us with the correct way to answer the question, "How then shall we live?"

One way to Live Now is to friluftsliv. Friluftsliv is the age-old Nordic tradition of connecting with nature in everyday life. I'm sure that many different cultures practice similar customs, but friluftsliv is unique in a few different qualities, quote: 

"What sets friluftsliv apart from many other forms of outdoor recreation is that it’s non-motorized, non-competitive and typically doesn’t require a lot of money or equipment. Instead, it’s focused on simple ways to explore nearby nature areas and find joy in being outside, regardless of the weather or season. While it usually involves learning basic outdoor skills, it doesn’t require you to be an expert or hardcore adventurer, just to have a genuine curiosity and interest in the natural world. More than a set of activities, friluftsliv is a culturally learned rhythm that revolves around feeling oneness with nature and is passed down from one generation to the next through direct experience."

Here is a neat story which fits perfectly into the Live Now ethos, quote:

"There once was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

So it is with our lives. Those who want to live meaningfully, healthy, and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

-Call it power of collectivity...
-Call it a principle of success...
-Call it a law of life.

The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!!"

Early spring at Mt. Pisgah Picnic Area, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Problems, Predicaments, and Technology

What Would it Take for Humanity to Experience Radical Transformation?

Denial of Reality

More Cognitive Dissonance

Fantasies, Myths, and Fairy Tales

What is NTHE and How "near" is Near Term?

So, What Should We Do?

The Myth of The "Energy Transition"