It seems, if history has taught us anything, and it has, that so-called civilization carries a price.  It’s the price every civilization has paid once it expanded beyond what its environment could sustain.  This is such a trivial truism that it should be taught in grade school.

But it’s not.

Instead, we’re taught that infinite growth within a finite space is not only possible, but a compulsory value we must worship and pursue at any price.  We’re taught that nature is subordinate to the will of this fiction we’ve created called the marketplace, open for business, we never close.

As Bertrand Russell revealed to Elizabeth Mays’ mother in an unpublished work titled ‘A History of the World for Infant Martian Schools’:

Ever since Adam ate the apple, man has refrained from no folly of which he was capable. 

It appears we’re proving ourselves to be quite capable.  And to those who think our technology can save us from our follies, unless technology can manufacture another planet on which to live, I’d say that proverbial train has left the station.

Perhaps, as Elizabeth May concludes with in her keynote speech, we should try replacing our follies with a little wisdom and stop that train before it permanently derails.

Don’t tell Clint Eastwood, he’s having his nap.

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