Stewardship: Insuring the Ongoing Epic of Evolution
Evolution is the worldview that supports an ethic of environmental sustainability.
Because we humans have emerged to the most conscious creatures on Earth, we have the most power and hence most responsibility for stewardship over it. We humans are a major force in evolution: we determine whether other species survive or not. We influence atmospheric temperatures and conditions. We dramatically alter landscapes, creating structures that are visible from space (ie Great Wall of China, night-time lights, adding forest cover, deforestation.) Our arsenals contain nuclear weapons powerful enough to wipe out much of life.
- Solution to Environmental Problems
- Our Choice
With the power to destroy life, we also have the power to preserve life on Earth, perhaps even protecting it against a meteor like the one that killed the dinosaurs.
We humans are also the first to understand the forces of evolution. Through our understanding of science and the Epic of Evolution, we have an appreciation for our Earth and how it and its interrelated creatures came to be. The growing understanding naturally leads to greater respect and care for the world.
Solution to Environmental Problems
The broad view of history and evolution gives us a sense of how we can solve environmental problems.
The first step in solving any problem is to understand it. It's only been in the last 50 years or so that we humans have begun to understand the forces affecting our planet as a whole. With this understanding that we can begin to find solutions.
The core of many human-caused problems is overpopulation and overconsumption. Too many people competing for too few resources leads to resource wars, pollution, global warming, habitat destruction, species loss, overcrowding. On the positive side, the human brainpower from all these people also leads to improvements in technology, resource distribution, and conservation.
The other problems are not caused by humans, but are potentially every bit as devastating: meteor impacts; supervolcanos; natural fluctuations in global climate; and other unforeseen events.
The good news is, we are in an excellent position to make changes that will not only avert disaster, but also bring humanity to its highest level of health and wealth for all people.
With so many people on the planet, we need to move toward sustainability, in which we consume non-polluting sources of renewable energy, thereby reducing CO2 emissions, global warming, and dependence on fossil fuels.
An evolutionary worldview also provides hope in the realization that we can convert to sustainable energy sources. In seeing how far we have come, we realize how far we can go. History shows that we are moving toward more efficient, less polluting sources of energy.
Solution to Global Warming - article by Marti Matsch in Boulder Daily Camera.
The science of evolution clearly shows that most species that have ever existed have gone extinct. For some people, a logical conclusion is that we humans will likely go the way of way of the dinosaurs, a most depressing realization. Yet extinction is not inevitable: we and all extant living things are evidence of this. For the first time ever in the history of life on Earth, we humans have a choice to have our species live forever. But this can happen ONLY if we fully awaken to the reality of the universe and its creative force, and ONLY if we act with more love, wisdom, and compassion.
The Epic of Evolution tells us that we are responsible for the future. The great news about our place in the evolving universe is that we humans are the ones that can see the beauty of distant galaxies and peer into the smallest cells. We are the ones that create astonishing architecture and compose splendid symphonies. With our expansive powers of consciousness, we are the ones with the most choice. Just as understanding electricity has helped us harness its power, understanding the forces of evolution will help us harness its power.