The year is 2121.
Life in an airtight biome on a barren grey rock is mundane.
The air is filtered and smells of margarine.
With our noses squished against the plastic, we watch as a radiation cloud sweeps over the horizon – another burning storm of death is on its way.
You stroke your pet cockroach as she shakes nervously on your palm. You whisper to her, “everything will be ok,” but you know you’ve just lied to your best friend.
Humanity continues down a path of destruction.
With all our intelligence, we’ve made little progress in averting catastrophe. We’ve become a cancer to this world. Powerless to pause our proliferation.
So as we teeter on the precipice of doom.
How likely are we to make the necessary changes in time?
What will it take to evoke the urgency needed?
Massive System Meltdown
The mind is the ultimate invention of organic engineering. A product of thousands of years of evolution. In many ways, humankind has become God of this world. Moulding the earth to fit its whims. Controlling other lifeforms and bending them to their will.
But in the shadows of humankind’s greatness lies a sickness:
💀 Last century, humanity killed 100 million of its own species. 💀
🥐 Last year, humanity produced enough food to feed the population twice, yet 9% (690 million) people went hungry. 🥐
🌍 And today, we continue to abuse the only home we’ve ever known. 🌍
Now let’s get into the weeds a little and call on our earthly father, David Attenborough, for the cold hard facts.
- Animal populations halved.
- 70% of bird mass on the planet are domesticated.
- 33% of mammal mass is human.
- 60% of mammal mass raised to eat.
- 4% is everything else (from elephants to elephant shrews).
- ½ of fertile land is farmland.
- 15 billion trees cut down a year.
- 80% of freshwater fish are gone.
- 1% of Arctic summer ice has disappeared every year since 1980.
Part of the problem is that there has been no feedback loop.
Up until now.
Hold on to your hat of shame because things are about to get windy.
I’m 30 now, by the time I’m 40 and grey:
- The Amazon is savannah.
- The Arctic ice disappears in the summer.
Now I’m 50. In a midlife crisis (bought a hand glider) and:
- Frozen permafrost thaws, releasing methane into the atmosphere. (A more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.)
70 and angry that my grandchildren won’t see the things I did because:
- Coral reefs die.
- Fish population plummet.
- Oceans continue to heat and become more acidic.
I’m 80 trying to remember whether butterflies really existed because:
- Pollinating insects disappear.
- Global food production at a crisis.
- Soil exhausted from overuse.
- The weather is tumultuous.
The big 100. I’m pissed off and sweaty because:
- The planet is 4c warmer.
- Large parts of the Earth are inhabitable.
- Millions homeless.
- Holocene era out.
Let’s not make the Holocene era leave us like that.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can change!
Solution To This Pollution
Humanity can avoid the majority of these disasters but overcoming social and cultural structures is the hardest part. Especially considering the short timeframe.
Slowing the rate of population, shifting to renewable energy, and restoring biodiversity to the planet are huge undertakings that require a vast array of interconnected parts coming together.
👪 To slow the population rate, people need to be lifted out of poverty, girls kept in schools, and family planning promoted. For that to happen, complicated factors such as corruption and cultural taboos must be tackled and overcome. 👪
♻️ To shift to renewable energy, we need to decrease the increasing consumption of coal and natural gas, introduce a carbon tax, invest in energy storage innovation, and optimise data stream analysis for better energy distribution. ♻️
🌳 To restore biodiversity to the planet, we need to stop paying people more to exploit nature than protect it (currently $4tn-$6tn spent on subsidies that damage nature), create no-fishing zones, stop deforesting, and a mass switch to vegan and vegetarian diets. 🌳
That’s a big ask for a species with an aptitude for expansion.
Humankind worships growth at all cost, but what satisfaction is there in conquering the universe only to lose everything that makes life worth living?
The more we focus on the future, the less we recognise the sheer magnitude of what has already been given.
The gift of experiencing this world. Because this is it. This is all there ever was.
A floating rock full of spectacular animals, big and small. Soaring birds. Towering trees. Vast roaring oceans. Succulent foods. The dazzling turbulence of emotion. The allure of touch. The soothing sounds of song and melody. The genius of thought.
Not forgetting the giant ball of energy floating around in space that gives life to it all.
Our heaven on Earth. Our Garden of Eden.
Has anyone dreamt up a more beautiful design?
Who Are You Anyway?
I know, I know, I know. Life really seems to be about you.
Everything you experience is in reference to you. Everything exists through you: everything you see, touch, taste, smell. To you, you are the centre of the universe. But what is the definition of You?
Would you say a glass of water is you?
But what about after you drink it? Is it you now?
Your perception of you is bound by what you can sense.
Scientists agree that everything in the universe comes from the same energy. The old hippy maxim, “everything is energy” is legitimate.
Existence is the timeless play of energy. Or, in other words, we’re all made up of the same gumph.
At the fundamental level, it’s what the golden rule of religions mean by, “What you do to others, you do to yourself”.
The only thing that separates you from everything else on the planet is what you’ve unconsciously chosen to label as yourself.
If humanity remembered this, we wouldn’t be treating the planet the way that we do. To fully comprehend this oneness, it requires a quiet mind not filled with compulsive thought.
Take Your Meds
If humanity is to avert disaster, meditation must play a crucial role in the next century.
Here are a few personal benefits of daily meditation:
- Lowers stress and anxiety 😌✌️
- Protects against mental health conditions 💪🧠
- Reduces genes linked to inflammation 🦠📉
- Decreases reliance on alcohol, cigarettes, and drug use 🤷🍺🚬💊
- Improves creativity and memory 🖌️🧐
- Slows the psychological aspect of ageing 👶👵
But something much greater happens once you make meditation a daily habit.
You become more aware.
And with heightened awareness, you begin to realise that you and all things are one at the fundamental level.
And that’s what we call compassion. Co-passion. A shared passion (for life). Then the boundaries of what you consider you and everything else begins to fade.
If all this sounds like a load of nonsense to you, and you’re wondering why you’ve even read this far. All I ask of you is to try it for yourself. My words are just words. It requires direct experience to fully comprehend what I’m pointing towards.
So if you’ve never meditated before, give it a go. Not just once. Dedicate at least 48 days to the practice. Meditation is a workout for the mind. So just like your belly doesn’t transform into a six-pack after one session at the gym, it’ll take more than one session of meditation to experience changes.
If you have meditated before, get back on that horse. Remember how good it felt, and know that it feels better and better the more you do it. Consistency is key.
Here are three guided meditation apps I’ve used to meditate:
Alternatively, a great guided meditation on YouTube by the mystic Sadhguru:
🧘 A daily meditation practice increases levels of compassion. 🧘
🫂Higher levels of compassion increase the likelihood of humanity taking the necessary steps to limit climate change. 🫂
It is time to wake up. Never before have the stakes been higher. The rest of life on Earth waits eagerly for humanity to awaken.
“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”Hua Hu Ching
Thanks for reading. Let me know in the comments about your meditation practice. What’s the biggest hurdle? What works best for you?
All the love,