With so many stories of having to flee our planet, so much in the news that reads like those books, it’s can be hard to imagine avoiding that end. It may not be easy, but I believe it is possible.
It is time for a shift from self-sufficiency to sufficiency–#enoughness, collaboration, a new way to calculate our balance sheets.
In the Parable of the Sower, Lauren’s new religion, Earthseed has a single focused ultimate mission:
The Destiny of Earthseed
Is to take root among the stars.
Despite debt and poverty. Despite a government that threatens to cut all spending to space programs. Despite scarcity of fuels and raw materials. Despite all the problems that must take precedence on the ground. Or maybe because of all of those things.
In the book, chapter three begins with the death of an astronaut on July 30, 2024 during the most recent manned mission to Mars. Lauren talks about her worries that the space program will be shelved despite believing that space is their only hope.
But this isn’t just a story. This is where science fiction and science fact begin to merge. Because in 2012, Mars One announced plans to try and colonize Mars. Since then they have been recruiting. More than 200,000 people applied for the one-way trip. 100 are still in the running, three of whom are interviewed in the video that follows. That take-off is scheduled for 2024.
I have talked a lot about creativity in problem solving and about the visual arts this month, but ART, the capital “A” art, isn’t just limited to painting or sculpture or photography. Art can be anything that we make, build, or dream. It is in dreaming that we lay the foundations for our future. It is in creating that we bring that dream into the world. We each have the power to write our own story, even rewrite the stories we’ve been told we need to conform to. So many of those old stories aren’t working anymore. It’s time to find a new way. Imagine the stories we can write together. Imagine the kind of world we could build.
And although I have shared this before, it is worth repeating.
“I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and who can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom.”
This past Monday, January 19, 2015, the Doomsday Clock moved two minutes closer to midnight.
According to their new release:
In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.
And yet, despite it all, the scientists watching the clock believe there may still be hope, stating:
A climate catastrophe looms—but is not inevitable.
The question is, what will we do with this last remaining glimmer? Can our species make the drastic changes required to course-correct our fate from total annihilation to a world that is “survivable?” Or will the majority continue to ignore or deny the gravity of our situation?
According to the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board, the steps needed are both urgent and clear:
- Take actions that would cap greenhouse gas emissions at levels sufficient to keep average global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
- Dramatically reduce proposed spending on nuclear weapons modernization programs.
- Re-energize the disarmament process, with a focus on results.
- Deal now with the commercial nuclear waste problem.
- Create institutions specifically assigned to explore and address potentially catastrophic misuses of new technologies.
“The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.”