Geopolitical challenges such as a pandemic or the multiple impacts of climate change instruct the genius of humanity to bring about systemic change and to resist and reverse “them not us” policies and strategies. These are tests for leadership without national borders, that rage against the intolerant behaviors most likely to kill or hurt anyone at any time. Again, anyone at anytime.
Recognize human vulnerability as a powerful strength. It instructs societies on how to share a threat or resolve an issue. The logic that prevention comes at the cost of an ounce must also resist demands for buying pounds of warehouses to manage death. Science offers useful and lasting solutions to problems that often require decades of complex analysis. In the stirrings for a more robust form of global leadership, the nationalized political rush to cures and deficient reaction to climate change will cause death, and in the process, weaken the direction and leadership of science.
Finally, science belongs to us all. Darwin was a scientist without professional degrees; he was curious. That is all anyone needs. Significant global challenges, such as climate change and pandemics, are vast and complicated. What can one person or a small group of friends do? Here is a brief example.
Scientists will show you how inside of the big problems, there are hundreds of other smaller ones trying to get out. Those are the ones to work on, dig into, maybe even solve. The accelerated rate of species extinction puts human life in peril by our hand in hundreds of ways that can be reversed. The growth of citizen science through internet partnerships is the counterbalance. Sharing observations can connect our personal experience with the reality of all Earth’s life forms. Think of something in nature that you enjoy, and it can be anything, a particular kind of tree, or bees and butterflies, ferns, and orchids. There are billions of life form interdependencies between you, the future of your children, and the community that is not understood and need ordinary people to discover document, and recover the forgotten. To get started, have a look at these great ideas:
One argument often stuffed into questions on how to build common ground and a good society or even the capacity to sustain positive change in bad times is the proposition that logic with goodwill solves problems. Logic is science, goodwill, nothing but untrustworthy feelings that destroy the former.
American’s have simple-minded, or perhaps merely unexamined adolescent confidence about what and who we are among one another and in the world. The tension caused by this lack of examination may be psychological, political, or economic. The 19th century was said to be about Hope and the 20th c. of Great Expectation. The paradox of this as a trend is how it tips the 21st century toward the claim of Despair.
We recognize in ourselves the hopeless questioning gaze in the distress of a suddenly wounded child. We also see that it is not a dishonest experience, but one capable of reversible insights regarding exuberant, competitive, playfulness of our growth into freedom. The principle that, it is only business or it is just politics, accepts harm without limits as mere spoils.
The day-to-day experience of our time has become distrustful, but not only of one another. We are becoming hostile toward human nature. We can see in ourselves and Nature a capacity for spreading acts of unrepairable self-affliction. Readily accepted public controls to reverse these conditions come with a moody resistance and feelings of repression that are irrational, empty of analysis, without one moment of reflection.
Because I just said that, I will “reflect” for a moment.
One cannot exhibit judgement if statistics dominate decisions, in this context true judgement is lost. Organisms need energy, water, shelter, and reproduction to exist in one of two places, some will travel thousands of miles across the earth to acquire resources, others will glue themselves to a rock to acquire needed resources. If an organism or a nation loses the mysticism and belief in a philosophy of hope and expectation in which each is born, the capacity to conduct strategy meaningfully evaporates into the dust of poor judgement.