How to save the world in 2011? Funny how I haven’t tried a rant like this yet on this blog. Possibly because my books are full of stuff like this. But here goes.
Imagine, just imagine, if 0.001% of all those cranky UFO reports are true. The ones from airline pilots for instance. Oh the irony. While the SETI project methodically looks for an alien needle in the haystack of innumerable stars out there, the real thing is gaily whizzing about our skies within spitting distance. This is a thought experiment, bear with me. Your next logical question has to be “why don’t they talk to us?”. The answer, using pure logic is, I think, illuminating. Just how do you think this planet would strike a civilisation advanced enough to have reached here? Think about it. I’ll tell you. Switch on the evening news. It would strike them as a mental asylum for the criminally insane, where the very most dangerous lunatics are mostly in charge. What’s there to talk to? What could we possibly offer them other than a piercing headache? Everything of value about our civilisation can be learned quite easily just be listening to our interminable broadcasts. And every indication from those is that we are a hugely immature species, in a state of violent disarray, who have unfortunately stumbled upon some highly dangerous technologies that we show every sign of fatally misusing even before we have even mastered them. We are children playing with grenades. We are this galaxy’s worst nightmare. Leave well alone. Take some interesting holiday videos and go home laughing, dear extra-terrestrial cousins.
Oh you cynical git, Douglas, I hear you cry. What’s your solution? Simple. Re-build the United Nations, undo the damage that Bush and Blair did to it with the Iraq fiasco. Make it the World Government in waiting, which is what it was designed to be. Then the power becomes available to solve global problems. Because all our problems are global these days, that’s why they’re so hard to solve without global government. Obvious really innit? Global warming, poverty, war, terrorism can now only be addressed globally. But our biggest problem, and indeed the cause of all the others, is Capitalism, rampant materialism. Capitalism is a global pandemic of human greed, that needs to be examined, re-evaluated and re-engineered in order to make it work for ordinary human lives. Only a world government would have the necessary power to do that, by making laws that no bank could dodge (yes, this means you too, Switzerland). Our values are wrong, if they are purely material. We need to prize concepts of community, charity, spirituality, sustainability, and equality, more highly than material gain. And we need to stop aspiring to “growth” in our economies as if it is some holy mantra. Our human “growth” robs and damages the natural world around us, and all its myriad species who need our care and respect, not our waste and exploitation. “Stasis, not growth” should be our aim. There are more than enough people on this planet already. Bear that in mind next time you have sex.
Do all of this by the way, and the next time those aliens drop by, in a thousand years, they might just want to talk to you.