avatarRay Katz


A Look At The Future

There’s nothing to see. Unless WE make the future.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

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Let’s wait for the leaders to fix things. COP 28 just ended and made yet another major announcement! They promise to begin thinking about possibly phasing out fossil fuels and investing in clean energy! Wow! This is HISTORIC!

Don’t you feel enormous relief? No? Why not?

What about the economy?

Looks like the Fed beat inflation and we are heading for a soft landing! Unemployment is low. And interest rates are expected to edge lower.

How great is that! Not very? Not good enough?

You are damned right. Our leaders and our species overall are failing in our most basic task — living nicely on the planet, being kind to each other and Nature. We are terrible stewards of the Earth, and astoundingly cruel to each other.

Look at the Middle East. We are divided into two groups: one group that wants the Palestinian Arabs to die and one that wants Israeli Jews to die. Who wants to live together in peace? Why aren’t we hearing from people who value all human life?

What the hell is wrong with us?

Systems and Values

Just as our planet and our species evolved together and are, by their very essence, simpatico, so are our politics and economics and cultures and values.

We have sick political systems, sick economic systems, sick cultures and sick values. The worst that our species has to offer is on display everywhere. This is terrible, but the good news is that we can do better.

Indeed, we can hardly do worse. NOW is the time for serious change. Actually, it’s NOW or NEVER.

Leaders Are Just People Operating Within Systems

The failure of COP 28 (and the 27 similar meetings that preceded that one) is understandable and predictable. We have some smart and caring people — climate scientists and activists — and people in positions of authority. Only the latter make actual policy decisions. Whatever the conference announces at the conclusion, only the people in positions of authority actually make things happen.

So, the statements at the end of every conference are only words. They mean nothing. Incredibly, media report on these announcements every time as if they had significance. But there is nothing there.

These leaders in nearly every country owe their power and positions to systems built and dependent on fossil fuels. The sheik that hosted the meeting clearly owes everything to oil. But so do the heads of Western powers — many of whom take campaign funds from fossil fuel companies and Wall Street firms, and other advocates of oil and gas and coal.

In this world, under these various systems, it’s profitable for leaders everywhere to destroy the Earth, and dangerous for them to protect Nature. It’s not that these leaders are evil — it’s that they are ordinary. They are unimpressive. It would take someone extraordinary to stand up for the Earth and against the systems they live in. They would need to see beyond their bubble and to have great courage. And even then, it would be very few courageous people against legions of establishment cowards and the system that perpetuates this insanity.

Our leaders are unwilling and unable to save us. They can only do damage. And that’s why we must stop them. They are only doing what’s expected of them, what their peers demand. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us are no better — but we aren’t in positions of enormous authority and influence. So, those leaders do far, far more damage.

In any case, my point is that the leaders are not the real problem. Leaders are interchangeable. When one dies or is removed, that leader is replaced by someone who does pretty much the same things.

Systems need to change. Rules need to change. Values need to change. And then, behavior needs to change.

The Answer Is Already Within Us

Most of us already have the right values within. We’ve raised children or cared for pets. We are used to, hey, even driven by a desire to take care of living things. Some of us garden.

This love of life and Nature is a fundamental part of being human. This is true even though our societies and cultures and rules put us at each other’s throats. These unnatural cruel systems, ones that reward and even lionize greed and dominance and cruelty and violence, have fed our worst instincts and suppressed the better angels of our nature.

We must assert our humanity. We must have the courage, the guts, to defy cruel and abusive systems, to stand against bad rules and values and laws. We must assert our love for life, for Nature, for our planet. We must assert this in words and actions and in disobedience to destructive systems and destructive leaders.

We can absolutely do this. We have a group of people who are dedicated to saving our planet for everyone’s children, and to re-humanizing humanity. We are here to defy the insanity and to end it. We are here to herald a new humane society.

The group, called The Saners, is new and small — but growing. We represent what many, many people feel. Probably well over a billion people. We represent people who love their children, and who realize that our current situation and direction as a civilization is literally insane.

If you’ve read this far, you are probably one of us. You may want to join. See WeAreSaners.org and join the group at WeAreSaners.org/join.

The group will be having an online community, a place that works very much like texting on your smart phone. You won’t need any great tech skills to become a part of this community. We will be announcing its launch early in 2024. The announcement and info about how to join and participate will be on the website, at WeAreSaners.org.

What’s important is that we will have a place that is outside of the crazy culture — we have a place for sane and caring people. For people who want their children to live on a habitable planet. For people who don’t have a blind allegiance to the rules and systems and leaders that are literally killing us.

This will be our place. We are calling it The Saners Place.

As a group, we plan to use the proven strategies of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King to bring about the changes we need to see in the world. We will listen to the climate scientists, and put them in charge of a worldwide emergency program to stabilize the climate, and — insofar as possible — begin to repair the Earth.

We will model and establish a new humane culture, one where we are kind to people everywhere, not just people on our side of ridiculous human-made borders. We will end the foolish race for more stuff, always working and getting more shiny and ultimately useless crap. We value LIFE and TIME more than mere THINGS.

This is the future, a better future on a sadly damaged planet, that awaits us. If we decide we are willing to do what’s necessary to make it happen.

Thanks for reading.

Please follow me on Medium. See the website WeAreSaners.org. Join the group at WeAreSaners.org/join. And consider listening to the podcast 5 Minutes to Save the Earth.

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Climate Change
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