Imagine for a moment two societies living side by side. One has discovered and uses the wheel effectively -- a technology that makes life easier for workers and boosts the economy for everyone. Prosperity reigns. The society next door is well aware of the wheel and watches as its neighbours move inexorably ahead -- wealthier, more efficient, healthier and with more leisure time for cultural activities. But it is not those who do the work in this society who reject the wheel -- it is the governing elite, the priests, the official advisers and scribes who have incorporated a moral objection to the wheel into the state religion. Use of the wheel is thus proscribed by faith, not reason. All practical arguments in its favour are rendered useless.
My first introduction to Donella Meadows was in the mid-1990s after I began publishing The Record in Gold River. I found her columns on the Internet published under the title "The Global Citizen," columns that spoke clearly about our environment and our place in it. I corresponded with Dr. Meadows and she allowed me to republish them as I could so that a wider audience would have access to her knowledge and vision.
Like many people in the past, Donella was a prophet whose message, as plain and obvious as it was, went unheeded by most, and flat out denied by many.
June 30, 2009 |
For more than six decades each generation has had greater material prosperity than the last. This trend may be changing and our mentality must change along with it.