“All things are connected.” Whatever happens to the Earth, happens to us (as Chief Suiattle said), whether it be climate change, extermination of predators, or the eradication of the last hunter-gatherer cultures .

The community of life will continue to suffer from our disconnection from the natural world unless we change our views. Studying biological and cultural evolution can show us ways to surmount these threats and attain more gratifying lives.

This web site is devoted to an understanding of how we got ourselves into this pickle, and how we can find our way out of it by examining the lives of Earth-centered peoples.  Although we cannot return to the woods, we can learn lessons from hunter-gatherers, that will contribute to the survival of the Earth.

You are welcome to enter this web site, learn from it, and contribute to it, as long as your comments are civil and respectful. You are welcome to use any material from this website.  In fact, we invite you to do so, as long as you put it to use for the Earth. We would appreciate your attributing it to us, thus bringing further attention to this web site.

temporary shelters

Rainforest Pygmy Shelter





 By Ken Fischman, Ph.D.

Some of you are old enough to remember those 1950s science fiction movies. You know, the ones that begin with astronomers finding a giant asteroid, heading for Earth, sure to blow us to smithereens.

A crisis meeting is called of all the earth’s leaders, at which anxious little men in white coats lay out the Doomsday scenario. They warn us that if we do not come together and take emergency steps, our planet will surely be destroyed.

Of course, after a lot of bickering, our leaders do come to their senses. We all cooperate in a sort of Manhattan Project. Mankind’s ingenuity finds a way to destroy the intruding asteroid, and our annihilation is avoided. Whew! Close call!

Well, I kind of felt like those theater audiences when I first read the 100 page Summary of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – that’s a mouthful) 2007 4th Assessment on Climate Change.

I read and reread it. I went back to the voluminous original Report and read that. You may well wonder why I went to so much trouble. Well, you see, I was sure that I had misread or misinterpreted the Report.  Perhaps I had misplaced some decimal points or made mistakes in transposing from degrees Centigrade (which all scientists use) to Fahrenheit (which almost all Americans use) and/or from Meters to Feet (ditto).

Alas, I could not find any big errors. In thirty years as a scientific researcher I had never read a document as sobering as this one.  The little men in white coats were standing there again, telling us that we are doomed unless we take immediate, concerted action.

However, this is not a movie, not even a Grade B one. This is real life, and not enough people are listening. In fact, many people, mostly Americans, are desperately trying to ignore this danger. An entire multibillion-dollar industry of Climate Denial has sprouted, fueled by deep-pocketed energy corporations, who have much to lose if we slow CO2 emissions, and supported by people who do not want to face having to change their life styles.

In the ensuing four years since this report came out, the news has only gotten worse and the deniers more stubborn in their desperate need to ignore reality.

Next year another IPCC Report is due. I can tell you now, based on many publications I have read in the interim, that the news will be worse, showing that many of the predicted changes have already begun, and are proceeding at a rate faster than anticipated by our scientists.

Our leading climate scientist, James Hansen has written an eye opening book, summarized elsewhere on this web site, explaining the physics, biology, and politics of Climate Change.

CO2 emissions are continuing to climb, ice sheets are breaking off, methane is escaping from melting permafrost, heat wave records are being broken all over the earth, our forests and plains are burning, and droughts are getting worse and more widespread. Did I leave anything out?  Sure I did, out of a concern not to overwhelm you – too much.

Are there any adults out there, who learned from their parents and elders that the only way to overcome adversity is to face it and surmount it? If you are among these few grownups, I urge you to read my ten-page summary of the last IPCC Assessment, and then if the spirit moves you and if you care about what happens to your children and grandchildren, take action. What will happen will not be pretty unless we get our act together fast. The sands of time are running out. A good place to start would be the 350.org website.



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