The Philosophy of Global Warming
If you are interested in the relationship between the human species and the rest of life on Earth, individual and collective human purpose, evolution, cosmology, the nature of reality, astrology, spirituality, and how all of this relates to global warming & the environmental crisis of modernity, then I am sure that you will like my new book 'The Philosophy of Global Warming'. In the post below I have provided the book description, the list of contents and the first two sections of the book. You can find out how to get hold of the book by clicking on this link:
The Philosophy of Global Warming
Friday, 30 March 2018
Here are a few thoughts concerning the relationship between astrology and the unfolding of our Solar System:
The first thing to fully comprehend is that our Solar System is an evolving entity; it had a beginning, it will have an end, and everything between is a process of evolution, of unfolding; it is a process of ageing, of maturation, of development. Our Solar System can fruitfully be compared to a human body. The human body has a heart which is the lifeblood of the body; the heart is surrounded by various other organs/limbs/body-parts. Some of these body-parts are close to the heart, others such as the feet and the ears are further away. The human body evolves, ages and dies. Our Solar System is very similar. It has the Sun which is its lifeblood, its central heart which powers our Solar System with its flows of solar radiation. The Sun is surrounded by various parts, particularly several ‘planets’, some of which are fairly close to it and some of which are much further away (just like the body-parts which surround the heart in the human body). The Sun and our Solar System evolve, age and die, just like the human body.
It is easy to think of the human body as an interconnected whole, in which what is going on in one part is of importance for the other parts. For example, thinking about the answers to a set of exam questions is likely to be more difficult if one has excruciating pain in one’s legs. This feat of appreciation – appreciating the interconnectedness of various parts – is less easily achieved when it comes to our Solar-Systic home. To see the interconnections between the celestial bodies, and the situations that exist on the Earth, is much harder. However, we can help our understanding by keeping in mind that from the perspective of the massive expanse that is the universe, our Solar System is just a tiny deeply interconnected speck!
It is really helpful to keep this in mind. From our own personal perspective the other planets in our Solar System might seem to be so colossally far away from the Earth that it is implausible to believe that they have any bearing on Earthy events. However, from the perspective of the universe as a whole, our entire Solar System is a tiny deeply interconnected object. From this perspective it is exceedingly easy to appreciate how Earthly events are deeply intertwined with the state of the Solar-Systic whole.
I would like you to try and envision our Solar System as an interconnected whole. The Sun is the heart of our Solar System; it is the radiator of the energies which can bring forth life in our Solar System; wonderful, precious life. The planets that are closest to the Sun are too close, too hot, for life to survive and thrive. The planets at the extremities of our Solar System are too far away, too cold, for life to survive and thrive. The Earth is the part of our Solar System where life is meant to thrive, just like the lungs are the part of the human body which is meant to enable a human to breathe. There is only one part of the human body which can enable a human to breathe; without the lungs there is no breath. There is only one part of our Solar System which can enable life to thrive; without the Earth there is no thriving. The Earth is the womb of Solar-Systic Life.
Thursday, 30 November 2017
When one considers the relationship between the human species and the rest of life on Earth it is easy to fall into a trap. It is easy to believe that what has happened in the past will also happen in the future. Life on Earth has been positively thriving for millions of years without technology, so it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that if the human species were to suddenly, in the year 2017, vanish from our Solar System, that life on Earth would continue to thrive. If one makes this simplistic extrapolation from the past to the future then one has made a fundamentally flawed extrapolation.
Life on Earth has, in the past, gone through multiple episodes of mass extinction which have involved a very high proportion of the types of life that inhabit the planet ceasing to exist. After all of these episodes life on Earth has recovered, it has bounced back to levels of health that have superseded those that existed prior to the devastating mass extinction. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that because this has happened in the past that it will also happen in the future. If one makes this simplistic extrapolation from the past to the future then one has fallen into the trap of the flawed extrapolation.
This flawed extrapolation, this way of thinking, arises because of the failure to appreciate the subtle and interconnected way in which our Solar System is an evolving and unfolding entity. Simplistic extrapolations do not sit well within the context of an evolving and unfolding entity. It is because we exist that these extrapolations are flawed. The fact that our Solar System has brought forth the human species, its master modifier saviour, means that its womb of life, the Earth, is in a very delicate state of balance in its ability to continue to support life. The bringing forth of the human species means that life on Earth's 'first line of defence' against the global warming of our Solar System is close to failure; this means that life on Earth's ability to bounce back and thrive, its ability to regulate the conditions of its planet to keep them favourable for its continued existence, is under immense strain. The cause of this strain is not the human species, it is the age of our Solar System, an age which is of such a duration that it has enabled the human species to evolve. At this stage of our unfolding Solar System the past is no longer a reliable guide to the future.
Sunday, 30 July 2017
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of The Philosophy of Global Warming:
At some point in the evolution of life the ability of life to pursue alternative courses of action arose; this possibility might be thought of as ‘free will’, or ‘rational ability’ or ‘thought’ or ‘reflective awareness’. The evolution of this possibility for alternative courses of action meant that some life-forms, such as humans, might not be living in accordance with their inner feelings/inner wisdom. I should stress that this isn’t an either/or situation; living in accordance with one’s inner feelings is a matter of degree. I believe that the vast majority of humans have always lived to a fairly high degree in accordance with their inner feelings; for, to not do so leads to mental and physical illness and to numerous kinds of suffering. Doing so is what has propelled human culture from hunter-gatherer to globalised technological society. However, there is almost always scope for humans to live more in accordance with their inner feelings than they currently do.
The vast majority of humans live to a fairly high degree in accordance with their inner feelings without any conscious effort to be spiritual beings. The realisation that living more in accordance with one’s inner feelings is a good thing to do, and the consequent pursuit of this objective, results in what is known as a spiritual journey, or a path of spiritual development or spiritual practice. A spiritual journey typically includes meditation, which is a way of connecting at a deeper level to one’s inner feelings. Meditation and mindfulness are concerned with attempting to be present with one’s currently existing inner feelings, so that one is not ‘taken away’ from these feelings by thoughts concerning the past and the present.
The epoch of the technological explosion, which I outlined a little earlier in this chapter, seems to be simultaneously an epoch in which humans have become increasingly preoccupied with the external as opposed to the internal. In other words, it seems to be an epoch in which the spiritual journey has largely been neglected by the human species. However, this surely wasn’t a new phenomenon in the era of the technological explosion. In other words, for almost its entire history the vast majority of the human species seems to have been more external focused rather than spiritual journey focused. The epoch of the technological explosion simply exacerbated this pre-existing tendency and took it to its extreme. When you have reached the extreme there is only one way to go, and that is to the less extreme. Whilst we are still living in the epoch of the technological explosion we are also gradually moving into the epoch where there will be a spiritual explosion. The widespread switch from external states to inner feeling states will result in an increasingly vast proportion of the human species embarking on spiritual journeys. This is a slow and drawn out process, but it is the future.
So, one can think of the ‘technological explosion’ as a prerequisite for the ‘spiritual explosion’. It is as if once we have fulfilled our purpose as a species, once we have brought forth the technology that life requires, that then we will be rewarded. We have suffered immensely in order to fulfil our purpose, but a glorious harmonious future awaits; it is a future of increasing spiritual fulfilment.
I would expect such interplay between technology and spirituality to exist on any life-bearing planet. So, if we were to encounter a highly spiritually evolved species of alien life-form, then there is one thing that we could be fairly certain of: these alien life-forms come from a planet which is highly technologically advanced. Their planet has gone through a technological explosion which was followed by a spiritual explosion.
It wouldn’t be correct to say that spiritual development is a side-effect of technology. Yet, technology lays the foundations which enable spirituality to bloom. This is the reality of what occurs and unfolds on an evolving and ageing life-bearing planet. This whole process of intertwining between the evolution of technology and the evolution of spirituality – a very gradual evolution of both, leading to a technological explosion which brings forth a spiritual explosion – can be thought of as leading to the self-actualisation of the human species.
Monday, 3 April 2017
In my last post I wrote about the reality of the superiority of the human species and how this relates to various interconnected issues; for example, the current widespread belief that the human species is not superior to the other life-forms that live on the Earth, and the cosmic inevitability and worth of the previous and current domination and exploitation of these other life-forms by the human species.
I have just finished reading the April 2017 edition of the Vegan Life magazine (I am a vegan!) & thought that, in the light of the above, it would be worth commenting on a view that was expressed in the magazine:
"Where I am right now I can see a field, and in front of me there are about 20 lambs. They have all been spray painted with numbers across their white fleeces. That to me is an example of the commodification of animals. They are seen as numbers and not as living beings. We, as humans, have to stop seeing ourselves as superior. By what right do we exploit these innocent creatures?"
Roger Roberts, 'Spokesman', Vegan Life magazine, April 2017, p. 41
The first part of the view expressed above is just an obvious truth: the 'human' is that part of our evolving Solar System, and the evolving entity that is 'life on Earth', that is the technological animal, the modifier, the analyser, the utiliser, the commodifier, of the non-living and living resources of the Earth. As we are currently living in the age of the Technological Explosion it is inevitable that the vast majority of humans that are currently alive will see non-human life-forms as 'commodities to be used' rather than as 'fellow brothers/sisters'.
The second part of the view expressed above is fundamentally flawed. The belief/hope that is being expressed is that in the future the human species might come to see itself as not superior to the other life-forms that live on the Earth, and that when this happens that there will be an end to factory farming and the plethora of other ways that humans utilise and exploit the non-human life-forms of the Earth. This hope, that all non-human life-forms will be treated by humans with the utmost dignity and respect, is a wonderful one. I, along with a vast number of other people, certainly hope for such a future. The reason that the view is fundamentally flawed is that, in reality, the human species is superior, and the human species will come to know, in the near future, why it is superior (at the time of The Realisation of Cosmic Purpose in the age of the Spiritual Explosion). This knowledge will be pervasive and widely accepted.
This means that the hope that in the future the human species will come to see itself as not superior is a hope that will never become reality. Indeed, despite the current exploitative actions of the human species towards non-human life-forms, our current epoch is already a stage in which the dominant view entails that the human species sees itself as not superior, because the current dominating view is that the human species is 'just one species among many' that has no cosmic significance or purpose that 'raises it up' above the non-human life-forms of the Earth. The view that the human species is not superior is perfectly compatible with the widespread human exploitation of the non-human!
In direct opposition to the view expressed in the magazine, it is actually the acceptance and widespread realisation that the human species is superior, and the knowledge of the reason why this is so, that leads to the end of the exploitation of non-human life-forms by the human species. Compassion cannot easily arise from a place of ignorance. It is when one sees the purpose of the human species and our relation to the non-human life-forms of the Earth, the fact that we are superior and the saviours of life on Earth, that compassion can easily flow and non-human life-forms can then only be seen as fellow brothers/sisters which are to be exploited and commodified no more.
The final part of the view expressed in the magazine is "By what right do we exploit these innocent creatures." The exploitation of the non-human by the human is not very helpfully thought of as a matter of 'rights'. Rather, the human, by its very essence, is that part of our Solar System, and that part of life on Earth, which becomes the modifier par excellence, the master exploiter, for the benefit of life on Earth. This is just the way that things are, the way that our Solar System is and unfolds. There is no question of 'rights' here. 'Rights' are just things that are invented within human society. As our Solar System/human culture unfolds, we will move to a different non-exploitative relationship with the non-human life-forms of the Earth.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
We live at a stage of the unfoldment of our Solar System in which it is fashionable to believe that the human species is not superior to the other life-forms of the Earth. In accordance with this fashion, I am sure that you will have heard people assert things such as "we are just one species among many", or, "there is nothing superior about the human species; every species of life on the Earth is unique or special in its own way", or, "the human species is a destroyer; so, if the human species were to go extinct then this would be a good thing for non-human life on the Earth".
This view is currently fashionable because we live at a time in which the human species is gradually coming face-to-face with the realisation of the magnitude of the changes that it has made to the Earth. This gradual realisation is a stage of unfoldment of our Solar System in which 'the human' is in a state of separation, of anguish, of isolation, of desperation. The purpose of the human species, our role as the precious saviour of life in our Solar System, has yet to be revealed, so we are left in the aimless wilderness of believing that there is no purpose, believing that we are just 'one species among many'.
Not only this, but we are currently abusing and murdering our fellow life-forms on an industrial scale, through such activities as vivisection, caging and factory farming. If we tell ourselves that 'we are just one species among many' how can we possibly simultaneously justify our actions in initiating such abuse and murder of those who are our equals? This is the paradoxically contradictory human situation in our current stage of Solar Systic unfoldment; this is the source of human anguish and desperation. We try and ignore the abuse and murder, we want it to be below the surface, we don't want to encounter it face-to-face; yet, it is tacitly accepted and simmers away below the surface where it eats away at our inner being.
Yet, this stage of Solar Systic unfoldment is an essential stage of Solar Systic unfoldment. It is not a pleasant time to be born a human; however, the age of the mass domination of non-human life by the human species is an age of euphoria for life. Life is in a blissful state when it has reached the exceptional modification ability that is represented by the form that is 'the human'. In reality, the human species is superior to every other life-form that exists on the Earth, and that has ever existed on the Earth; the 'human species' is the zenith of the evolutionary progression of life on Earth. The human species is the most precious and valuable life-form that will ever exist in our Solar System. Don't let any supposedly knowledgeable scientist tell you any different, because if they do, then they don't have a clue! Why this is so cannot be widely appreciated at our current stage of Solar Systic unfoldment. For, the achievement of our cosmic purpose necessitates that this is so. The widespread realisation of cosmic purpose arises in the age of the Spiritual Explosion which follows our current epoch - the age of the Technological Explosion.
Sunday, 31 July 2016
You will probably be aware that in my writings I provide an account of everything from the nature of the universe, the meaning of human existence, the processes through which everything evolves, and the cosmic role of the 'environmental crisis' and human-induced global warming. In this post I provide an excerpt from Chapter 4 of my book The Philosophy of Global Warming. The title of this chapter is 'The History of our Solar System'. Here is the excerpt:
The Earth has sustained life for most of its history. Life has evolved from simple beginnings to highly complex animals. Complex animals have evolved culture, and human cultural evolution has similarly evolved from simple beginnings to globalised technological society. Taking the Earth as a whole there is a continual evolution from the simple and unconnected, to the complex and interconnected. We are a part of this great unfolding and evolving process. You might have been told that the evolution of life-forms is solely down to natural selection and that humans evolved as a fluke. What a limited understanding! The evolutionary processes of life and of human culture are underpinned by cosmic forces. The Earth is the womb of Solar-Systic Life, but that life is propelled forward by the entire body, the entire Solar System. The development of a baby in the womb of its mother is not isolated from the actions of its mother. Similarly, the development of life on Earth is not isolated from the movements of the Solar System (as has been known by astrologers for a very long time). As the planets swirl through their orbits, life on Earth gradually evolves from simple beginnings to globalised technological society. Swirl, evolve; swirl, evolve; swirl, evolve. From the beginnings of the Solar System, the evolution of life on Earth, the evolution of the human species, and cultural evolution to the globalised technological society of today, was effectively ‘programmed in’. The formation of the Solar System can be compared to the programming of a ‘Sat Nav’ in a car; once it was formed, both the destination and the path to that destination were already largely determined.
Where does global warming fit into this picture? We have already explored the two different types of global warming. A fundamental part of the evolving Solar System is that as the Sun ages it sends out more solar radiation; the result is the global warming of the Solar System. This means that over time, as the Solar System ages, the planets closest to the Sun become increasingly hotter and even more inhospitable to life; whereas the planets at the extremities of the Solar System also receive increasingly more solar radiation, yet they still remain too cold for life to survive and thrive. There is only a limited temporal window in the unfolding of the Solar System within which non-human-induced global warming interacts with planetary location in order to enable the emergence, survival and thriving of life. In other words, the womb of Solar-Systic life comes into existence and then it either gives rise to a successful birth, or it goes through a painful abortion.
We have already explored how the Earth stored fossil fuels underground so that it could offset the global warming of the Solar System and thereby maintain the Earth as the womb of thriving life. We have also explored how humans have released a massive amount of these fossil fuels. It is best to think of this original process of storage as an instinctive, almost automatic, part of the unfolding ageing Solar System. In other words, the process didn’t require conscious knowledge or foresight of what was required to keep the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere hospitable for planetary life. This process is just what happens on a thriving life-bearing planet which is located in an ageing Solar System.
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
You might well be aware that some of my old colleagues at the University of Reading have been in the news recently because of their research into the extinction of the dinosaurs. You will almost certainly be aware of the idea that the reason that the dinosaurs went extinct was because of a meteor strike on the Earth. Those people who hold this view, a view which I have known to be false for decades, use it to draw the conclusion that the evolution of the 'human' was a fluke, because if that meteor had just missed the Earth then the dinosaurs would still be the rulers of the Earth and the 'human' would never have evolved.
If you have read my books, or previous blog posts on this site, then you will be aware that for years I have written that the evolution of life from simple beginnings to the 'human' is inevitable, and that 'fluke' events such as whether or not a meteor strikes the Earth make no difference whatsoever to this process, this inevitable evolution of the 'human'.
The opposite view, that evolution is directed by fluke, that if were not for that random meteor strike, that the dinosaurs would still be ruling the roost is still surprisingly common in the collective psyche. This is why the researchers at the University of Reading were so surprised by the outcome of their research, which is that the dinosaurs were well on their way to extinction before the meteor strike. The lead researcher, Dr Manabu Sakamoto, states that: "We were not expecting this result".
In other words, whilst doing the research the researchers had the belief that the dinosaurs went extinct because of a meteor strike! At least they are not so clueless now. You will see from the above link that their conclusion is described as "revolutionary". Well, not that revolutionary! Revolutionary suggests something utterly new. If you have been reading this blog since 2010 then you will have known since then that the extinction of the dinosaurs had nothing to do with a meteor strike.
The simple fact is that the primal forces which drive the evolution of life forwards to the 'human' are not affected by random events. As the Earth ages through time, there are stages of evolution through which various life-forms arise and fall away on the planetary and Solar-Systic journey towards the technological zenith that we call the 'human'. The dinosaurs had their time, their role in this unfolding process, and their demise had nothing whatsoever to do with a meteor strike,
This has been obvious to me, and hopefully to you, for a very long time. Despite the surprise of the researchers, there is nothing 'revolutionary' about this conclusion.