Love, Intelligence and Art — Musings on the Natural World, part 1 (325)

Derrick Jensen reflects on the bird and frog songs he loves, and the richness of longtime relationships with natural places where one lives. By contrast, and especially in cities, our sensory input is largely mediated by machines (computers, television, radio, cars, etc.) Being surrounded only by human input, it can be very easy to forget there’s a real world — the natural world not created and controlled by humans. In his latest book The Myth of Human Supremacy, he notes that unquestioned assumptions are the real authorities in a culture. “We often hear that evolution itself is based on competition, that it’s ruthless, it’s survival of the fittest, the meanest, the most capitalist, the most abusive. If you believe that, it’ll cause you to act in that fashion.”  By contrast, Derrick asks us to consider, “how do you think the world got to be so wild and fecund and beautiful in the first place? Obviously it has been built up…. Every salmon living and dying makes the forest a better place by its life and death…. How do you make the world a better place?” []

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  1. Our most powerful tech is…most people don’t even consider it tech: money. Money eases barter, but global money greenwashes everything. For example, do you know where the money in your pocket has been, what it’s done? If not, then you do not know if you are facilitating a deadly circuit of exchange with every marketplace transaction. A tech upgrade for money to solve this would be a comprehensive solution. No, not blockchain. Blockchain is even more anonymous. Instead, a second kind of money that works right beside the first so its simple to introduce and easy to use, but unlike the old money this would be created by local people to pay each other to engage in sustainable local development of human and natural resources. Do this everywhere and pretty soon everything in the global marketplace would be composed of sustainable parts made in a parallel system that enriches people and planet.

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