The future is broken. For all our technological advances and consumer comforts, the future of humanity, our future, stands at a crossroads. Simple changes are not going to be enough. The problems we face are deeper than that. They stem from the stories we tell ourselves. Stories about life and humanity. Stories about the world and all of existence.
Our current story is one of humanity at the apex of evolution. Of man in control. The most intelligent life on the planet. Able to solve any and all problems through science, analysis and critical thought. It is the story of an accidental, mechanistic world. And it is a story that has served us very well for centuries. It has allowed us to escape the strictly defined realities of the church. To explore the world with new vision, with open eyes. To build great cities and societies. To make technological innovations that would have been unimaginable only decades ago.
But, this is also a story that has taken us away from the natural world. Away from meaning and connection. It is a story that has made us arrogant, confident in our ability to break complex problems down into manageable sizes, too often ignorant of the reality that, in doing so, we create a false sense of certainty in our answers. Problems do not exist in isolation in nature, nothing does.
The reality is that this is a story that, has allowed humanity to treat the earth as little more than a supply house and a sewer. Is it any wonder then, that this story is unravelling before our very eyes? That our technological and scientific achievements, developed as a result of our current story, are now pointing to our own demise? That we can see, with terrifying clarity, our impending, self inflicted destruction?
It is here that we are faced with two choices. The first is to simply continue on with our current story. To believe that we have to do things bigger and better if we have any hope of survival. To continue to believe in one size fits all, silver bullet solutions, like genetically modified organisms, chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, more monocultures. Simple solutions that continue to ignore their broader systemic impacts.
The other choice is to take on board the words of Albert Einstein and understand that problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them. That humanity needs a new story. A story that places nature at the centre of our worldview.