sustainability & abundance

Depending on your perspective, the world is either is in great trouble, doing just fine, or somewhere in between. Most of us would agree that the world faces some very serious problems, but beyond this common ground we quickly splinter off into conflicting viewpoints as to why this might be so and what (if anything) can be done about it.

Before we look at the possibility of what might be done to make the world a better place--a controversial subject, to be sure--I think it would be wise to begin by describing the common ground we share as to what we would all like the world to be. With the exception of those who are (for whatever reasons) opposed to the concept of a better world, we all share the same basic hopes for our world and ourselves. The extent of this common ground is very, very instructive, not least as to why there should be so much disagreement on what to do.

These then are the things we would all like to see:

* a healthy ecosystem--a world whose natural beauty includes clean rivers & oceans; landscapes free from industrial pollution and restored to their former beauty, including the great forests which once covered 30% of the earth's landmasses, as well as the grasslands & savannahs, the alpine regions and even the beautiful desert regions; agricultural areas which are productive and free from chemical contaminants.

* a happy & healthy humanity, free from war & suffering, disease & poverty.

* the preservation of the world's rich cultural traditions & languages.

* the fulfilment of man's spiritual longings--a deeper understanding of Life and the cosmos.

* the opportunity to find meaningful and rewarding education & work.

* the right of free peoples everywhere to determine their futures.

I claim these goals as universal, in that all sane and reasonable people would wish to have these things, but I also realize that some of us (for reasons that are in some cases clear and in others not so obvious) would not be quite so happy about other people sharing & enjoying these treasures, but that comes undeer the heading of "Conflict" and shall be dealt with later.

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