• 0 Can Awareness and understanding ourselves help solve the problem of climate change?

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    I’d like to explore a new way of addressing the problem of climate change - by understanding the way our shared human mind functions. Scientists say it is the greatest threat facing humanity and despite the efforts of many governments, the problem is getting worse. How can you and I respond? We know that rising greenhouse gas levels, which are responsible for global warming, are caused by increasing human consumption and a rising population. The main factors which are driving this rising consumption- are the human need for pleasure and our fear of the future- both of which are common to all human beings. Buying things and having new experiences bring us pleasure.  We identify ourselves with our experiences and our possessions- it is my new phone for example- and that strengthens the sense of self or the I, which makes us feel good. Unfortunately, all pleasures fade with time and need to be replaced by new ones and that leads to increasing consumption. So, why do we have this constant craving for pleasure, which is so strong that it overcomes any effort to limit it from the outside or through our own will power. Perhaps it is because deep inside us we have this sense of restlessness or emptiness, which we are not aware of, and the stimulation that pleasure brings covers up that feeling, if only for a short time. We want to accumulate wealth, not only because it buys us pleasure, but because of our fear of the future, which often operates in the background. We are not satisfied with how much we have, and always want more. Exploring and understanding our sense of emptiness and our fear of the future can bring a natural stillness and sense of peace within, and with that the need for pleasure also recedes. The origin of the problem of Climate change therefore lies in the way our minds function – in our need for pleasure and new experiences and our fear of the future- all this leads to over consumption. If we are to tackle this problem, this is where we must direct our energy. We can do this by exploring how our minds function and through education, where young people are taught not only about the world around them, but also about themselves. If we can do this, we could address this problem in a generation. Let us not say it cannot be done without even trying. It’s not as hard as it seems. Future generations are counting on us.