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Wasted World

So much has changed since the 18th century industrial revolution; at the beginning of it, few could imagine humans flying, communicating with people on the other side of the globe instantaneously, the explosion of modern inventions and the evolution of information technology – indeed, we have moved into a faster era, a faster world: The world of the instant. Yet, despite this increase of available information, there were remarkably few insights – we are constantly faced with the inquiry of “what now?”

Each second, a portion of our world is carved away from the little space where we can freely roam. The philosophy of private property which has enabled us to own and keep owning parts of this earth sprouted from a culture that we invented to secure an important necessity: Shelter. Yet, this culture, together with the idea that our existence is far greater than the lives of any other living organisms on the face of the earth, created a system of enterprise that compromises the subsistence of our natural resources; we burn forests for a space to construct our houses, we cut trees for it, we mine minerals for our gadgets, and we reconstruct our very own natural habitat such that, we become more like gods with the power to build and destroy.

As if we have never done enough damage to our mother earth, we have fashioned a false illusion of “wants” that would keep us working from the little time that we have in our lives. We dream of bigger houses, finer clothes; of fur, of linen, just to imitate the luxurious lives of the rich and the famous – we spend on things because we believe in popular culture, of capitalistic advertising, and gladly embrace being puppets of marketing strategies. We attempt to fill up an insatiable urge, and we remain empty– no contentment, no happiness.

Consequently, we have reached the point of squeezing our resources to satisfy the needs and “wants” of our population, we have reached a turning point of rapid consumption and exploitation of these gifts – we continue to expand our numbers; more buildings, more cars, more factories, more products to consume, more profit to the global economy and, more wastes. The issue is not just about overpopulation, capitalization, industrialization and global-warming, it has something to do more of the responsibility that we have forgotten as caretakers of the world. That even in these modern times, we are no different from our hunter – gatherer ancestors; we will always depend on the fruits of the earth and the gifts of our ecosystems.

Yet, with all these facts, we still blind ourselves to the vanity and pleasures of modern day life, unnoticing the reality that the world has evidently grown older, showing signs of illness every time; the year-to-year fall of the water level, climate change, natural disasters like floods and mudslides, food shortages and waste problems. We refuse to listen to these voices, our earth’s sobs, perhaps of being tormented…we never give these problems a single thought. That, unless we take action to redesign our ways to manage our economic system and stop the pressure to our ecology; unless we sacrifice the comforts of using plastic bags, unless we reduce our greedy consumption of fuels, unless we do the simplest things to reverse our culture of vanity and consumerism, we will ultimately destroy the natural fabric that underpins life itself – our planet.

It has been centuries since literature had discussed about a Utopia – a perfect and ideal society of the future. Surprisingly, today’s art, literature, and futuristic movies depict a future of global destruction, chaos and anarchy – the end of the world? Is it possible that the civilization of humans had also mapped its destruction? Maybe. There will be no plane crash without the invention of airplanes, no complicated diseases had we not poisoned our air with chemicals and smoke, no wastes without the system of production which we had created.

Nature always finds ways to reckon with human’s arrogance. There is an end to everything whether it is great or small; like the birth and death of a star, or the life cycle of a butterfly. There is such a thing called doom’s day; when our planet will fail us like how we fail it – when we eventually deplete its resources and die. We may not live long enough to witness it, but maybe our sons and daughters would. It doesn’t take a complicated deduction to measure its reality; there is an impending doom and we cannot stop it…we can only postpone it.

 

 

About the author

Valred

Valred is a college instructor from La Trinidad, Benguet, a barangay offical in his humble community, and a part-time graduate student (Law and Masters in DevC). He has a clinging passion for music, arts, and philosophy, and hopes to share some of his ideas through writing.