Who Are We?
The Last Humans was announced in World University News January 26, 2020. Here is the link to the archived article:
Continued from the Home page:
Mother nature has been permissive, it would seem, while our numbers exploded over the past couple of centuries. We thought we had “conquered” the earth. We humans managed to overcome plagues and famines and even survived the most recent Ice Age, while our numbers continued to grow.
But now, nature is generating new pathogens each year that keep us back on our heels. Earth generates extreme heat and storms and fires and floods that reveal how unprepared we are as a species for the global ecology in which we now live.
How do we become “fit” in the new challenges of “natural selection”? Certainly not organized as we now are as a civilization. Political leaders have failed us again and again. During the pandemic that is still with us, 2 men have contributed to a disastrous mess: the political leaders in China and in the U. S. have inadvertently collaborated, it can be argued, to spread a pandemic. How did we humans get to the point where the whole world can suffer because of the whims, fallacies and needs of 2 men?
The rise of autocracy in the world in this century – the invalidation of democracy through social media attacks and manipulation, the suppression of human rights – shows us once again, as with the wars of the last century, that relying too exclusively on civic society is dangerous for our species.
Instead, the strength of our species is shown in our civil society.
Because our society is organized primarily as civic society, an anachronism from the luxury time of the past few centuries when we humans could be reckless and when we could thoughtlessly increase wealth and concentrate power, believing that riding the horse of unbridled capitalism would go on forever, we have experienced disasters. This is not a political tract, however, but a wakeup call to all of us humans that we can survive and actually become a far better inhabitant of the earth if we organize around civil society globally and diminish the role of civic society.
To read this whole article, download this doc:
What Do We Do?
Higher education does in fact act on climate change with longstanding commitments to sustainability and resilience but actually just focused on their own physical campus. The changes these efforts seek are improvements to their own facilities, and, at the same time, reducing their own carbon footprint. These are admirable and essential goals. But these goals are of a very different nature than the goals of The Last Humans Project. Our Project aims to re-organize global higher education to lead human civilization toward adapting to climate change. Not adapting just the campuses, but helping local communities to adapting to climate change.
Let’s Stop Using the Word “Fight” Regarding Climate Change
The source of human strength is our instinct toward cooperation. By using the word “fight,” we set ourselves up against each other. The word influences climate change leaders to imagine corporations as opponents. This is self-defeating.
Another approach is to cooperate with those corporations that are moving humanity in the right direction, such as those who produce and promote alternate energy technology. It is far better to work with companies that can help humanity survive. Local sourcing of food from organic farms is a small example, but a useful example: organic is sustainable, factory farming is not (because it uses fossil fuel-based fertilizer to produce food). Many companies are essentially neutral regarding climate, but can be persuaded to reduce their carbon footprint. The service industry, the fastest growing sector in the U. S. and other countries, can participate through educating employees. Electric automobiles may not be an answer, but climate change activists need to support efforts in the transportation sector that can improve greenhouse gas emissions.
Youth around the globe who see their future in doubt because of climate extinction are “striking.” They are justified. They are fighting – to use the word I say we should not – against us older citizens, that is, over thirty, for example, who have not yet dedicated ourselves to climate action. Our response, speaking on behalf of everyone over 30 in the world, should be and seems to be to cooperate with Greta Thunberg and all related organizations to sustain awareness and action.
The Last Humans Project is about cooperation on a global scale through the largest non-profit sector on earth that can act as one: higher education.
We can’t “fight” climate change. We humans have already emitted so much carbon gases into the atmosphere that climate change is underway. We have already lost that fight. Now, we have to use other words: adapt, mitigate, reverse, survive, for example. And “cooperate.” Let’s cooperate with worldwide industry and governments so we all work together toward a shared goal.