The Deep Causes of Climate Change & Environmental Destabilization and How to Create Sustainable Prosperity and a Great Global Rebirth.
Last updated 6.30.23
On first reading, the deepest, most profound causes of our current climate change emergency may seem difficult to connect to our rising global temperatures and the other horrible consequences we are now experiencing. So please bear with us and get the book at the end of the list of the deepest causes, which will fully explain a-e below in convincing and compelling detail.
This article assumes you have already read this article which covers 30 higher-level operational causes for the climate change emergency. What you find below are reasons so deep they are rarely considered. If the deepest causes below are not eventually addressed and resolved, humanity may be condemned to repeat its most destructive tendencies.
At the most profound and deep causal levels, the current climate change extinction emergency, our deteriorating environment, and many of the world's other 11 major global crises are directly (or indirectly) caused by the following:
a. 10,000 years ago, we evolved from hunter-gathers to farmers. We created a new agricultural system that created food surpluses that allowed some individuals to specialize in professions outside of farming, like kings, administrators, warriors, etc. These food surpluses and this labor specialization facilitated the creation of patriarchal hierarchies that could and would impose their dominance on and over perceived lower-class individuals, citizens, or foreigners.
b. At the same time, Judeo-Christian religions developed and propagated two fundamental dominance-related principles that would affect almost everyone within their direct or indirect sphere of influence. Those two principles were:
1. God gave humanity the natural world, and all other species on Earth were there to serve humanity's needs.
2. Humanity was not primarily an evolved ape species. Humanity was created by God and was not just another species on Earth. Humanity was something more and above all other life on Earth. Unfortunately, the truth of human evolution was initially unknown and then actively suppressed by Judeo-Christian religions.
c. Judeo-Christian religions became the dominant religious worldview in the world's most technological nations. It's just mentioned "religious logic" was used to rationalize, dominate and exploit non-developed nations and the natural world alike.
d. All of the above hierarchal, patriarchal, religion, and dominance-driven technologically-empowered factors helped create today's resource Overshoot problem and our current climate change emergency (Overshoot means that resource demand is over and beyond that of that particular resource's regeneration or renewal capacity.)
Excessive demand leading to overshoot is driven by both over-consumption and population. Right now, the human population's needs and demands for the Earth's resources have well exceeded the Earth's carrying capacity to regenerate those resources. For example, our current fossil fuel use, causing the global warming emergency, is caused by our increasing population demanding more consumer goods. As a result, we are depleting the non-renewable fossil fuels that took millions of years to create and polluting and poisoning our atmosphere and oceans with toxic fossil fuel by-products.
One could also call overshoot an environmental and energy management ignorance or greed in simple moral or ethical terms. But, whatever you call it, our taking more resources from the Earth than the Earth can renewably supply or resupply is another later in the chain deep cause of most of today's 11 major global crises. Moreover, it contributes significantly to our air, water, and land pollution and even many of our current economic and social inequalities.
e. While our current global warming emergency is most directly caused by burning fossil fuels and polluting the atmosphere and our oceans with carbon and methane, etc., for a complete long-term solution to climate change, it is critical to address the overshoot issues and the other issues listed above on ecological, economic, social, and energy management levels.
For example, the opposite of today's overshoot crisis would also include creating a sustainable population level balanced with available renewable resources. (This is commonly known as the carrying capacity of an area.) For humanity to begin to live within its carrying capacity and not continue to overshoot its resources, we will have to do something radically new by living the principles and values of Sustainable Prosperity described below.
f. An even deeper cause of climate change and our other biggest global problems is widespread human ignorance of:
1. how nature and its ecosystems work,
2. our proper place within nature as just another evolving species that is fully dependent on nature and the environment to survive,
3. how evolution works,
4. humanity's evolutionary history and the fact that, at the minimum, we are still evolving apes, with a million years of mental and emotional equipment that was designed for surviving in the world hundreds of thousands of years ago, which doesn't look anything like the complexity and systems of our world today.
g. The deepest cause of climate change is humanity's current and widespread inability to build effective mental models of the complex reality, systems, and world we live in today.
Gregory Bateson famously said: "The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think." This statement of Bateson identifies the most serious issue humanity has in coming up with appropriate and effective solutions to the world's greatest problems.
"If our thinking does not enable us to build effective mental models of reality, we will be unable to understand the causes of the environmental and other crises threatening human civilization. More importantly, our mental models will be of little use in developing strategies to resolve these crises. Without an appropriate match between the complexity of our thinking and the complexity of the world, government, and business leaders will fail to meet the complex challenges that face them every day in their work. It is no exaggeration to acknowledge that the future of human civilization depends on the development by humanity of thinking that better reflects how nature and the rest of the world work." John Stewart
A major breakthrough and solution has evolved to the problem of humanity's mental models and thinking processes being unable to adequately reflect and analyze the complexity and systems of the world today. It is fully described here. It is the advanced new analysis modeling and process we use at Job One to analyze complex climate systems.
The deepest causes of climate change involve humanity's current hierarchal, patriarchal, religious, and dominance-driven technology-empowered political, economic, and social values. Our ill-informed or unworkable values in those areas have created overshoot, unsustainable overconsumption, pollution, and unsustainable population growth, among many other civilization-ending problems like the failure to evolve mental thinking models that reflect the complexity of the world or a global government that would protect the well-being of ALL.
Click here for the 30 lesser reasons we still have not solved our climate change emergency. These are not the deepest causes but are significant contributing causes.
The above hierarchal, patriarchal, religious, evolutionary, and dominance-driven technologically-empowered factors also directly or indirectly contribute to the economic, political, and social injustice, inequality, and many biases we find in the world today. If we do not evolve new economic, political, and social systems that are not based on hierarchy, patriarchy, outdated religious ideas, and dominance-driven technological power (collective ignorance) we will not be able to fix the climate change emergency or our existing global crises.
Nature and others are NOT something to be used by one favored species, race, or nationality to control, dominate, and exploit. On the contrary, nature and others are there to live with in harmony and ecological balance.
(Click here to discover why total human extinction is not realistic or probable, and the worst humanity will experience is near-total extinction (50 to 90+% of humanity going extinct.)
Here are a few human crisis framing ideas derived from the new book, An Inconvenient Apocalypse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity by Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen:
The Overshoot resource costs of extraction, processing, and waste disposal required to produce all the stuff humanity is now using is a core of our ecological crisis.
Behind the ecological crisis is a crisis of meaning where things versus people, knowledge and service, and other well-being issues fulfill our lives.
We must create powerful new meanings, purposes, and goals to move people away from overconsumption. Meaning and purpose are learned. But it must be practiced within a social environment that reinforces these values—our solution is to change the culture.
If we do not transcend the unlimited growth economy delusion (Overshoot) there are hard times ahead, and if we do manage to construct a new economic order there are still hard times ahead. (Because of the damage we have already done.)
We must decide to down power and accept limits and growth within sustainable boundaries of the Earth.
There is no way to invent our way out of having less, using less fossil fuel, and having fewer people.
We need to get to fewer people living with less energy achieved by means of democratically managed planning to minimize suffering.
We will have to evolve existing infrastructure and organization to that which is consistent with a sustainable future.
We must honestly and boldly look at full cost accounting on all of the suggestions for any renewable energy solution, including electric cars.
We are far less capable of controlling modern technology than we think and we cannot manage the current high energy high technology infrastructure we have created for much longer.
We must move faster than we have been and faster than it appears we are capable of.
Eventually, a population of a species that expands beyond its carrying capacity will be reduced by starvation, predation, and disease. That is a quick look into our future, with predation being the most dangerous of all in the later phases.
It is critical to advocate collectively for setting limits as an important part of rational and responsible planning, which has to be based on an honest assessment of the current conditions under which we live and the conditions we expect to live tomorrow.
Our advanced society is based on energy consumption. The economics of endless growth on a finite planet will always end badly. Because the endless growth delusion infects the whole planet, the bad ending will be global.
The techno-optimist fundamentalist acts as if human knowledge is adequate to run the world. To claim such abilities, we have to assume we have and can identify all the patterns in nature and learn to control all aspects of nature. That we still clearly cannot do these things does not disturb techno-optimists' fundamentalist faith... What we don't know still far outstrips what we do know and always will.
Any technology use should be directed mostly toward creating a soft landing for the remnants of humanity after the collapse.
Individuals and societies must connect significant changes much faster than we have been willing to do so far and faster than it appears that the human species has been capable of acting today, perhaps faster than we will ever be able to act. It's unwise to think that a species that is resisted taking collective action (on so many major crises) at the speed necessary will find even more rapid and dramatic change easy in the future.
(To better understand many of the most profound causes of the climate change emergency and our other major global problems that we have listed above, we strongly and unequivocally recommend getting the book An Inconvenient Apocalypse, Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity by Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen as soon as possible. Please click here for our quick book review that will help explain why it is a must-read to more fully understand the most profound causes of climate change and other nightmares we are all now facing.).
Introducing a path to a just, equitable, and survivable "No Overshoot" future. Living the principles and values of Sustainable Prosperity.
We believe that the principles of Sustainable Prosperity (below) will most likely come FULLY into being only after the Great Global Collapse has occurred. The reasons for this are:
1. Existing economic, political, and social systems and human power structures are so entrenched and self-protecting that they will never allow the needed fundamental changes, which in many cases would remove their positions of special privilege, advantage, and power.
2. The populations that support the existing economic, political, and social systems are widely ignorant of resource overshoot and its accelerating dangers. They also have become so used to the comforts these systems provide; they will resist needed improvements until something happens to them that is so devastating (the Great Global Collapse) that they will finally be ready to change. It is like the old saying, "people will only change when the pain going forward is less than the pain of staying where they are."
As you read about Sustainable Prosperity in this booklet, you will discover the many social, economic, and even political policy overshoot causes hidden behind our inability to create long-term global warming solutions and many of our other 11 major global crises. If we do not quickly apply the principles of Sustainable Prosperity to our lives, livelihoods, and societies, we and humanity will become like "dead man walking" who will be unable to slow or stop our own ecological, economic, and social demise.
And finally, after you have finished the following Sustainable Prosperity booklet, please also review the following two links to review Part 2 of the Job One for Humanity Climate Resilience Plan. They will provide additional and essential adaptation steps aligned with the principles and processes of Sustainable Prosperity to help you better manage the global warming emergency and the other 11 global crises we are now facing.
We also strongly recommend getting and reading the book, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change by William Catton. This is the one book that everyone seeking a more sustainable life must have in their library! [When you purchase any books on our website from Amazon, you can help support our nonprofit mission.
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We also strongly recommend getting and reading the book, An inconvenient Apocalypse, Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity, by Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen
This book dives even deeper into the human causes of our current climate emergency (even deeper than our highly recommended Overshoot book) going back almost 10,000 years. You may be pleasantly surprised and challenged by what you discover in this timely and soulful book.
It is based on a credible overview of climate and environmental science. It will help you quickly evolve your thinking and feelings to the new reality of our global climate-driven collapse process and what comes next.
It is a must-read for everyone you think will be there with you trying to survive what is coming. It will not only help put everyone on the same page, but it will also help produce the emotional and psychological stability required in your family or group to survive the suffering, death, and the many climate change-driven primary and secondary consequences that are no longer avoidable.
What is Sustainable Prosperity
We all wish for prosperity (abundance) and for it to continue as long as possible (sustainability). But in these uncertain times of the runaway global heating emergency and the worsening of the world's other major 11 global crises, can we count on having this?
As we move toward raising families, wouldn't it be nice to know that we, others, our environment, and our economic and social systems will continue to prosper sustainably? Of course, we want that.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to create lives and livelihoods of sustainable prosperity to create a better world, so many of us are seeking?
What are the core concepts of Sustainable Prosperity
The core concept of Sustainable Prosperity is that:
1. there is an intelligent way for everyone to have ample sufficiency and abundance (prosperity) in the vital and meaningful areas of life and have this prosperity be sustainable over the long term without destroying other biological systems or harming the other essential Earth systems.
2. humans should strive to protect nature and improve human wellbeing by developing and deploying technologies (particularly appropriate technologies) that decouple human development from environmental impacts.
This new Sustainable Prosperity has processes and principles that support one person's prosperity contributing to another's without detracting from it or the wellbeing of other species and the Earth.
The above are the most basic starting ideas of Sustainable Prosperity. But, there is much more to understand about ts principles and achieve its strategies, as you will find in the following pages of this online booklet.
The Sustainable Prosperity principles can:
a.) help us correct the problems of resource overshoot.
a.) sustainably improve most areas of your life besides just physical prosperity.
b.) help us resolve the tremendous adaptive challenge of escalating global warming caused by fossil fuel burning. (Practicing the action steps of Sustainable Prosperity can also do a lot to help us get close to meeting the life-critical 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets.)
c.) help us resolve many of our 11 other major global crises facing humanity.
d.) help us also create new sustainable economics and a new sustainable consumer (prosumer), driven economy. (This would be to replace the current modern environment-destroying, "consume, waste and pollute" consumerism.) And,
e.) create hundreds of millions of well-paying new jobs as we transition from the Second Industrial Revolution to the Third Industrial Revolution during the next 20 years.
Why the principles and processes of Sustainable Prosperity are so crucial at this time
Humanity is at a crossroads. We are already in a global collapse process because our existing economic, political, and social systems do not deal with resource overshoot and the overpopulation which drives it.
These existing systems are unlikely to make the needed changes until these systems fall in the Great Global Collapse. Because of this harsh reality, humanity must begin envisioning the structural and process improvements required for the future. This way, some of humanity that survives the Great Global Collapse can use these principles and processes to create the new structures and systems required for a possible Great Global Rebirth.
The Sustainable Prosperity booklet below is starting this envisioning process for our future. Many people and groups have already adopted many of its principles and processes.
"The principles of Sustainable Prosperity are necessary evolutionary adaptations for our current economic, social, and political crises. These adaptations will help humanity both thrive and overcome the harsh realities of Earth's diminishing resources, as well as the challenges of supporting humanity's remaining population. These new Sustainable Prosperity adaptations are critical to resolving global warming and our 11 other major global crises. If humanity wishes to go on as a species, the principles and actions of Sustainable Prosperity will need to be embraced globally." Lawrence Wollersheim
After you have finished reading this booklet, please let us know if you think we have missed any essential principles or processes by emailing us at ([email protected]).
When you are reading the Sustainable Prosperity pages below, keep in mind that these are the processes and principles that we eventually will need to enact to prevent future overshoot and resolve global warming and our 11 other major global crises!
Where did the principles and processes of Sustainability Prosperity come from
Many Sustainable Prosperity principles are derived from evolution's time-proven principles for sustaining success in an individual, group, or system. Other principles and processes of Sustainable Prosperity come from various movements such as the Sustainability movement, the Simplicity movement, and the Degrowth movement.
Go Now to Page 2 of the Sustainable Prosperity booklet by clicking the following link: An Overview of the Implications of the New Sustainable Prosperity.
The 38 pages of this online booklet cover resolving overshoot from many different perspectives.
Here are All 39 pages of the Sustainable Prosperity Booklet, the Long-Term Solution to The Global Warming Emergency and Overshoot:
- The New Economic Laws of the Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet, Profit,) and Full Cost Full-Cycle Accounting for All Businesses