Is 'stupid' too strong a term? You be the judge.
Consider the following:
1) We know our lives rely on the ecosystem and yet human society is the driving force behind the latest world-wide extinction event.
2) We change nothing even though climate scientists are warning us that our CO2 emissions are likely to result in the climactic devastation of human society.
3) In the last several decades, we have harvested a surplus of food. In 2001, the UN reported that of every human being born on earth, 58% would die from the effects of starvation. (At any given time, around 12% of the population is malnourished. This is a stock figure. The 58% is the flow figure.)
4) Of those who are fed, the vast majority of the world's wealth resides in the hands of very few. Oxfam reports the wealth of the 80 richest people is equal to the combined wealth of the poorest half of the world (3.5 billion people).
5) The earth is a finite energy system. In a finite system, the more people there are, the less average wealth is available. Knowing this, we are driving an unprecedented population explosion.
All the above serves, or is the result of, wealth aggregation.
Experiments suggest emergent behaviour -- human beings are not suicidally stupid.
When society's emergent prerequisites are placed into a model, what emerges is wealth aggregation alongside several trends from modern society. So far, this research suggests that human beings are not suicidally stupid.
The charts below compare the empirical to simulation. See Papers for further information on the simulation.
1) Society is being shaped by emergent behaviour.
2) Human beings are suicidally stupid.
There are two possibilities:
Attempt to outwit society's wealth imperative using law, policy and practice. However, over time, successes will be worn away by the global wealth imperative that never sleeps and is capable of generating solutions that operate beyond human understanding. It will be a constantly evolving battle with an evolutionary force.
Change the imperative to something that serves people. One possibility is a life imperative. Were that put in place, solutions that aid life will be constantly generated by a global system that never sleeps and is capable of generating beyond human understanding. If this occurred, all the problems outlined above would be simulataneously addressed by the life imperative.
The first step must be education. It is interesting that society does not educate people in emergent behaviour even though it influences our bodies, our brains, nature, the weather, molecules, and groups of people. Once the basics of emergent behaviour are understood, solutions become self-evident.
Note that emergent behaviour also involves self-organisation, chaos and complexity, and evolution.
Global Oil Production
Starvation in the real world:
In 2001, a UN report suggested 58% of all human beings born on earth would die from the effects of starvation. However, since this original study, no one has done any subsequent research to confirm or deny this report. Both these facts are consistent with a society more concerned with wealth aggregation than human welfare. Considering the abundant food supply, there are no logistical reasons for the starvation to be so high.
Simulation starvation in the presence of increasing food supply.
The green line in the Cause of Death chart indicates the population's starvation rate.
© 2015 by Tim Gooding.