Ethics Final part 6

Our Environment is Polluted

Climate change is impending if not already in process.  The burning of fossil fuels has fed our addiction to energy.  Even former Texas Governor George W. Bush said, “America is addicted to oil.”  In theological terms, addiction can be understood as sin or distance from God.  So, in our current cultural state, we have distanced ourselves from God. In truth, we have used technology to become our own gods.  This is blasphemy.  In a very real sense, humanity could experience the hand of a God of Nature in our consequences for climate change.  It is simple science that tells us that the earth, her crust, and her atmosphere require a delicate balance – indeed harmony – to survive.  When her crust/atmosphere/inhabitants (my belief in a holy trinity) become out of balance we experience our current cultural and environmental atmosphere.  The Hopi tribe has a word for this:  Koyaanisquatsi – Life out of balance.

There is scientific consensus telling us that all life systems are in decline.  Globally we are experiencing dead zones in oceans, desertification of the arable lands, melting of the polar ice caps, and British Petroleum recently spilled millions of barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  It’s true that the majority of these problems are not caused completely by current agricultural practices, but instead the corporate/capitalist psychological mindset of infinite growth, unlimited expansion, and trust in the American dollar.  We simply must not ignore this mindset any longer.

Contributing Towards Total Oil Depletion

To ignore the reality of peak oil is tantamount to insanity.  The earth’s crust is being sucked dry by oil companies – because that’s what humanity has told them to do – surely it’s not the oil companies’ fault as much as it is yours and mine.  Our addiction to oil has even convinced us to begin turning corn into an oil substitute:  Ethanol.  Of course the industrial food system is contributing mightily to the apex and decline of our oil supply.  “To feed an average family of four in the developed world uses up the equivalent of 930 gallons of gasoline a year — just shy of the 1,070 gallons that same family would use up each year to power their cars.”  This way of life is simply madness and is not sustainable.

Peak oil is that phenomenon we are currently experiencing illustrated as a bell curve by the physicist M. King Hubbert.  The finite stored sunlight/hydrocarbon/energy in the earth’s crust is being depleted and burned into the atmosphere.  How can we possibly deny or be complicit to this any longer?  And more importantly – what happens when current oil supplies are exhausted and “business-as-usual” way of life is no longer possible?  We are currently at a nine percent decline rate of oil production which equals about 8 million barrels per day.

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