They are the world's biggest problem - but also have the potential (i.e. power) to provide the solution

Towards a Philosophy of Sustainability


Contrary to popular (and most expert) opinion, it is not so much the poor who are the world's biggest problem - but the RICH. Not simply because they generally place a far greater per capita drain and strain on Earth's limited resources and finite carrying capacity than others (the most straws on the camel's back), but because they function as role models and trendsetters, whose extravagantly materialistic and utterly unsustainable lifestyles (along with the values and attitudes that underlie them), communicated and encouraged by the media, billions of others are striving to emulate.

It is not in rich people's real, enlightened self-interest to remain in denial and continue with their non-sustainable lifestyles (as enjoyable as it may be), since their children too will suffer and curse them if we do not sort this problem out. In respect to sustainability and securing our children's future, we are ALL in the same boat: Spaceship Earth. If we screw things up, which we will if we continue our present course, we shall all perish - rich and poor alike!

The rich are in a uniquely privileged and powerful position. At the moment, like the rest of us and following their "more animal than human " nature, they are using it to lead us towards catastrophe and possible extinction.

They could use it (those who come out of denial and recognise their real, enlightened self-interests) to play a vital role in helping to create an alternative socio-economic order, based on our more enlightened, human nature, which will lead us away from catastrophe (and possible extinction), towards a wonderful future for all mankind.

Money is the most versatile form of power: if we continue using it to satisfy the desires of our "more animal than human " nature, it will destroy us. If, on the other hand, we allow its use to be guided by our more enlightened, human nature, it will enable us to survive, prosper and develop, while preserving our diverse and wonderful world.