I took my walk this morning, as usual, at the exact time that the sun was to arise. As usual, I looked closely at the different kinds of plants and trees, the variety of rocks, the surrounding hills and mountains, the birds flying overhead, the animals along the way, the Ute Indians and the Blacks, Hispanics, Anglos, and other humans walking or driving their motor vehicles, the buildings, the clear blue sky, and, most of all, the sun gradually peeking over a long ridge of mountains in the East.
As usual as I walk, I think about the billions of years of strange and epochal transformations of nature that were involved in producing all of these wonders. I reflect back on the nature of the horse’s intricate pastern situated between shin and hoof; the complex human foot and hand bones; and the birds’ amazing rotating wing bone in the socket between body and wing; and so many such as things as they are related to the first organic life, the subsequent dinosaurs, the famous missing fifty million year-old link with its human hand-like structure discovered only a little over a decade ago in Germany.
I think about those tiny gradual increments of change, those quirky mutations that produced such dazzling phenomena as the lizard with very long tongue and its deadly accuracy used to catch flying insects. Creatures that used echolocation to navigate the air. And, consider those amazing schools of thousands of fish that all turn instantly in the same direction; the locusts that incubate for a decade underground only to emerge, fly about and mate and die in a season. And what the tiny Monarch butterflies that make their annual thousands of miles migration from Canada to deep into Mexico to the same small area with just a specific species of tree. You have surely seen videos of the huge varieties of monkeys that glide effortlessly and so accurately from tiny branches in the tee-tops of tall trees.
The sun is fully above the Eastern ridge of mountains now and I think to myself, ‘Will all of these wondrous, magnificent, enormous complexes of eco-connected and dependent forms of life still be here in the year 2100?
I saw this CIA report on the earth’s twentieth century:
CIA Report on Changing World Conditions During the 20th Century
“Globally, the 20th century was marked by: (a) two devastating world wars; (b) the Great Depression of the 1930s; (c) the end of vast colonial empires; (d) rapid advances in science and technology, from the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (US) to the landing on the moon; (e) the Cold War between the Western alliance and the Warsaw Pact nations; (f) a sharp rise in living standards in North America, Europe, and Japan; (g) increased concerns about the environment, including loss of forests, shortages of energy and water, the decline in biological diversity, and air pollution; (h) the onset of the AIDS epidemic; and (i) the ultimate emergence of the US as the only world superpower. The planet's population continues to explode: from 1 billion in 1820, to 2 billion in 1930, 3 billion in 1960, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1988, and 6 billion in 2000. For the 21st century, the continued exponential growth in science and technology raises both hopes (e.g., advances in medicine) and fears (e.g., development of even more lethal weapons of war).”
The CIA left out of this summary such ominous trends as the very certainty of the coming drastic climate change; overfishing; pollution of the earth, sky, and sea; exhaustion of natural resources around the globe; the ever-increasing expansion of humans’ use of legal and illegal substances; the increase in human slavery, even of young children, and of sex trafficking; and, mother of all evils, the monopolization of business and industries that tends toward an ever greater gap between the elite and the rest of us; their ubiquitous tsunami-like use of the media to control thoughts, preferences, and purchasing habits; and even the legalized control of access to peoples’ vital necessities of life.
I am a great fan of science and technology. Unfortunately, science departments and corporations’ research departments are not values-neutral and, over the last century, they have tended to serve the interests of those monopolists mentioned above rather than the good of all people. Technologically based corporations, likewise, are driven by market forces that are deliberately ethics-neutral. The technologically oriented corporations either cater to an unsuspecting populace with the most trivially enticing, wasteful, and to the greatest extent even harmful products or to they produce highly profitable but lethal products serving wealthy governments’ military interests.
The CIA also left out our government’s global operations involving the influencing, even to the point of assassinations of noncompliant leaders and fomenting civil unrest and civil wars, of foreign governments to serve our US non-ethical or explicitly illegal policies of exploitation of labor, illegal weapons sales, and denuding of their natural resources.
Strange that the CIA would avoid such topics as these; he said with tongue prominently in cheek.
Is the CIA merely emblematic of the ‘intelligent and politically powerful’ in all of the seriously flawed ‘civilizations’ around our defenseless globe?