Sunday, November 25, 2012

Brody's Scribbles... Naturally Conservative

By Bart Vogelzang | VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C., CANADA -- It’s natural and something we’ve done for ages, and I include just about every animal beside ourselves. We change, but seldom if things seem to be going well.
Parents encourage their offspring to adopt the methods they have found successful for survival. In nature the weak and injured don’t survive, and for millennia the same applied to most people. When you got hurt badly, you just died. Listen to and adhere to the counsel of your elders, and you make it to the point of reproduction, usually.
Unfortunately, this proven method, this naturally conservative position, is based on an unchanging universe, at this moment. Okay…maybe that’s too broad, but it is certainly relevant to the unchanging circumstances in the world around us. Our downfall, and that of many animal species, is that we may not even see the changes happening around us, or, even if we do see them we cannot see what those changes may mean for our futures. Some enlightened beings may even be able to extrapolate from their observations, but be unable to figure out how to change their own direction, or be unable to change the direction of others who are also at risk.
In days of distant yesteryear, we prayed to the gods of nature to let things remain the same; good weather, fertile soils, great hunting, and many viable offspring, enough to replace those lost to accident or illness. As time went on, many concocted the gods into one Supreme Being, but felt just as inclined to pray for unchanging bounty, including kids. However, those very kids live adventuresome lives, exploring and changing day by day, and they pretty clearly reveal our adult inability to deal with change. However, deal with change we must.
Ironically, it is our natural conservatism that is a major cause of our need to change, and do so quickly. The simple fact is that we have too many people on this earth for the resources available, and cutting down on our desires, and even needs, will not help as long as we keep ‘conservatively’ producing ever more consumers of rapidly dwindling resources. Also, our response to ‘new’ changes is distressingly conservative, trying desperately to use our old learned behaviours to deal with situations that they are incapable of addressing.
Sandy, the gigantic storm to hit the USA eastern seaboard, is a case in point. Rather than recognizing the need to change our way of thinking, authorities and the populace are looking to rebuild in exactly the same places. Instead, they should be reorganizing the living situations for millions along the coastlines, or even thinking more globally and reducing the human created causes of climate change that generate such destructive storms.
If lucky, we might see the occasional person build their house a bit higher. Instead of wholesale movement away from danger areas, with governments helping to move people by transferring property rights to new and safer locations, we see people stuck with sand covered lots from which they have no chance of moving.
Of course people and population numbers do not directly cause large storms, but the numbers certainly push all the environmental factors that way. Rather than accepting that people want to have sex, need to have sex, and will have sex, conservatives insist that it be done in only the traditional way. That has the consequence of producing even more of those pesky problems; children to tax our finite resources. 
Same gender sex, as well as free and easy birth control, including, yes, abortion on demand, is the only way we are going to be able to voluntarily reduce our population on this planet. Some see those as rights, others see them as necessities, however, irregardless of how you see it, the need is immense and imminent, and conservative people, relying on staid conservative values, cannot respond rationally to the demands of conservation for our survival.