Local author Bob Harrington gave a talk on the declining state of the world at the Nakusp Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 24. He said scientists had given us 30 years to continue living the way that we are, but he wasn’t as optimistic himself.
What needed to change was more than just cleaning up the air, but a deep change in how we viewed ourselves and the planet. Rather than seeing ourselves as somehow separate, Harrington emphasized that we are all “earthlings” that come from the Earth. Turning around the system of existence that we have come to rely on is hazardous not only to our health but that of the planet that we are part of.
Harrington took aim at the contemporary worship of the bottom line, saying that a corporation is a form of a disease because it values profit over survival. Being buried in money is still being buried, after all.
Rampant deforestation and the burning of fuels are the twin horns of a dilemma that are ramming us into extinction, said the author, who has planted future forests of trees with his wife Linda in efforts to restore some local cuts. The pair have a piece of property out in Galena that they bought after they saw it post-cut.
“Can we afford it, I asked Linda,” Harrington told the audience, “and she said ‘can we afford not to?’’
Education is the key to transforming our world, he said, and it starts with teaching young people the foundations of an ethical life: philosophy. Technology is a distraction that leads us away from the world, and philosophy is what can lead us back to being in the world and teach us to be earthlings once again.