What makes now such an important time is that we have reached a crossroads. We are at a point where the only constraint on our destination is our choice of direction, our decision to limit our impact on our environment, this planet.
We have scaled the heights of growth and technology so effectively that, without a singular focus on living sustainably, we will change our planet’s environment very significantly, probably catastrophically. No matter where you live, or how rich you are, or how clever you are, you cannot be sure that you or your offspring will be amongst the survivors of climate change. Your best bet, by a long shot, is to choose orderly change over chaos. The Path is that orderly change.
The Path follows a simple logic that goes like this:
- In order to bring about the global changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change we need peace. Without peace we will not be able to assemble or coordinate the resources and processes required to build The Path to a Future.
- Even with peace, we still need everyone’s voluntary, personal and active participation in order to make the right choices, select the best leaders, develop the technologies, work together and implement the changes.
- We’re not going to get global peace and cooperation unless there’s something in it for everyone. The Path to a Future cannot just be in people’s eventual interest; it must be the best thing for each and every one of us to do now.
- Finally, The Path has to lead to a future that we want to live in. The future we aim for must be much better if we are collectively going to make the effort required to get there. This future must not only be sustainable, it must be much more fun, with more freedom and ample opportunities for joy for all.
The Path is made from three simple, reinforcing elements:
- Peace is necessary to focus our resources on providing for our security.
- Security allows prosperity to flourish.
- Prosperity allows us to build greater security that sustains the peace, which makes broader prosperity possible.
These three things are inter-dependant. Not new and not rocket science, but with one big and important difference today: realistic achievability.
The link between peace and prosperity was expressed eloquently by Martin Luther King a generation ago (Beyond Vietnam, April 4 1967, New York), and the generation before that by Gandhi, and so forth back through the generations of time. What is different now is the global impact of our choices, and the possibility for global change. Before now to imagine globally coordinated or synchronized change was the stuff of dreams, but today the imagined differences and barriers between peoples have been brought low by the advent of global telecommunications.
The fear that others do not want the same results or that different cultures have irreconcilable differences has kept our sights low and our vision narrow. Now we can see on TV, with our own eyes, people in every corner of the world speak of the same desires, the same intentions and the same simple hopes for themselves, their communities and their planet. Mothers in Maharashtra, Manchester and Malawi all want exactly the same things for themselves and their families.
Keep this in mind as you wind your way down The Path with me. It really is possible for people everywhere to adopt the simple changes proposed in this book, and implement them where they live. In our time, in this age, these ideas can be discovered, disseminated and the process of change started. Within a decade change can be happening across the surface of the globe.
In this book I will attempt to show you that you can build this Path, that there are changes that you can make in the community, region and state that you live in today. I will try to be explicit about what the changes are, without ignoring the fact that exactly how they are achieved is going to be dependent on your specific situation.
After reading this book I hope that you will share with me:
- A joy about the possibilities in front of us
- An understanding of how the changes work together to create The Path
- An enthusiasm for sharing The Path with others, based on your own intuitions and understanding of its value
- A desire to start the changes where you live See you on The Path to our Future.
Note to the Reader from the Author
This book is a collection of ideas, thoughts, frameworks, policies and principles. I am not the arbiter of their truth or their value, you are.
Read this book with a critical eye and keep asking yourself if you agree, or maybe you have a different idea, or would adopt a different approach. Make notes in the margins, and discuss them with your friends.
Go to http://www.StandardsofLIFE.com and add your point of view to the narrative. We all need to be Path builders, and your ideas are as valid as anyone else’s.