There’s a disconnect between what we know and what we do


Un extracto del capítulo “The Immortals”, de Cosmos, a Spacetime Odyssey:

But what about civilizations that self-destruct? Our economic systems were formed when the planet and its air, rivers, oceans, lands, all seemed infinite.
They evolved long before we first saw the Earth as the tiny organism that it actually is.
They’re all alike in one respect they’re profit-driven, and therefore, focused on short-term gain.
The prevailing economic systems, no matter what their ideologies, have no built-in mechanisms for protecting our descendants of even 100 years from now, let alone, 100,000.
In one respect, we’re ahead of the people of Ancient Mesopotamia.
Unlike them, we understand what’s happening to our world.
For example, we’re pumping greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere at a rate not seen on Earth for a million years.
And the scientific consensus that we’re destabilizing our climate.
Yet our civilization seems to be in the grip of denial; a kind of paralysis.
There’s a disconnect between what we know and what we do.
Being able to adapt our behavior to challenges is as good a definition of intelligence as any I know.
If our greater intelligence is the hallmark of our species, then we should use it, as all other beings use their distinctive advantages to help ensure that their offspring prosper, and their heredity is passed on, and that the fabric of nature that sustains us is protected.
Human intelligence is imperfect, surely, and newly arisen.
The ease with which it can be sweet-talked, overwhelmed, or subverted by other hard-wired tendencies, sometimes themselves disguised as the light of reason, is worrisome.
But if our intelligence is the only edge, we must learn to use it better.
To sharpen it.
To understand its limitations and deficiencies.
To use it as cats use stealth before pouncing.
As walking sticks use camouflage.
To make it the tool of our survival.
If we do this, we can solve almost any problem we are likely to confront in the next 100,000 years.

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