August 11 2005
Resource Wars Are So Twentieth-Century
-- We Should Do Better
by Stan Moore
"We should be able to figure out how to live on this planet in harmony by now. We should recognize that greed is bad and selfishness is unacceptable."
It seems nothing short of remarkable that, in the fifth year of the New Millennium, the Twenty-First Century, we are struggling with unresolved major problems from the seventh decade of the last century. The oil embargo of the seventies, the spike in gasoline prices, the long lines at the gas pumps, the realization of petroleum as a finite resource – all should have provided impetus and momentum to have solved the issues of energy dependence long before now.
We should have seen how population growth was beginning to strangle the life out of our oceans, our forests, our aquifers, and our budgets. We could have taken steps to permanently solve these issues.
Simultaneously, we watched the development of more and more lethal and destructive weapons of war. We saw science and technology develop hydrogen bombs attached to multiple independently retargeted satellite vehicles. We saw "bouncing betty" mines and we saw cruise missiles and depleted uranium and high performance aircraft, including attack helicopters.
Why couldn't we figure out how NOT to use all those weapons? Why couldn't we learn to solve the resource issues without fussing and fighting? Why couldn't we learn to share or do without instead of competing and fighting and killing one another?
What if God told us not to fight or he would snap his fingers and "disappear" men of violence? What if God turned all our bombs into duds and rendered our rifles inoperable and our tanks and warplanes useless?
We should be able to figure out how to live on this planet in harmony by now. We should recognize that greed is bad and selfishness is unacceptable. We should learn to tell Donald Trump that excess is not cool, and wealth accumulation is not only un-cool, but also forbidden. We should find greatest honor in the distribution of wealth among all, and the accumulation of wealth should be impossible, due to public insistence.
"Greed is Good", is an outdated philosophy from the Old Millennium. "Share and Share Alike" would be a good mantra for the New Millennium. "Defund and Defang the Military" should be the slogan of the new Department of Peace and Security, replacing the outdated Department of Defense.
If the nations beat their swords into plowshares and learned war no more, we could cure cancer and heal the planet and save the whales and feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted and we could live together in peace.
We need Twenty-First Century Thinking. Let go of the old. Stop competing for resources, and start sharing and learning to make do with less. The universal symbol of the new century could be the happy face, with a cross-placed through the dollar symbol.
George W. Bush and John Kerry would not be happy in the new society, nor would they be welcome. We need new thinking, new leadership, new perspective.
We need world spokespersons like Vendana Shiva, Cynthia McKinney, and Wangaari Matthai. Capable people are amongst us, and solutions can be at our fingertips.
Let's grow a new century from the ground up. It is not too late, yet.
Stan Moore of San Geronimo, CA, is a member of several falconry and ornithological clubs and organizations.