Cries in the Wilderness; Killing our Planet

Storms are brewing.

Extinction of species, climate change, extreme weather events, growing poverty, pandemics, ocean acidification, desertification, endless wars, and injustice. What will wake us up to the need for changing how we live with each other and this beautiful planet?

Beauty still exists, but for how long?

I wonder if we will wake up before there is no wilderness, clean air, clean water, or sanctuaries for humans, animals, and plants. I wonder if we can learn to be satisfied with less so that we might reduce the burden on our planet while finding more satisfaction.

There are numerous studies that show the benefits of living simply. Why do we get so caught up in the ideas or more, better, consuming, chasing, rushing, and doing?

Spring wildflowers.

The main drivers of our problems are overconsumption driven by corporations and people ruled by greed, growth, and profits. We need new economic and political systems that prioritize quality of life and sustainable living rather than profits and growth. 

It’s time to stop and smell the roses, literally and figuratively. Simple living is a great way to slow down and focus on what’s really important. Working less to buy stuff we have time to reflect, relax, and prioritize our lives. Underneath the acquisition of stuff, we usually want to feel better and/or to connect. If we were connected to our joy and purpose, we wouldn’t really need much; food, shelter, water, and community. Here is a good article summarizing simple living and how to move in that direction.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Hans Hofmann

I write about simple living often because I care and am growing disheartened by the state of our world. My only solace is the belief that humans will kill ourselves, ridding the planet of the parasite we’ve become. Then earth can restore her balance, and encourage new life forms that live from love and unity. 

What do you think? Do you have hope for our human future? Is the planet resilient enough to restore her balance?

51 thoughts on “Cries in the Wilderness; Killing our Planet

  1. I’m with you whole-heartedly, Brad. A significant number of human beings continue to ignore what’s happening and keep living the over-consumptive lives that many of us have been taught (by our culture/history along with trillions of dollars worth of very creative and engaging and persuasive advertising) is our birthright. And then there are the folks who want to deny basic scientific principles — which continue to drive this climate crisis whether they/we “believe” the science or not. I more and more wonder if our human insanity/dysfunction is indeed planet earth speeding up the demise of our particular species… Deep breath in. Deep breath out. And yet, simultaneous with the crisis accelerating all around us, there is still beauty to be savored and honored! Hurrah for your photos… and for your perspective! PS: You may recall that the bridge of my “We’re Running A Big Experiment” song asks rather emphatically “When are we gonna wake up?!”

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    • Hi Will. Thanks for caring so deeply and living your values. Obviously more people need to simplify, but I’m not sure we turn the tide unless governments, banks, and corporations completely change. Deep breath and prayers despite my pessimism.

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  2. It’s hard to have hope when you look around. Pollution. Throw-away culture. Extreme consumerism. But I look at my teenagers and their friends and they are fed up. They seem poised to fight back and revolt against the direction things are going. I hate that it lands on them, but I think they see things how they are far more than I did at their age.

    I’m raising them to appreciate nature and to buy used things and fix broken things…it’s what I can do.

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  3. I agree with you. The global emphasis on the economy of growth is proving unsustainable. Personally I don’t have hope that the planet can be saved, at least for people to live on it. Unless there is a major revolution, and few politicians can see longer than the next elections

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  4. This one post simply paints my every single worry, fear, thought. I don’t know if humans will ever wake up and change for the better. I’m terribly afraid for the future. All we can do is to personally try to live in a way that does as little harm as possible. Collectively… we’ll live and see, if people are capable of change.

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  5. It would be easy for one to be hopeless right now with so much destruction to humanity, but fight on we must! Creator knows what we are up against and he will step in to turn this ship around when all else fails…VK ❤

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  6. Hey Brad,
    There aren’t any easy answers, are there? What does simplify mean to you? What does living with less actually mean? I’ve had to simplify and live with a lot less since before the pandemic and still life continues to be harder and more difficult. I hear people use these phrases and I also understand why they do; but in order for something to actually work, new changes have to resonate with ordinary people. In other words, you have to make it easy, it must be affordable and it must make sense to change the way one lives. It’s easy to separate my trash so that it can be recycled. However, when I hear a story that says that the recycling centers can’t handle the amount of product they receive and it isn’t getting recycled, then what? (That was a story that happened years ago, btw. I’m just saying that rare is anything “new” that turns out to be exactly the way it’s been advertised. So does recycling actually help? Or not? For instance, I live in a suburb in Texas. I can’t even walk to the grocery store. It’s too hot and too far to walk. I must use a vehicle. Convenience, the culprit of so much that many bellyache about, is an inconvenient truth. Is a vehicle a convenience or a necessity? Most of what I hear people wanting to change are the conveniences we have worked hard to have in life. I’m not into dystopian visions for our future. None of us know for sure what the future will hold. We can analyze and project and speculate…but no one knows for sure. What we can change is how we choose to think about things. I believe that most do the best they can with what they have. One works to bring about a better future that doesn’t include throwing the baby out with the bathwater. No nightmare scenarios for me, please. I have enough in real life and, yet, I still find a way. I wish people would write really great books that envision a better life and future for all without the dark side…without some awfulness to it. But humans like to watch nightmares unfold, unfortunately. That stuff sells. Why, I couldn’t tell you. What I know is that life is difficult enough. I’m thankful for the medications that prolong our lives, the doctors with educations who heal, the conveniences we do have, the freedoms we enjoy and the ability to learn and gain knowledge. We can do no great things, just small things with great love. I believe Mother Theresa said that. I believe that. That’s what I try to do each day. What I’ve learned is that life is not fair, there are all kinds of people who live on this earth and some are more pleasant and some are downright mean and awful. Even so, humans are humans; though some are always going to have it better than others. We all have different ideas of how we envision life and the future. Humans are complicated. Life is as well. Mona

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    • Thank you for such a heartfelt and detailed response Mona. Yes, this topic is complicated and filled with challenge. And we each can only do what we are willing and able to do. Recycling is a mess and example of the systemic changes I believe are needed. Why do we still manufacture so many things that can’t be recycled? We need to use materials and packaging that are easily recycled or compostable. Living simply is goal, and different for each person. But clearly our modern lifestyles are not sustainable using the current products, resources, and energy systems. And yes, we need inspiring visions and ideas to help move us forward. I hope we figure it out.

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  7. One way or another, things will be rebalanced…Mother Earth has done it before and can very well do it again. To simple living and communing with nature! ❤ For those who do understand, may we all soak in every moment possible while we can and continue to make conscious choices.

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  8. Thank you for this blog post, Brad. Thank you for caring. I continue to have hope. Maybe I have hope because it liberates me to strive on a daily basis. However I do also experience the concern. May the precious existence of our Mother Earth be once again revered by ever greater groups of people and ingenuity preserve and restore what has already been lost.

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  9. Hi Brad, I think that nature is taking it revenge on humanity for our bad custodianship of this earth. Most people play lip service to making changes to help with climate change but they aren’t prepare to really give anything up. I can say that I am not a person who is always jumping on airplanes to travel around. We do rarely travel by air, but that is only occasionally so that we can see our friends and family in the UK. Air travel is very bad for the environment. I have also drastically reduced our consumption of plastic products and we try to cook from scratch and care for our environment by nurturing our trees and local birdlife. I hardly drive now that I work from home three days a week. That must also make a difference on my personal level.

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  10. I feel greed for money and marketing tactics of big corporates is behind this. People get trapped into non-simple living, and they don’t care the nature. Nature for them is a place to go for vacations and take selfies. They don’t care about the loss… 😦

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  11. I love your photos, Brad. And I feel your pain. I think humans will change their ways, but only when the pain becomes unbearable, and it will be a messy and horribly deadly process. Things feel chaotic and slippery on every level now, unstable and changing faster than we can respond. I think it’s too late to stop the cataclysm, but I also think humankind will come out of it having learned the hard lessons, and the Earth will recover. Simplifying our lives is a step in the right direction and creates havens of peace in a world gone insane.

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  12. Great post and great wake up call to all!! I think it all starts with each of us individually! Change starts on a one by one basis…..with as far as the environment has tipped, it will force the issue that should have been addressed years ago by all of us. Now our kids will suffer the ultimate outcome…..thanks for sharing!

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  13. I Think Brad we are all in need of a great wake up call… Nature has given us many chances to rectify our greedy ways.. What will it take?? It will take it affecting every one of us… Sadly as we have seen from oppressed and poverty stricken other countries in the world where people have starved to death, but it hasn’t stopped our consumer habits of greed, or waste of resources or food… Our supermarkets throw tons of things away.. Amazon sends to land fill tons of returned goods… Farmers plough back good food.. Milk is tipped down the drain…. All because of profit margins…

    We no longer co operate with each other we are in competition all of the time…. And until we are all affected… BIG TIME… I doubt things globally will change… Unless we are the ones willing to change… our habits.. our conveniences, our life styles… People are lazy in the main Brad… they want things faster.. cheaper and NOW….
    They forget the toil, the exploitation of labour often in sweat shops in China, India, and other countries who are paid a pittance for..

    So we are ALL of us Guilty when we buy our cheaper clothes, shoes, and electrical goods etc… You just have to look at the label where made..

    We want Clean air, Green pastures, and many are protesting for a greener Earth yet they do not look into the Lithium mining for those Electric car batteries of the amount of energy it takes to make a Wind turbine or what goes into maintaining it…

    I am all for sustainability, I am…. I am for renewable energy too… But unless we each look in the mirror and change our own habits.. Nothing is going to change, if we keep buying and wanting cheaper goods…

    We grow most of our own food… But we still need fuel, electricity and gas.. Prices which have not just doubled but quadrupled this year in the UK…
    I get as frustrated as you Brad….
    The answer I do not know… Except we can all do our small bits by taking better care of our environment and animal and plant life, and by being aware and mindful of the consequences of all our actions..
    Maybe it will be Mother Earth may shock all of us to a more simpler living life style if we are not careful…. Many are not prepared and wouldn’t cope… and mayhem would ensue..

    Sorry for the Book- response LOL…. Great thought provoking post Brad…. We try our best.. and that is all we can do.. ❤

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  14. I believe it is up to concerned individuals to do what’s best for the planet. I don’t believe the masses will get it. We are too many people and it is in our genes to multiply. Until we address this fundamental issue our future is bleak.

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    • Thanks for caring and commenting. Yes, population control is needed and I believe cooperation among large groups (ideally governments and corporations is needed). Individuals can lead the change but aren’t sufficient to drive the mass changes needed.

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