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Letter to Decimillennial Australia:

a voice to the nation

The already established Anthropocene Mass Extinction, the 6th major extinction, for which the dominant world civilization is responsible, is now leading us in the direction of exponential global warming and civilization collapse, or even worse.

We need help, the world needs help, and the urgent need for long-term global sustainability seems to point to First Peoples, and particularly the Australian indigenous civilization, as among the few who hold the keys to the future. The very long term continuous and highly successful nature of Australian culture and land management over multiple tens of thousands of years means “Decimillennial Australia” needs to establish a “voice to the nation”, to advise on the best way to transform the totality of our civilization so as to assure that there can be a future.

There is a continuum from homo sapiens sapiens to homo stupidens stupidens which englobes whole cultures, entire continents, over centuries and millennia. Ours, the so-called ‘western civilisation’, in many key respects is at the homo stupidens stupidens end of the spectrum. The Australian decimillennial culture in its historical dimension is undoubtedly at the homo sapiens sapiens end.

I am inviting those in the indigenous community with ‘access’, to reach back beyond 1788, beyond the two centuries of destruction and belittlement, back into the depths of that culture, and bring forth the knowledge, the wisdom, the essence of 100,000 years of an ever-developing culture, community and responsibility for the earth. Today, this century, that knowledge may well be the key to the future, the key to there being a future.

The new Australian culture of two centuries, along with that of much of the present world, is destroying our planet. That’s the meaning of the term, ‘the Anthropocene mass extinction’, which has its origins with the industrial revolution – about the time the doctrine of Terra Nullius arrived on Australian shores. We don’t realise what we have done, and don’t know how to change. But our problem is now the problem of all peoples, those who have caused the present situation, as well as those who have always worked to contain the damage and respect the planet.

It is to be hoped that the most ancient of those wisdom cultures, perhaps the most peaceful and the most responsible, can now become the guide that can advise our leaders and our people – and find ways to lead them to listen and be informed.

Looking at the world today, much of the planet has been adversely affected by the brutality of the Western search for domination and conquest - ever perfected by today’s corporatocracy, financeocracy and oligarchy. The Earth herself is now looking to you, to the people who have tended the earth for 100,000 years, spanning geological catastrophes that today we seek to ignore, while closing our eyes to similar ecological catastrophes we have already created in ‘our’ epoch of the Anthropocene.

The 10 millennia that has seen the development of what is now the ‘western civilisation’ that dominates, destroys and is slowly reducing to detritus the major part of the entire world population and its natural diversity evidently do not carry the seeds of wisdom we are desperately in need of today. On the contrary, the 10 decimillennia of Australian civilisation, the peoples who eschewed the deceptive riches of quantity for the wealth of quality, can present the essential understanding that can lead this country, and the entire planet, to a new world, a world of people and planet, rather than a world of profit and power for the few.

We need your assistance to avoid a futurecide that could be worse than the Permian Mass Extinction. The dominant world culture does not have the answer. Any attempt to avoid the risk of exponential warming while using the same technologies and structures that caused it is doomed to failure. We need something new, something ancient, the wisdom and expert knowledge that guided the most successful and sustainable culture and land management of all time, with its respect for life, for community, for country, for planet. There we may find a guarantee of a long-term future for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and beyond.

This process of creating a new world, a world with its origins in so many and varied traditions of sustainable agriculture and supportive communities around the world, would certainly make judicious use of the multitude of non-impactual aspects of the present world; much of our science and technology and culture can be compatible with a ‘planet with a future’. We also need to sustain a deep confidence in the evolutionary direction of the living planet over 4 billion years of dynamic homeostasis, despite the 5 major extinction events to date. We have now initiated the 6th, the first ever where a single species is uniquely responsible. But because we have caused it, through a species-wide reevaluation of our role in the ecosphere, we can initiate a process of fundamental and radical change that can make the world a much better place to live in, for all, and at the same time guarantee a future, for all.

The threat of global warming can dissipate by quickly - very quickly - eliminating the causes of the Anthropocene extinction: the excessive human footprint and the carbon overload as well as the massive exploitation of both planetary and human resources. To do this we certainly need to reevaluate the type of society and economy, the type of leadership, that have developed over centuries, if not longer. The important work of identifying and promulgating the values and the ways-of-being that can help us to draw back from the brink is the most urgent challenge our species has faced.

It seems this type of world that can guarantee that there will be a future has already existed, perhaps in many parts of the world, but on a very long-term continuous basis it has flourished most importantly in Australia. Today such a world desperately needs to be imagined, guided and nurtured into existence by those who have access in the not so distant past to a living culture that can inform our world today. Perhaps exceptional leadership can be expected to emerge from the exceptional civilisation, to create the stories by which each person across the nation can participate in a renewal of a civilisation for people and planet. By itself, our world seems incapable of achieving this.

An integral part of such a process of renewal would necessarily involve the active participation of multiple individuals across the whole spectrum of life, work and governance, functioning not as part of an organisation, but attentive to the needs of human and planetary survival. Individual Insight, attentive to planetary Earthsight, may assure that there is a future. See: > New Articles > “Earthsight Discussion”.


William Plain

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New articles

Earthsight Discussion March 2023