A Universal Mission Statement

For believers or skeptics, atheists or theists of all stripes, might this function as a call to arms that everybody could support?

Discern the nature of reality as accurately as possible and, as far as any facts have practical applications, bring ourselves into alignment with them and exercise them habitually.  

Sure, that’s just a draft, but I think it gets at the point clearly: we all just want to learn things that are true, and act on them accordingly, to the benefit of ourselves and the larger world, whether those things are secular or spiritual, artistic or scientific, or all of the above.

One comment on “A Universal Mission Statement

  1. I could endorse that. Do the science, use the applications it suggests to make our lives more sustainable. Now that grant money is scarce, one would do well to advocate more grants for basic research rather than less.

    We have destroyed well over fifty per cent of the greenery that existed at the start of the Industrial Revolution. The CO2 has reportedly approximately doubled within the last 150 years and the temperature averages have historically followed the CO2 & Methane levels almost slavishly. Among all but a few tools, the debate about climate change is over. There’s no doubt about the data, no doubt about it being anthropogenic.

    The global warming data is there. According to a former denier physicist PhD from California, who got a big grant from Charles and David Koch to go through the data, he is concerned that in the public there is this discussion as though there were any doubts about it. Global warming is real, and it’s anthropogenic. Period. His funders are less than ecstatic about it. The Guardian reported about the research and consequences, and I have high confidence in that, but the other part may not be as well sourced.

    Among other stuff that we know about what we have done as far as releasing gigatons of toxic substances into fields and streams, oceans and the air we breathe. With food prices on the upward slant of the cycle, lots of virgin rainforest will be–not cut down and used–burned to sow a field of cattle feed. Also, that steak you had for dinner, was likely to be from Amazonas. When the minerals start running out, they burn another piece, if the rise continues.

    When those fallow fields are left to their own devices the rains wash the loose material into rivers. This happens increasingly, when climate change continues to increase precipitation overall, and especially make for more torrential rainfall, so that in many areas what rain comes down over the year, comes over fewer days.

    When the increased rainfall falls on sunburned fields after a draught, they do much more damage, because the soil cannot soak water as fast as it falls.

    I don’t need to continue in this pessimistic vein.

    There are things we can do, things to make this better in our own backyards. Demand regulations to how much pollution is acceptable. Some is always inevitable, but we don’t have to destroy the planet to feed and clothe ourselves.

    All that talk about how it would cost too much to become greener, but actuarially it costs more in the long run to do nothing about it. Ask an insurance broker for a quote for a major building project. Your insurance premium comes down when you use better and more recyclable insulation, double or triple glazing, renewable energy for heating (they know what will most likely cost money in the future). All that can create jobs and give us opportunities that will more than cover for the jobs we possibly might lose by polluting less. It will be an effort, but then nothing good comes to us without a little effort.

    I have used the pronoun we as much as I can. I realise that my standard of living, my gadgets, warm house & clean drinking water, all of that has a cost. I am one of the polluters whenever I make a choice to use more energy than I need. And I am very conscious of my grandchildren’s futures. Will they ask us why we didn’t stop this as long as we had a choice? Assuming we still do…

    And I apologise if this comes out as “preachy” (which it is). I’m trying to say that science tells us there is a major crisis looming in the double whammy of resource depletion and population growth. Twenty years ago somebody said that in the 21st century, war will be mostly fought over water and other precious & scarce resources. The value of everyday necessities will remind us of itself when we are at risk of losing them (and writing at your blog, I’m conscious of stilted sentences–ouch).

    (What’s funny is that in the 1960s the young people worried over pollution and depletion of resources. Now the same people (Boomers, I should say) are the worst polluters. What happened there? I remember hearing about Global warming in the late sixties or early seventies. It was more like a fad among the people. With us, it shouldn’t be a fad. We have a stewardship of this Earth. That means we are responsible for what we do with it. No one person can do much, but a lot of small acts grows into something meaningful. Besides, that stewardship rests on all of us.)

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