Free Fall — Gone

A series of postings offering perspective and commentary on art and global environmental issues

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Gone (Joe Carlisi)
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There is no doubt that our familiar world has undergone significant change in recent years and continues to change at a rapid, accelerating rate. Viewed from the perspective of geological time, the  brief moment of human history on earth seems, to us, an eternity. The relative and temporary environmental stability that we experienced seemed definite and permanent . . . and we grew used to it . . . comfortably adjusted to it. We built our civilization . . . the “social order” around our expectations of permanence and relative predictability of the earth’s patterns and resources. We took it for granted.

The expectation of predictability that was built into just about every aspect of human enterprise and activity has diminished markedly and continues to evaporate at a rapid pace. It is the glue that holds our world together and unites our collective perception of reality. Now, it is gone.

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The results of the current environmental meltdown are significant, unsettling and often deadly.

People are as much a part of the planet’s environment as

anything else and as such are subject to the same unbalance and destabilization that is affecting the entire ecosystem. Individual awareness / perception as well as the collective consciousness are deep in troubled waters. We are not exempt from the chaos that we have produced.

Pandemics, famine, fires, water disasters on both ends of the spectrum – dry and wet, increasing catastrophic weather events, massive contamination of the air, land and sea, war, desperate politicians trying to shore up an unraveling social order . . . all at epic levels. No safe havens left . . . increasing danger and difficulties with travel. It gets worse every

day.

When will our world return to normal . . . to the way it was?

Never. It can’t. “Water under the bridge”, (as the saying goes).

 A new balance  will settle in. When and how it will look are unknown, unknowable and unpredictable. The incalculable forces of nature are in play.

The unsettling effect of core element destabilization of the global environment is undeniable and very apparent. It is playing out in the behavior of individuals and in the collective actions of the social order . . .  a marked increase in anxiety, depression, suicide, aberrant (often violent) behavior and general disfunction at all ages, at all levels of the social spectrum.

Wishing to go back, struggling to reinstate times past are unfortunately futile . . . an effort to achieve the impossible. At best, we can, as individuals, take responsibility for our actions and adjust our personal lifestyles to more sustainable practices in an attempt to mitigate the ongoing degradation of the global ecosphere . . . the platform on which rests all life . . . including ours.

As the window for halting or reversing environmental free – fall  closes, another  window is opening. What will be revealed is unknown at this point in time, but as nature seeks and eventually finds its balance, a different world will emerge.

Evolution is, basically, the ability of living organisms to make positive, adaptive change / adjustment under the pressure of changing environmental conditions.

 Perhaps, it would be a more successful choice to focus on navigating and calibrating our energy on the “now,” rather than staying fixed on the receding view in the rearview mirror. “Water under the bridge” is gone and cannot be reclaimed. At best, we might be able to  slow it down and minimize destabilization.

Maybe, upon reflection, the past is best left behind. Why strive to return to something that clearly failed . . . a way of life that resulted in an inability to sustain life . . . a world view based on fictions that resulted in a path to extinction? Were they really “the good old days”? Are we really longing and struggling to go backward? To repeat failed choices?


Joe Carlisi

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Joseph Carlisi – Biography     

Born and raised in New York City, he earned BA and MA degrees in Philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York and then continued his graduate studies in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working under the mentorship of Marvin Minsky. Joseph worked as a part time content and copy editor for Harvard University Press (science and medicine) while attending M.I.T.     

After ten years as a university lecturer, researcher and administrator, he started and managed an advertising / public relations firm in San Diego, CA that handled a wide range of commercial accounts. On the academic side, he published a series of seven articles on animal behavior for Harvard Magazine and two books: “A Guide to Personal Power” and most recently “Playing God on the Eve of Extinction”.

Joseph Carlisi creates oil on canvas paintings that can be described as vivid, surreal and unexpected. His paintings have been exhibited and sold in: Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Tokyo, Yokohama, Amsterdam, Berlin and Salvador Brazil.

Joe’s art is available for purchase.

Contact him at carlisijoseph@yahoo.com.

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Born and raised in New York City, he earned BA and MA degrees in Philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York and then continued his graduate studies in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working under the mentorship of Marvin Minsky. Joseph worked as a part time content and copy editor for Harvard University Press (science and medicine) while attending M.I.T. After ten years as a university lecturer, researcher and administrator, he started and managed an advertising / public relations firm in San Diego, CA that handled a wide range of commercial accounts. On the academic side, he published a series of seven articles on animal behavior for Harvard Magazine and two books: “A Guide to Personal Power” and most recently “Playing God on the Eve of Extinction”. Joseph Carlisi creates oil on canvas paintings that can be described as vivid, surreal and unexpected. His paintings have been exhibited and sold in: Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Tokyo, Yokohama, Amsterdam, Berlin and Salvador Brazil. Joe’s art is available for purchase.

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