What is the EOS about?

EOS LOGO

By Enrique Lescure

Reality

Fundamentally, the Earth Organisation for Sustainability are an organisation that is devoted to reality.

What then is reality? Ultimately, there are only two things you can be sure of existing, namely your own mind and reality (everything that your mind in itself cannot affect without some sort of action through your body). The only thing that you fundamentally know about reality is that it exists independent from your mind. There are some worldviews that disagree with this accessment, especially from the neo-spiritual direction, but EOS bases its analysis on the idea of a reality that exists independent of human opinions about it.

reality-check

This means that we believe that if you dress in a Superman outfit and tries to jump from the twelfth floor, it won’t end very well. Chances are high that you would agree with that accessment.

However, not the same can be spoken of our civilizations.

The Eocene Biosphere

eocene_marsh_fauna_hq_by_zdenek_burian_1976

The last mass extinction event was roughly 65 million years ago. It was most likely caused primarily by a meteorite impact outside the Yucatán Peninsula in what would later become the Caribbean Sea. This event ended the era of the Dinosaurs, and led to the birth of the era of the Mammals, who gradually filled out the ecological vacuum left in the smouldering ruins of the Mesozoic eco-systems.

Of course, the rich diversity of land and marine animals we currently enjoy on this Earth are not identical with the species found during the early to middle Eocene phase. In general, evolution tends to fill niches and develop new species and ecosystems in a never-ending symphony.

Evolution can hardly be described as a “hurricane in trash dump”, nor blind and random. Rather, it tests itself against the physical reality and bends itself around it, challenging it and forming a colourful diversity of life. Life also rearranges the very environment itself, forming complex webs of interrelationships – ecosystems – that strive to survive. After all, life wants to live.

meerkat-familyBut does evolution  have an end-game? Isn’t it so that evolution has played out its role, as a few transhumanists assert, as it has reached it’s purpose (producing us)? For certain, evolution continues to go strong, albeit “slow” from the perspective of a human life-time.

The great Canadian Palaeontologist, Dr Dale A. Russell, observed a trend in fossils, namely that the brain-to-body ratio has been steadily rising amongst animal populations in geological time. He predicted that if evolution continues for another 900 million years, brain-to-body ratios of typical animals then will be six times greater than today – meaning that humans are truly exceptional – as the first species that has acquired sapience, but that does not mean that many more intelligent species will see the light of dawn as evolution progresses. If we – or the species descending from us – are still there many millions of years from now, we will be able to observe and experience that very process. We will be able to meet friends we could never have imagined, and will be able to learn much from them on an equal basis.

The Sixth Great Mass Extinction

earth-from-space-at-night

Our current civilization is built on exponential economic growth. A large part of the legitimacy of the current socio-economic system is derived from abilities to create consumer cultures and increase the living standards within the frameworks of such a system. After all, as a largely and increasingly secular civilization, we don’t have any heavenly ethos that can legitimise poverty and perpetual debt. But due to economic growth, your children will certainly have it better than you!

The industrial civilization has existed for 200 years, and it can probably last 100 to 200 years more. During its first 200 years, it has managed to create a widening and deeper ecological deficit. It has managed to transform the rules of Earth’s climate and transform the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, upsetting the established climate cycle on the planet. Moreover, it has managed to create extinction levels of species 1000 times faster than the normal rate. In short, we are right now living through a mass extinction event.

The destruction of groundwater and soil to feed our unsustainable agro-industry will serve to accelerate this process, and eventually it will smother the very system it is intended to feed, creating an industrial collapse and see the civilization lose complexity and undergo collapse and dark age phases until we’ve learned the lesson of not overshooting.

However, evolution will go on, and the damage we have done to the planet will be healed during millions of years, until a new balance emerges and new species branch out.

The ethos of EOS

Alex_Grey-Holy_Family1

For every eco-system we destroy, for every species that we make extinct, alter or transform in order to feed the insatiable thirst of oligarchical institutions that mostly benefit a super-elite on the top, we are depriving evolution of opportunities, and depriving the future of potential diversity. We are doing it, either actively by participating in it, or passively by accepting it, because we need to maximise economic growth for the next quarter of a year.

Earth will cope with it.

It is not sure humanity will.

What we want to do is to offer humanity a way that allows us to reach our full potential as an intelligent, responsible and empathetic culture. That the primary goal of the human civilization should be eudaimonia, within the capabilities of the planet, that we should add to the diversity and beauty of this world, not destroy it and turn it into a concrete desert. That we should seek to expand our knowledge and creativity, and act as responsible caretakers of this beautiful world teeming with life.

We are a sapient species. It is time we start behaving as one.

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2 Comments

  1. LordWind said,

    January 19, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I have some problems with this text starting out with the Dale A. Russel section that seems nonsensical, illogical and hypothetical at best.

    1, What is the author’s point here? Other than presenting highly unlikely events and theories? What “friends” are the future humans going to meet and learn from? I am truly lost here and don’t understand the point of anything in this section, only lots of weird hypotheses.

    Also lots of opinions and assumptions presented as fact in this text, some even bad assumptions imho.

    I quote: “After all, as a largely and increasingly secular civilization, we don’t have any heavenly ethos that can legitimise poverty and perpetual debt. But due to economic growth, your children will certainly have it better than you!”

    2. Having a “heavenly ethos” would most likely illegitimise poverty and perpetual debt, not legitimise it. Maybe you meant to write illegitimise or change it to that since it makes more sense then? Jesus wasn’t too hot on poverty and perpetual debt if you catch my drift.

    3. Societal forecast on living standards have the last 10 years reported things in line with that people in the future will not be able to enjoy the same living standard as some of us do today, so that your children will have it better than you economically isn’t guaranteed by simply existing in a capitalist/consumerist society.

    4. Where is the science behind statements such as that the Earth will heal itself from humanity’s impact over millions of years?

    Science can only look at natural extinction events that have happened prior to the rise of humanity and see that the Earth managed to heal from that. But humans are an unnatural extinction event waiting to happen. The Earth may, or may not cope – we simply don’t know what will happen and saying it will cope sounds more like an opinion or wish than a scientific fact.

    3. Perhaps is it also time for reflection on the matter if humans are truly “sapient” in the correct meaning of the word. As a collective it is highly questionable these days: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sapient

    Maybe it is time to change the name on our species and remove the sapiens sapiens part and replace it with something more fitting and truthful?

    • Eos Umeå said,

      January 19, 2015 at 11:32 am


      1, What is the author’s point here? Other than presenting highly unlikely events and theories? What “friends” are the future humans going to meet and learn from? I am truly lost here and don’t understand the point of anything in this section, only lots of weird hypotheses. ”

      The brain to body ratio *has* increased since advanced four-legged land animals appeared, amongst proto-mammals, mammalians, dinosaurs and birds. If life continues on, it would most likely continue, until most advanced life-forms are as intelligent or more intelligent than human beings.

      “2. Having a “heavenly ethos” would most likely illegitimise poverty and perpetual debt, not legitimise it. Maybe you meant to write illegitimise or change it to that since it makes more sense then? Jesus wasn’t too hot on poverty and perpetual debt if you catch my drift. ”

      Historically, during the middle ages, religion was used as a tool to motivate people to accept their lot in life. You cannot claim that medieval Christianity or Buddhism in Asia was generally used to demand revolutionary redistribution of property, though some heretical rebel leaders often used religion to motivate dissent.

      “3. Societal forecast on living standards have the last 10 years reported things in line with that people in the future will not be able to enjoy the same living standard as some of us do today, so that your children will have it better than you economically isn’t guaranteed by simply existing in a capitalist/consumerist society.”

      Depends on what studies you use. This is not what I am saying, but what for example Hans Rosling and Johan Norberg are saying. I agree that it is biased data and only is derived from statistics about growth in the 20th century, assuming it will continue as now.

      “4. Where is the science behind statements such as that the Earth will heal itself from humanity’s impact over millions of years?”

      Of course not, but some life-forms are already adapting, such as rats, cockroaches and some medium sized predators that move into urban areas.

      Saying that, the Earth Organisation for Sustainability is founded to reduce our impact on the environment and try to avert the mass extinction.


      3. Perhaps is it also time for reflection on the matter if humans are truly “sapient” in the correct meaning of the word. As a collective it is highly questionable these days: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sapient

      Perhaps, but those of us who are seeing the abyss before us ought to cooperate and struggle to avert this. Do we as a species “want” to be sapient, or do we “want” to be on the same level as mold? That is the choice we must illuminate for people to make.


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