Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fear and greed: the engine of global warming

Corporations and governments seem to act with no moral compass, like refusing to do anything about greenhouse gases even as the world roasts.

Why is this?

Public companies are whores to the Wall Street pimps - if you don't come in with cash tonight, you get beat up. So corporate leaders who are afraid of losing their jobs and the bags of money that come with it will act against what might be their own moral gauge of what is right in order to bring in the top dollar to the company's stockholders.

In the same way, elected officials are highly dependent on funding to win an election, and so they also become whores to those who have money - namely large corporations. An elected official is driven by greed for power or the fear of losing their position to go against their own moral gauge of what is right.

Then there is the engine behind the pressure to act unethically: Wall Street (or your equivalent in your country). These big greedy investment institutions are leading us pell mell to destruction.

But who is Wall Street serving? Where do they get all their money?

From you and I. We want immediate results or we dump our mutual funds. We are afraid of losing money, and we want to make more money. Fear and greed.

So at all levels, it is fear and greed which is driving this, starting with you and me. And what drives fear and greed? Well, I don't know about anyone else, but for me it is tied to deep beliefs in my own smallness, in feeling limited, contracted, vulnerable.

So how do I fight global warming? I try to fight these feelings I have about myself, and remind myself of my own greatness and goodness. In this way I can start making choices that are not based on fear and greed.

An ancient scripture from India says: dhanam atma jnanam: "Knowledge of the Self is charity". As I follow this thread of corrupt and unethical behavior down to its source, I can see the deep wisdom of this statement.

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