Julia Butterfly Hill: Living With Meaning

To my knowledge, I've never posted here before.  I'm not a member but I greatly enjoy coming to this site to learn more about resiliency.  CM's Crash Course was very eye-opening for me - changed my life.
Julia Butterfly Hill is different (and in many ways better!) than any other interviewee I have heard featured here.  She emphasizes the spiritual aspect of the environment more than other guests.  I particularly like her "magic doesn't reside in charts and chalkboards" perspective.   I found much of what she said inspiring, but not in the way I perceive that she finds inspiring.

I love the idea of "open" discussions that you don't get to have elsewhere, but in keeping with the comment rules/guidelines, I will respectfully try to figure out how to start a thread under "Controversial Topics" on the dissonance of searching for "deeper meaning" in your life in a world where the scientific consensus is that you are nothing more than an unlikely cosmic coincidence, life is nothing more than the interaction of amino acids, thoughts of beauty are mere chemical synapses, and then you die, and cease to exist forever.  Not much beauty in that.

Really, if we're honest, why do we care about "beauty that [we] may not be alive to fully realize?"  If we truly are just "animals", then we should live for ourselves because there is nothing higher to live for.

Not trying to be a downer on an otherwise beautiful interview.  Just trying to spark a thought as to the Source of beauty.


If we truly are just "animals", then we should live for ourselves because there is nothing higher to live for.
Are we supposed to take that literally, mthorn? If so, then it seems that you are trying to justify selfishness, and I think that we have way too much of that already.  
Really, if we're honest, why do we care about "beauty that [we] may not be alive to fully realize?" 
If beauty motivates some people to protect and preserve the environment, that is a good thing. Do you think it is your place to question other people's motives even though the result is entirely positive? If you have good points to make....I don't think they were clear (or maybe I'll still disagree if you explain them better). Maybe I've completely misunderstood your post, but if so, I don't think I'm the only one.

The problem is very simple: There are too many people. Buffer zones and environmental protection wouldn’t be necessary in a sustainably sized population. So the answer is obvious, reduce the size of the population to the point where the input and output is sustainable and safe for the environment. That doesn’t mean purging, it means education and a rethink of our antiquated economic models - and a lot of patience while we undo centuries of excess.
The population problem effects EVERYTHING. It is the root cause of energy depletion, environmental unsustainability, food shortage and thus ultimately global economic failure. And yet the human race seems to have blocked it from their minds for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Democracy can’t solve the issue, the people will never vote against the sanctity of family, the word is sacred. It is blasphemous to even use it in a sentence with verbs like stop or reduce and even religion is against the concept.
Capitalism doesn’t want us to solve the problem because infinite growth defines it.
So lets ask ourselves, are we part of the problem or are we the solution. While I enthusiastically commend people like Julia for their efforts are they missing the larger point, insisting on a biter cure while overlooking the preventative treatment; the “elephant in the room”; unsustainable population size.
Its an emotive issue that people seem to struggle to grasp or cast aside because it conflicts with their romantic view of the cosmos. Certainly the least educated tend to turn a blinder eye. Ultimately anyone with more than 1 child is contributing to the problem. If those people disagree then they are optimists believing that man will find a way to feed, warm and house 9 billion then 13 then 18 then 30 billion and that the air will still be breathable by then. Perhaps they believe the fairy god-mother of technology will rescue humanity, maybe we will get lucky but it won’t be because of hope and optimism from the ‘head-in-the-sand’ fraternity it will be because the realists sat down together and insisted on finding and implementing solutions.

I have been avoiding listening to this podcast for some time.  I didn't want to hear the denial or blaming that seems to go along with so much of the environmental movement.  This was very refreshing.  It was very good to have it pointed out that it is impossible not to make a difference.
John G.

There are many things that when they get wiped out they are gone. By any humanly useful timeframe.
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