While home on leave in 1971, my future wife and I attended the second Earth Day celebration in Austin, Texas. I don’t remember much about it, except it was a beautiful day, and I was with the beautiful woman that I would spend 25 years with on this beautiful Earth.
Today I am not sure it is appropriate to wish someone “happy Earth day.” Is it? As a Buddhist I strive to keep a happy mind, which I do believe allows clear insight and comes by negating ignorance, anger and confusion about the things we all deal with on a daily basis. However, a happy mind requires equanimity, a challenging matter given what we observe humanity doing to – committing against – our Mother Earth.
AI, artificial intelligence, is one of my favorite topics, which I have written about previously. Being a positive soul, coupled with faith in what I observe in the young generation – their concern about climate change, to the point of global walk-outs by school children – I do feel somewhat better that AI will be shaped by our progeny toward arresting the slow decay of our space-ship/biosphere. On the other hand, there is the very real threat of high-tech gurus attitude of never looking back, and only concerning themselves with accomplishing technological steps that really remove humanity even further from our Mother. Without heavy ethical push-back, there is extreme risk of technology being grasped by near fascist political regimes that will push the curve downward, continuing the decrement of the life-force that sustains all life.
In democratic nations, people can push back by voting for those who do cherish the Earth, who do work in evidence-based policy formation and who do what must be done. Democracies that follow an environmental friendly state policy-making can also greatly influence the non-democratic and developing nations.
So, let me end on a positive note, and do wish everyone, all my fellow humans, orangutans, and all Mother’s “creatures”, Happy Earth Day!