Global Change — Ominous Signs of Our Times
- What is global change?
- Who is documenting change?
- What are the driving forces for change?
- What will happen if these forces continue to operate long into the future?
- Is the commotion about change hype or reality?
Global change is a term that encompasses many issues, including: change in climate, economies, human life styles, depletion rates of non-renewable resources, humanity's impact on the global environment, etc. It's happening today like never before!
The driving forces come with the relatively recent escalation in materialism and thus use of the earth's natural resources, the exponential rise in human population, and burst of technology advancements. We see global change as a phenomenon attaining unequaled proportions compared to prior history. WindowView offers a number of feature articles to illustrate global change in a separate area entitled: Change. Reading the various articles there reveals that—by all appearances and recent scientific data—humanity is wearing the earth 'thin.' Today many scientists in the physical and social sciences, along with political scientists, see change at work. Many want more funds to document the process, but others decry the limited amount of time we have to respond. If unchecked, these activities on all fronts lead to a decline that certainly threatens life as we live it today. Some predictions speak to dire consequences ahead—even significant environmental and economic collapse in various regions of the world.
We include consideration of global change within the WindowView because this accounts for a building tension that is ever present in the background. This is a component of the TimeLine that is not to be forgotten—and we include the timeline as a tool to help us think of what is ahead. At some point in the future, if global consequences build to inescapable problems, then humanity will as a whole be faced with issues that complicate the already complex day-to-day political and economic activities we are so use to seeing played out in the news.
We include global change as a part of the window view in the next feature area entitled: The Creator's Window and later factor this change into our exercise on paradigm building at the conclusion of WindowView. Change is a factor that influences our future and is a necessary component of our time looking through the window.
There is nothing more powerful than pictures. The time lapse image in the movie below is a composite of photos gathered by Google and Time.com. While we at WindowView have been thinking in terms of the material and global impacts of change for several decades ... nothing brings the message home like the images from the desert (Dubai), a receding glacier (Columbia Glacier), deforestation in the tropics (The Amazon), the reduction of a water source as a city grows (Las Vegas). These are the examples below and they are a mere reflection of change across the entire planet.
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Again, WindowView offers a number of feature articles to illustrate various facets of Global Change. We encourage your reading the feature articles offered here to then take time for reflecting on how humanity is in fact bearing down heavily on earth's capacity to support our species and all life. The change we see here is a significant 'sign for our times.' Yet, wrapped up in our daily lives we tend to put off considering something that promises inevitable consequences. Climate changes for example are a bit tricky. There are inconsistent effects over the earth, leading some to say: 'Not to worry!' But dare we think this way? According to many scientists global change is a building reality—not hype—and some of the consequences are in fact already documented in the scientific literature.
On the larger front, with all its components, global change portends something more than an increase in temperature. This is change at the root of humanity's identity and purpose. This perspective may take the entire viewing exercise to appreciate fully, so keep change in mind as we continue looking.
Writer / Editor: Dr. T. Peterson, Director, WindowView.org