updated with more thoughts:
I have been thinking a lot lately about civilization. I wonder if the whole concept of civilization is part of a harmful mythology. I wonder if the idea that Western society is civilized is part of a mythological cultural construct, one that is based more in fiction and fantasy than in reality and rationalism.
One way to define civilization is the stage of society that is considered most advanced.
So, what makes for civilization? Does high technology make society civilized?
Or is it possible to measure civilization in other ways, for example in the ways that people treat each other, and the ways that people treat living systems of the planet and the very planet itself... Is it possible to measure civilization by how harmoniously members of a society co-exist with each other, and how well a society co-exists with other societies?
How does the USA add up? Does the USA have pretty harmonious relations? Is the USA pretty civilized?
Ought it to be considered advanced if a society is destroying the biological and physical systems that it depends on for quality of life, as well as the natural beauty of the planet?
Ought it to be considered advanced (i.e. civilized) when members of a society exploit each other for purposes of economic self-interest?
p.s. Where did Ernie go? I was looking forward to learning more about Ernie.
Please take a few short minutes to think about the future, and in specific, how the politics and the economics of oil (and peak oil) will play out in terms of potential for a local economy. Serious and grievous (ongoing) harms have been wrought upon humanity, upon biological systems and biological diversity, upon various environments, and upon the Earth as a holistic body— by human societies that are now, more or less, wed-locked to a fossil fuel driven industrial lifestyle. It's a culture of consumption that is enabled by, and which has been fueled by, copious quantities of petroleum products, and other fossil fuels.
Would it make sense to break away cleanly from this terrible reality? —A reality of waging war, killing over mineral and other material resources, invading and occupying foreign nations —for the express purpose of "global dominance" (a policy of which oil is necessary.) Would it make sense to find alternatives, so that humanity and the Earth don't suffer ongoing, and continuously more severe harms, as a result of human beings' and societies' economic behavior? Examples of harmful behavior include: global warming / climate disruption, and pollution of Earth, Air and Water.
For example, we, as a society, might decide at a time like this, that clear-cutting forests is just not working out.