The fundamental reality of the world in the year 2022 is that it is heading toward environmental disaster and the great majority of humanity doesn't care enough to try to do anything about it.

I care. I try to do something, but I could try a lot harder. I admire those like Greta Thunberg who do all they can to get action on the climate change that is perhaps the greatest single threat that we could limit, if we had the will.

Of course climate change is only one of the threats to our present civilisation. I have listed many more on another page on this site.

This page was started 2022/05/14, last edited 2023/09/14
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©

These trees have died due to climate change
Dead trees, egrets and spoonbills
A very few of the dead trees in the Len Howard Conservation Park near my home. I have discussed the causes of the tree deaths on another page on this site.

These trees are being killed by climate change
Red stringybark
The trees in this image with the dark bark are red stringybark. They are suffering from climate change in the Clare Valley of South Australia

A reality that many don't seem to want to accept: overpopulation

An even greater and more fundamental threat to our shared planet than climate change and its related problems of ocean acidification, ocean warming and sea level rise is the unsupportable number of people.

If we could reduce the number of humans to, say, ten million rather than the current eight billion many of the environmental threats would go away, but doing so in any humane way would be very difficult and would take far more time than is available.

The first hurdle would be convincing most people that reducing human populations is necessary. I've written more on this subject on another page on this site.

Why do so few people care enough to take action on climate change?

At the time of writing the great majority of Australians and probably educated people world-wide accepted the reality of anthropogenic climate change (climate change caused by humanity). But very few care enough to make any serious attempt to reduce the causes of climate change.

Perhaps the reason for this is the same as why so few people care enough to contribute to the community in which they live; for example only 3% of Australians donate blood. Very few are willing to help maintain the beauty of their community by doing things like picking up rubbish or pulling out weeds adjacent to roads or in public parks.

I suppose that the reasons for all of these include:

"What's in it for me?"
"Why should I see it as my problem?"

The problem is too big
"I'm just an individual, governments should fix it"

What I do now will make no immediate difference
The effects will take years and decades to reach their peak. The problem is global, not local.

I have written a piece on the psychology of climate change on another page on this site.

Facing reality is not fashionable

'New Age' books in a book shop in Mandurah, Western Australia
New Age books
There were only a half dozen or so books on philosophy (including ethics: moral philosophy) in the book shop section shown in the image on the right.

The fact that book shop managers place philosophy in with this non-evidence-based material is bad enough, but the small proportion devoted to philosophy is an indication of the poor critical thinking interests and abilities of the general public.

Many people in the modern world, in which science has shown us so much, still believe much that is entirely lacking in evidentiary support.

Living in a world of delusions is more comforting than facing up to reality.

Reality or delusion?
Belief in the supernatural, the great delusion.

Faith – the greatest enemy of reason
In an age when science and philosophy has shown more and more evidence that there is no supernatural, no malevolent (or friendly) spirits living in trees or 'sacred places', no Rainbow Serpent creators, no God or Gods, no afterlife, why do so many still cling to the religious delusions? Is it some sort of inbuilt human trait, or is it at least partly because they don't want to face reality?

The greatest single cause of people not accepting reality is religion in one or another of its many forms. All are entirely delusional.

John Lindsey II is getting close to the truth in the sign board on the right. It could equally well be said that faith – the holding of beliefs without supporting evidence, or even contrary to the evidence – is the greatest enemy of reason.

All of us

The reality is that all of us must play our part in saving the planet

In 2022 it is abundantly clear that we cannot rely on our governments to make laws that will protect our shared environment. In any case, we, as individuals, should not leave it up to our governments.

If there is to be any hope for the future of the planet we must all play our part. We must change our life-styles to minimise our impact on the planet - "Walk softly on the Earth". We must not hide our heads in the sands of religion and superstition.


At the time I wrote this page I was reading an excellent book, The Nature of Hidden Worlds, subtitled Animals and Plants in Prehistoric Australia and New Zealand, by Mary E. White.

Ms White apparently gives credence to the Gaia concept; that there is some force in the biosphere that keeps the Earth in a state that is optimal for life. This is a point on which I have to disagree with her.

Life is ruled by it genes, and as Richard Dawkins very convincingly pointed out, genes are selfish. Plainly genes are not intelligent, they can't plan. They cannot understand that it might be best for all life, including whatever life form that a particular gene might be in, to co-operate. A gene will 'try' to look after it's own short term welfare whether that is good for all life or not (just as so many humans do, to the detriment of the planet). Therefor it seems to me that Ms White is out of touch with reality in that particular belief - as are all those who accept the Gaia hypothesis.

Related pages

Related pages on external sites...

Reality, in Wikipedia: "Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary."

Related pages on this site...

Selfishness or altruism?

Overpopulation of our shared planet

Contribution to our shared society

Milestones in the development of human society

The disaster that is religion

The concept of an immortal soul is logically unsupportable

Religion and other false beliefs

Divining for water and minerals is nonsensical

The problem and prevalence of ignorance

Science, religion and delusion

Are we seeing the beginning of the end of this global civilisation?