Ignorance is a lack of knowledge or information according to Dictionary.com. Ignorance is dangerous because it can result in people making bad choices and taking actions that harm themselves and others, and it is completely unnecessary. We don’t have to get mad if someone calls us an ignoramus because it’s something we can fix by learning something we lack; it’s completely under our control of we so choose. We can’t possibly all know everything (at least not yet), so each of us indeed is ignorant of something (in fact I’m ignorant of an infinity of things), but when ignorance results in harm to others or our environment when we must take action, or we are simply behaving like uncivilized barbarians. There is no excuse for ignorance at this time in human history, especially when it harms living things.
While some of us are doing our best to learn and do all we can to improve life on Earth, others choose to be ignorant so they don’t have to do things they currently feel like they don’t want to do, or they are in denial of the omnipresence of change. Everyone has experienced this at one time or another. Today, we have knowledge and information at our fingertips, and there is no excuse for this kind of behavior when it causes harm to others. Everything is changing all the time, and people can change if they choose to. We don’t have to fear to take action to reduce our ignorance, because this is something we can all benefit from. Willful ignorance is not confined to any one political party, religion, culture, sex, or school of thought. It runs rampant wherever it takes hold until it’s deliberately overcome by knowledge and truth.
Many argue that there is no truth, and that one can believe whatever they want to believe. That’s just a fallacy in a world mastered by physical and biological science. Up is up, down is down, and you’re going to die painfully if you jump off that high cliff unless you somehow learn to manipulate the laws of physics. You can believe you can fly if you flap your arms hard enough but that doesn’t make it true. For flight, we manipulate the shape of the airplane’s wing to control airflow and create lift, like magic, but it’s science, in this case the Bernoulli Principle. Maybe humans can fly in some other way but it takes some kind of mental control that we haven’t harnessed as of yet (that is my personal hope).
Just because something is true also does not mean it’s “right.” Rightness is a social construct. For our society to function, we need to make well-informed choices backed up by proven, observed facts and knowledge, or people get scammed by selfish charlatans. We can all have opinions and feelings, that’s what make us human, but our choices out in the world do not have to harm others. There is unarguably no low for those who will prey on the weak and ignorant; this has been illustrated many times over in human history.
If our choices result in hurting others, hurting nature, hurting the air, then we should find a better answer to our need, because we can or we should at least try. But just because we know something is right doesn’t mean we’ll take action on it, and that has to change. There are many choices and many answers, and we should all work to find the best answers for ourselves, because there is no excuse for making choices that result in harm. No one is exempt from this responsibility as part of a society that strives to achieve greatness in everything. Ignorance is a choice, and it’s a bad one, like jumping off that cliff. When you choose ignorance, it’s on full display for all to see, and it makes others believe it’s OK to be ignorant too. We may laugh at harmless ignorance, but it’s way past getting real at this point.
Many work every day to answer the questions we all have about the best way to live our lives, and how to make the best possible choices. Public libraries are full of books on infinite topics, and now the internet provides unlimited educational possibilities. We have people and whole organizations set up to ensure the veracity of scholarly achievements, it has worked to advance society to where we are now, beyond the imaginings of of our predecessors, although not without causing harm. We learn as we go that we also have to educate ourselves on and avoid the selfish pursuits of the careless. In times of strife we see equally those who attempt to benefit from others’ suffering and those in our human family who exhibit courage and caring despite tremendous danger and odds. Let’s encourage and lift up these latter achievers, and join the effort.
We have the technology, methods, and critical mass of determined people we need to make this happen, there is no sound reason to wait on some big miracle. Every person from the richest to the poorest, from the strongest to the weakest, from the smartest to the most ignorant can do this, and should do this. We don’t have to determine absolute right or wrong but surely what is best for ourselves, our loved ones, our society, our natural environment, our world and all who live in it; everything is connected. Instead of clinging to ignorance, let’s have some fun and create reverberations of knowledge and truth based on the magic of reality, a concept well illustrated and explained already.
We have so far to go, so much work to do, and it’s a worthy pursuit with endless possibilities and benefits for humanity and all species on Earth (we’re not just talking about obscene financial profits for a few any more). Think of what we could discover if we could cooperate long enough to master flight out into the far reaches of space. I want to see it! Too much of our hard-earned resources of time and money go to wasteful or frivolous activities that do nothing to advance our own personal enrichment as a member of humanity or that of society. We have the possibilities at our fingertips more than ever before to do good, meaningful, fun, exciting things.
At The Climate Economy, we feel ignorance is obsolete, irresponsible and unnecessary, and we will work however we can to hasten its demise. The Climate Economy exists to help everyone to discover the wonders of our world and their place in improving it. You don’t have to earn many university degrees to take actions that benefit others; you just need to unleash your moxy. We’re going to learn how to keep track of our actions and whether we’re contributing all that we can to ensuring a better future for all of the Earth’s inhabitants. We are going to be accountable and get credit for our well-informed actions. We’re starting this now with the CLimate Economy Action Network (CLEAN). We’re not even joking, and everyone is invited. (We are learning as we go along, this is no big media launch, but we feel it’s where we can help the most, so please bear with us, because sadly we do not know everything, at least not yet. We welcome your help and contributions of knowledge, time, questions, or other donations of support.)
Here’s how this works at The Climate Economy:
- We choose to do no harm with lifestyles and business models that are good for the climate, economy and humanity.
- The eradication of ignorance is necessary for #1, and is fully pursued with intention and direction.
- The obsolescence of ignorance is achieved and celebrated, and life on Earth thrives authentically.
Totally do-able. Big, complicated, full of problems to solve, and totally do-able.
Choosing knowledge and truth, the opposite of ignorance, is truly a panacea for reducing unnecessary harm. The obsolescence of ignorance is inevitable, if we so choose.
This post has been inspired by humanity’s current state of chaos thanks at least in part to ignorance, and this quote:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
And a big thanks to everyone on Facebook and elsewhere who have participated in my numerous inadvisable discussions with lovable, smart, well-meaning people who still choose to be harmfully ignorant for whatever reason.
Special thanks to Richard Wheeler, my genius friend I was lucky enough to share an office with at Starlab back in the late 90’s. He wrote this inspiring call to arms recently. We’re ready and willing to fight for this humanist dream. It’s the fight of our time, and I aim to be on the winning side so I can watch my descendants thrive and explore the solar system and beyond.
Also, watch Tomorrowland, makes me cry every time. We’re using their strategy, not with little robots or alternate dimensions, but actual humans. I believe we can all play our part in fixing the future if we choose to do so.
–Amy McMorrow Hunter
The Climate Economy Education Inc, President/CEO
April 17, 2020, Planet Earth
Photo credits: WASHINGTON D.C., USA – MAY 11, 2016: Amelia Earhart and red Lockheed 5B Vega First woman to attempt to circumnavigate the Globe, National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Smithsonian Institution
To my persistent detractors, here’s my song for you: have a good dance.