For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 27 Oct 2013.
There are times when science and scientists appear supremely in control of the world and the destiny of its human population, unperturbed by the problems and anxieties faced by “lesser mortals.” And then you come across a scientist who admits that neither he (or she) nor science has all the answers.
Take US advisor on climate and Yale professor Gus Speth, for example:
I used to think the top global environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought with thirty years of good science we could address those problems but I was wrong.
The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy – and to deal with these we need a spiritual and cultural transformation and we scientists don’t know how to do that.
The centre and starting point of that project is the kind of life Jesus Christ commended to those who knew they couldn’t do it alone.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.
Absolutely correct . When/while we think science and technology are more powerful than they really are, our governments invest our money unwisely in hope of something NEW and better down the track . The sociologist Ellul sought like Whitehead and others to avoid excessive seeking after NEW solutions as it was already becoming a distracting addiction in their own lifetime http://quickfiz.blogspot.com .The closest I have seen to non believers come to rejecting “technique salvation” has been the statement that effective work in conservation is both an art and a science and psychological ( which is one way of broadening its often restricted frame). .
In my area of work effective methods for resilience development are already known BUT: governments are too busy looking for NEW methods to adopt the sound ones which can work . –if we showed the will to share ( selfishness , greed , apathy , ignorance and arrogance)
A robust faith can also help balance understanding the good and bad motivation elements in our nature (need to balance both individual and collective interest. Whatever your world view, you need to avoid too much coercion (tyranny and a low view of man ) or too high levels of incentive ( encouraging dependancy and not rewarding self motivation too “high” a view of man)
This is nearly longer than your article Rod , sorry