As a young child, I remember many cartoons depicting some misfit carrying a placard saying that ‘the end is nigh’ or the ‘world is doomed’. There was a good reason for this despondency – there were enough nuclear warheads ready to blow humans to smithereens. I remember a graffiti message from this era ‘mutate now and avoid the rush’. However now, in addition to the nuclear arsenal, humans are attempting to pollute themselves into oblivion.
One thing we know for certain is that the world is definitely doomed. Eventually, the Sun will reach its terminal stage, expand and snuff out the Earth like some unlucky cockroach whacked with a folded newspaper. However, this reality of certain doom is not due for many billions of years to come. In the meantime, we have to contend with the world’s nuclear arsenal and carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere at unnaturally high levels. Will either of these potential doomsday scenarios arrive on our doorstep in the immediate or near future?
James Lovelock developed the Gaia hypothesis in the 1970s. He basically stated that the Earth as a whole can be viewed as an interaction of living (organic) and non-living (inorganic) material that in combination with each other regulates the environment of the world. Lovelock was instrumental in the worldwide CFC ban to protect the slowly depleting ozone layer that provides a protective shield for the world. However, he is less enthusiastic about global efforts to protect the world from carbon emissions. Basically, Lovelock says:
“I don’t think we can react fast enough or are clever enough to handle what’s coming up” [ref: We’re doomed, but it’s not all bad, New Scientist, 24 January 2009, Pg 31].
The astrology of the Aquarian age agrees with Lovelock. Each age has twelve sub-ages that interact with each other and the Aquarian age to produce a basic outline of what can be expected. Between 1970 and 2148 the key sub-age is the Scorpio sub-age. The previous sub-age was the Sagittarius sub-age. In line with Sagittarius’ expanding and positive qualities, the world went into overdrive with the Industrial Revolution and the world population explosion – both the key factors producing pollution. Scorpio is a very different zodiacal sign – it does not promote expansion and positivity but rather contraction, pollution, vulnerability and financial duress amongst a menu of Scorpio archetypes.
Since the 1970s the world has been in a transition time where the baton is being passed from Sagittarius to Scorpio. There are key timeframes in this transition. The 1970s saw the first glimmer of Scorpio with the rise of environmental groups concerned about the degradation of the environment or promoting sustainability. However, despite some improvements the world continued on its merry way of expanding with the associated expansion of pollution. Money, profits, economy and jobs were more important than the atmosphere or environment.
Even in the current economic crisis, many politicians are saying that measures to limit pollution should be put on hold – clearly implying that the economy (i.e. profits) is more important than the environment. A good argument can be made that it is the quest for profits that is either the key factor or a key factor in the degradation of the environment. Another key ingredient that results in environmental degradation is debt – especially credit card debt. Debt allows people to consume now what they cannot afford. It is consumption that creates pollution.
Between 2005 and 2015 a second key Scorpio period appears, and during this time it is driving its point home – the world is on a collision course with global warming and environmental degradation. In addition, Scorpio is the sign associated with debt – and the recent global financial crisis is one manifestation of debt gone feral. This is the time that serious remedial action should be put in place – but this is unlikely to occur to the extent necessary.
James Lovelock discredits the current approach that world leaders are giving lip service to. He is especially scornful of carbon trading (this merely props up the economic establishment with profit in their sights), carbon sequestration (“it’s a crazy idea and dangerous”) and believes that it’s already too late for emissions reduction measures.
Lovelock believes that the result of humanity’s collective stupidity is that the world’s population will have to plummet from a projected nine billion people to one billion people by the end of this century as a world four degrees centigrade hotter than now cannot support more than about one billion people. Though the astrology of the Aquarian age cannot be as proscriptive to the actual numbers as Lovelock indicates, Scorpio is the sign that wants to contract. Think of the biblical seven fat cows and seven scrawny cows – Scorpio is the scrawny cows. The population of the world will contract – but the amount of contraction is difficult to say based exclusively on astrology.
Population contraction has already been occurring for decades – first in most of the developed First World countries, and now in the second tier nations such as Korea. It is just too expensive to have many kids in the modern world. This contraction is hidden by immigrants so that First World countries can still log an expanding population – but not by the birth-rate alone. The comical result of this natural contraction of birth-rates is that many countries (including Australia) are providing significant financial bonuses for parents to have children.
The reason that the Earth is suffering from pollution is that there are too many people who are consuming too many goods and services that are producing too much pollution. These same governments that are supposedly going to save us from our own folly in the environmental area are encouraging (Sagittarian) population growth – the old paradigm. As Lovelock states, Kyoto was 11 years ago and the only thing that has happened is endless talks and meetings. The reason that governments behave the way they do is that they reflect the views of the general population.
Any study of history will show that human beings can rise to challenges, produce mighty artworks, cultures and civilization but equally go to war, persecute their citizens or neighbors and murder and kill enormous numbers of people. This is all done in the name of patriotism, ideology or religion – in essence, masking stupidism. What will happen in the coming century? Is stupidism or awareness going to be the dominant paradigm that guides the world to either destruction or rebirth?
The current Scorpio influence within the Aquarian age cannot answer this question, but it does provide a shortlist of outcomes. Scorpio promotes death and destruction, pollution, secret deals, debt and tyranny. It also promotes rebirth, renewal, environment sustainability and minimalism. Minimalism indicates a limit to the number of offspring, currently occurring voluntarily in the West, and by government edict in China’s one-child policy. Which path will the world go down? Will the world continue in its current trajectory towards environmental doom and a massive population cull?
I essentially concur with the outlook of James Lovelock but with an added twist. I believe that the world will go the point of no return before serious effort is put into turning around our current consumption and polluting paradigm. This may seem like a contradiction but in reality, the result is surprisingly similar to what James Lovelock surmises. Lovelock says he is an optimistic pessimist about the dire environmental issue facing the world.
Global warming and water scarcity are stepping stones to much greater problems. The sub-periods of the Age of Aquarius indicate that air quality will be a much more serious problem from about 2030 onwards (at the latest). When significant numbers or people commence dying prematurely due to atmospheric degradation (remember the air we pollute is the same air we must breathe), when breathing without coughing plague much of the world (with the attendant lung diseases and problems) – surely something more realistic and drastic will be done?
Fortunately, some very significant astrological elements appear in the current century that has not occurred in the world for around 7,000 years. These astrological elements involve progressive and lateral thinking of the highest order. The first one comes online between 2015 and 2029. The second appearance occurs at 2074 – 2089 and wraps up with a final one around 2133 – 2148. More of these revitalizing elements appear about 700 years later.
From a rational perspective (as provided by James Lovelock) the world is in a bad way and getting worse. The astrological configuration on one hand supports this pessimistic assessment but equally, it supports the addition of an unexpected new spirit or sense of renewal that is available to humanity this century. Even the election of Barack Obama as president of the USA may be a titillating foretaste of the potential change that is coming our way. Barack Obama may be part of the advance guard preparing the way for a new perspective that does not have companies’ profits as the base.
There has been no century in recorded history that is not a combination of various degrees of difficulties, natural calamities, adversity and problems with advancement, survivability and relative peace. There is no reason to believe that the 21st century will be the perfect century or that any century can ever be a perfect century. The 21st century will be a century of change, fragility, passion, catastrophe, financial losses, renewal, transformation and rebirth. The ancient Chinese would say to their enemies:
‘may you live in interesting times’.
Interesting times was a euphemism for upheaval. The 21st century will be an interesting time!
James Lovelock’s latest book is The Vanishing Force of Gaia