Ecological Crisis by Gregory Bateson UP177
According to Gregory Bateson, three fundamental factors are the necessary conditions for the destruction of our world:
- Technological progress
- Population increase
- Western "values" are wrong at the same time they are believed to be right.
These fundamental factors interact. The increase of population spurs technological progress and creates that anxiety which sets us against our environment as an enemy. Technology both facilitates increase of population and reinforces our arrogance, or "hubris," vis-à-vis the natural environment.
The factor in each corner of the diagram is also encircled clockwise, denoting that each is by itself a self-promoting (or, as the scientists say, "autocatalytic") phenomenon: the bigger the population, the faster it grows; the more technology we have, the faster the rate of new invention; and the more we believe in our "power" over an enemy environment, the more "power" we seem to have and the more spiteful the environment seems to be. Similarly the pairs of corners are clockwise connected to make three self-promoting subsystems.
It appears, at present, that the only possible entry point for reversal of the process is the conventional attitudes toward the environment. The creature that wins against its environment destroys itself.