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On global stability - at a time of deep learning

Updated: May 13

Can we learn to navigate the future by reflecting on our mistakes? This piece by artist, 'cultural bridge' and Upper Skagit elder, Jay Bowen (clak-a-deb), was written 9-10 May 2023 in response to an academic manuscript on our planetary crises risking global stability, on which he, Phoebe Barnard and Eileen Crist of Stable Planet Alliance, and other world scientists and sociologists are coauthors. Jay's essay is a powerful, personal insight into indigenous perspectives on the increasing brokenness and collapse of the western world and its global economy.

Jay Bowen on the Skagit River, filmed by Pat McDonnell of Medicinebleu Films for the 2023 global documentary series "Back to our Future: Climate Restoration and Survival" by Transmediavision USA.


It is a relief to read this paper, this issue of risks to global stability, outlined as a world event. Issues brought up in technical observations and studies paint a very vivid picture of our current status as humanity. Where this all comes to bear is when the groups unaffected (by our planetary crises) become much smaller. Almost everyone is affected now.

In the native communities around the world, these issues have been stark since first contact. What was brought to our shores and culture was the worst of what the western world had to offer. As an example, in the highlands of Scotland and now fields of England, once stood great stands of old-growth oak forests - all cut down and turned into weapons of war. It took 100 acres of trees to produce one fighting ship.

The western world sent our emissaries searching for new sources of resources to support the empires of Europe. With the Pope’s declaration of discovery, the world was there for exploitation, and that was 450 years ago, but this mindset is firmly entrenched in western philosophy. Left behind were any feelings of empathy or compassion. All this was led on by the East India Company, and others like the Hudson Bay Company that followed used their templates as a model.