If we were to define the western civilization in a very concise way, we would say that it’s a lifestyle of exploiting Nature faster than it can replenish its resources. It has simply accelerated the pace we use the natural resources. Apart from that, there isn’t much special about it.
The acceleration of the exploitation of natural resources has come with pros and cons. In some aspects, we enjoy more facilities, better hospitals, instant communication, fast transportation, and a relatively advanced construction technology. On the other hand, having the ability to use natural resources faster than they can be replenished, this has led to an unprecedented growth of human population, which means, demographic pressure. The new economy has required fundamental social changes in response to the fast exploitation of resources.
In addition, this abrupt change in the way we exploit Nature has been made possible by the discovery of oil. Thus, the western civilization is intrinsically related to oil. It is in essence the civilization of oil. This is to say that it’s a very fragile and non sustainable civilization. In truth, it has not contributed to humanity something unique. It has simply made possible for people to “get born” before time. Instead of having some fifty billion people live in a period of one to two thousand years, the western civilization gave them the opportunity to live in a period of five to ten decades.
The civilization of oil is not sustainable. It has not made the life better, more independent, more free, and less difficult. Some facilities are made available at the expense of the social fabric, which has been torn apart. The civilization of oil has made us possible to exploit Nature faster but at the expense of our spirituality. The fact that we can use Nature faster doesn’t mean that we have changed in nature. It’s similar to a vehicle overworking all the time until it breaks down.
Nevertheless, as long as we have oil, the ship of humanity will keep moving, too fast though, but once we run out of oil, it will stop abruptly, like the Titanic, and the lifeboats that are available might save only few of us. The sinking will be a process and very dramatic if it takes place.
In the end, it’s fair to raise some serious questions about the civilization of oil, which simply has accelerated the exploitation of natural resources at the expense of our lifestyle and our spirituality. It has turned people into a stage closer to animals. It has torn apart the social fabric. Most probably, it will be written down as the most unsuccessful civilization of human history. And what’s worse, once the oil will finish, it will leave us unprepared and very vulnerable. After all, we are the same humans: we need food, water, a shelter, a society or community, and we have spiritual needs, too. The oil has merely deceived us.