Corniopia Fantasy: A Belief the Earth Has Endless Bounty

Cornucopians believe the Earth will provide endless bounty for continued growth. This view rests on the belief that there is enough matter and energy on the Earth to provide for the population of the world, giving humanity unlimited room for growth

There are several reasons why many people hold the belief that the Earth has endless bounty, particularly when it comes to resources like food and fuel. These reasons can be influenced by cultural, historical, and psychological factors. Let’s explore some of them:

1. Historical abundance: Throughout much of human history, humans have perceived the Earth as a vast source of resources, seemingly infinite. Early civilizations were often able to find new lands and resources as populations grew and needs increased. This historical perception of abundance has contributed to the belief that the Earth can endlessly provide for human needs.

2. Exploitation of new frontiers: Humans have a history of exploring and conquering new territories to access untapped resources. From the age of exploration to modern-day space travel ambitions, there has always been a search for new frontiers to exploit, which reinforces the belief in infinite bounty.

3. Technological advancements: Advances in technology have allowed humans to extract resources more efficiently and discover new ones. From improved farming techniques to more sophisticated extraction methods for minerals and fossil fuels, technology has provided ways to meet growing demands. Technological optimism often leads people to believe that solutions will be found to any resource scarcity.

4. Cultural and religious beliefs: Some cultural and religious beliefs present the Earth as a gift from a higher power, provided for human benefit. These beliefs may have ingrained the idea of infinite bounty within the collective consciousness, making it challenging to question or conceive of resource limitations.

5. Economic interests: Some industries and governments have a vested interest in presenting the Earth’s resources as limitless. This perspective helps maintain economic growth, consumerism, and profit margins. It may also discourage efforts towards sustainable practices or resource conservation.

6. Denial and cognitive biases: Humans possess cognitive biases that can lead to denial or the underestimation of resource limitations. The optimism bias, for example, makes individuals believe that they are less likely to experience negative events compared to others. This bias can extend to the perception of Earth’s resources, leading people to believe they will never personally face scarcity.

7. Lack of Knowledge: In some modern cultures, children grow up sheltered by successful parents who worked hard to provide for them. Children who did not witness first hand the day to day difficult decisions and hard work of their providers can become disconected from the actual sources of food, energy and money in their own home. In their valid personal experience, food just shows up. It always does. Money also shows up in the bank monthly, and thus, the Earth will clearly never run low on vital resources. The idea seems absurd and they may criticise it as fear mongering. To those who have been homeless, however, or who have lost their support, for example, in a disaster, the Cornucopian view may seem incomprehensible.

Considering these factors, it becomes clear why the belief in endless bounty can persist. However, it is crucial to recognize the need for sustainable practices and resource management to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for humanity and the planet.

Nancy Wilmaft

Nancy Wilmaft is an eclectic researcher with degrees in political science and psychology. She started writing for News i8 in 2023.

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