THE ENVIRONMENT - LANDFORMS, CLIMATES, PLANT COVER AND WILDLIFE - sustains itself and in due course shapes the behavioural patterns of humans and their lives. Thus, humanity adapts into the environmental dictates of its environs.
But this natural process of a ‘preservation and benefit’ eco-system, as science refers to it, does not necessarily fit neatly with the selfish will of modernization.
Contemporary man is gobbling the Earth’s resources to make his individualistic consumerist life grow in power and prestige.
In the process, he suppresses and exploits the environment and his fellow humans are left stranded to suffer the consequences if they cannot fight or get involved.
Panguna in Bougainville was a classical development project that suppressed and exploited the Solomon Island people of Bougainville to the benefit of the Papua New Guineans who control the island without any respect of the cultural genocide they executed on marginalized people.
Hope came about in 1988 when locals began an armed resistance that uprooted the Papua New Guineans from the island. The struggle is still intact as the islanders still pursue their self-determination from external control.
In his rush for resources, man causes an imbalance in the ecological cycle by pursuing ever soaring consumption rates without replenishing what he extracts. He crosses borders with his technologies for more resources thus also leaving the future in peril.
People with insight and easy access to modern ways, especially education, reap the benefits readily whilst the disadvantaged people are lost into poverty and a slow death.
This is because modernity is selfish. But a few can adapt or have the guts to adopt the new ideologies or technologies.
The western backed systems want the Third World to leap from stone-age to computer-age, as Papua New Guinea is, leaving most citizens lost without a plot or concrete foundation to absorb later shocks when resource exploitation is complete and the investor walks proudly away.
His advancement may bring positive changes to some humans but not to the environment. One result is that we live longer and produce more. In the process, we require more resources to survive. So we reach out to grab more natural resources, as China is doing to catch up with the industrialized world.
Modern man reaches out to unknown lands and people. He divides the land and people of common ethnicity or nation without their consent or awareness and suppresses and exploits them for the good of his country of origin.
Within the basket of colonization, the new westernized man slowly realizes the wrong. So resentment turns into a conflict of nationalism, as in the Bougainville conflict where Bougainvilleans realized they were being exploited for the good of foreigners.
War breaks out; people suffer and economic and political status drops.