ANCIENT WISDOM, THE DECLINE OF FOSSIL FUELS AND TECHNO UTOPIA:
Sir Ken Robinson, a noted speaker about child development and future education, presents a study of 1500 children age 3-5… and 98% test as “genius”. Over time, that percentage drops until we reach adulthood and see that only 2% of the adult population still test as genius.
A good way to think about this is to do this now: Take a minute and write down all of the uses you can come up with for a paperclip. Ready… go!
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If you’re like most people, you’ve got a list of things like:
Holding paper together.
Opening a lock.
A fish hook.
A figure (paperclip art)…
Maybe you’ve got 10 or 20 or so uses.
Compare that list to a 3-5 year-old. Their reasoning/creativity will ask, “What if the paperclip is made of foam? What if it’s 50 feet tall? What if it’s invisible?” and these questions will spin into a myriad of new possibilities.
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So, there are a lot of adults (2% genius) talking about renewable energy vs. fossil fuels and how we can’t replace fossil fuels. That renewable energy just doesn’t provide enough to support the uses of humanity. The fact is, we already are. The cost of producing electricity via solar and wind reached parity or cheaper than fossil fuels in over 30 countries in 2016. And that’s just solar and wind based on our current understanding of the “paper clip”…
Now imagine that the solar panel isn’t a panel at all, but instead is a flexible material that can be used as drapes or clothing. Can be 3D printed onto streets, sidewalks, rooftops and vehicles…
Now let’s step out of conventional renewable energy sources. Testing is already underway for biochemical clothing that captures sunlight via chloroplasts within the clothing. Meaning… you are wearing photosynthetic clothing that generates energy and/or produces food.
My point is that we shouldn’t be so focused on our inability to see clearly the technology needed to fix technologies problems. As Einstein stated, “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Our focus should be on the consciousness of humanity… shifting that.
I see a possible techno utopia and also a very frightening future. It really depends on our consciousness and not our technology or resources availability. If we can all get on board with the original teachings of humanity, which is really just a re-write of natural processes, “Cooperation is most efficient,” a new and more beautiful paradigm will take shape. In fact, now that there are so many humans and we’ve leveraged our energy/impacts so much with technology, radical cooperation is the ONLY way forward.
I go back to the language of the Dené and how they don’t have words to say “I”, “me”, or “mine”. That consciousness is dominant among indigenous peoples. Imagine if we all focused on we, studying the interconnectedness of natural systems and committing to applying only those technologies that are truly helpful within the larger context of nature. This is a way of being in “right relationship”, another native concept.
It all comes down to values and beliefs. Do I value the self more than the community? Humanity has been exploring this question since at least the dawn of agriculture, when we shifted to a sedentary lifestyle, stockpiled resources, and first had something to fight over. The past 10,000 years of the Great Experiment have been really fascinating! We can clearly see what we’ve done “wrong” and fix it. That will take a great deal of courage, humility, creativity and love. We have a lot of healing of traumas, those that are individual and societal and multi-generational, before we consistently choose “We” over “I”. But make no mistake, every step we take towards healing, towards shared understanding, towards interconnectedness, and towards kindness is shifting the paradigm from a dystopic path to a beautiful one.