The Earth has its own set of rules

Mar 03, 2010 By B.E. Mahall and F.H. Bormann

Early in our history it didn't make any difference how we viewed our environment. We could change it, and if we didn't like what we did to it, we could move and natural processes would soon obliterate whatever we had done. Over the years, models of our relationship to the environment have been based on religious views, with the world provided for us to dominate and subdue as described in Genesis, and philosophical views, seeing wisdom and virtue in nature as described by Thoreau.

But by far our most prevalent view of nature derives from a rudimentary human desire for more. This is the basis of the economic model that currently directs our relationships with one another and with our environment. It has produced stupendous human population growth and dramatic, deleterious effects on nature. Recognizing these effects, efforts have been marshaled to change the self-serving economic model with notions of "stewardship," eloquently advanced decades ago by then-Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, and, most recently, to infiltrate the economic model with "ecosystem services" by assigning monetary values to functions performed by the Earth that are beneficial to people.

All of these views are fundamentally and dangerously flawed, because all are anthropocentric. They begin and end with humans. This isn't the way the Earth works.

The Earth has its own set of rules, solidly grounded in laws of physics and chemistry and emergent principles of geology and biology. Unlike our economic model, these are not artificial constructs. They are real, and they govern. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, 100-year floods, massive wildfires and disease epidemics are dramatic examples of parts of nature, neither all service nor all harm, creating and destroying, and governed by rules that are indifferent to humans. Our anthropocentric economic model for interacting with the world ignores and is proving to be incompatible with Earth's rules, and is therefore on a direct collision course with them.

To achieve a more accurate model of our relation to nature, we need to see ourselves as part of nature, governed by nature (not economics), beholden to nature for ecosystem services and subject to nature's disturbances.

We need to view our existence in nature as dependent on numerous functions we are unable to perform ourselves, and without which we couldn't survive. And we need to recognize that we now have the power and the reckless inclination, driven by shortsighted anthropocentrism, to disrupt these functions to the degree that Earth will become uninhabitable for us.

In the end, the physical, chemical and biological rules of Earth will certainly win, and we will either be on the winning side or we will be vanquished. These are the only choices.

Our anthropocentric economic model needs to be reconceived, incorporating Earth's rules, to become an Earth-centered, "terracentric" model. Stewardship needs to progress from a condescending view of humans tending their "garden" to an effort to become part of Earth without disrupting its vital functions. Ecosystem services need to advance from recognition of services to humans to recognition of services to our planet. We need to find ways to avoid changing Earth in irreversible directions. We need to soberly evaluate anthropocentric economics' sacred cow, growth, in light of sustainability. And we need to think beyond our own brief lifetimes. Most important, in the new terracentric model, we need to acknowledge that there is nothing more important than preserving the viability of planet Earth. Nothing.

Using human ecologist Garrett Hardin's metaphor, Earth is our only "lifeboat" in a sea of empty, cold blackness. Our lives, and those of other organisms, are allowed in this boat only because of a quasi-steady environmental state created by a unique balance of physical, chemical and biological conditions and processes governed by Earth's rules. The central task of ecology is to understand these conditions, processes and rules and thereby understand the qualities and dimensions of this steady state.

Unfortunately, before ecology has reached this understanding, humans are testing this steady state's robustness with anthropogenic changes in atmospheric chemistry that cause changes in radiation through the atmosphere, fundamental changes in ocean chemistry and changes in the whole planet's energy budget _ its balance of energy in and energy out. We are testing it with pervasive, potentially irreversible, long-term pollution of Earth's fresh and salt water, using a vast assortment of man-made chemicals that often possess biologically hazardous and ecologically unpredictable properties. We are testing it with relentless, massive, wholesale conversions of , channeling their products exclusively into our own limitless consumption. And we are testing it with the global spread of biological species, causing a complex, hugely damaging homogenization of Earth's biota.

Recent measurements of unprecedented, directional changes in the vital signs of Earth suggest that we may have already staved in our lifeboat's hull, causing changes beyond the ability of Earth's biogeochemical forces to maintain balance. The quasi-steady state that makes our lives possible may be disappearing before our eyes. We are in direct conflict with Earth's rules.

The anthropocentric economic model is fundamentally incapable of providing more than temporary fixes for our massive environmental problems. Reliance on this invalid, incompetent model underlies the recent struggles of world leaders in Copenhagen and Washington to make significant progress in solving global environmental problems. Replacement of this failed model with an economic model that recognizes Earth's rules and embraces terracentricity as its essential focus is the primary step necessary to bring reality into our collective thinking and behavior, and provide an accurate conceptual basis for the hard decisions ahead that will determine the fate of life on our planet.

ABOUT THE WRITERS

Bruce E. Mahall is a professor of ecology at UC Santa Barbara. F. Herbert Bormann, a professor emeritus at Yale University, is one of the founders of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study. They wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.

Explore further: Priorities for research on pharmaceutical and personal care products in the environment

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Caliban
2 / 5 (4) Mar 03, 2010
Well said, Drs. Mahall and Bormann. Not attractive in terms of profit/loss models, but since those same models become totally meaningless in the face of large scale environmental collapse, the better part of wisdom is to GET WITH IT NOW.
Hope it isn't already too late.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Mar 03, 2010
The basic point: it isn't prudent for naive little children to play with fire.

Aaaand, let the condemnations of "alarmism" commence. Three... Two... One...
fixer
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 03, 2010
A truly useful article.
The earth is not a thinking organism so doesn't understand religious values, but then neither does any of the other millions of species that inhabit this world.
I suspect that in all the universe only humans follow this perversion.
Only humans worry about death and create cults about it.
If people thought more about enjoying life we wouldnt need to destroy our planet and ourselves in the name of some "god".
baudrunner
not rated yet Mar 04, 2010
Whatever events, constructive or detrimental, to this "lifeboat" that is planet Earth, are determined by the wilful or unwilful acts of humankind, they are still only an extension of the integral nature of which we are a part. Polluting smokestacks and effluent clogging waterways become a natural product of the impact that human activities have delivered to the environment. Given the complexity of human consequence it is no surprise that altruism too plays a deciding factor in the continuing evolution of our environment. It will all work out in the end.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (3) Mar 04, 2010
Earth will continue along with the most resilient lifeforms on it, which even in calamity will repopulate the world with the most fit biodiversity.

Whether we humans will get to be a part of that will depend entirely on our own actions and just how adaptable we actually are. I think our chances our good, as we are smart and curious... as long as we don't allow superstition and war to drive our civilization back to the dark ages.

One of these days people are going to need to accept the fact that while it served it's purposes in the past, nothing good can come of faith and religion in light of our modern scientific methodology of understanding the world around us.
Mandan
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 04, 2010
Very interesting how the usual bunch of anti-global climate shift posters hasn't attacked everyone and voted their comments down to 1. Perhaps the title of the article was not inflammatory enough? Maybe since it didn't actually mention global climate shift they didn't read it?

Who knows. Maybe they'll show up now. But this was a very good article, very similar to the way I've been thinking about things for some time now, as I live in an agricultural area which has nearly drained the entire underground water supply dry in two generations, is now creating super-weeds with Roundup-ready GM crop seed, yet the towns are dying as all the young kids go off to college, move to cities, and never look back.

I'm sending the link to this one to everyone I know.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2010
It is refreshing to not hear everyone yelling at each other about stuff they know nothing about. In the interest of keeping it that way, I will say no more about that.

I do feel that people don't have nearly enough of an understanding of how our cumulative actions every day add up to create substantive impacts on the world around us, despite being surrounded by the beneficial products of such cumulative actions every single day. I don't understand how people can feel that we can alter the environment in ways that are beneficial to us without there being repercussions. That's not to say we should not develop, in fact change is unavoidable and we MUST develop to survive... but it is very important we study the negative impacts as well and take them seriously and attempt to mitigate them.

To not take them seriously is childish.
operator
4 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010
yes, a big phat YES to seeing more papers in the scientific press that address the fundamental issues and problems concerning our rampant exploitative western lifestyles and the underlying reasons behind that.

i'm impressed that the authors havn't used the kind of language that i have used in framing these issues but have instead used a different reference for capitalist exploitation and perpetual growth, maybe why the deniers havn't picked up on this as yet, it's just gone under their radar.

i do get the impression more people in the west are waking up to and showing more empathy towards peoples from the 2nd and 3rd world whos resources we exploit an rely on for our priviliged lifestyles. sadly its these peoples that don't have access to pc's an the internet that it seems are the ones being presently affectted detrimentaly by climate change, not the jist i know but.

very refreshing report to read, i hope this kind of thinking about our world an ourselves gains popularity
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
"by assigning monetary values to functions performed by the Earth that are beneficial to people."

We have to end these communist/gaiaist nitwits.
kasen
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Nice philosophy recap, but I don't see any actual solutions being put forth.

It's interesting how they make religion(of course, unanimously equated with Catholicism) seem like the sole source of an unbalanced society, while asking that we calculate the monetary value of Earth and feed it into a system that is unstable by design. Thoreau would have cringed at that...

Also interesting how they say that the planet has its own immovable rules in one paragraph and then say how we irreversibly affect it in another one. Which one is it, then?

The laws of physics really can't be changed, but emergent behaviour depends on what it emerges from, doesn't it? And as we modify the contents of our environment, do we not also make new rules? Animals are already adapting to our cities, which are becoming a more and more efficient lifeform themselves.

Why couldn't we create artificial Nature? We've proven we have the will and the means to reshape the Earth, now we just need a proper schematic.
operator
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
shootist you do understand the recent ecological conservation philosophies behind this thinking yes, like the stern report and others that, for example, try to figure out the monetry value reed beds or forest provide for water purification.

some of us see that we don't need to stop you exploitative capitalists becuase your very actions will be self defeating, sadly not only for you but for the rest of us as well and a great many present species.

kasen you seem to have misread the thrust of what the report is saying, the whole point seems to be against the present paradigm of how we calculate monetary values to the earth. and yes rightwing christian fundamental capitalists do have a lot to answer for, just as any extremist ideologue does.
and are you saying we can create a civilisation that is outside of and not reliant on our natural world? you do understand finate resources don't you?
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
a civilisation that is outside of and not reliant on our natural world


Depends on what you understand by 'our natural world'. From a purely pragmatic POV, the inside of an astronaut's EVA suit could be deemed natural, since it sustains human life. Basic nutrients can be obtained from just a few organisms and then processed appropriately(see the recent artificial steak), while water can be recycled almost indefinitely.

We have the technology to build arcologies, maybe not the most efficient ones, but still. I'm not saying this is the answer to our current problems, far from it, but just that the survival of our species need not depend on that of another species. You can replace species with meme, I think.

As for the money issues, I'd point out what the Indian chiefs asked the men who wanted to buy their land: how can you sell something you don't own? Of all the human creations, money and banking have to be the vilest. Hate to bring it up, but the Bible did mention that...
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2010
Instead of worshiping God, the intellectual elite are now worshiping Gaia?
Sound economic policies are based upon self-interest and private property.
A farmer who earns a living raising crops has a self-interested incentive to maintain the productivity of his property.
We all have a self-interest to keep our houses clean to prevent disease.
Free market economics and faith in God has resulted in the most free and prosperous human society, EVER. (Which is why so many of you attack it.)
The real issue is governments fail to protect and enforce property rights.
Ranchers who can use public open range land have no incentive not to graze as many animals as they can. Same for international fishing waters.
Some elephant herds have been save because local tribes keep away poachers and profit from tourists. The should have the right to manage the herd and sell ivory.
The economics that fail to conserve the environment are socialist economics.
When individuals have an incentive, they conserve.
hush1
Mar 07, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Caliban
2 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2010
Marjon- up to your old tricks.
Do you ever have anything to say that isn't centered around God, Guns& your precious "Free Market"?

"Free market economics and faith in God has resulted in the most free and prosperous human society, EVER."
...And the MOST ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTING, OVER-EXPLOITING, SICK, GENOCIDAL, UNEQUAL, TEETERING ON THE BRINK OF CATASTROPHIC COLLAPSE HUMAN SOCIETY........EVER.

Who is it, really, that you worship? God or Ayn Rand? Probably neither-or maybe their synthesis-MAMMON.
Either way- you need to get down on your knees and Pray to be forgiven your willfully ignorant, benighted wickedness.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
.And the MOST ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTING, OVER-EXPLOITING, SICK, GENOCIDAL, UNEQUAL, TEETERING ON THE BRINK OF CATASTROPHIC COLLAPSE HUMAN SOCIETY........EVER.

That is not the fault of free markets and private property.
The most polluted places in the world are on government owned property.
Hooker Chemical was forced to sell Love Canal to the local government so they could build houses to fund a new school.
Governments have no incentives to protect property. Individual owners do.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
How property ownership can conserve land:
"Those who place a high value on the environment would have to put their money where their values are, rather than running to their friendly bureaucrat for assistance. For example, the Audubon Society has purchased thousands of acres of land for environmental purposes (and even leased its land to oil companies under highly restrictive conditions, enabling the society to buy even more land!). Here is another example: a group intended to develop an area near Thoreau's Walden Pond. Environmentalists became inflamed and ran to the politicians and bureaucrats for protection — but without success. What did they then do? They held a series of concerts and other fund-raising events — and used the money to buy the property from the developers! "
http://www.fff.or...593a.asp
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
"Private property allows us to do things that benefit others—to take resources, combine them with other resources, and make the world better. What is more, private property actually encourages us to make the world better, because it gives us a great deal of freedom. The nice thing about the private property system is that you obtain resources not by simply taking them but, rather, by bidding for them or by offering better alternatives for them, which means that you must think that you have a better way to use them. And the private property system rewards you if you do, in fact, use those resources well, but it punishes you if you use them badly, so private property encourages the appropriate and creative use of resources"
http://www.acton...._376.php
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
"But private property also places limits on human actions, particularly on actions that physically invade someone else’s property. If you drive your car over my lawn, if you burn my house down, if you build a factory that pollutes my water, then you are invading my physical space. And because of our private property system, I can take legal action against your actions. A well-functioning system of property rights recognizes not only that we can be creative but also that we can be counted on not to be creative all the time. "
"in the 1930s Rosalie Edge preserved Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania when the prevailing wisdom counseled shooting all the raptors that flew by. Even the Audubon Society agreed with that. But Rosalie Edge disagreed, and, basically, she bought Hawk Mountain and preserved what is now the Hawk Mountain Preserve. If, in 1934, she had approached the Pennsylvania legislature for a political solution, she would have failed, because she represented a minority opinion."
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
"Contrary to popular opinion, markets are more future-oriented than governmental actions. In a market system, people will preserve resources for future generations because they can profit by doing so; however, with government, because there is no way to connect the voice of future generations to the present well-being of people in government, one has to depend almost entirely upon altruism and hope for the best. People in government generally hold office for a short period of time, and it is difficult for them to make decisions for the thirty-, forty- or fifty-year term. In a private property marketplace, you find people going out and planting walnut trees that may not mature for ten, fifteen, or twenty years. And they plant those trees even if they know that they cannot profit from them directly, because they know they can sell them to people who will. So private property rights embody a voice for future generations, and that is a useful thing."
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Those who believe in evolution believe (because their theory is supported by data) the universe spontaneously emerged from nothing and after several billion years created the elements and conditions that caused life to begin and evolve to the higher order being we call ourselves.
Yet these same people believe (without data) that they can, and should, control the behavior of 6 billion plus humans in order to save them from themselves.
KB6
4 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
The current market system will be rendered unsustainable by its ability to spur the development of ever more advanced technology. Picture this: "Headline: XYZ Inc. introduces the world's first entirely autonomous robot able to replace all human 'drudge' labor, from factory workers to ditch diggers, from cab drivers to janitors and convenience clerks." Do you have any idea how that ALONE would render the current system unsustainable? Not everyone on earth can be a "professional." Ultimately some other system will supersede this one (nano-AI-socialism, or...?). Funny: our genes are rendering themselves "obsolete" from their "invention" of the brain. Capitalism too will render itself obsolete through its inventions.

"They're still using money. We have to find some...".
- Adm. Kirk, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
The current market system will be rendered unsustainable by its ability to spur the development of ever more advanced technology. Picture this: "Headline: XYZ Inc. introduces the world's first entirely autonomous robot able to replace all human 'drudge' labor, from factory workers to ditch diggers, from cab drivers to janitors and convenience clerks." Do you have any idea how that ALONE would render the current system unsustainable? Not everyone on earth can be a "professional." Ultimately some other system will supersede this one (nano-AI-socialism, or...?). Funny: our genes are rendering themselves "obsolete" from their "invention" of the brain. Capitalism too will render itself obsolete through its inventions.

"They're still using money. We have to find some...".
- Adm. Kirk, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

How about cold fusion?
Imagine unlimited energy from a little black box. But it will never happen unless individuals have the incentives to innovate.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2010
Damn! I must've put a hole in the margin gasbag. Is there no end to this Objectivist logorrhea?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
The current market system will be rendered unsustainable by its ability to spur the development of ever more advanced technology. Picture this: "Headline: XYZ Inc. introduces the world's first entirely autonomous robot able to replace all human 'drudge' labor, from factory workers to ditch diggers, from cab drivers to janitors and convenience clerks." Do you have any idea how that ALONE would render the current system unsustainable? Not everyone on earth can be a "professional." Ultimately some other system will supersede this one (nano-AI-socialism, or...?). Funny: our genes are rendering themselves "obsolete" from their "invention" of the brain. Capitalism too will render itself obsolete through its inventions.

"They're still using money. We have to find some...".
- Adm. Kirk, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Starship personnel were paid in 'credits'. But they were paid.
KB6
not rated yet Mar 08, 2010
Every system holds within it the seed of its own eventual obsolescence. The seed of capitalism's obsolescence is its very ability to spur innovation. This will eventually disrupt, beyond repair, the whole dynamic between "producers" (eventually that would be intelligent machines) and "consumers" (eventually unemployed unskilled, semi-skilled and even, ultimately, skilled workers whose jobs have been mechanized). They won't be able to afford the machine-produced goods and services, even if machines needed money. Imagine a complete slave society and economy, only the slaves are so productive they've rendered money virtually pointless.
The present system has been supportable because there have always been things that only humans can do. What happens when the difference between human and machine ability becomes insignificant?
operator
4 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
why do some people have an issue with changing their concept of money? do you really believe that if, IF, tomorrow our money wasn't here then things would change much, look the infrastructure is still there, your houses are still there, all these solid things are still around.
what if we did away with how we relate to money, totaly change our paradigms about this concept of control and energy and replace it with some else we all kind of agree on instead of something thats been imposed without our consent.
jesus, have you no imagination how the world could be, the ways are is shit for so many peoples and is blatently having a very negative effect on the planet we depend on, we change or we die, with a lot of other species that had no say in this, simple as
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
why do some people have an issue with changing their concept of money? do you really believe that if, IF, tomorrow our money wasn't here then things would change much, look the infrastructure is still there, your houses are still there, all these solid things are still around.
what if we did away with how we relate to money, totaly change our paradigms about this concept of control and energy and replace it with some else we all kind of agree on instead of something thats been imposed without our consent.
jesus, have you no imagination how the world could be, the ways are is shit for so many peoples and is blatently having a very negative effect on the planet we depend on, we change or we die, with a lot of other species that had no say in this, simple as

How do you plan to place a value on the things you need?
operator
not rated yet Mar 08, 2010
marjon- well one model that immediately springs to my mind is the shared out resources way that tribal cultures subscribe to. i think there was an economist that won a nobel prize recently for her ideas of a commons kind of ownership of lands and resources, not a so called communist system, not that that was ever truely communial but a shared responsibility and capitalist free markets don't blatently work.
these are issues, concepts and ideas that could well do with being talked about, discussed and debated, true democracy it seems takes some time to arrange and agree on, not the illusion that we're presented with but proper grassroots involvement.
this proberly does involve some revolution as i see it becuase the elites you have mentioned don't it seems want to give up their very privaliged position, an those people i talk about ain't poeple like me an most of us but the top controlling elites
kasen
3 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2010
Questions: who decides how the common, finite resources are spent? How are the rules made and enforced? How do full-time artists fit into common ownership systems?

A farmer works 8 hrs a day and makes a measurable amount of produce. A composer spends a week for 1 minute of music. Everybody needs to eat, but not everybody appreciates art. How many people would be willing to support their local artists?

Ironically, free market capitalism is the closest we can get to a "natural", self-regulating, efficient economy, at least as long as the concept of possession remains in our culture. To get a truly new paradigm, you'd have to eliminate the idea of material wealth from the human psyche. But that's even harder to achieve than worldwide socialism.
VerGreeneyes
not rated yet Mar 08, 2010
So.. right, we're fucked then. Because you're naive if you think those in power are going to take up your point of view overnight. Since that's not going to happen, perhaps we're better off probing, figuring out how to affect the earth to our advantage - even if we can't do so globally, perhaps it will give us the knowledge we will need to survive in a changing world. I notice you don't actually suggest a course of action - no answers, not even questions: just condescending rhetoric.

Don't get me wrong, I fully agree with you that this is the way we should look at our world - but this is no time for such unbridled idealism; we should be both realistic and pragmatic, and that means scaling down the fancy speeches and coming up with some answers.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
marjon- well one model that immediately springs to my mind is the shared out resources way that tribal cultures subscribe to. i think there was an economist that won a nobel prize recently for her ideas of a commons kind of ownership of lands and resources, not a so called communist system, not that that was ever truely communial but a shared responsibility and capitalist free markets don't blatently work.

The Puritan Pilgrims in the USA tried that and nearly starved to death.
What you describe IS communism. The only way it can be implemented without violence is when all participants are volunteers.
Human beings are individuals with unique needs, wants and desires. The best way to meet those needs has proven to be free market economics. The reason this works is that for me to get what I want, I have to help you get what you want.
You want money? Create a product or service I want so I might give you some money. You get money, I get your product or service. Win-win.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2010
well one model that immediately springs to my mind is the shared out resources way that tribal cultures subscribe to

A group of Jews hid out in the Belarus forests from the NAZIs during WWII. According a recent movie of this event, a group of men decided they deserved more rations as they worked harder to obtain that food. The leader of the 'tribe' had to kill the rebel leader to restore order. I don't know if that really happened, but such an event would not be unexpected.
That is the only way a communal society can function, with force.
Real tribes usually are limited to ~100 individuals all related to each other. A family is not the same as a commune.
kasen
4 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2010
Create a product or service I want so I might give you some money


The question is, where does the money come from? Capitalism is all fine and dandy until you realise that, somewhere along the line, a few people are making money out of thin air.

Then, of course, there's the issue with mass culture creating artificial wants&needs, which become a secondary source of thin-air-money. There's a cancerous quality about this.

Resources are finite, money is infinite. What's your answer to this conundrum, marjon? (no sarcasm implied)
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Mar 09, 2010
The question is, where does the money come from? Capitalism is all fine and dandy until you realise that, somewhere along the line, a few people are making money out of thin air.

Money is whatever you will accept. Gold was used as money because it was pretty, easy to work, rare, difficult to counterfeit, and not too difficult to create(mine). The challenge is to create money whose value can be maintained and that millions of people will accept.
Infinite money as zero value so effective money is not infinite.
rubberman
3 / 5 (2) Mar 15, 2010
Good Article! Recognition of an issue is the first step in addressing it....
siliconboy
not rated yet Mar 20, 2010
There is another possibility, one I believe more realistic: Our greed could be our only escape.

Given that the 'capitalistic beast' is unable to slow itself, feeding it could be the answer.

we need to drive innovation because:

quote "Earth is our only "lifeboat" in a sea of empty, cold blackness"

This is a false statement.

Space is neither empty, cold nor black. It is in fact full of a comparatively limitless source of energy & elements. Our colonization of it before the sun melts the planet and every conservationist and everything they ever fought for on it is the only solution that is non-fatal for the propagation of life as we know it.

Capatilism, as an expression of the will to live, as a driving collective tool that is developing quantum, nano, ai, - all the shit this blog site wanks on about - is actually a expression of the deeper will to live, to learn, to love. Which comes from our genes, not by design, but cause all the animals that didnt will to live, well, they dead