It’s assumed that radical changes are needed to live within the resource boundaries of the planet. This idea reminds me of the saying attributed to Albert Einstein – “We can’t solve problems with the same thinking that led to them.”
Is the Idea of Radical Change a Show-stopper?
It’s not rocket science. Each of us need clean air, water, food and shelter. There’s nothing extreme about human needs – they simply need to be met. These days, the opportunity to be educated – to learn – is commonly thought of as need, as well. This is fine, as long as we don’t trap the idea of education into the confines of “educational system”. There are so many ways to learn outside of this venue, it almost goes without saying that no matter how much conventional education a person has, it’s just for starters. It’s what we figure out from this point forward that counts.
Energizing the Ideas
When there’s change, particularly if the change is interpreted as negative, over-reaction is common. And when change is desired, making it happen is viewed as a challenge, at best, to an insurmountable problem, at worst. Figuring out how to deal with the need for electricity is just one example where many take it for granted that resolving all the issues is a really big deal. It’s too often overlooked that change – or the need for it – is a learning opportunity. And it might not even be a case of having to learn – just applying what we already know more effectively … uh, understanding better.
Home Power – Unhacked
Some think this kind of solution is radical. It isn’t. It’s quite possible to meet needs for electricity with a tiny system. There’s nothing special, extreme, or otherwise freaky, about it. Billions would be happy to have this much electricity. What’s needed is to stop mistaking wants for needs. Chasing after sustainable energy with wants as a bottom line is a dead-end. When attempting to reduce and re-balance use, a clear distinction between the two must be kept front and center to maintain effective perspective and results.
The resources it would take to convert the typical western household, factory, school, grocery store, office building – or most other modern infrastructures – to renewable electricity, isn’t practical as the technology stands. Conservation is, and likely always will be, the foundation of alternative energy. Building the roof before the footings isn’t just lousy math.
Development, Mind Power – and Reality
Once needs are put first, there’s something else to get into the picture. It’s not just about physical resources. If the brains poured into evolving such things as computers were directed to refrigeration, an affordable, sustainable fridge that runs on a nine volt battery for years, would be something we’d already take for granted.
It’s not difficult – or radical – to keep development within realistic means and aimed at goals that would really make a difference. An incredible amount of thinking goes into robotics, medicine, fossil fuel based machinery, space exploration, marketing systems, and even entertainment. Redirecting the focus of technology to what’s truly health-promoting and planet-respecting doesn’t take any more mental energy, but for the little bit used to reset the priorities.
Recognize that what’s assumed to be radical is just the same old story from an unfamiliar angle. Spotting the repetition eliminates over-reaction. The methods to best deal with most unexpected events, and even seemingly entrenched unwanted consequences, are already known. We’re too easily thrown by the details. To make sustainable progress reality, the time wasted on missing the point must be reclaimed and thinking about how to ensure basic human needs put ahead of all else.
There’s nothing to hack – just a few things to remember.