A fascinating article illustrating how advanced systems thinking and complexity science in particular can lay for us a calculated strategy to spread environmental awareness or any kind of transformative awareness.

We can use our scientific and technological might to consume the planet or regenerate it. The choice is ours.

Understanding of reality as a complex system. Photo by www.slate.com

Understanding of reality as a complex system. Photo by http://www.slate.com

This article is another opportunity to understand that Nature is not just an industrial feed stock but intelligent sentient life just like us.

Internalizing this objective fact makes us develop an emotional connection with life no different than what we have for our fellow human beings and our pets. Empathy, affection and a sense of care are the emotions that build up such connection.

It is this emotional awakening that will eventually help us recover our lost link to the natural world. Until such emotional re-connection can take place we will not be able to achieve the shift in our perception of reality and our overall attitude toward ourselves and nature required to make our existence sustainable on Earth.

Art can greatly enhance and expedite this indispensable psychological and cultural process. That is the core objective of my current work in art, psychology and sustainability.


Amazon rainforest deforestation. Photo: worldwildlife.org

If you leave in Southeast Michigan and you are interested in Climate Change, I encourage you to check out my new meet up.Tepid

“…if there is any testament to the plasticity of the human mind, if there is any proof of how malleable human thought is and how easily conditioned and guided people can become based on the nature of their environmental stimulus and what it reinforces, the world of COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING IS THE PROOF.”

This chilling quote is from the documentary, ‘Zeitgeist: Moving Forward’. Dare to watch it and it may help you wake up and unplug from the mental programming all of us are subjected to.

Whatever little time you spend unplugged realizing the actual reality of society and the planet, it will be worth every second. It will most likely make you unplug again and ultimately empower you to find true freedom from the socio-economic system, from the programming which provides the meaning of life to every consumer and in the process, literally devours our life-sustaining system.

If you have had the courage and intellectual stamina to watch the whole film, I have something to share with you. As brilliant and comprehensive the analysis this film does on modern civilization and the natural environment that supports it is, I am not naïve enough to believe the suggested resource based solution alone will make civilization sustainable.

The big elephant in the room is human psychology. This documentary puts all its faith on a premise that history has proven wrong, that science will bring integrity to human actions and decisions just because the scientific method is objective, rational and prejudice free. Just because science is inherently honest does not guarantee the use of it will be so.

There are myriads of examples of so-called sustainable technologies that are used both with a beneficial and a detrimental environmental impact. The best modern-day example is renewable energy which has been an overall success in Germany.

The fact is that when you promote sustainability within the very industrial paradigm that you are trying to correct, you will miserably fail because you will be subject to the same unsustainable core believes and behaviors created by this incumbent monetary and market system.

Science must be infused not just with ethics and values but with a true sustainability consciousness, if we want to make sure it will have a positive net impact. Beyond universal morals and prioritization of life we need a complex systemic mindset to effectively understand reality. It is not technology but us humans, each of us individually and collectively that will kill or save our civilization and the environment that keep us alive.

Science and technology are just tools. If we lack the critical mass of consciousness, there is no technology smart enough and resources plentiful enough that will let us reach sustainability on Earth.

So the underlying question is what will bring such level of human psychological maturity, development and self-realization. The course of history has shown us we have achieved impressive material progress but we have made little if any progress at all when it comes to consciousness. We can be as emotional, aggressive and destructive as 200,000 or 2,000 years ago. The Israel-Palestine unresolved conflict illustrates such condition.

Humans just like the rest of our sister life forms seem to gain consciousness and evolve when challenged enough by their environment. Biological evolution beautifully shows this scientific fact. It then makes me hopeful when I realize the phenomenal global challenges we face today have the power to shift the very consciousness that drives our perception of reality, values and behaviors which ultimately make our terrestrial existence sustainable or not.

The global crisis offers the potential to raise the critical mass of consciousness required to live in harmony with each other and nature. However the chaos we will be subjected to will make it difficult to have a smooth global transition to the desired paradigm. If this new order results from the developing crisis, it will emerge fragmented in an ocean of environmental, economic and social disruptions as the lingering order based on the global market and monetary system breaks down.

Anticipating such scenario the best strategy I have so far is in the short-term to empower communities around the world to become self-reliant. In the medium to long-term I believe we need to implement ways to re-educate us in a new life-centered and life-honoring human existence in this planet.  We must embrace such paradigm if we ever dream of re-establishing our species in the planetary ecosystem and become truly and permanently sustainable. The foundations of such education are already here under the general umbrella of deep ecology.


In the film Elysium the super rich live in an exclusive space station that orbits the over-crowded earth.

“One goes to a work of art a little bit more opened and also the interaction is one of immersion. For a while there you are living other people’s lives and you are paying attention to it with an empathy. Especially with books you have to imagine it yourself and you imagine what was it like to be in the Napoleonic wars and what did it feel like? Not the facts but the feeling. So it’s a very emotional business and once you get to the emotional level, you begin to process in a different level than when you are reading the news in a more cognitive sense.” (Kim Stanley Robinson)
Devouring the planet

As environmentalist Tony Jupiter explains in his lecture What Has Nature Done For Us?, “no matter how clever our financial systems, impressive our rates of economic growth or sophisticated our technology, there is no place to move if should we degrade our biosphere to the point where it can no longer meet our needs and sustain our economies.”

Hello Wall Street, wake up from your 300 year dream! The economy you live in and worship is a proven delusion but also very dangerous fantasy that is risking the actual infrastructure of the economy and by the way the planetary system that is keeping you alive.

My question is how can we cure such a serious mental epidemic?  How can we bring these schizophrenic individuals and society back to sanity?

Natural and human history have shown that when a species expands so much that it exceeds the carrying capacity of its ecosystem, depleting the ecosystem’s resources and overwhelming  its ability to provide living conditions (clean environment and waste recycling, etc.), the species will either become extinct or radically evolve to survive readapting to the new living conditions.

Which fate will we humans experience? I bet on the latter.

Sources. Left photo: http://abcawesomepix.com/; right photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images;

Sources: http://abcawesomepix.com/ (left), STR/AFP/Getty Images (right).

This architectural concept is the kind of disruptive creativity that I believe we need to escape the limitations of current sustainable design.

Let folks get scandalized and outraged. It is a necessary evil in our urgent transition to permanent sustainability, resilience and the ultimate integration back in the natural ecosystem.

We need to ‘play and plug in’ our brains the unthinkable concept of Nature shaping our human environment. This is a fascinating way to give do her but if you can only appreciate the pragmatic side of ecology, such approach may become critical in the re-framing of nature and our place in it that we so urgently need.

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