Our Possible Future
Our human past can be distinguished into two epochs.
In the first we lived in a way that had insignificant effect on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems.
In the current one, we are certainly having a significant effect and it has therefore been dubbed 'The Anthropocene'.
Tragically, the effect that we are actually having is highly detrimental to our ecosystems.
But this no longer needs to be so.
We could now move into phase 2 of the Anthropocene, as we have recently developed the means by which together we can well provide for our present, not by depleting but by enhancing the future ability of all to provide.
To bring about this momentous transition to 'Anthropocene2' requires selectively repurposing, or rather uppurposing, technologies that have not been effectively utilised.
A key enabling capability to facilitate this is that of affordably directing photons close to the physical limits.
By this means step-changes in performance are achievable within fields as diverse as solar energy, power generation, heating, cooling, lighting, water purification, optical wireless communications, wireless power transmission and optical imaging/sensing, including microscopy, spectroscopy, weapon detection, thermal imaging, medical imaging, machine perception and Lidar. See Transphotonics.org
When combined with a host of other advances these step-changes in performance facilitate radically new approaches to sectors such as energy, water, waste, construction, agriculture, communications, transport, food and chemical processing, manufacturing, security, search and rescue, earth observation, astronomy, smart cities and medical diagnostics.
These radically new approaches can be rapidly achieved because of several factors. The most important are:
Firstly, it will soon become apparent that we have no shortage of resources. We will understand that we have been incurring vast unnecessary expense to ourselves, others and the environment by competing to consume more than our fair share of a minute pie of scarce resources just because they are more easily useable. Whereas we have overlooked a gigantic pie of abundant resources, which although requiring more work, we are now, at far less overall cost, able to utilise in their place. Today this may all seem like 'pie in the sky' and in one respect it most certainly is! See for instance FarmTheSky.com
Secondly, the fundamental revaluation of assets that will result should greatly facilitate the raising of the finance required for the utilisation of these resources. This will prove to be low risk, highly profitable and able to be arranged at the community level. See RevalueLand.com
Thirdly, there are substantial intrinsic economic advantages to all in both the distributed production of the capital equipment required and its distributed deployment. These come from eliminating a wide array of unnecessary costs. In addition considerable benefits should accrue to the local communities concerned, rather than is so often the case that their resources are exploited to benefit outsiders.
Fourthly, through knowledge transfer the required skills for development, manufacture, installation, maintenance and operation of the technologies will be readily achievable in less educated communities. See PhotonicPowerToThePeople.com
Fifthly, the sunnier parts of the world, with or without fertile soil and freshwater, have an intrinsic major economic advantage. And as these are often the poorest regions with a low cost of living, this will further increase their advantage. This will help to rebalance the North-South economic divide and mitigate the increasingly disruptive trend of economic migration.
Sixthly, places where space is inexpensive will have substantial economic advantage. This will result in a strong counterforce to the seemingly inexorable urbanisation tendency that affects our ecosystems so adversely. See ProducerParks.com
This initiative is intended to help transition to this possible future as rapidly as we can in order to avoid further disastrous consequences of our present way of life.
This urgently requires a viable strategy to be devised and implemented.
A formidable challenge perhaps. But this is not one full of painful compromises. Rather this challenge will be seen as a rewarding and highly engaging search for optimal scenarios that result in great benefit for all stakeholders, as we will be creating considerable value out of abundant resources that have hitherto been neglected.
This is a challenge that can be met by integrating the individual contributions of those who well provide for their nearest and dearest through living as if it matters that all make the most of the opportunity To Be. See OpportunityToBe.com.
This integration can be accomplished by those of us willing to take responsibility for doing all we can to help and are not constrained by only working to counter our fears and improve our conditions but are inspired by what is possible.